115 Social networking and collaboration spaces

Following Techcrunch's posting on Thursday, Ning's bubble bursts …, that the new CEO of Ning had written to its staff to tell them that it will phase out their free service and that "existing free networks will have the
opportunity to either convert to paying for premium services, or
transition off of Ning
", there has been a lot of blogging activity about Ning. 

Some have suggested that this has been a big PR disaster for Ning, others that this could mean the end to free social media, whilst many more have focused on the alternatives to Ning. I wrote a blog posting on my Social Media in Learning blog about how I thought Elgg might be a good alternative.  However  there have been many other suggestions, some of which I actually don't think would provide the same functionality as Ning, so this is the reason for today's blog posting, as I wanted to remind you about the section in the Directory of Learning Tools, that (currently) lists 115  social networking and collaboration space tools and services.  In this list you will find

  • public social networks (like Facebook)
  • private/closed social networking platforms (like Ning)
  • group and small community spaces
  • enterprise collaboration platforms (like Elgg)

Clearly the functionality of a tool or service will be important, but other factors will be the cost (ie whether it is free, open source or commercial software), and whether it is a hosted service or downloadable software.  When you choose your new platform you may also want to make sure you own the data and content this time, so if this is a consideration, you will need to read the terms and conditions closely. 

You may find my comparison of Facebook, Ning and Elgg a useful resource when considering all the factors involved – to ensure you don't jump out of the frying pan
into the fire!

Meanwhile, you should also note that Ning has made the following announcement on its blog:

"We recognize that there are many active Ning Networks for teachers,
small non-profits, and individuals and it's our goal to have a set of
product and pricing options that will make sense for all of them."

Decisions, decisons ..

7 thoughts on “115 Social networking and collaboration spaces

  1. BethRitterGuth

    Honestly Jane, they could charge 1USD a year, and I wouldn’t pay it. They lied to us and are trying to trap us all in this “do or die” campaign. It is crummy, and isn’t, I believe, what the creator of Ning wanted. Lend unto Caesar that which is Ceasars…

  2. woodrackets

    Here in Japanese universities we need a networking site whereby instructors have strong control over both identity and & access. Otherwise the admin feels the students are too much at risk, and it gets the kibosh.
    Any ideas?

  3. woodrackets

    Jane,
    Thanx for the response. What I mean is guaranteeing I know exactly who is posting what, and keeping unwanted out of the site/app. You know Moodle is all but forbidden in most places here. We can’t even use Firefox browser cuz it’s a “security risk”, for crying out loud.

  4. Jane Hart

    @woodrackets The whole point about a social environment is that it is open and not “controlling”, ie it is a place where individuals and groups can work and learn autonomously. If you are looking for an environment that manages, tracks and controls every move a user makes, then best to stick with a LMS – or else, dare I say, try and change the culture!

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