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For the online community creation, there are many services available today.

The most popular community options among them are: blogs, wikis, and social networks. On the market there are various online services that allow users to create private or public social networking sites. Examples of such services are Ning, SocialGo, Elgg,,, Spruz and others. In order to successfully use the social networking sites in educational settings, teachers need to be well trained and prepared. Usually the schools and universities dont have resources to fund these initiatives, and many researches educate them self by using free resources online. More details will be explained to the functionality of social networking sites SocialGo and Ning. SocialGO (ve prije napisano i Andreja recenzirala) SocialGo enables the online creation and hosting of social networking sites. Its main functionalities include: personalized profiles, messaging, sub-groups, promoting events, chat, photo and video sharing, as well as forums and blogging, most of which are available free of charge. The recent and current activity within the network can be tracked via the homepage. Users can edit their personal profile, write on the wall, create activity feeds, upload images or video and alike. Announcing events in a network enables the organization and promotion of public and private activities. Members can start and join forum discussions, adding a video or an image to reply posts. A blog is one of the most substantial parts of this tool. It allows each member to create an indefinite number of blogs collected in journals and post comments to other members blogs. The WYSIWYG editor enables editing of posts in which various media can be embedded. Real-time chat (both text and video) is another functionality that can be activated. The tool also allows the creation of subgroups, accessed publicly or by invitation, whose members can exchange messages, have discussions in private group forums and alike. In addition, to enable speaking and presentation practice and support interaction, we used the Nimbb widget, which enables recording of videos by using a webcam, playing a video or embedding it to a website. Nimbb Player is a Flashbased program that is integrated using HTML/JavaScript code. Its free version allows 30 seconds video recording.

Ning (ne mora se uzeti sve moe se odabrati samo pojedini bolji dijelovi) Ning is one of the most widely used social networking community pages, and has more than 2 million communities built in the field of politics, entertainment, small business, non-profits, education and more. This powerful tool was free at beginnings but now is more commercial oriented with 30-day free trial access. Ning supports private community creation with limited viewing, (for example to members only) or public community creation, with open or closed membership

and content available to all on the Internet (Hoffman, 2009). Researchers support using Ning in education, while it minimizes privacy and safety concerns that are usually associated with the use of commercial SNSs (Brady, 2010). Teachers (creators) do not need to know programming code but still the training is necessary to ensure optimal creation and its use in education (Goldfarb et al., 2011). The Ning tool enabled students a greater level of personalization, use of a digital portfolio, facilitation of communication and collaboration, increase in information sharing, supported informal peer-to-peer learning, and socialization. To summarize, Ning tool enables creation of communities tailored to students unique needs (Goldfarb et al., 2011). Creators can decide whether they want for members to access the network without authorization or with their approval. The same they can decide for the authorization of pictures and videos publication, sub-group creations and messages option. Service provides about 50 distinct and unique themes, and it is also possible to use CSS to define own design. Ning further supports many useful features such as: member profile pages, a module for adding new members and reviewing of existing, posting across different platforms, tracking latest activities across network, RSS feeds, add and organize pictures and video albums, communication trough different channels: participate in discussion forums, blogs, chat etc. Network creators can decide whether the network will be public or private. The network has admin site, home site, dashboard panel, members site, forum section, blog section, photo and video publishing sites, chat application and supports adding of different widgets. The site personalization includes customization of visual design, adding personal information, adding widgets and other applications to members personal page. Network members can answer the pre-set profile questions when they login to the network. (e.g. location, gender, hobby ..). Inviting new members can be done by the use of e-mail addresses, import from existing web address books (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL), or address book from file in .csv or .vcf format. And it is possible to invite new members over the Invite link. Ning supports crossposting members status updates on other virtual communities like Twitter and Facebook, or to share content across the Internet with support of additional builtin tools (for example Flickr API). Tracking module provides the latest activities to be monitored in real-time information about what is happening in the network, such as new members, status updates, new posts, new photos, etc. The module for RSS Feeds allows you to track feeds from a blog, website or news from inside or outside sources. Members can upload and share photos and videos. There is a possibility to embed photo or video files from anywhere on the Web. The network has enabled synchronous mode of communication with the chat feature, public or private, or by module Messages where members can send asynchronous messages. Members can start and participate in a single or multi-threaded discussion forum with categories, photos and attachments. Apart from participating in discussion forums, members can also use the blog feature. Users have access to a WYSIWYG

