Unless I am mistaken, two things the platform does not do:
1. it does not have a file cabinet
2. It does not allow pictures and videos on the individual blog
Pierre (my son-- firstname.lastname@example.org) uses Google sites: for similar purposes. Does have the possibility to link with Google calendar, has file cabinets, and links with Picassa. Who wants to explore?
I think that at the moment Ning is a solution. And the issue is not whether we have the right solution. The issue is whether we have the right question! What do we want to use this platform for? And for me another issue is what is the distinction we want to maintain between a Forum and a Blog.
I'm not sure how this works, but I didn't find your efforts until today. It seems like the option 'Feature on Main' is a good one.
I want this platform to share my views and reflections in the blog and to contribute to specific discussions in the forum (or fora).
I can't wait to have this operational, because I think that I have a lot to share, and I hope that together we attract many others to share their experience and to contribute to resolving issues as they come up.
What is the distinction between the forum and the blog. The question is not in terms of mechanics. It is in terms of approach.
Someone just used the phrase 'personal reflective journal' to describe a blog and to distinguish it from a forum. But I'm not sure how that works out in practice.
At the moment, I am going through a personal reflective exercise around how we use stories and how we make them effective. But my objective for that reflection is not simply personal. Soon I will bring that discussion into the Constellation. So there is a transition here that I am not clear about.
Here are some topics Jean Legastelois and I thought we would discuss with the new board in July.The material produced would serve to stimulate discussion in the forum.
1. Are these topics worth exploring?
2.Does they qualify for forum discussion?
3. Does this make the distinction between blog and forum any clearer?
I put together what I think we won't for the social network. Please have a look at the attached and add suggestions/changes/comments.
This document will help Vegard to see if he can build an "intranet/social network" for us, and how long that would take!
To sum up what I have learned so far from Ning:
What I like in Ning:
- the layout is pleasant, professional, structures and simple
- easy to manage
- home page which allows you to see what's new in one glance
- groups is a good idea
- link with Flickr and link with Facebook
- of course the picture, video, sound options
- the fact that everyone can design his/her blog with different colours etc.
- translation tool
What is missing in Ning:
- link with Google calendar in events
- files storage place
- search option so that you can find someone based on his/her location, experience, etc. Now the search option only searches in the text (what people wrote)
- would be nice if we could have a place where we can build knowledge assets (would be good in Wiki) and link this with specific discussions in the forum.
- did I forget anything?
I looked into other option and found that KickApp's is another option to build social networks. Do you know this, Vegard?
It would seem plausible that you could write a gadget that would address JL's "dislikes." Like a hook into Google Calendar. I say this not having looked into the matter too deeply.
Sometimes (actually most of the time) an interactive solution to a problem involves multiple platforms that are unified via hooks. But I am still catching up on what exactly you all are looking for in an "interactive platform."