Social Networking for Civil Society

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About in a Nutshell is a free and open-source platform that facilitates social networking and collaboration of local communities. It has been designed from the outset for the specific needs of civil society, particularly in closed societies and in countries in transition, it can be used with otherwise unsupported languages, where the Internet is very slow, and where the safety of civil society actors requires special privacy protection. seeks to go beyond usual social network platforms by combining communication with meaningful sharing of resources that can be searched by general or specific tags, by location, or by language.

The platform takes a dual approach by offering a user interface on the web and a mobile app. It is available for self-hosting and we will offer a turn-key hosted solution. is a non-profit project initiated and implemented by Burma Center Prague.

The project is currently under development.

Guiding Principles

User-Friendliness Even users with very low IT skills should be able to use the platform. consistent design; intuitive operation; sufficient and clear instructions and feed back; avoid too many features and settings; avoid over-crowded screens; don't require experience with similar platforms
Localization The paltform should be ready even for rare languages. don't depend on restrictive server-side software (not restricted to languages of ISO 639-1)
Privacy Users should control their own data. own database; optional secure connections; optional self-hosted scripts
Operativeness The platform should be operational on very slow networks. client with low data requirements (mobile app); on slow network reduce functions gradually, rather than refusing operation
Autonomy The platform should facilitate the installation on an own server. open source license; low system requirements

The Story of Ma Lay

Promotional video that explains a typical user case scenario.


Software and Platform consists of a web-based platform and a mobile application. The web-based part will be available as a free software package for self-hosted deployments or hosted at The mobile app will run on Android-based phones and can be used with any deployment.


web software:

  • Jan Fišer (until 2012)
  • Christoph Amthor (since 2013)

mobile application:

  • Jan Fišer (until October 2014)
  • Christoph Amthor (since October 2014)




The software is published under GPLv3. For more details see Copyright and License. Translations are licensed as Creative Commons, Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike.


This project is still under active development. Please check the roadmap for more details or try the Demo Deployment.


Get updates on our blog and follow us on twitter Twitter or facebook Facebook.


See the manuals, check out the FAQs, or go directly to the forum.


Send a private message or use the feedback feature at the forum or write to


This project is supported from the resources of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic within its Transition Promotion Program.

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about/start.txt · Last modified: 2014/11/01 01:00 by Christoph