editor for editing posts for blog, notes and forum section. Blog supports embed various media, and feedback options. Functionality Events allows organization of events and track RSVPs. And further, there are a variety of Ning Apps that provide additional features like polls, documents, games, videochats, etc. Additionally Ning introduced new functionality like live video streaming (Ustream), photo stickers and effects ( Aviary) and email marketing (Constant Contact). The network can be used as commercial network as well where administrator can charge members (or collect donations) for site access. Network creators can provide their own ads of interest, or sell branded merchandise. Network creators can as well use data and analytics features to learn about their most-active members and to find out what makes their want.

The case study of the course Computer mediated Communication The Ning tool was used in the academic year 2009/2010 in two study groups of part time students of the academic course Computer-Mediated Communication at the Faculty of Organization and Informatics, University of Zagreb, Croatia. Basically, social networking site Ning was used as communication tool between teachers and students, and also as platform for creation of students personal profiles in order to introduce and present themselves and their work to teachers and other students as well. Further, the network was used as online platform for integration of students notes and artifacts created with Web 2.0 tools (Buba, ori, & Orehovaki, 2010). Related to course activities they have found and uploaded photos and links to video files on YouTube that illustrated the content of the activities. Besides that they have participated in discussion forums on various courses related topics, and some of the discussion topics were started by teachers and most of them by students. These features are extremely useful for following course curriculum, if students are from geographically different regions and if the course curriculum is organized in group work. Authors conclusion about the use of Ning in educational environment is in accordance with other findings (Smith & Holcomb, 2009; Hoffman, 2009; Karabulut et all, 2009; Brady, 2010;) that Ning is considered as a useful and helpful tool for teachers with richer features from traditional online communication tools in education, and it is most effectively used in distance education courses.

Appropriateness of Ning and opinion regarding group sizes The use of social networking sites in educational settings is interesting because of their functionalities like different communication tools built inside one online service: chat, messages, posts, comments, announcements etc.); file/content sharing options among members and sub-grouping options within larger network for smaller or specialized team activities (Hoffman, 2009). During the course performing period (usually one semester), student produce a lot of content that needs to be monitored (homework, artifacts, posts, multimedia content). This is a

lot of work for teacher so its better to have smaller size of network members for maximum 50 members, in order to have organized overview what network members (students) post/share online and to monitor how well they are doing online activities (formative assessment).

Bibliography Brady, K. P., Holcomb, L. B. & Smith, B. V. (2010). The Use of Alternative Social Networking Sites in Higher Educational Settings: A Case Study of the E-Learning Benefits of Ning in Education. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 9 (2), 151-170, Buba, G., ori, A., & Orehovaki, T. (2010). The Evaluation of the Use of Online Community Tool Ning for Support of Student Interaction and Learning. Proceedings of the 21st Central European Conference on Information and Intelligent Systems, 2010, 171-178 Goldfarb, A., Pregibon, N., Shrem, J., Zyko, E. (2011): INFORMATIONAL BRIEF ON SOCIAL NETWORKING IN EDUCATION, Emerging Teaching & Learning Technologies Initiative, New York Comprehensive Center, Available at cation.pdf Hoffman, E. S. (2009): Evaluating Social Networking Tools for Distance Learning, Proceedings of Technology, Colleges & Community Worldwide Online Conference, Volume (1): 92-100. Available at Karabulut, A., Braet, D., Lindstrom, D. & Niederhauser, D. (2009): Student Level of Commitment and Engagement with Ning as a Learning Management System, In I. Gibson et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, AACE, Chesapeake, VA, pp. 2564-2569. Smith, B. & Holcomb, L. (2009): The Walled Garden approach to Social Networking: Utilizing Ning in distance education, In I. Gibson et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, AACE, Chesapeake, VA, pp. 2970-2973.