The CUNY Academic Commons is an online, academic social network for faculty, staff, and graduate students of the City University of New York (CUNY) system. Designed to foster conversation, collaboration, and connections among the 23 individual colleges that make up the university system, the site, founded in 2009, has quickly grown as a hub for the CUNY community, serving in the process to strengthen a growing group of digital scholars, teachers, and open-source projects at the university.
As stated in the site’s Terms of Service, members “seek to use the Academic Commons as a means of fulfilling our highest aspirations for integrating technology into our teaching, learning, and collaborating.”
CUNY Academic Commons is built entirely with open source software: WordPress with Multisite, BuddyPress and MediaWiki. It uses MYSQL as a database and runs under Linux. BuddyPress, a powerful WordPress plug-in which transforms a multi-user WordPress site into a social network, serves as the site’s hub. As one of its spokes, MediaWiki is seamlessly integrated into the site and lets users collaborate on projects and build knowledge bases. Users are allowed to create as many blogs and groups as they want.