Decentralized Social Networking Coming to WordPress, Multisite and BuddyPress

Decentralized Social Networking Coming to WordPress, Multisite and BuddyPress

An exciting and revolutionary way of social networking is coming to WordPress very soon, and it’s something you definitely want to watch for. In recent months we’ve witnessed mounting user dissatisfaction with many major social networks such as Facebook, YouTube, and NING, just to name a few. Privacy breaches, pricing changes, content restrictions and censorship have greatly contributed to the growing number of users who are ready for a better way to network.

I’d like to introduce you to SocialRiver. Inspired by users’ desire for more control of their own information, the SocialRiver team has created a decentralized social networking where you control your private information, your communication, and your content.

What is SocialRiver?

SocialRiver is an open source project, written in PHP and Javascript, and built on top of WordPress. This makes it very approachable for other developers to be able to customize it any way they want. Essentially, you host and control your own stream of information and then merge that with your friends’ streams to make your own unique social river.

SocialRiver will be offering a hosted service where you can quickly sign up and have your own SocialRiver flowing in a matter of minutes, but it can also be hosted on any kind of cheap hosting with no special requirements. The project is currently under rapid development and is nearly ready for general public release.

How does SocialRiver work?

You’ll be able to create your own stream by downloading a complete package or by utilizing a plugin that integrates into an existing website. The SocialRiver team is currently working on both a standalone version and a plugin for WordPress / Multisite. Support for Buddypress will come as soon as they complete the base SocialRiver software.

SocialRiver Features

  • Your stream, which is similar to Facebook’s wall and Twitter’s primary user pages. You can write whatever you want, as much as you want, and even include pictures, videos, audio files, and other content. And, embedding multimedia content and links to other pages on the Internet is a snap.
  • The river, which is where all of your friends’ posts appear, as well as yours. Think of the river as being similar to Facebook’s “news” section, except with real privacy.
  • Private messaging, which is similar to email except that it’s all contained within your SocialRiver site.
  • Your profile, of course, which includes as much personal information as you want to reveal. You can add your name, a screen name or alias, brief biography, birthday, city and state, phone number, political affiliations, religious affiliations, and much more.
  • Unlimited photos, videos, audio files, and other types of files, completely organized into albums or folders with optional captions.
  • Privacy controls that let you restrict who can see what you put into SocialRiver. You can set each aspect of your personal information and content to be visible to only you, your friends, friends of your friends, or everyone.
  • And more features to come, including live chat!

If you want to keep track of their progress, make sure to sign up for SocialRiver’s updates. You’ll also get early access to the software as soon as it becomes available. This is one project you definitely want watch, because it just might change the way you use WordPress and how you relate to others socially on the web.