11 December 2008

Tech Note: NING for Evaluators

Evaluation Practice is a social network for evaluators, assessors, and anyone interested. At 193 members, it's not the largest social network or even a mid-size group for a list serv. But it is an inventive approach to shared space.

Of course, Facebook and LinkedIn and other web sites famously host groups in the tradition of SIGs (Special Interest Groups). It's not unusual to see groups of thousands or tens of thousands of members.

What's new about Evaluation Practice is that it's not a social network within a social network. It is its own parent organization courtesy of Ning, free software for setting up your own social network.

Ning numbers are good-sized (3019 for a Barry Manilow fan network) and the company claims "hundreds of thousands" of networks that have formed using the software. The web site says that "Ning powers the largest number of social networks on the Internet."

Ning software is free, as is basic file storage for the social networks. The company makes money by posting promotional links and ads on the pages. A network can have the ads removed for $25/month or the network can run its own contracted ads for the same fee of $25/month to Ning. Space beyond the default allowance (10gb storage and 100gb bandwidth) can be purchased for $10/month.

© 2008 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

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