Reflections on EVO (2009 and later)

My first professional blog

Archive for July, 2010

Recording the Ning Fiasco (II)

Posted by Mariel Amez on July 10, 2010

Message sent to all members of Literature at TTC (2009) on June 7th
Dear all,
In July, this space will be discontinued when Ning begins to claim payment. Please save any work you are interested in keeping. I would also appreciate it if you could send me any videos you have created yourselves and which you still have in your computers, or links to alternative spaces you choose to migrate your work to. You could start a blog and include your work there. My record of the whole “Ning fiasco” can be found at and Some suggestions for backing up content are included.
The network I created for 2010 is After long deliberation, and against my principles, I have decided to make a one-time-only payment to Ning to keep it going for one year so as not to upset the work in progress (it’s not the amount that bothers me, it’s the procedure Ning has followed) You are welcome to sign up for it if you are interested in checking out what we are doing, but the start of the year has been clouded by the uncertainty of the future. Things are only beginning to take off now, that’s why I didn’t write to you before.

Message sent to all members of Literature at TTC (2009) on June 29th
Let me recommend the following article, which discusses developments and issues:
I have not yet had a go at the “export tool” that Ning has recently advertised. That will have to wait for the hols.
I have been trying to export posts to Posterous, which is something you can do yourselves following this link So far I haven’t been able to make the “export all” work, but I’ll keep you posted. In any event, videos will not be ported, so please make a point of preserving the videos you have created yourselves (You Tube links or embeds are not an issue). If you could also let me know whether I could have access to them, I would be most grateful.
Do keep me posted about your progress.

 Message sent to all members of Literature at TTC (2009) on July 7th
I have managed (after a couple of unsuccessful attempts) to migrate all Ning blogposts to Posterous Unfortunately, they all appear under my name (ie the name of the original poster is lost). You can do that by yourself very easily. Create a Posterous account (or use one you already have) and go to It’s dead simple.

Yesterday I opened a Grouply account:

The good news is that in a few minutes it migrated all Ning members and their info (55 people), subgroups (and their content, though not which members were members of the subgroup)and photos and albums(including original dates, who had uploaded them and the comments made on them).
On the Home page you will find a box called “Old posts” which links directly to the Posterous blog mentioned above.
Something to bear in mind is that even though all of you have been imported as members, you should create a Grouply identity before accessing the network (instead of asking for a password reset, which I foolishly did at first, to no avail). Another feature to handle with care is the “unified identity”, which means you are taken “out” of your network without warning, and all your “groups” and other “suggested” groups become available. In fact on signing up I already had friendship requests from strangers.

Video embeds are allowed, but not uploads, unless you handle them as documents (under 10 Mb). In order to comment, you have to refer to the “original message” rather than the video itself. Perhaps some of you could try to add some videos here? The “films” you made yourself, which I hope are still in your hard drive, could alternatively be uploaded to Slideshare/ Authorstream/ Scribd/ You Tube depending on the kind of file. Could you do that?
You can read a more detailed account


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Recording the Ning Fiasco (I)

Posted by Mariel Amez on July 10, 2010

Recovering from the initial shock of Ning closing free networks in mid April, I was gladly surprised to see how many communities set down to work to suggest and analyse alternatives.

I started bookmarking my readings on the topic as and

I also posted a comment at, signed the petition at\
and inserted the link to the petition in the Nings I have created
and the ones I belong to as a member.

I also posted a few messages to the Webheads Yahoo Group.

Then I started  experimenting with mixxt, socialgo & Of course they are all different from Ning, so we should each assess which of the Ning features we valued the most.

Socialgo is the one I liked the least. Too many of the features are only available through a Premium account, and requires separate login for user and admin interface.

I started using with a new class. I had created a Ning site for them shortly before the announcement, so I had no users and little content. So far, I’m not pleased. Even though blogposts can be tagged, the tags are not visible when one reads the post, there is no cloud (which there is for videos & photos), and, most importantly, the search function involves titles, but not tags. Videos can only be embedded from YouTube, MetaCafe & DailyMotion (apparently no Teacher Tube or Vimeo, and no uploading).

I created a mixxt network, but it’s still experimental (no users). I think blogging is a little complicated (users are not issued their own blog upon joining, but need to create it manually before writing the first post – I haven’t fully figured this out yet). The search function does seem first rate, and with a tag cloud on the main page which brings in images, videos, posts, it should be dead easy to track content.

In the meantime, I sent warnings via Ning to last year’s students. And this took us to the end of June.

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