Monthly Archives: March 2009

Tap in to FightJungle

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Mixed Martial Arts has exploded onto the scene as one of the most exciting and fastest growing sports out there. For fighters, fans, and industry folk there’s FightJungle, a social hub all about MMA. With the Tab Manager, FightJungle has renamed its Members tab to “Monkeys” and its Discussion forum to the “Jungle”. In the Jungle, Monkeys talk about everything from great MMA literature to the manliest cities.

FightJungle recently hit 200 Monkeys. To celebrate, the creator of the social network posted a message to the Latest Activity feed, which is a great way to keep members in the loop.

Paper Happiness at Paperee.com

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Paperee.com is a social network for papercrafters – scrapbookers, cardmakers, rubberstampers, and altered media artists. The simple, elegant design of Paperee.com instantly makes craftsy members feel at home. Paperee.com is based off of the “Fresh” theme, with an important addition: a beautiful header designed specifically for the social network. It’s a great example of customizing a built-in theme to make your social network yours, and of the difference a custom header makes.

Members of Paperee.com swap tips and tricks in the forum, from the best adhesive to discount codes for scrapbooking retreats. They even challenge each other with scrapbook projects. The Events section is full of scrapbook expos, conventions, and more.

Keep up with your social network from your iPhone

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Every social network on Ning comes with an iPhone interface, which is great when you want to keep up with your social network when not at your computer. Using this interface, members with iPhones can access a simplified version of your social network that looks great, matches your social network’s colors and loads quickly, even on a 2G iPhone.

To access the iPhone interface, you simply need to add /m to the URL of your social network. For example, to access Brooklyn Art Project on an iPhone, you would head to http://www.brooklynartproject.com/m

Using the iPhone interface, you can view photos on the social network, and photos will even rotate to accommodate the direction in which the phone is being held. You can also view embedded YouTube videos and scroll, over multiple pages, through your social network’s Latest Activity.

After scouring recent activity, photos and videos, you can browse members of your social network — and add people as friends or leave comments on their profile pages. And your social network’s forum is completely accessible on the iPhone interface. You can start a discussion or reply to existing discussions. Check back tomorrow for ideas on letting your members know about this feature.

Fashioning Technology

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Fashioning Technology is a social network for do-it-yourself crafters and fans of the book by the same name. The book “brings technology and crafts together in a fun and unique way,” with projects like an LED bracelet and a space invader tote bag.

The social network allows the book’s author Syuzi, who created the social network, to connect with members who share her passion for wearable technologies. Her blog on the social network highlights new and interesting artists and technologies in the field, like this recent post about embroidered concrete and this review of new DIY book by Project Runway’s Diana Eng. Members of Fashioning Technology share projects and can even get help on projects they’ve undertaken, including those in Syuzi’s book.

Cook dinner in no time

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For people who never seem to have time to cook dinner, No Time to Cook Dinner is the perfect spot to grab a recipe and start cooking. Creator Tony Pinto designed the social network to allow members to “learn how to cook fast & easy, healthy, kid-friendly meals at home. Share recipes, watch cooking videos, meet people, and have fun.” Tony has made great use his social network’s Language Editor to change “Blogs” to “Recipes.” This way, it’s perfectly clear that members should use this feature to share recipes.

The social network’s video section is full of cooking demonstrations for chefs who don’t have much time, but still desire a good meal. Learn how to make pineapple pork ribs, turkey meatloaf with corn pudding or prepare for a holiday party with hummus and cream cheese-stuffed mushrooms.


Hyperlocavore helps members eat locally

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Hyperlocavore is a new social network that aims to spread the word about the benefits of being a eating locally and yardsharing. In case you’re wondering, a hyperlocavore is someone who “tries to eat as much food as locally as possible,” and yardsharing is an arrangement in which a group of people share resources in order to grow their own food, much like a community garden.

To help members create yardshares around the country, Hyperlocavore encourages members to create groups for their local regions. Hyperlocavore has an FAQ tab to help members get started yardsharing, created using the Tab Manager. This section has tons of great resources for members, from 100 reasons to be a hyperlocavore to an initial list of questions for developing a yardshare to how to manage money within a yardshare.

Go Green2Cool

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Green2Cool is a new social network for anyone who wants to help cool the planet by going green. Members from around the world have joined Green2Cool to learn about upcoming sustainability events, talk about global warming news, and share favorite sustainable and vegan recipes. Members have taken advantage of the photos feature to post shots of their vegan meals and pictures of celebrity vegetarians.

Green2Cool is currently running a contest, promoted on the main page, to help turn the social network into the coolest social network focused on eco-eating. Participants are asked to simply sign up for Green2Cool, spread the word to friends, and contribute the most compelling content to raise awareness about making sustainable food choices. This contest drives activity on Green2Cool and helps spread the word about sustainable eating, and it’s also fun for members to participate in.

Social Actions’ social network: my.socialactions.com

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My Social Actions (my.socialactions.com) is the social network component of Social Actions, a nonprofit that helps find easy ways to enable people to do good in their communities and around the globe. This social network is a great example of how to create a seamless integration between your social network on Ning and your main website by pointing your own domain name to your social network and customizing your social network’s header.

The header on My Social Actions is a redesign of the main website’s logo, reading “My Social Actions” to emphasize the role of each individual member. Making a great customized header is one of the best ways to brand your social network and help integrate it with an existing online presence.

Another way that My Social Actions has connected itself with the main Social Actions website is with domain mapping. Like the Afropunk social network, My Social Actions also points their social network to their own domain. The main website is located at www.socialactions.com; the social network is located at the subdomain my.socialactions.com. The subdomain “my” again reinforces the importance of individual actions on this social network.

If you’d like to have your social network on Ning appear under a subdomain of your own domain name, it’s easy to set up. Just purchase the premium service to “Point your domain name to your social network” from the Manage tab on your social network. Once you’ve purchased this premium service, head to your registrar’s website to set this up or check out one of our detailed tutorials on the Ning Help Center.

Action sports at RideVibe

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RideVibe is a social network for the action sports community. Members love sharing videos, both of themselves in action and of serious action sports athletes, like downhill action on the slopes, the Tour de France or crazy wakeboarding moves.

RideVibe has made great use of the Pages feature to set up channels for the various action sports the social network is focused on. You can add anything from widgets to photos to hyperlinks to a newly created Page, and RideVibe has taken advantage of this flexibility to provide members with a mix of content related to the sports. Each Page is dedicated to a specific sport, like surfing and mountain biking, and contains a few related video embeds, sections spotlighting upcoming movie releases and news about that sport, and a list of hyperlinks to related videos and forum discussions on RideVibe.

Transforming ideas into action at Giving Room

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GivingRoom.com is a social network where nonprofits and the people who support them come together to do good and keep up with businesses that are making a difference in the community. Thanks to a simple getting started guide on the main page of GivingRoom, new members know exactly how to get going on the social network. A list of simple calls to action placed inside a text box makes it clear how members can get involved. This is a great use of a text box, one of the most flexible features on any social network on Ning.

GivingRoom‘s suggestions include joining a group or “cause”, creating a group, and posting charity events. They’ve also made it easy to support GivingRoom by adding a Shop tab to the social network’s navigation, with information on featured websites. As we wrote earlier today, adding a Shop tab is a fast and easy way to add an online store to your social network.