Blogs, wikis and Nings!

I’ve past another couple of checkpoints on my web 2.0 journey this week – using an ipod recorder, creating a “Wordle”, uploading a podcast to “podOmatic” and creating my own “Ning”. “What’s a Ning?” you sing…

First I have to get my head around what blogs, wikis and nings all have in common:

1. They are all user-created websites with unique URL addresses

2. Hosts (such as Blogger, Edublogs, Wikispaces and Ning) provide the space and customizable themes that you can choose – options include colours, logos, fonts etc.

3. You use your email address and/or a username and password to access the sites, which can notify you of comments via email

4. You can select privacy options – public (accessible to everyone); by-invitation-only; or sign up as a member.

5. All allow feedback or collaboration to a certain extent (although blogs can be blocked from comments?)

6. All can have one or many authors (although one user of a wiki or ning will defeat the purpose)

How are they different?

1. Blogs and Nings (not wikis?) – you can usually add ‘widgets’ – boxes in the sidebars that accommodate gadgets such as calenders, maps, photos, time and date clocks etc.

2. Comments from visitors are invisible in Blogs until selected – in wikis and nings they are part of the discussion and collaboration.

3. Wikis can be kind of ‘messy’ – the idea of everyone collaborating on a project, anytime, means that it is constantly evolving, perhaps with different people having slightly different goals? 

4. Nings are a forum for discussion and it is easier to share word documents and other files, not supported by edublogs? 

5. Wikis and Nings – Any member can create groups, send messages publicly or privately and start discussions.

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