In previous posts, we discussed two upcoming Rails social networking how-to books, “Railspace” and “Practical Social Networking on Rails”, which we’ll review as soon as it arrives on our doorstep. We also discussed the many available social networking open source platforms for PHP developers, including PHPIzabi.net, Vastal’s ambitious mySpace and Youtube clones and Consummating.com’s open source version of its popular social app. Yet, the missing link in all of this is a social networking platform for Rails. A CMS that encompasses peer-to-peer relationships, add-as-a-friend and other defacto social features. Even if Rails helps you deploy more quickly when compared to PHP, you may be slower to market in the long run if social networking platforms come readymade (and free) off the shelf. Instead of building from scratch you’d work your way out to customize the product for your needs.
On the other hand, while there isn’t a complete Rails social CMS, Rails does have the majority of plugins needed to quickly deploy a social application. In this repository alone, there is a ton of great plugins, many like make ratable, commentable, google Maps are perfect for a community site. While I’ve yet to see an all-in-one Rails social platform, there are enough plugins and successful rails social sites (YFly, Curbly, Twittr) to use as inspiration. There’s also good advice out there (in this case by the makers of Curbly and YFly) To see more, visit “plugins” on the blogroll.