I am pleased that Ben, Dave and others at ELGG have released version 1.0 of ELGG as scheduled yesterday. The new version promises a number of significant improvements over Elgg .9 that we have been piloting at Athabasca. The software is described here and can be downloaded and installed locally or taken for a test drive at http://test.elgg.org/

The Groups feature seems much enhanced with ‘pages’ (like wiki pages with optional editing feature), cleaner discussions and files and resources. I set up a test group entitled ‘Social in self paced’ and readers of this blog are welcomed to join this group.

The important finely graduated permissions feature is entact in the new version. I haven’t yet found the RSS import and aggregator features-but perhaps because the plugin wasn’t installed in the test version. The archtecture of 1.0 allows for a huge number of widgets and plugins- some installed by indiviudal users, some by site administrators.

The Elgg gang is also celebrating their award from InfoWorld’s best of Open Source Software in the social software category, where the judges write:

You won’t find an open source version of MySpace, but even at the current .92 version, Elgg comes darn close. So why would you even want to create smaller communities? Simple: While Elgg lets corporations, governments, and schools quickly establish blogs, the system’s collaborative features encourage building communities of users with shared interests. Other Elgg fine points include podcast support, file repositories, user profiles, RSS aggregator, and branding features. Significantly, the software integrates with other IT systems and provides OpenID authentication. Developers can add specific functions using an open API”

Congratulations Elgg team. I look forwarded to installing and working with the new, improved version.