Monthly Archives: February 2008

Saturday Night Maintenance: 11pm to 2am Pacific Time

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It will be exactly like this except with more release goodness and less neon lighting.

Ning and the social networks running on it will be unavailable on Saturday night, March 1st from 11pm to 1am 2am Pacific Time while we upgrade the platform in preparation for our upcoming network release. We will be back in action early Sunday morning. Thanks!

UPDATE at 9pm on Saturday: We’re now looking at a window from 11pm to 2am.

Café História

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Café História is a social network for students, professors, researchers and lovers of history. The network uses our Brazilian Portuguese translation and draws members from across Brazil.

Network Creator Bruno Leal began Café História in January 2008, and over 1200 members have already joined. Bruno reports that Café História‘s reputation has even reached universities and schools in Brazil.

Members have created over 60 specialized groups, including those for Mythology buffs and fans of African history. The active forum is a great place to discuss many different aspects of history. Members have also uploaded their favorite history-related photos to the network. Here’s a slideshow of the highest rated photos on Café História, which includes famous paintings and portraits of important historical figures like Winston Churchill and Charles De Gaulle:


Veja mais fotos como esta em Cafe Historia

Bruno has enjoyed the experience of managing the network very much, because “people collaborate every day with photos, videos, blog posts, and forum comments, all about History.” To a journalist and historian like Bruno, this in and of itself is rewarding. “I feel that I am doing something very important, because I am making a difference in studying History.”

Beam Me Up, To TrekSpace

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TrekSpace is a new network devoted to all things Trekkie.

From the fiercely logical Mr. Spock from the original series or the devious Garak, the Cardassian spy and resident tailor of Deep Space Nine, the Star Trek franchise has seen many memorable characters over the years. For each character from the show there’s a group of devoted fans on TrekSpace, uploading photos that show off their devotion through costumes and memorabilia.

While the photos are great, the forum is where the action is. Alec, the Network Creator, favors the "new school." He’s a huge Deep Space Nine fan, but he’s created categories that cover the entire Star Trek universe. You’ll find spirited discussion about The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, the Star Trek Movies, Star Trek: The Animated Series and more.

TrekSpace has ditched the standard network name text in favor of a more engaging banner image. As Alec explains, the Main page “can be simple, but a few unique graphical elements will set you apart and brand your network.” Another technique Alec has used to help grow his network is placing his vibrantly colored network badge prominently towards the top right of the main page. This allows his members to show off their allegiance to both Star Trek and TrekSpace wherever they are on the web.

If you too share a love of all things Trek-related head on over to TrekSpace.

Make Your Network As Fast As Possible

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Here at Ning, we spend a lot of time making Your Social Network for Anything as fast as possible. By default, your social network on Ning is speedy. Why? Because there is a direct relationship between the performance of a network and how much time people spend on it.

Conversely, we also enable you tremendous freedom and control over what you put on your social network. In fact, we offer a number of ways for you to add things that will slow your network page load down to a crawl. We want you to have the freedom to make your social network exactly what you want it to be. It’s your choice. That being said, if you’re feeling like your network is a little sluggish, we’ve got a few suggestions for keeping things speedy.

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Live Pink: “A Creative Lifestyle”

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Live Pink is the interactive home of Pink Paislee, a company that provides products to enhance scrapbook and design creations.

Network Creator Rebecca describes it as a place where Pink Paislee fans “can get to know us and share their art projects with others who love our products. Our network is all about expressing a love for scrapbooking with an emphasis on the products our company manufactures.”

Live Pink provides a number of ways for members to share and interact, including videos, polls, photos, a weekly member spotlight and forums. Not surprisingly, one of Rebecca’s favorite features is the ability to add multiple text boxes, because of the versatility this allows.

“I love that I can add text boxes directly to the home page, giving us the option to include hyperlinks and images," she said. "We can use these for virtually anything we need!”

The creative approach toward using the network is reflected in member designs as well. Slideshows are terrific for showing off Pink Paislee products as well as member creations and designs:

If you’re interested in Paislee Products or want to exchange scrapbooking tips, spend some time exploring Live Pink!

Obamacycle: Recycling Campaign Materials on Ning

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Our driving goal with Ning is to provide software that enables people the freedom to create. Here at Ning HQ, we love seeing new social networks on Ning pop up that we would have never thought of on our own. Happily, this happens a lot.

