To introduce you to some social networking basics and to get you to create your own social network.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this workshop, you should be able to
1. Describe the basic characteristics of a social network, including activity, events, sharing and discussions
2. Create a for a social network site of your own


1. What are social networking and social networks?
2. Social network examples
3. Ideas for practice
4. Get a social network of your own
5. Manage your social network
6. Reflection
7. Evaluation
8. Useful links

1. What are social networking and social networks?

Visit the social networking page on the Web 2.0 survival guide site.
Group brainstorm: What do you know about social networking?
Social network characteristics
Social networks can be group-based (e.g., Ning, Group.ps) or individual-based (e.g., Facebook, MySpace). This workshop deals only with group-based social networks. With a social network you can
  • Create sub-groups and discussion forums
  • Post events, notes, announcements
  • Share files, podcasts, videos, photos and more
  • View your network members' latest activity and profiles
  • Leave comments on members' 'comment walls'

2. Social network examples

In pairs, visit some social networks. Visit Education Innovators/ and explore some ANU teachers' social networks. (In other words, click on stuff!)

  • Can you find the latest activity?
  • Where are the discussions?
  • How can you view a member's profile?
  • What is on the comment wall?
  • How do you navigate around the site? (hint: click on stuff!)
  • Are images shared? What about video?

Other social network examples
Fire Fighter Nation/
Paper Craft Planet
AFL space

3. Ideas for practice

  • Ask students to form groups around class topics. Get them to post videos, audios, photos etc. and to comment on why they have posted them.
  • Get students to form sub-groups within the class network. They can then set up forums for their group and discuss privately upcoming group assessment items.
  • Use social networks to manage an off-campus group for placement or fieldwork students.
  • Set up a reading group using the discussion forums on a social network.
  • Give group feedback on assignments using an announcements tool.
  • Manage your class using a social networking site: post latest assignment information, announcements, topics for discussion, useful links and media, etc.
  • Use a social network to create an online role-play game

4. Get a social network of your own

  • Go to Ning
  • Create your own social network
  • When you are asked to add features, choose as many as you can. You can always remove them later.
Some important points
  • If you are not over 13 years of age, you may be refused access to the service.
  • Do not use a template or a wizard to create pages on your wiki -- it just gets ugly.
  • You may change your password and your email address via the profile area.
  • You can manage your subscriptions and automatic email notifications via the 'profile' and 'subscriptions' areas of your wiki.

ESSENTIAL! Write down or remember these things:*
  1. Your username
  2. Your web address/URL
  3. Your password
  4. The email address you used to create this account

*You will need your username and password to sign in to your wiki in the future.

You will not be able to change your username or web address later; however, you will be able to change your password and email address.

5. Managing your network

  • View the 'Manage' tab to see how you can start building your network.

6. Reflection

What do you think or know now? What is still confusing? What do you need to follow up on?

7. Evaluation

Helpful or not? Let us know your thoughts.

8. Useful links

Web 2.0 survival guide
Social networking basics