Thursday, 25 March 2010

Using existing versus new networks

Since the helpful comments I had on my Same talk different conference post I've updated my slides (see below) for the Association for Learning Development in Higher Education conference to include Becka's Develop Me! project. Our two approaches, whilst both with the same aim of engaging students, represent two quite different approaches. My approach of using Twitter and Facebook uses existing networks, whilst Becka's approach of using Ning involves creating a new network. The two approaches inevitably have advantages and disadvantages, here's a comparison.

Lots of people are already signed-upYou have to get people to sign-up
It’s a place where people are resident a lot of the timeIt’s a place people have to remember to visit
They already use if for other purposesYou can guide what it’s used it for
You have to be careful not to invadeThere’s less chance of feeling invaded
People can feel exposedIt can feel safer

Have I missed anything?

[Alan's FriendFeed experiment is an interesting alternative to the two - it's a new network but it's more open than Ning]


  1. How about Twitter and your own blog. This way a student is not forced to join facebook or ning, but can be kept in the loop via twitter. obviously there will be another set of pro's and cons (and overlap from your existing comparisons).

  2. Hi Steve. We put the RSS from here Is that the kind of thing you mean? I agree re not wanting to force students to join particular, or indeed any, network (although I'd want to say that they are very useful and they should experiment)

  3. [...] it was really helpful. The comments especially prompted me to think through the difference between using existing versus new networks, which is the major difference between mine and Becka’s approach in using social media to [...]