Obamacycle.com is one of those social networks that once you see it, it makes complete sense.

Featured yesterday in Wired as “A Craigslist for Obama Campaigners“, Obamacycle.com was created by Furqan Nazeeri, an entrepreneur working just outside of Boston to enable the supporters of Illinois senator Barack Obama to re-cycle their campaign materials. Today there are over 873 members of the network and the focus is on the upcoming Texas and Ohio primaries.

I love the photos on Obamacycle, which bring the network’s purpose to life:

Hopefully other campaigns get into the same recycling spirit but I think they’ll have to work harder at coming up with their own witty term. Somehow “McCaincycle” doesn’t have the same ring to it…

The Ghetto Gourmet: A 21st-Century Dinner Party

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The Ghetto Gourmet is a network for “for lovers of fine cookin, cool art and new friends.” The network is for those who have participated in or wish to participate in Network Creator Jeremy Townsend’s underground dining movement.

Jeremy’s “movement” is based on the concept of uniting strangers. The goal is to bring people together from the Internet for a completely face-to-face dinner party. Meals are served on the host’s living room floor, and most events bring nearly 50 people in for a grand meal. While the idea may not appeal to everyone at first, Jeremy explains on his network:

“I never had a single uncomfortable situation, never had an unruly guest and never even broke a glass in the dining room, except when we were banging on them in unison with spoons playing along with a musician,” he wrote.

Over 1200 members have joined the network to date. The network allows participants to share photos, better advertise upcoming events and stay in touch after the events. And that’s very important, for as Townsend notes that “At least two relationships that began at The Ghet have led to marriage … I’ve tried not to think about the endless ripple that radiates from these events.”

To create those ripples, members have created groups to connect with other interested hosts and dinner guests in their areas. There are groups for San Francisco, Chicago, Nashville and many other regions. On the Forum, members share ideas for different social dinner party themes and food suggestions. Jeremy even added new pagesThe Movement and The Cast — and a favicon.

Of course, no dinner party would be complete without photos. Jeremy’s members have surely taken advantage of Ghetto Gourmet’s photo section to share the evidence of their encounters.

So “Hold on to your fork!” and get ready for good times, great meals and new friends. Join Ghetto Gourmet today!

One Year of Your Own Social Network for Anything!

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On February 27, 2007, we launched Your Own Social Network for Anything. I can’t believe it’s been a year already. And what a year it’s been.

We just passed 185,000 social networks on the Ning Platform and continue to grow page views at an incredibly fast clip. In fact, our daily page views have quadrupled in the past six weeks. That alone has been amazing to watch, but it’s not our favorite part of this whole whirlwind.

Everything we do is focused on giving you the freedom to come to Ning and create the exact right perfect social network for you (within, as we’ve learned to add, legal and commercial boundaries). It’s why we started Ning in the first place and why we’re even more excited today about the possibilities of the Ning Platform than we were at the very beginning.

While small celebrations like today are important, the best part of creating software – especially software that gives people the freedom to create – is the fact that the opportunities to make it even better never go away. There are always new ways for us to define awesome. More features. More flexibility. A broader set of choices. And even greater diversity in what anyone can do with Your Own Social Network for Anything.

We’re incredibly excited about the next few releases and the new types of networks and network behavior these new options hopefully enable. We truly believe the possibilities with Your Own Social Network on Ning are endless and it’s fun to continue pushing the boundaries beyond our wildest expectations.

In putting this post together, it was interesting to go back and look at a few of the posts we wrote exactly a year ago. The 8 Steps to Creating a Great Social Network remain, from our experience, what make social networks successful – at least as far as we’ve seen over the course of the 185,000 social networks launched on Ning so far. And the lessons we’ve learned getting here still resonate for me with yet another year of perspective.

We hope you enjoy Your Own Social Network for Anything on Ning. That’s certainly the goal. We’re committed to relentlessly improving your social network by offering more flexibility, more choices, and better and better features as we enter our second year together. We, for one, are very much looking forward to the ride.

185,000 Social Networks!

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Another week, another milestone. Just the way we like it. This week we just passed 185,000 networks, growing at an average of 0.44% per day. Of these networks, 71.5% have been active in the past 30 days. Not bad, not bad at all…