Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Social Developer Tools

I've been holding off blogging about Ning, even though I managed to bookmark it quite early on (which has done my collaborative rank no end of good!), partly because a lot of people I read have been blogging the release announcement, partly becuase I couldn't think of anything to add application, or use wise.

For those of you who havent looked yet (or had a play yet - I wonder how long before I get my developer account?;-) Ning is, in part, a tool for building social software websites. If you run your own webserver, and are happy with PHP, Perl, or Ruby on Rails, I imagine there may be an element of so what? about this (apart from the high level of respect for what the Ning folks have achieved technically.

After all, if you want a social site, you can code it from scratch, right, or at least install something you found on Sourceforge, can't you?

Well - err - no, actually... That's just not really been possibile for most people until now, unless you knew a friendly sys admin that is.

But Ning changes that - because it appears that Ning will let you clone and run existing Ning applications with a variety of social tools in the mix for free - tagging, bookmarks, photo collections, geo- tools, review sites, and so on...

So where Ning is really neat, I think, is in the way that is socialises the creation of social website construction, or at least makes it possible for mortals to create their on social websites...

Another interesting element is the meta-sociality aspect, whereby it appears that Ning sites are socially interconnected to each other via tags, etc.

I haven't yet thought through this side in much detail, but when I do it'll be in the context of elearning and distance education, and probably over on my OUseful blog.


Blogger Tony Hirst said...

Note to self: there's an interesting HOWTO overview of Ning cloning over on the Ning blog...

2:33 PM  

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