Social network portal

The social network portal is a networking resource containing a lot of information available for searching and related mainly to entertainment and recreation. The portal offers its users an opportunity to share information, knowledge, experience and impressions received while visiting different places and events. The users can also share their questionnaires and creative work to attract friends and employers.

The portal follows the s-called “Web 2.0” paradigm offering the users a simple and intuitive interface and concentrating on user-generated content, offering different ways of communicating with each other and interacting with various services based on Internet technologies.

The users can read the content of the portal, add their own stuff and communicate.

The system consists of the following interconnected modules:

  • Catalogue of places (with maps)
  • Catalogue of events (with calendars and invitations)
  • User profile editor
  • Contact management, user profile catalogue management
  • File storage
  • Blogs
  • Bulletin board
  • Guide (integrated with the catalogue of places)
  • Advertising catalogue
  • Music and film digests, surveys and reviews
  • RSS – aggregator

The content of the website is created by users. Each user can contribute to filling the site with content. Access to content is controlled by a flexible system of access control: materials added by the users can be private or public. The main tool of adding the user’s materials is the user’s profile page, which has settings and contains the main information about the user and links to other materials. Every user is represented by a username and an avatar.

Catalogues offer functionality for quick and flexible search. Every user can subscribe for certain types of content and receive notifications when new updates are made (a new event, blog post, forum thread, etc…). The RSS aggregator offers quick access to internal and external sources of news, and integration of e-mail allows the users to get quick access to their email boxes through the web interface of the social network portal.

An important role is played by the map system, which is powered by the Google Maps service, since it allows visualization of the places’ locations and travel routes using markings on maps.

The file storage allows storage of user-generated content such as documents, music, videos and photos. The files are stored in folders (albums, galleries) and marked by tags. The owner can publish the objects on the profile page, thus providing other users with access to this content. In the reviews and surveys of places, events or in users’ blogs the users can include photo galleries and videos. Music albums can be used by musicians and DJs for advertising and promoting their creative work.

The layout of most web pages can be changed: using an AJAX-powered interface the user can change, close or expand content blocks. The profile page uses a complex profile editor that allows the user to apply and modify one of the available profile templates. All this functionality and all the JavaScript are supported by popular browsers such as: Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer.

The whole system is developed using free Open Source technologies that reduce the total cost of the development and deployment. Using well-known and reliable components, such as Apache and MySQL, simplifies the support of the system.