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I could not resist to review Grou.ps, a possible and valid alternative to Ning to create free social networks and groups (up to 100 GB of space), especially for use with students.
GROU.PS is a do-it-yourself social networking platform that allows people to come together and form interactive communities around a shared interest or affiliation. The functionality of any online group is limited only by the members’ collective imagination and ambition. The GROU.PS platform is used to create a wide variety of community sites, including online gaming forums, e-learning classrooms, fan clubs, charity fundraising campaigns, college alumni societies, and event planning portals. In short, any organization seeking to aggregate and organize people online can greatly improve its effectiveness, engagement and appeal by migrating to the GROU.PS platform. By giving any user the ability to create an easy-to-use, yet powerful, social network, GROU.PS is propelling online collaboration, communication and content sharing in a new socially-aware direction.
Modules and features available with Grou.ps:
1) Blog;
2) Calendar;
3) Chat;
4) File repository;
5) Games;
6) Groups (sub-division of students’ work);
7) Links and web connections;
8) Map and geo-tagging;
9) Photo;
10) Talk
11) Video;
12) Wiki.

In Italiano:
Avrei voluto tanto andare in vacanza, ma ho qualcosa che non posso fare a meno di recensire e segnalare a conclusione dell’anno scolastico. Ho scoperto GROU.PS, una piattaforma utilissima per creare reti sociali e gruppi online gratis (almeno fino a 100 GB di spazio), specie dopo la “chiusura” di quelli su Ning.
Come Ning, anche Grou.ps permette di creare gruppi online con possibilità di monitorare l’accesso, i contenuti multimediali, i link, i blog e  strumenti per la comunicazione istantanea e asincrona (chat e altro). Sì, tutto come Ning (che è a pagamento), ma molto utile per l’apprendimento cooperativo e la condivisione di contenuti e informazioni.