Monthly Archives: November 2006

Ning is Hiring!

I just finished updating our Ning Jobs page and wanted to put the word out that we’re looking for a few great people to join the team:

If your interested (and qualified!), drop us a note and resume at jobs@ning.com.

And for some background on us, here’s a bit of our philosophy and some photos of our digs:

  • Run fast, fly low, and be cheap
  • Have working social sites that you can point us to today
  • Keep everyone informed, both on the good news and the bad news
  • Organize based on a cell structure for both developer and non-developer teams
  • Flat organization with small, iterative teams of highly productive people
  • Transparency – review projects often and keep an open dialogue among different groups
  • Reward innovation, ingenuity, and hard work
  • Meritocracy
  • Evaluate and reward managers based on development of people
  • Top down reassignments of high achievers
  • Build a team with potential, drive, curiosity, intelligence and ambition
  • Take chances on people without a track record – grow together as a team
  • Train people
  • Everyone teaches
  • Honest, frequent feedback
  • Weekly 1:1, staff, and all hands meetings
  • Written career development plans

Cutecast is Live!

Meg is rocking a new facet in her growing empire of cute: CuteCast. 100% cute videos, 100% of the time.

Here’s a little of hit of a baby sugar glider….

Does anyone know what a sugar glider is? I think it sort of looks like a possum…

Update: after a trip to wikipedia here, a sugar glider is in fact a possum-like animal. God, I love the Internet…

Your Own Branded Empire

One of the nifty new features we just rolled out to the Ning Videos and Ning Photos sites (Ning Group has had it for a bit) is a small “About This Site” module that sits at the top left column of the page. This little area can be easily customized by clicking the “Edit” button (no need to dig into any code), and can accept regular text or HTML.

Why is this cool? Good question. Well aside from providing site owners with a handy place to describe their site or drop in embeddable content, it’s a great way to link together multiple Ning sites and create a Branded Empire (patent pending – ok, not really).

Here’s an example:

As I’m in the twilight of my twenties, my ten-year high school reunion is coming up in a few weeks. Since I’m not going to be able to attend, I thought it’d be cool to create a Ning Group site that’d give Libertyville High School Class of ’96 members (go Wildcats!) a place to reconnect without paying fees or digging through countless MySpace pages trying to find someone from their class.

LHS ScreengrabWell, the official reunion committee picked up on the site and it caught on like wildfire. Pretty soon I created LHS 1996 Videos and LHS 1996 Photos companion sites. This resulted in even more interesting stuff, including this video from a former classmate’s FOX-televised “Wedding on Ice,” and plans to send cameraphone pictures to the site “live” from the reunion, which you can do on any photos or videos site on Ning with the handy unique email address we provide to people automatically.

The one drawback, however, was that as my little empire grew, there was no easy way to cross-link the three sites so that users could wander from one to the next without leaving my magical branded reunion theme park.

No more! As soon as the new “About This Site” module debuted, I pasted in some simple HTML and linked ‘em up.

Some other situations where this cross-linked setup is/could be cool…

Blogs
Extend your personal brand to some Videos, Photos and Group sites. I’ve done a bit of this with House of Kyle Videos and House of Kyle Photos.
Weddings, Births or Vacations
Similar to the reunion, you can quickly and easily organize sites around an event.
Fansites
Love Lost? Maybe Veronica Mars? Create an instant fan empire.
Groups at Your School
Be it a fraternity/sorority, a club, a team, whatever…the potential is endless.

As always, we love hearing about the creative things people are doing with their Ning sites, so drop us a line and let us know!

New Features!

On Friday, we released a few new features to Ning Videos, Ning Photos and Ning Group.

If you haven’t created a site on Ning yet, it’s super easy. Where you see “Get Your Own Videos Site!“, “Get Your Own Photos Site!” or “Get Your Own Group Site!” in the upper left hand corner of any site running on Ning, click it and follow the 4-5 steps to set up your own social website or social network.

Ok, now for the new features…

Even More Privacy Controls

Due to the overwhelming success of private Ning Group sites, we’ve now enabled members-only capabilities for Ning Videos and Ning Photos sites. This is in addition to choosing your own privacy settings for individual photos or videos on public sites.

Just choose to make your site public or private when you set it up. You can also decide to moderate your photos or videos before they are posted too. It’s totally up to you.

Even More Customization

Taking another cue from Ning Group, we’ve added “About This Site” modules on the homepages of Ning Videos and Ning Photos, so you can more easily describe your site or paste in custom HTML.

It’s as easy as clicking on the Edit link and either adding straight text or HTML.

Other Enhancements

  • Improved video quality on Ning Videos
  • Ability to upload multiple photos on Ning Group
  • Photo slideshows and embeddables on Ning Group

One More Thing…

Since we’re rolling out updates to these sites every few weeks, we’re making it even easier for you to ensure that you have the latest version.

We’re turning on “One-Click Updates” in the Ningbar this week, so when you see a notification that “new updates are available”, you’re just a click away from the latest and greatest in Ning site improvements.

Culture Shapers

There have been a couple of great photos and videos sites popping up in the past few days that I wanted to get out there.

Cultureshapers Art Contest

This Cultureshapers photos site jumped to our popular sites list last week and it’s spectacular. Turns out that it is a citywide art contest for students in Houston, TX. I couldn’t believe that these were student works.

Here’s my favorite painting:

Beautiful%20Art%20Piece.jpg

I think it’s really beautiful.

Here’s a little more on the Cultureshapers contest by Shawn, who created the site:

In just six years, we’ve awarded more than a half-million dollars in cash prizes to student artists, thanks to our generous financial partners and corporate sponsors!

The majority of these pieces will not make it the final round; just 70 pieces will be selected from the contest’s seven categories.

PLUS, we’re only half-way done! The photos on the site so far are just from two categories: Drawing and Painting. We have another 4 categories that will be juried this coming weekend – Electronic Media, Mixed Media, Photography and Film – and those images will be added to this site as well.

The Top 10 will be announced on the main contest website: http://www.cultureshapers.com on Monday, November 13th.