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Social Stream: core for building social network websites

Social Stream is an engine for Ruby on Rails. It provides a robust and flexible core with social networking features and activity streams for building websites.

Social networking

Social networks are a new paradigm on web application design. Social networking platforms stand among the most popular websites, while many content oriented applications are supporting social networking features in order to improve engagement, enhance user awareness and stimulate communities around the website.

Social Stream is based in Social Network Analysis concepts and methods, including social entities (actors), ties and relations. Social Stream is so flexible that you can define custom actors (groups, organizations, institutions, social events) and relationships (friends, collegues, members, administrators, contributors, attendants, speakers).

It also provides a new tie-based access control model, which grants rights at the relation level, allowing you to share activities with friends, administrators, members or everybody.

Activity Streams

Activity Streams is a format for syndicating social activities around the web. It has already been adopted by some of the major social networking platforms.

Social Stream provides a database schema based on the Activity Streams specification, leading your application towards a well-known compatible data model design. It is extensible so you can add your own activities easily.


Add to your Gemfile:

gem 'social_stream'

and run:

bundle update


rails generate social_stream:install

This will generate the following:

  • A jquery:install generation for jQuery support

  • A devise:install generation for authentication support

  • An initializer file with configuration for Social Stream.

  • A configuration file for defining custom Social Stream relations. You can define your application default relations at config/relations.yml

  • A new application layout

  • A migration providing the database schema

Do not forget to migrate your database

rake db:migrate

Actors and Activity Objects

Social Stream relies in Devise. You have authenticated users support in your application by default.

Besides, there is another kind of actor: groups. If you want other type of actor (like organizations or social events) you must include an actor_id column in the new actor migration. Then add it to config/initializers/social_stream.rb

There is also support for two types of basic activity objects: posts and comments. You can create other types, like photos, bookmarks or videos, but you must do the same: add a activity_object_id column in the migration and include it in the initializer.


Social Stream documentation is available at


It is at an early stage of development. Feel free to add an issue or send a message at github.

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