Several social media platforms have emerged over the past few years which allow you to create your own social network. Organizations are using these platforms to aggregate some or all of their social learning tools so employees don’t have to keep jumping from application to application. These platforms generally have user profiles, status updates (pseudo micro-blogging), collaboration tools (ex. wikis, blogs), and more. I personally haven’t had a ton of experience with these platforms, but I’m anxious to dig in and learn more. Please chime in and comment on your experiences if you’ve used Elgg, Ning, and/or SocialText.
Elgg software is licensed under the GPL version 2 from the Free Software Foundation. The full license is here.
You can download and run Elgg on your own servers or you can pay to have somebody host it for you (see hosting information).
Ning hosts your social network(s) for you.
Ning has both free and paid options. The free version has ads. For some reason I was unable to find the exact pricing details on the Ning site.
SocialText can host your site or you can install the application(s) locally, depending on what packages and options you select.
Details here: http://www.socialtext.com/products/pricing.php
Again, please chime in if you have experience with any of these platforms. I’m curious to hear feedback!
B.J. is the Founding Editor of eLearning Weekly and has contributed more than 150 articles. He works in elearning at Qualcomm, focusing on mobile learning.