I will have the next 6 months to develop a framework to help fast delivery of Social Network Services - SNS, it's the implementation task of my final work graduate research and has the title: Social Network Services: component based framework. And, because I have been using Plone in some projects to deliver Content Management Applications, like: company and community web sites, intranets, etc, in the last three years (ruda_porto IRC nick), I decide to use it as a base system to construct a SNS application framework.
Of course that is not a simple task, since Social Networks Services Applications can be used for friendship, academic, professional or some kind of specialized networks, but the central point will be study the hole application domain (problem scope) and implement a framework (solution scope) to abstract social network core objects and features in a way it will be easy to extend and integrate with Plone content management core products and other third-part products for things like members, tagging, blog, wiki, audio, video, photos, files and so on.
The main focus and effort will be in walk forward to make Plone a social oriented application out-of-box installing a core set of packages, thus offering the creation of social networks that share information and content among social actors with Plone. And perhaps implementing a framework that fits academic and Plone community needs at same time is a risk and a great opportunity at same time, using small components help to isolate the general problem in a set of core packages will be a foundation to create Plone social network sites and applications.
The next step forward in my research is the creation of two questions list, one for end users of SNS sites and other Plone developers and users. The first must help to discover what users like and dislike in some existent SNS sites and so grasp functional requirements. The second is more difficult, but it intent is try to discover functional and non-functional requirements that can made the framework easy to extend and deliver SNS applications when integrated with Plone.
I'm was waiting an opportunity make all that information public available in the Plone community and after the post from Alexander Limi: 18 Things I Wish Were True About Plone, talking about social network path for Plone, I decide to make it and try to explain the scope of my research and my vision about Plone social integration and begin a discussion of how it (and other existent projects) can improve Plone social experience.
Thanks for all folks that spend time contributing to Plone and who are responsible to made this amazing community! I will appreciate all commenting! :-)