Introduction to Social Networking

Since the first social networks rose to popularity, concepts such as Friend and later Like–previously reserved for direct human interaction–have taken on new meaning in an always-online, information driven culture. It could be argued that social networks have transformed the way people interact with their friends, relatives and colleagues. Friends, connections, followers, circles and lists have enabled people to connect and stay connected in ways they’d never been able to before. Initially, these concepts proved to be highly successful for casual web sites but they didn’t take to the business world as quickly. But many organizations are now realizing the importance of leveraging social interactions for more than just recreation. Liferay’s robust social features make it a great platform for business web sites, casual web sites and everything in between.

Social applications have many differences when compared to Standard applications that are vital to a social networking site. Standard applications have general and user specific data, whereas social applications can share data within a defined network. This variation is a huge advantage when trying to communicate important information to a large group of people. This difference in communication settings is illustrated below:

Figure 8.1: Standard Apps vs. Social Apps

Figure 8.1: Standard Apps vs. Social Apps

Liferay has a constantly improving set of social features which enable you to encourage social interactions on your own portal and to leverage the power and popularity of other social networks. In this chapter, we’ll discuss:

  • General use social portlets
  • Social portlets for personal pages
  • Configuring personal pages for social networking
  • How to connect users using Liferay social relations
  • Social equity
  • Integrating Liferay with other social sites

When we’re finished, you’ll be well equipped to use Liferay to power your social network.

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