Danie

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    I have been running a Photo Critique community using the Ning platform for many years. We are offering Photo Critiques for free and then use the community site to advertise photography events and courses. You can view the site at http://photocritic.digitalphotographycourses.co.za

    I adore the simplicity and cleanness of the Board style - SE Cloud. I also like the Social Media Integration a lot. It has massive potential for photography communities. 

    However to run a full fledged social community there are a number of very important functionalities missing from SE Cloud like... 
    • Events
    • Activity feed
    • Message Broadcasts
    • Ads
    • Chat
    • Forum and Discussions
    Before I invest any time, or money on your awesome platform I would like to know if you are in the process of developing the above features? I cannot see anybody run a successful social community without it. 

    I know the SE php4 platform offers such features, but it seems a little bit outdated. Plugins and addons are extremely expensive compared to much more powerful and responsive buddypress themes. I am also afraid that the PHP platform will go the same way as Ning. I hold my thumbs for further development of the Social Engine Cloud! 

      • 2
      Chris Ofana It like the SE PHP, has more features than the SE CLOUD when will SE CLOUD start having those great features like SE PHP and plugins and I want to know if the integrity theme will work with SE CLOUD and if it will keep the same Clean Themes.
      • 2
      Eugene Danie,
      I completely understand your concerns as to SaaS websites. They are super-easy to install, non-expensive and look nice out of box. However as with Ning you have risks as you don't own the content and don't have access to the server itself. If something is broken or any company is going out of business (I guess that's happening with Ning right now, who would guess that 2 years ago) - you and your users are locked in.

      I have not seen any plans for features you have listed in the SE Cloud roadmap. The only chance for that will be a more powerful API, so a pool of 3rd party developers can expand the features set, but doubtfully that's happening anytime soon.

      Buddypress is WordPress-based, and WP is a great platform for small website or a blog. But let the userbase grow and it will require a lot more costs for maintenance and development. And don't get me started about security. WP websites are favorite targets for automated bots (thanks to a huge amount of free or cheap outdated plugin). It's a serious challenge to follow spaghetti codebase and keep all things up to date.

      Money-wise I think you should give SE PHP a try. But don't get all plugins/features you listed at once. Start with main features. For Photo Critique community that probably would be some plugin to work with media (like our Media Projects plugin or similar) and some plugin for discussions (forum, Q&A or groups), plus a nice responsive theme.
      You will also need a good VPS hosting option (from 20usd/month + setup).

      With SE php you will get Ads, Activity feed and messaging in-built (starting package).

      In a month or two you can get other plugins (Events, Adv. Events or Schedule), something for the maintenance (like Moderator toolbox). As to the Chat - consider 3rd party service instead of the standard plugin (it's pretty basic, but heavy).

      SE PHP can look nice, but it will require careful pick of theme and widgets for the landing page. And in case of a trouble you will have considerably more options as you have full access to server/data, but that's a bigger responsibility as well.

      It's a tough decision. But it looks like you have already made a good choice (getting out of Ning).

      So good luck
      • 1
      seTweaks I second Eugene on SE PHP. SE Cloud has limited features. WP management is a hassle and Security issues happen a lot. BuddyPress compared to SE PHP is not rich in features and plugins. SE PHP has a lot of themes and plugins and you can make any modifications to it and you will own your data.

      SE Team is already working on a new update, a new theme for SE PHP, a new website and a new centralized marketplace. Regarding your concern about SE PHP being outdated, the platform code is very organized and clean ( Much better than WP's spaghetti code ). It's actually a good framework, It's not just a Social Network. You can build any service you want on top of it and for the front-end check out our store and our Integrity Theme. It's more modern than default themes.

      Integrity Theme : http://bit.ly/IntegrityTheme

      @Stepan Mazurov Could you tell us when will we see the new site? or the beta?
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