Lessons from Ning and free Web 2.0 services – eLearning R&D engines

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There has been abundance in Web 2.0 tools including social networking for example Ning.com. Unfortunately, Ning has decided to close down its free service and requires account holders to move to paid subscription.

Ning’s decision shows the volatility of funding web 2.0 companies; it is risky to use free Web 2.0 services but it does not mean that free services are not worth using. It only means for trainers and elearning project leaders to be more creative to benefit from the free services.

Bottom line:

  • Free services are huge eLearning R&D vehicles.
  • They provide sand boxes to play around with.
  • They help us save money and be smarter in our decisions.
  • They are learning curve power savers.

These are some ideas to take advantage of free services:

1. Use them in early pilot and test projects.

2. Examine carefully the sites strengths and weaknesses and match them with your needs.

3. Emulate what the free service provides.

4. Use them carefully for specific activities.

5. Use them as throw-away like plastic bags in supermarkets. Otherwise known as deliberate obsolescence.

Web 2.0 companies like Ning.com will continue to flourish and that is great.

Also, visit and create your FREE Social Learning for Work and Performance project.
Create your own account. This project I have worked and built over 3 years now with specific tools for the learning industry.

Ray Jimenez, PhD

3Minute Worlds – Learning Community

Social Learning, Work and Performance

3Minute eLearning Games

“Helping Learners Learn Their Way”