Monday, June 1, 2009

Thing 10: Ning is a platform site that lets you build interactive networks quickly and easily. If you’ve already completed the Facebook Things or if you’ve ever used MySpace, Ning’s functionality will seem very familiar.

All the hallmarks of interactive online activity (aka Web 2.0) are here: once you’ve joined a network, you can post pictures & videos, have discussions on the network’s forum page, write to the network’s blog, post events, and even form your own interest groups within the network. From your personal page, you can add friends and keep folks informed of your whereabouts and activities via a short status message.

One nice thing about is that you can explore Ning networks without creating your own network page, or without even creating a Ning account.

Because there has been some controversy surrounding the way uses the data submitted by members its hosted networks (see this ChartingStocks blog post for more information), this Thing won’t require you to create a Ning account. If you want to, there will be an optional section for doing so at the end of this Thing.

Go to the main page at, and you will see a search box at the bottom of the page. Enter keywords for activities of interest to you. If you enter the search term “library,” for example, you’ll see the ALA network about halfway down the results page. Some networks require you to sign in to view content. ALA’s doesn’t. Ideally, on whatever network you choose, you’ll at least be able to view a list of members, see photos and videos, and read forum and blog posts.

For a quick (6:49) tutorial on using, check out this video. When I viewed it, the audio was somewhat problematic but it was a solid overview and most of the audio was intelligible.

Flip through a few networks and record your thoughts and observations in your blog. You don’t have to limit yourself to library-related sites. In fact, this Thing will be a lot more interesting if you go find some off-the-wall content and post your thoughts on it to your blog. A good example of the kind of off-the-beaten-path content you can find is the "open source ILS song" on the ALA network video page.

Here is where the optional activities begin. To get more fully immersed in, your first task is to sign up for a Ning account.

Once you have your Ning account, you will be able to search for networks to join in the same way you would search as a non-member.

Networks are searchable if the owner has made them public. Some networks are joinable by invitation only. Some groups require a moderator’s approval of your membership, and some require you to answer survey-type questions (ALA asks, among other things, how many ALA conferences you’ve attended) before submitting a membership request. For the purposes of this Thing, you will search for networks to join. ALA is a good place to start.

Once you’ve found some likely candidates, choose at least one network to join. Participate in the online forums and post your thoughts and observations on your blog.


JJR said...

Just tried searching without signing up and got "no results" for searches "ALA" or "Libraries" or "Librarian", "SRRT", "socialism", or "libertarian". I would infer they have shut down non-member searching.

JJR said...

Signed up, but I'm still not finding any library related Ning groups, not even ALA...

Anonymous said...

I guess the main site is "buggy" today since it's not performing like the tutorial on YT says it should.

Jeff said...

Yes, I think Ning is having some problems today. --Jeff

Vidya Krishnaswamy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deanna said...

I'm a member of this Ning group. I found it via the website of "Dr Loopy", the librarian in Melissa, Texas

cary said...

I'm a member of Library 2.0, pretty interesting group:

Patty said...

We used Ning for a small private network for our school district librarians. It worked great for us. We didn't pay anything for it and we didn't get any spam. So for our purposes we have not experienced any problems.

Patty said...

Here are several groups of interest:
1. Teacher Librarian Network –
2. SLJ Summit -
3. Texas School Librarians -
4. BookVideo Ning -
5. YALSA Student Interest Group -
6. School Librarians –
7. 21st Century Learning Standards –
8. Second Life Librarians -
9. Savvy Librarians -
10. Ning in Education -
Fun Groups
1. Quilting Librarians -
2. Nontradtional Old Maid Librarians -
3. Tatooed Librarians –

jackie lowrie said...

Hard to believe but I found one of my high school classmates on facebook - I hope they respond to my email.

Rejoyce said...

I searched for library and found ALA. Also, searched for Twilight and found several interesting sites, including those in a foreign language. Two sites I found helpful were when I searched for Preschool. I have a 3 year old stepson in Montessori. I found a Montessori online community with lots of video and a site that had Lapbook Lessons.

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