My client wants me to set up a site where people can rate and contribute information about one certain type of dish in restaurants in their area. That is to say, the entire site is just about one type of dish.
I'm not sure what off-the-shelf tool I should use to develop this site, for example a community blogging tool, a community wiki tool, or some other tool.
The client does not want to have to do a lot of hands on management of the site. He wants users to be able to contribute content (information, ratings, comments, etc.) and for users to be able to search for information by geographic location, rating, keyword, etc.
Thank you in advance!
I would look into a relatively easy to use content management system (CMS) that either has enough of the baseline features your client requests, with additional functionality supplemented by plugins. Wordpress is my personal recommendation, as it is fairly easy to setup a site for single or multiple users, and the admin interface is fairly intuitive. Make sure whatever you end up using is supported by the server the site will be hosted on.
I'd personally haven't used ning from the administrative end, so I can't say whether it would fit your needs, but since it's commercial, I'm already not inclined to using it.