Ning social network platform
Ning is a (commercial) platform that allows the creation of social networks. Until spring 2010, there used to be a free version and Ning was popular in education. See the links section below for free alternatives.
“Ning is a platform for creating your own social networks. Our passion is putting new social networks in the hands of anyone with a good idea. With Ning, your social network can be anything and for anyone. You start by choosing a combination of features (videos, blogs, photos, forums, etc.) from an ever-growing list of options. Then customize how it looks, decide if it's public or private, and add your brand logo if you have one. People who join your network will automatically have a customizable profile page and will be able to message and friend each other.” (About Ning, retrieved 20:34, 16 December 2007 (MET)).
(Ning (Wikipedia, retrieved 20:34, 16 December 2007 (MET)).
In the past (before April 2010) Ning used to have “two primary business models. One allows users to create a network for free, in exchange for the network hosting ads that Ning supplies. The other, their "Ning for Business" option, offers users a network where they control the ad content (or lack thereof), in exchange for a monthly fee. A few other premium services such as extra storage and bandwidth and non-Ning URLs are also available for additional monthly fees.” (Ning (Wikipedia, retrieved 20:34, 16 December 2007 (MET)).
Currently (summer 2010), all Ning offers are commercial (after a 30 day trial period). Offers range from $3/month to $50/month. The $3 version should be ok for use by a single teacher with a class. Currently, there exist some free alternatives to Ning. However, no web 2.0 service is guaranteed to remain free or to last...
2 In education
Ning is somewhat popular in education, since it does not have the unscholarly reputation of better known similar systems like FaceBooks. Also, a teacher may create his very own networks over which he has full control.
E.g. regarding social networking in physics, Steve Dickie (a schoolteacher) provides us with the following rationale (retrived dec 16 2007)
One advantage of Ning is also the fact that it is quite open for programmers (it has an API, and you also can modify php code).
3.1 Official Ning
3.2 Alternatives and replacements
Also read 9 Free Ning Alternatives And Some Open Source Solutions, by Jon Bishop, april 2010.
- wall.fm free tool for creating custom social networks. Software is based on Oxwall portalware
- mixxt, Ning-like social networking creator. The free version has advertising and includes a good list of tools.
- Services like LinkedIn or Facebook (to some extent only)
- webs, website building tool with templates. Includes social tools (blog, forum and profile pages)
- Spruz Ning-like social networking creator. The free version has less features, e.g. no video upload (but one may insert you tube videos). Also read How is Spruz Freemium Sustainable?.
- SocialGo (free version with ads and limited features)
- group.ps (spends time loading a flash animation)
- BigTent (a group organization tool, i.e. only members can access your site)
3.3 About Ning
- Ning (Wikipedia)
3.4 Examples - educators
3.5 Examples - teaching
3.6 Various web pages and blog entries
- A Chat with Benjamin Wilkoff, School Teacher, Ning Blog
- Why Ning’s Shut Down of Services is Like a High School Break-Up by Julia Gorzka, April 2010.