Some quick thoughts, after reading Hugh's short article. It suggests that by giving people the ability to take social actions on your product you can create the basis for a social network in which users find, share and interact with parts of the moodle site through these actions.
Some social actions which have worked elsewhere to develop social networks around small bits of content jump to mind:
* social bookmark / tagging
* voting up / down (digg)
* rating / star / favorite
* commenting / quoting and linking elsewhere (trackback
, technorati, co-comment)
* posting objects / links to user created groups (facebook, flickr)
I also wonder where it is our users' are paying attention and spending time. Where do they find content on which they place value. Could this be something to build within moodle, at either a course, or across a site. Perhaps changes to the way that resources are displayed to enable commenting or tagging, and aggregate this at various levels : course, user profiles, site. Perhaps it could be changes which enables easier sharing of links through external services.
I have observed many social networks which often being created through an accumulation of social information - through many users taking and sharing such social actions on information at a quite granular level. It seems to have been particularly useful circumstances when there is an overwhelmingly large quantity of uncatagorised information.
Perhaps it would help to understand where such large sets of unstructured information exist within the context
of Moodle. The messages in the forums might be one such object which have this kind of problem in the moodle.org site. As for more conventional objects which can be found in many VLEs eg. powerpoint and PDFs - I wonder how we can enable people to take such social actions on these at a useful level with such compound objects.
I know the answer to these kind of questions differs for different communities of learners and staff. This kind of thing could be useful where you have active learners and courses where people are contributing and creating parts of the course.