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The target is to create a community where mostly people will have their own "vault". Like an enhanced diary system.

Public areas will exist for some common operations, but mostly a user will get into this system because he wants to operate on its data and add/modify them. The "data" may be posts (blog? forum?) or it may be events that need to be tracked privately ...

I want to start on this thought and see where i can get it?

I have thought of the "obvious", that is to combine a CMS wit a forum (like Joomla with phpBB).

Is there a product out there (preferably free) that does my job?

Is it better to start building one of my own?

Update: Thank you all for the answers, i went with phpBB as a forum for a start and Joomla for the wrapping around the forum. RokBridge will serve as a user bridge between them in the future when i will need it. for now joomla has no users.

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closed as not constructive by John Conde May 24 '12 at 18:58

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Don't build your own, there's no need to re-invent the wheel and it will take you long time to incorporate all the features/security/reliability of an existing system.

A magic instant-working paid-for version would be vBulletin with the publishing suite, which is based around each member having their own blog and it's all attached to their forum account.

For free you could use WordPress multi-user with user sign-up open, there are a bunch of plugins out their to tailor the experience to your needs.

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So i am looking for a paid solution like vBulletin (Invision Power supports also personal blogs) OR i should go for a free combo... – e4rthdog May 21 '12 at 10:36
Depends if you want to pay or not and how familiar you are with WordPress, WP will take some setting up and hunting around for plugins to tweak the site to your needs. vB/IPB should have everything configurable from the admin CP once installed. – Dunhamzzz May 21 '12 at 10:38

I would recomend Wordpress with the Mingle Forum Plugin, it's very nice but simple. But i would strongly advise against self-coding (if you're not "native" coder).

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I'm in the process of coding my own social website, and am finding the process of creating my own site rewarding. If you have little/no programming experience using software which already exists will be a lot faster/easier though – Adjam May 21 '12 at 18:31
that was what i meant, sorry about my badly arranged phrase – MemLeak May 21 '12 at 18:55

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