University Web Developers

University Web Developers

I'm really liking Ning. Has anyone used Ning to start a sanctioned campus/alumni social network? What are the pitfalls? Positives? Are there other options you would recommend?

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No alumni social network yet, but I have started several Ning social networks for various University related activities, including for a regular class. I do think the Ning platform may just be the way to go. The number of social networks on Ning this semester has "exploded" and Ning has been impressive in the number of new features they have added during this time.
We are also using Ning for a variety of applications other than Alumni. It has proven to be a valuable tool for students to connect and collaborate around academic interests.

In case you didn't see it, Ning was the cover story in the latest issues of Fast Company Magazine:

Ning's Infinite Ambition
Our alumni office is using iModules for an alumni network. It's just about to launch. I created a Ning Network for campus Web developers. I only have 18 users so far and am still in beta, but I think it will work out well once we get more discussion going. It seems to have great potential for team projects.
We have just implemented a Ning alumni group and the adoption process is slowly catching on. Our alumni office is extremely behind in technologies so they're not up on too much. I created the group for them and am overseeing discussions currently.

No issues so far in terms of negatives. But if I find one I'll let you know.
University of Richmond is in the pilot phase of deploying Ning for a campus-wide social network. Since it would be antithetical to the spirit of a social network to limit membership much, we opted to recruit all communities within UR (students, facstaff, alumni), though we are starting with the on campus groups, and will just let the alumni come in virally for a while. We see this working best as something between Facebook and Blackboard, though it could morph into something unexpected. Definitely an experiment in progress.

We also see value for connecting employers with our students via our career center. This has some risks as we would have businesses on our site, but as long as everyone behaved, it might work. Any thoughts in this realm?
The only issue facing adoption of social softwares for teachning and learning are the IP issues associated with the use.

We are presently using Moodle to network, but no one gets on.
We are using Affinity Circles and recently implemented a single sign-on service so we can seamlessly offer other services.

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