Since so many modern business ideas which are innovative take advantage of social media, there are also some new technologies which enable social media. The challenge with building social media sites is that on every social network, there are tens of millions of people, and they all share messages, photos and videos. That is a lot of information to keep track of and manage if you are in charge of technology and the database for that website. And to keep track of all this effectively, you need new kinds of software tools and technologies.
Because there is so much data in social sites, the set of methodologies and the whole infrastructure to manage it is called big data. An example of such technologies is nsq which enables message processing at tremendous scale. It was built on Google's go language.
New kinds of databases had to evolve to handle the load of tremendous scale. The most popular such database is MongoDB. A very common combination for this database is MongoBD and Hadoop. Hadoop is a software framework that supports data-intensive distributed applications. Hadoop is free to use as is MongoDB.
Traditional databases were based on SQL (Standard Query Language). But the new big data databases are bases on the NoSQL trend in technology. Here is an article about NoSQL database comparison.
For more information how technologies like Hadoop can work, please take a look at the Etl With Hadoop article and video. ETL stands for extract, transform, and load (ETL). It is a process in database usage and especially in data warehousing that involves taking a very large amount of data from one database and placing it into another database. Often that is done for backup or database maintenance.
An additional interesting resource to look into when it comes to databases is HBase from Apache. Take a look at an Apache HBase intro.
To learn more about some of the new technologies mentioned in this article, you can subscribe to the software engineering newsletter by g33ktalk (pronounced geek talk), or come to some technical meetups. There are regular New York Engineering Meetup and one for San Francisco.
Article by Alex Genadinik