Open Source Social Networking

Lockergnome subscriber Sean Norton asks:

Are you aware of any open source web social networking software out there that is similar to myspace and user friendly for all levels of computer skills. I’ve been working on getting the alumni association for my chapter of TKE fraternity online and interactive. I’d considered using a standard static website model with just some mailing list options for group mailings, mainly to save on snail mail postage for newsletters and avoid maintaining a list of e-mail addresses myself. I’d love to have a customizable bulletin board with individual personal profile options like Myspace offers. Many of us already use myspace, but that’s just the younger computer oriented guys, and I’d like something even the octagenarians of the group could successfuly master or at least futz their way through without barraging me with questions. I checked out a freeware app called Joomla but it wasn’t quite what I wanted.

What about Ning?