The recent Ning announcement was a particular blow to the HEFCw funded “Peer Support Network” project. It couldn’t have happened at a worse time: the 2009-2010 engineering research project is nearly over and the allocation process for 2010-2011 is about to begin. We need to roll over the students immediately, we won’t know the implications of staying with a paid version of Ning until May, and we can’t wait for a perfect alternative solution to come along.
- We have control so the carpet can’t be pulled out from under us.
- Elgg can host a whole school (or even University) and an unlimited number of groupings with the possibility of single-profile multi-group membership. Ning would have not played well in that space.
- With the help of a plugin, it should be possible to use campus login in for authentication and control of access.
- It plays well with Blackboard (see the Figure): Ning refused to run inside the Blackboard content frame. Students with a common login for Blackboard and Elgg need never really know that they’re different.
- You need a web server to host Elgg on and some technical expertise to install it, set up the database and configure the system.
- You need HTML, CSS and occasionally PHP skills to customize the system.
- It’s open source so it will need to be maintained in-house.