Rediscovering Elgg

Yesterday I rediscovered the Elgg social networking environment. Although there are various blogs and fora which one can join for free in order to use the social networking platform itself you need to install the open source software locally or sign up for a subscription service which are currently priced at $29.95 or $49.95 per month. In response to the question “Why is there no ‘free’ option?” the page states that:

The core Elgg engine is open source and is free to download at With our service, we believe in charging a fair price rather than subsidizing a ‘free’ account by selling advertising or restricting your ability to access your data if you decide to move. Sure, there are free social applications out there, but don’t forget you may be entrusting data, relationships and marketing effort to a third party with no guarantee of service continuity.

It will be interesting to see if institutions chose to install and mange such services locally, purchase a subscription service or make use of free services which contain advertising.   It will also be interesting to see if the ability to easily (?) migrate data is regarded as an important factor to consider.