If you have a site or blog and you wanted to make it a community site, your options were limited. Building features like invite a friend, social networking and collaboration was not trivial and involves writing your own applications – this may or may not be supported by the hosting provider unless you were using something like Drupal.
The situation is set to change with Google announcing its Friend Connect service. Like all other Google products, this too is in Beta (and preview release) and has a long wait list. This service will let you implement social features on your website without having to worry about coding and you will be able to invite friends from other popular social networking sites.
Facebook and MySpace had also earlier announced similar initiatives.
And there is focus on social computing else where too. With it’s version 5.0, Liferay also announced enhanced collaboration and social computing features. These include portlets with improved functionality for Blogs, Wikis, Discussion Forums, a chat client, polls and other such features. All of these are based on the same underlying functionality for tagging, commenting, rating etc., which is very similar to Drupal. What this basically means is that irrespective of whether you are creating a blog post or a new article, you can use uniform features for categorization, rating and RSS.
Now it’s easier than ever to have your own Facebook :).