Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Going Nutty with Ning

How many social networks is too many? I'm pretty sure that I'm on my way to finding out the answer to this question. My first exposure to was over a year ago when I signed up for the EdubloggerWorld network and shortly after that I signed up for the Stop Cyberbullying network. I'm not very active in either one of those networks, and until recently I really didn't pay that much attention to the Ning platform that was driving either of those networks.

About a month ago I decided to start my own Ning network just to see if it might work as kind of an aggregator for all my different blogs and such. I'm thinking that it probably won't do what I want it to, especially since the free version won't support some of the functionality that I'm looking for. Here is that first effort, which will likely abandoned since I don't think it will do what I want it to. It is public, although it is not really ready for public consumption: Desire2Blog Ning Network

Within a couple of days of creating my first Ning network, I received an invite from Ken G. to join Moose Works which is a newly created community of Minnesota e-learning professionals. This is currently a private network. Just so you know the difference, this is what you see when you try to view a private network. Moose Works Ning Network. (There is a chance that this network might be made public before you click that link.)

I subscribe to Jane Hart's blog titled "Jane's E-Learning Pick of the Day" where I learned about a Ning network that she created called 25 Tools. As a contributor to her Top Learning Tools lists I decided that I should join her network. This is currently the largest network that I am actively engaged in. 25 Tools Ning Network.

Visit 25Tools

This weekend I created a private network for administrators to interact in. This one is too new to know whether it will be an effective platform or not. I'm also thinking about replacing our online faculty lounge within Desire2Learn with a Ning network - at least for a while on an experimental basis. I'm also thinking that a Ning network might be a good platform for our online students to interact within, although maybe Facebook is a better choice for that crowd.

I'm still trying to figure out how much I like Ning and how effective it is for this type of social networking. I think it is safe to say that I'm somewhat intrigued with the possibilities since I am currently involved with 6 Ning networks with more on the way. Kinda nutty, I know.

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