Right now, there are several very popular and active discussion boards (forums) serving the community - but not really any interaction. The extent of the interaction is that some of the boards have a category where members can post pictures and such.
I want to offer something better. I want these features
free registration so I have a way to contact everyone
personal member areas - something like facebook pages
friend features - again something like facebook or myspace
Obviously, the whole idea is to build a real community rather than just a discussion forum.
So I'm wondering if others have built something similar, what software they have used and what their experience (both good and bad) is with the software.