Ning for Business Networking by xmv13584

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									The Thing About Ning: A Tech Review
Ning and Social Networking
Ning (www.ning.com) is where interest groups, educators, social groups, and many others can
go to create a social networking site. Social networking was made famous by the sites MySpace
and Facebook. The way social networking sites work is that an individual, business, or group
sets up a page and then forms a network, linking together people who would care about the
activities of the individual/business/group/etc. Mostly, we know it as a site where teens go to
see what is happening to their network of friends and acquaintances through status updates,
posted photographs, or chats.

The easiest way to consider the benefits of social networking online are to think of other
examples of networking, such as networking at a professional conference. A professional
conference brings together a group of like-minded people who would not get a chance to meet
without this common event. At the conference, people can exchange business cards or ideas.
The conference may lead to a new job, a new collaborative project, or simply a new idea that
helps you do your job better. In a social networking site, you are being brought together with a
network of people who you may not have the chance to interact with otherwise.

Ning operates similar to other social networking sites that are familiar to most students and
offers blogs, forums, video streaming, and more.

Here is a great tutorial about setting up a site:
http://www.slideshare.net/guestdc0cf0be/latest-ning-tutorial-december-presentation-830467


Here is an example of a Ning site and instructions for students to join.

Step by Step Instructions for Students:
                                                                             1. Check your email to accept
                                                                                your invitation to join the
                                                                                Ning site.
2. Set up an account. Choose
   a username and password
   that is easy to remember
   and make sure you keep
   the Email address your
   delta address, as that is
   where the invitation to join
   was sent.




3. Take a minute to explore
   the home page of our
   website, and then click on
   My Page. There you will
   customize your settings to
   fit the purpose of this class
   site.



4. On our personal pages we
   are going to perform two
   actions. First, we are going
   to upload a profile picture.
   Next, we are going to add
   two profile applications.




5. Upload a photo of yourself.
   The camera icon will take
   you to an upload document
   screen that operates similar
   to the file uploads you do in
   Educator. I suggest
   everyone upload a
   photograph of themselves
   so we know who we are
   communicating with and to
   ensure that we all learn the
   names of our classmates.
6. Next click on “Add Profile
   Apps” (see the picture on
   step four), which will take
   you to a page of 152
   applications. We will be
   adding the first one
   “Twitter Tracker.” Click the
   button “Add to My Page”
7. On “My Page” you will now
   change the settings on your
   “Twitter Tracker” by hitting
   the link “Settings”

8. In the terms box, type the
   phrase of the issue you are
   exploring for our class. For
   example, “plastic bottles.”
   Change your updates
   number to five and then hit
   the Save button.


9. Now click again on “Add
   Profile Apps” (see the
   picture on step four). This
   time you will select Box.net
   Files and hit “Add to My
   Page.” Box.net Files gives
   you a place to store your
   documents where your
   classmates can access
   them.
                                                                               10. Explore! Review all the
                                                                                   possibilities our class site
                                                                                   has by examining all the
                                                                                   features on the home page.




In-depth Tutorials on Specific Functions:
The Forum: http://help.ning.com/cgi-
bin/ning.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=3491&p_sid=ysMKhJzj
The Blog: http://help.ning.com/cgi-
bin/ning.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=3485&p_sid=ysMKhJzj
The Chat: http://help.ning.com/cgi-
bin/ning.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=3424&p_sid=ysMKhJzj

How I could use this in a class:
For the fall, I’m developing a Composition I class that revolves around community and civic
rhetoric. Through Ning, I hope students can collectively share research and form groups to
tackle different problems they would like to see solved. One of the functions I particularly like
for this class is the profile application, Box.net. You store and share your files there and the
editor for the program is Zoho writer, which is a fairly popular program. Also, you can link Ning
to Flickr, which I think could add a new dimension to the class of visual literacy as students
could “remix” materials to promote their issues. One of my composition classes is online, so
Ning will also add the extra value of letting students “see” each other. I also like that students
have individual sites where they can blog and have rss functions, such as a Twitter feed. It really
works as a central site where all student work can be housed and shared.

How This Could be Used in Other Classes:
When considering other disciplines two main categories came to mind, learning communities
and study groups. For learning communities, it offers a central site for the courses that are
linked and not integrated. Here, all instructors involved with the learning community could post
files and engage in discussions. For other classes, this would be a great resource for study
groups. Many times, the students who are not getting the material are the ones that don’t ask
questions. And if they do ask questions, it is via email or after class. It would be much more
helpful if questions or assignments could be discussed on a class site, where everyone could
benefit from each other’s knowledge. This site has a much better navigation system than
Educator and works like the sites that students already visit.

								
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