University gossip site shuttered after salacious comments, classist remarks

Library Whispers had 1,000 comments in its first week.

A student-run Cambridge University website meant to be an innocent exchange between frequenters to the school’s library devolved into a “forum of hate” brimming with disparaging comments, forcing Cambridge students to pull the plug.

Library Whispers, a Twitter-style blog inviting anonymous comments about campus goings on, was shut down this week after the site was flooded with the “worst sort of bullying and abusive messages,” Oliver Rees, a Library Whispers cofounder, wrote in a message to the blog’s readers.

The furor over the Britain-based Library Whispers was similar to controversy caused by an American college gossip Juicy Campus, which shut down in February 2009 after 18 months of operation.…Read More

Educators hope Ning stays affordable

Educators will have 10 weeks to decide if they want to keep their content on Ning after tha company's May 4 announcement.
Educators will have 10 weeks to decide if they want to keep their content on Ning after the company's May 4 shift to a fee-based model.

Since Ning launched its social network that lets members create groups on any topic back in 2007, thousands of educators have used the online tool to connect with their peers across the globe. Now, the company says it soon will “phase out” its free service, forcing educators to find other alternatives or pay to keep their Ning networks intact.

Education technology experts said Ning risks alienating educators with its decision, especially at a time when school budgets are so tight. Ning, which had planned to use advertising revenue to support the site, announced April 16 that company officials would unveil a new business model on May 4 that would include “price points” for the previously free service.

While Ning’s basic service had been free, it also offered a range of paid options, including $5 a month for custom domains and $10 a month for extra bandwidth and storage capabilities.…Read More