Monday, April 26, 2010

Alternative to Ning

A few of my friends asked me to suggest an alternative to Ning since their free service will no longer be available in a few weeks. I could think of only one alternative - Google Wave! Here's why:
  • Google Wave allows you to embed rich media into your conversations - no more text only mode. Add photos, videos, and even websites to a wave and continue the conversation without any interruptions. Here's an example of an online art class assignment on Wave.
  • Use extensions to enhance the discussions - add a poll, rate articles, annotate images, assign tasks to each other, keep track of to-do lists, use maps to plan offline meetings, hold audio-video conferences and more! If you have a Google Wave account, check 'Extensions' in the Navigation Menu to see what's available. 
  • Keep your waves private or public - use Google Groups if you want to limit the conversation within the group or make the wave public and invite anyone interested in the topic to post a comment. You can also create read-only waves if you want your members to view the content but not edit it. 
  • Embed waves in your blogs/websites and enable users to participate in your wave right from your own website. Here's an example of an embedded wave.
There's a lot more you can do with Wave and if you are interested in trying it out or would like to know how you are use it with your group, post a comment here or ping me on wave.

Note: You'll need a Google Account to sign up for Google Wave. If you have GMail or a Blogger blog, you already have a Google Account.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Teaching Wave to Complete Newbies

Wave too complicated for the average user? I think not! Here's a session we did with a bunch of teachers who had just learnt to get online a few weeks back.

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