Develop social networks is no easy task. In fact, I was convinced it was difficult. Without emargo there platforms and tools to do it more easily. This does not mean that developing a network is a nonsense. In fact, a user like me (halfway between a novice and an expert) would be hard to build one.
Elgg is a platform developed for social networking without complications, with modules of users, blog, wall, photos, labels and many other tasks that make the task very comfortable.
One of the things that surprised me when I met elgg is the facility that exists, once mounted the network to manage and use. There is also the elgg community where you can always find tools, plugins, tips and help that can solve problems quickly.
The warmth and the friendliness of the interface makes it, to my taste, superior to other platforms like BuddyPress or NING. If you're planning to build your own network and understanding to use social networks but you know nothing about to create them, then Elgg is an excellent option to consider, no matter how much you know about development, systems or platforms. No matter if you're halfway between a novice and an expert like me.