A forum is a great use of a lightweight community network. A forum is a specialized web page that lets users pose messages in a nested context. A user can create a topic and reply to topics created by others. It is a perfect fit for a small community intranet because it is light on resources and can efficiently let users share and coordinate information.
The only difficulty is that many types of forum software require the administrator to set up and maintain SQL databases. This can be taxing on system resources and is a problem on a lightweight system. However there are several forums that store information in text files and do not require a SQL backend.
Forest – This is the forum software that comes with PirateBox and can be activated in the configuration file.
Wakaba and Kareha – Wakaba and Kareha are image board and message board applications respectively. They are both lightweight and easy to install. Wakaba in particular is useful if you want your users to easily share images.
A wiki is a webpage that can be incrementally edited and created by it’s users. It allows the server to host a collaboratively edited source of information. Wikipedia is a example of a huge and comprehensive wiki. On a smaller scale this can be used to collectively create and maintain community information.
Tiki Wiki – This is a ‘free software’ licensed wiki hosting application. It is lightweight and can be used to create a community wiki.
Drupal – This is a more general piece of open source content management software. It can be configured to host a wiki. This software is more difficult to configure than Tiki Wiki and is less lightweight.