Teach the People is a social networking site with an emphasis on learning. It’s not up and running yet, so I’ve registered for a beta invite. It has more of a content focus than a lot of the other sites, claiming that
"Instead of just messaging with other users like on traditional social networking services, users on Teach The PeopleSM are creating their own communities for fun, education, innovation; whatever! User can then fill those communities with as much content & media as they desire"
I hope it works, but I’m not sure myself, and this was based on my initial reaction – I didn’t instantly get the point as one does with social networking sites where the emphasis is on casual interaction. This goes back to a point I made earlier about whether learning is intrinsically a bit dull? Maybe if you want a learning focus you have to do one of two things:
i) Start with an existing social networking community and introduce learning tools and services in to it. For example, help people use Facebook to aid their vocational tasks, informal learning or formal studies.
ii) Start with an existing learning community and provide it with social networking tools. Take the OU students and alumni for example and provide them with an environment that helps facilitate social interaction, and learning.
In short you need a critical mass starting either from the social or the learning camps. Teach the people may be trying to do both at once, which is too steep a curve to climb. Anyway, when I get my beta invite I’ll be able to have a more thorough investigation.