I have been testing out a Ning for a client to check its viability for his particular use and so I set one up for myself to see just how easy or hard it was to do. The first question that I got from people who looked at my Ning was what exactly is a Ning?
A Ning Is:
- A private label branded social networking site built around one particular brand or topic.
- It allows people to interact with your content or topic in a social manner and create a personal page on your topic within your Ning to share with others; drawing others into conversation.
- It allows you to create forums or groups within your network to engage others and allows them to create groups to share or comment on your content.
- It creates a rich experience for users and allows full interaction in a new manner.
What a Ning is Not:
- It is not a blog, although one of its components is a blog or blog RSS feed. It is more than a blog, it is a true social network.
- It is not Facebook or LinkedIn, it is a private label network and so its success is based on your promotion of the content and use of your Ning through selling its use to others who are interested in your topic.
- It is not a website. It is more restrained than a website in that you have compartmentalized content and not full freedom of use as you would with a website. But the expense to create some of these applications within a single website would be cost prohibitive.
A Ning is exciting, it is fun, it is interactive, but it really relies on member interaction. If you have a Ning and no members, you have nothing. If you are going to consider doing your own Ning, check out mine first at http://webauthority.ning.com/ This fairly simple Ning took around 6 hours to create and is a work in progress. It uses one of the Ning templates and includes many of the free modules customized for my use. You can create custom advertising sections with images on your own Ning.
Feel free to join my Ning if only just to check it out and run it through its paces and see what a Ning is. I won’t pester you at all to interact or with spam mailings. This way you can see if a Ning is for you.