Well, the wait is over, and I for one am very excited.
Elgg Spaces is the first ever service to allow you to create your own truly independent social networking site. It uses the Elgg engine, of course, but we’ve tweaked it to ensure that all the technical gubbins usually associated with setting it up are completely hidden. All you have to do is type in your desired domain name, fill in a form, and you’re ready to go.
Elgg Spaces is a paid service, but it’s fairly priced, and a number of people are already getting a lot of use out of their social networking sites. We’re using Spaces in-house for our conference sites like the one we created for ePortfolio 2006 and our upcoming site for the Online Educa conference in Berlin.
This has been a long time in the making, and there’s a lot of hard graft behind the simple interfaces. There’s more to come, in the form of extra plugins, a more advanced (read: easier) templating engine, and more. Soon we’ll add optional OpenID support to each hosted site – users will then be able to interact between sites and services if administrators switch this on.
Some quick questions and answers:
What is Elgg Spaces?
Elgg Spaces is a subscription service that allows anyone to run their own social networking site based on the Elgg engine.
How much does it cost?
Elgg Spaces is charged monthly with no minimum service period. See here for up to date pricing information.
What are the benefits of using Elgg Spaces over installing Elgg?
Elgg Spaces is completely automated; there is no server-side processing required. Creating a site takes two minutes, and your site will be managed and looked over by the core Elgg team.
Additionally, your site will always be running the most up to date stable version of Elgg, with no intervention from yourself. Features will often appear on Elgg Spaces before they are made available for general download.
Is anyone using Elgg?
Plenty of people. Universities like the University of Brighton have made it available campus-wide; there is a list here of other Elgg users. (If you’re an Elgg user, contact us to be added to the list.)
Who’s behind Elgg and Elgg Spaces?
Elgg and Elgg Spaces are products of Curverider Ltd, which is based in Oxford, England. The directors of Curverider are myself and Dave Tosh – i.e., the creators of Elgg.
How can I get more information?
For more information on Elgg Spaces, visit the website or contact us here.
(PS: There’s a Digg story here – we’d really appreciate it if you could digg us!)