All About Ning
Ning can be an awesome source for networking, but it can also be a little hard to define. Visiting Ning.com with the intentions of joining this social networking can lead to a small heart attack: 25-60 dollars a month. . .for a glorified Facebook?
But it’s not really like Facebook, and it doesn’t have to cost you anything.
So what it is? Ning.com is the parent site, where people who wish to build a Ning community sign up. That fee provides the tools and hosting to create a site, which can turn out to be quite huge. I’ve seen many go into the tens of thousands in membership and continue to grow. Signing up to an existing community, however, is free.
Features. The features can vary but usually include: a main forum, groups, profile and friends list, blogging, and private messaging. Many will include chat, as well.
The best part are groups. Most Ning communities allow anyone to start a group, on any related topic. Some are subject to approval from the admins, but that’s usually to keep down the spam. Groups don’t offer a wide range of features, but they have the basics: forum, main “comment” area, admins, and the ability to turn on and off group messages.
Why you should use it. As I said above, many Ning networks are quite large. They are usually created for one particular topic like “blogging” or “book promotion”. the groups which fall under that are related to the main topic. This can turn up all sorts of like-minded people, whether you’re developing fantasy or crafting a memoir. Larger networks tend to have groups exclusive for promoting and networking.
I love Ning networks, and I think they’re a great alternative to the classic forum. There are a few Ning directories, but you probably see the network badges far more than you realized. They are usually a box with the name of the network, sometimes random avatar pictures, and the word “join” appears when you run the mouse over it. For an example, see my Rainy Online page under contact. And hey, sign up and friend me while you’re at it.
What Ning networks do you belong to?