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The Ning thing

April 2nd, 2007 · 1 Comment · Eduspaces

There has been a lot of publicity for the free social networking platform Ning.  I vaguely remember it starting a couple of years ago but it has really taken off recently. One of the big success stories has been the Library 2.0 community that only started at the beginning of March this year I think and has over 900 members now including many of the library 2.0 illumminaries including Helene Blowers and Meredith Farkas. I joined yesterday and almost immediately was ‘befriended’ by half a dozen members some of whom had been at a Library 2.0 brain-storming session I presented at last thursday.

Inevitably comparisons will be made with Elgg and Elgg Spaces. What I have seen of Ning so far I don’t think it is directly comparable with Elgg. On a superficial examination the immediate differences are the Elgg’s community (within the social network) function, the presentations function, the fine-grained access control tools, the file sharing, and the ubiquitous use of RSS throughout. A Ning social network seems to be more like a Facebook group and is undoubtedly graphically wizzier but this will not be to everyone’s taste. It looks like an ideal tool if you want to create a fenced-off version of Facebook for a particular interest group but is rather limited compared to Elgg. I think you can make a Ning network private and invitation only but the best way to find out is to start your own Ning and experiment. For my money, for the moment at least, I would go for Elgg Spaces.

For a more jaundiced (realistic?) take on these sorts of social networks see David Warlick’s post and the 33 comments (when I last looked) on his 2 cents worth blog I just don’t get it – social networks. He is a member of the Library 2.0 network – no doubt for anthropological purposes –  and seems to be warming to the idea of these sorts of networks a little bit if a subsequent post maybe it doesn’t matter is anything to go by. 

I have a lot of sympathy with David’s ambivelance. I already have a number of dead and dying blogs. I am gradually becoming a ghostly absence in a number of social networks now too.

PS Just spotted Anne’s post on Ning http://eduspaces.net/annef/weblog/162383.html


One Comment so far ↓

  • Terry

    1. Hi Terry,

    From today Elgg Spaces is no more. We are concentrating our efforts on the Elgg platform and our big project, on which more will surface soon. Suffice to say it will help alleviate the problem of having too many accounts, blogs etc. – watch this space!


    Dave Tosh on Monday, 02 April 2007, 16:19 UTC

    2. Wow! The shift is shifting faster and faster. I have mixed feelings about this having ‘promoted’ Elgg Spaces enthusiastically for the last few months. I’m looking forward to the news about your big project. The only constant is change is seems.
    Terry Wassall on Monday, 02 April 2007, 16:27 UTC

    3. “I have mixed feelings about this having ‘promoted’ Elgg Spaces enthusiastically for the last few months.” – sorry about that and thanks for the promotion, the decision was made because, to be honest, no one was using the service and with Ning coming out, the edtech crowd have moved on to that.

    “The only constant is change is seems.” – and Elgg the open source product, which is coming along in leaps and bounds.

    Dave Tosh on Monday, 02 April 2007, 16:44 UTC

    4. I think the main reason I was complimentary about Ning was because I am trying to attract new users to a community and when they have joined Elgg/Eduspaces they then have to work hard to move away from their personal blog which is not what they were looking for, to find the community and then go through yet another joining process. I have failed to get many members into my community because of this double hoop process.
    Anne Fox on Tuesday, 24 April 2007, 08:16 UTC

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