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What open source Twitter / Facebook alternatives exist for use in the workplace?

I see some pages for things like EchoWaves, but I am looking for a list of options/thoughts.

Preferably Ruby based.


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what problem does "twitter" or its clone solve for you and your colleagues? –  akira Jul 16 '10 at 8:21
It would provide a "passive" 2-way communication mechanism. People across the company can raise/discuss internal/related issues in a less direct/"in your face" mechanism than email –  Chris Kimpton Jul 16 '10 at 8:31 added a twitter like feature called chatter to their sales platform, but it is not open source. It does show that there is interest for micro-blogging inside of a company. –  Greg Bray Jul 16 '10 at 20:03

6 Answers 6

up vote 17 down vote accepted

If you want to install your own Twitter alternative I would take a look at StatusNet. That is the "open source microblogging platform" which among other things powers


You could cover most your requirements between XMPP (Jabber), IRC, a "blog," mailing lists, and a wiki.

Using chat rooms can actually do wonders to "passively" keep people in formed. Where I work we have an internal IRC server, and at least a lot of the Sysadmin work i coordinated in designated IRC channels. Even if you are just talking to a single other person, you still do it in the channel, giving others the chance to get a feel for what is happening. –  andol Jul 18 '10 at 14:23

You could just look for an application that posts status updates to all of your profiles at once, chances are that won't be blocked. I know they exist, but no names come to mind right away. I'll comment when they do


If by open source, you mean that you can download and modify the source code.

Confluence has Twitter-functionality on the personal wiki where you can update your status and follow other peoples' status.

It's not based on Ruby, but runs on a Java application server (Tomcat) with a database back end (Recommended is PostgreSQL).


For Facebook style functionality, Elgg is pretty much drop-in and go. Drupal can be built into a pretty decent community-oriented site as well (there's a fair-to-middling book on the topic), but that would require a fair amount of Drupal familiarity to pull off.


Yammer could fill the need, though I don't believe you can install it locally.

LOL, it would seem ideal, and a few days ago our internal news site said that another part of our group was using Yammer and suggested we do too.. 2 days later it got "blocked", as not endorsed by "the board" :( –  Chris Kimpton Jul 16 '10 at 9:52

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