SNS for Students.

Wired ran a series of articles entitled “Education 2.0”. This particular one focussed on Social Network Tools. Given that Marc Canter at the Web2.0 conference suggested an average user is active on five social networks, they’ve created a list of 5. (MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn [particularly for those leaving education], Bebo [which, they note is most popular in the UK], and Hi5 [again, not as popular in the US as in other areas])

Hi5 was new to me, though looking at it, it seems to be very similar to others, albeit with a choice of languages.

I was surprised, though, that Marc Canter suggested users (I’m assuming here he means SNS users, rather than generic web users), are active on 5. I’ve got accounts on Eduspaces, Ning, Facebook & MySpace. However, MySpace is more or less a virgin a/c – so definitely not active; and I wouldn’t really call myself active on either FAcebook or Ning. It’s more little bursts when I remember them!

A useful thing, though, if that 5 is true for many users, is that if we are going to encourage students to set up accounts on a more education focussed SNS (e.g. Elgg), we probably won’t be stopping them using other networks, just adding to the range. The argument that I’ve seen in several places “use Facebook, because that’s where the students are”; yes, they are there, but they’re also capable of being elsewhere too.

I’ll see if I can find Canter’s statement & preferably evidence of it.

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