1st edition — by Patrick McNeil — Feb. 22, 2007
The Site Type
I suppose the first question to answer for many people is, what is Community Server?
Well, Community Server is an application with the sole purpose of building online communities. It is a turbo charged set of applications that all play well together. Out of the box you get a rich set of membership tools, blogs, forums, photo galleries, and file downloads. Those are perhaps the key applications of the system. I should point out that the blog system supports any number of blogs, hundreds or even thousands if you like. The other aspect of Community Server that you should be aware of is that it is a commercial application, though it does have a free license now. It is built on asp.net technology and is basically one of my favorite web apps of all time!
I have had the opportunity to work with Community Server on several sites with clients through my work at TargetScope. It has been nothing but an awesome experience. You can pretty much mash Community Server around and get it to do most anything you need. The only live/public sample I can show that I have worked on can be found here. So I am clearly a bit biased when it comes to Community Server; but I think for good reason. And if your wondering, no I don't work for them and I wasn't paid in any way for this post! Believe it or not I really am just an excited user.
Get to the point
So, the real point of all this is to show some inspiring designs that have been implemented on Community Server systems. Not all of these samples are uber beautiful, and some are even based on templates that are widely available. I consider this a stage one article though, showing where things are right now, because I think there is plenty of room for growth. I should also point out that my focus was as usual on design and not content.
So all you Community Server developers, enjoy the links and get inspired, maybe go hire a designer to create something out of this world!
Main Community Server Sites
Community Server Docs
Community Server Code Viewer
Other links I have found very useful:
The Secrets of CSModules
How to make custom user atributes