Is elgg really social networking?

Call me confused, but when I sit back and look at elgg sites, there's a certain monotony to them.

Long strings of elgg tweets, long strings of files, long strings of bookmarks, long strings of discussions, long strings of activity.

It's.... boring. There's too much sameness, no matter how you shuffle it around or theme it, to the whole site design.

It lacks the personality that comes from a focus on people.

Perhaps the Discussion area is where these things can happen, but call me confused, I don't have a "Discussion" tab. I have blogs, activity, tweets, bookmarks, FAQ, forums. Maybe I don't know elgg well enough yet, but how do you add a Discussions tab. It's impossible to search this, because it takes you to every elgg discussion, rather than info on how to ADD a Discussion plugin. Even when I use quotes around "Discussion Plugin" I find only chat about it, not the original plugin.


And... is there a way to personalize this site more, so it's not just a conglomeration of long lists of things?

  • a elgg site is very customizable compared to other social open source cms's out there this is the best you can fully customize it and make it different maybe you should look at paid themes and plugins : ) takes a few weeks or days to get the hang of it, theres some really good plugins here and free, rjcalifornia Matt Beckett Jeroen Dalsem and many more people alot more than the names i just mentioned have provided some very good plugins some are paid but most are free and you can edit there plugins to in the language file. I am still learning to be honest you prob know more than me lol only been here 3 or 4 weeks ^_^

  • Yes, it's social networking as users of the site contribute content, discuss said content, and interact amongst each other.  You're right that out of the box a plain installation of elgg isn't all that exciting, but it's intended to be a base to build from.  It's extremely flexible so you can build just about anything you want, as mentioned there are lots of plugins available to do this, and if you're a programmer, you can dive in and do whatever you need.

    Themes are a bit harder to come by, seems like most folks here are more back end programmers than designers but there are some decent ones floating around and they're not terribly hard to make if you have a good design.

  • Themes aren't a problem, I can customize the look of a site myself, it's the ergonomics of it that has me scratching my head. The only "list" that really invites social interaction is Discussion.

    I don't want to install Chat, as I can't police that and keep the site clean of spam and the occasional doofus.

    But... I still can't find the Discussion plugin. I went through plugins for almost an hour last night and couldn't find it and a search for it only yields talk ABOUT it, not the original plugin. There must be one. We have a discussion thread here.

  • The "Discussions" tab here on the community site is a customization not included in the default Elgg package. But each group you create on an Elgg site can have it's own discussion section. The landing page of the Groups menu entry is the list of latest discussions then. If you would like the menu entry to be named "Discussions" instead or have a separate entry called "Discussions" beside the Groups entry that is easily possible to customize.

  • With the group_tools plugin you also have more options and a "latest discussions" tab in the side wide groups listing that will let people follow up on activities in all groups they have access to easily.