Commons in a Box

Commons in a Box (CBOX) "takes the complexity out of creating an online space, or digital commons, for your community. Our free open-source software provides an infrastructure that encourages discussion, collaboration, and sharing."

Members of a CBOX community can create groups and media-rich websites, participate in discussion forums, edit documents together, share files, send messages, and make friendship connections.

Built using the WordPress publishing platform, with BuddyPress for social networking, CBOX comes in two packages that can be customized to meet the needs of your community."

Use cases

  • CUNY Academic Commons is an academic social network created by and for the City University of New York.
  • MLA Humanities Commons "is a MLA-sponsored social network for scholars working in the humanities. Discover the latest open-access scholarship and teaching materials, make interdisciplinary connections, build a WordPress Web site, and increase the impact of your work by sharing it in the repository."
  • KNIT] is a shared digital commons for UC San Diego, the San Diego Community College District, and San Diego State University.

How to use it

Replacement for

  • Google sites
  • Facebook groups
  • Learning management systems


  • Gold, Matthew, and George Otte. "The CUNY Academic Commons: fostering faculty use of the social web." On the Horizon 19.1 (2011): 24-32. link.
  • Edwards, Charlie, et al. "Building a Place for Community: City Tech’s OpenLab." Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy 5 (2014). link.
  • Glass, Erin Rose. "Engaging the knowledge commons: setting up virtual participatory spaces for academic collaboration and community." (2018). link.
  • Rybak, Chuck. "Commons in a Box: A Review." Journal of Digital Humanities 2, No. 2 (Spring 2013).

External links