Elgg or Drupal?

I've been considering both. And, I have a few concerns about using Elgg. First of all, since it is relatively new, and a much smaller project, I wonder: how long will Elgg be active? Drupal seems like it has a massive developer base, and is going to be around for a long time. Many develpers use Drupal professionally. 


Now, there is Elgg. And, so far, I think that it is kind of cute out of the box. I do like many of the features, and it is simple to set up. If I need a social media site tomorrow, this would be the softwar to use. 


However, my concerns about weather or not Elgg will be around are deepened by thoughts of: what is this software best suited for?


For me, and from my experince thus far, Elgg seems much better suited for educational use. It just doesn't have the amount of developers contributing relevant work to the project yet. That'\s not to say that it won't, but this is a bit discouraging. Will Elgg be ready for commercial social media use in the future?


I have a lot of respect for the guys who've put in all this hard work to make this project happen. But I'm wondering about these few concerns. 


For instance, what if I start a dating site? And, what if my users need to find a match? How are they going to find anyone with the current search or members feature? The plugins, currently, are not evolved to the point where I would feel comfortable using them in a commercial setting. 


All in all, my main concern is: just what direction is Elgg going in? WIll Elgg be used in educational settings and leave other sites behind? And, how long will the project be around? What about updates, security, things like this need ot be addressed.


Hopefully, though, I am deeply looking forward to the Elgg Camp at Harvard to see just where Elgg is headed...

  • ask yourself this. Are people intuitively drawn to social networking?

    How many friends do you have that like to spend their evening on Facebook? Myspace? Twitter?

    I think the reality is that social networking has the greatest ability to make a website interactive. That is not to say a great CMS isn't important, it definately is important especially for content that needs to be a bit more static. ELGG doesn't really try to be a CMS but there are movements to tie it together with one or more of the bigger CMS projects out there.

    I have a number of friends that are dedicated to singular social sites. One is DIYdrones built on Ning, look around the net and you find tons of forums with a long life span (relatively speaking since the web is really quite young, which makes my next point...)

    What do you think people are going to expect from sites in the future? Whether the average user is asking themselves this or not, there is an ever rising expectation on the part of the average web surfer.

    How do you feel just by your ability to participate in the process of ELGG simply by posting this question?

    That's what social networks should be doing. Empowering people in purpose of their existance. This is exactly why I have become an ELGG fanatic. Not just because it looks neat and is the latest web tool fad, but because it can be tailored to work with purpose in a way that is becoming the expectation of what it means to be social on the web.

  • @Johnsmith  I would tend to agree with @Zakary  It's not so much the tool you may use as it is what you do with the tool.  The flexability of elgg in these early stages give you a blank sheet you can develope from.  Your not going to want to repaint the mona lisa but you can build on that success with new colors and a better canvas.

    Will elgg remain, I personally see elgg hitting center stage on many fronts not just education.  That's my opinion I could be wrong.



  • Zak, I definatley see a trend is social media. Some people sit on a site for hours, completely enthralled. But I don't see this happening yet with Elgg. For me, it feels much too counter-intuitive. But that just may be because I am more used to North American design.


    As for the interactivity of Elgg, this is partly what I am addressing ... so far, it is very blocky and compartmentalized. If I want to check out the wire, then I have to go here, if I want to check out pages, then I go here. As of right now, it doesn't have that tied together feeling. Then again compared to Facebook, which is essentially the Cadillac of social media sites right now, Elgg doesn't have what it takes yet. That's not to say that it won't. Hopefully it will. Making things become more fluent is key. Integration is key also.


    Just where Elgg fits in, I'm not sure at this point. I could see it be used for more of a specialized interest ... like a classroom website. But, beyond that, it appears mucky. Sites like Ning seem to take the place of this, and so I wonder what the point would be for Elgg other than simply having a site on ones own server.


    How do I feel about my ability to participate in the discussion of Elgg? Well, I'm glad that I'm able to be involved in any discussion at this point, and hope that my comments and feedback may be taken into consideration in some way. But beyond this site, and it's purpose, I wonder ...


    And Goofbucket, I think that customization of themes is important. I wonder when applications such as Artisteer will implement Elgg into their roster, things will really start to get interesting.


    Hopefully we'll see just where Elgg is headed in the coming month ...

  • @johnsmith

    I do see your point about having to go here and there and everywhere...

    but... that just means you see design opprotunities. Facebook and Myspace require you to bounce about too, what you might be desiring is to put things in a fashion that feels less like your bouncing. If you decide to use blog feature in Myspace, you are in reality taken someplace else to write the blog, Facebook makes you feel as if you are simply in the same place, but in truth you do go someplace else. In either of these bigger and broader sites, you still bounce about to see other peoples stuff, be it a picture album or something they wrote. Facebook has been great at doing things like wall to wall and has upped the bar of user expectation, but so has twitter in its simplicity. 

    I live in Seattle and I am as North American as can be and the people I am working my ideas with are often excited by what is possible.

    If you choose to go Drupal, thats fine and its a great choice no doubt about it, but it has its own complexity to get use to and I would bet money it will be around a great deal of time. Regardless of whatever you choose, there will always be a modular element to what you are doing. Drupal, Joomla, and numerous other projects all have components that are developed in box to fit within the framework they are purposed for. ELGG is its own adventure and at some point you have to forget what one project does and how it does it in order to embrace ELGG and embrace its full power.

    And it is a powerfull platform, but that doesnt mean it is the singular, cure all, only fix for what you need to get done. At times I am blending solutions because it is far quicker to accept the fact that one thing does something better then another thing.

    As a social media platform, ELGG excels. As platform for simply hanging a shingle on the web, there are better choices. Then there are all sorts of choices inbetween.

    I encourage you to look at this sites front page and see who is involved in ELGG not just on who you see posting inside the site. There are some serious people involved behind the scenes.


  • I am really glad to see the amount of excitement involved in this project, as well as all the great plugins so far. I'm really looking forward to seeing just what develops.

  • @ johnsmith

    And Goofbucket, I think that customization of themes is important. I wonder when applications such as Artisteer will implement Elgg into their roster, things will really start to get interesting.

    BTW, it is possible to create plugin to export from Artisteer to Concrete5 with "Artisteer Plug-ins Development" (http://www.artisteer.com/?p=dev)