Monthly Archives: May 2009

An online hub for Chicago’s real estate pros

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The focus of Chicago ReConnect, a social network for real estate professional in Chicago, is on buying and selling property in the Windy City. More than 1,300 members use this social network to trade tips, network with each other, and stay informed about the industry.

With more than nine million people in the Chicago metropolitan area, there’s a lot of property to sell, and Groups help divide the Chicago ReConnect members up so they can interact with those of similar interests. There’s a group for members working in Chicago proper, as well as ones for those based in the suburbs. Members of Chicago ReConnect are also using the blogs feature to provide advice to other real estate professionals and discuss best practices in the business.

Join Ning at the Maker Faire

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Maker Faire, the world’s largest DIY festival, is coming to the Bay Area today and tomorrow. Organized by the folks at Make magazine, Maker Faire celebrates individual creativity and grassroots innovation. And at The Maker Network, Make’s social network on Ning, Makers are showing off their latest projects and collaborating with each other. It’s the perfect place to connect before and after this year’s Maker Faire.

Ning is excited and proud to be attending this event. We’ll have a booth in the Fiesta Hall, so come by and say hi!

Add a page to your social network

Adding new tabs to your social network’s navigation is a great way to highlight the important content on your social network while making that content easily accessible to your members. Renaming a tab helps customize the navigation on your social network.

With the Tab Manager, you can also add extra pages of content to your social network. Your new pages can contain any content you’d like. You can even allow members to comment on your new pages if you’d like their opinion on something.

Adding pages to your social network is a great way to highlight important content. Pages are extremely flexible – you can add anything from text to images to hyperlinks. You can add a page for a particular video or widget you want members to pay attention to, or to add a store to your social network.

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To add a page to your social network, go to the Tab Manager from the Manage page. From here, click the “Add New Tab” link in the top left of the page. In the “Tab Information” section, give your new tab a name and select “Create a New Page.” This means your new tab will point to a brand-new page.

Save your settings, then head to your new page. Click the “Edit” link to begin customizing your new page.

FITC’s social network connects event attendees

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FITC runs events around the world connecting people passionate about Flash, design, and digital media. This year, FITC created a social network for event attendees to connect before the conferences and to share experiences, photos, and ideas after.

Members of the FITC social network join groups for the FITC events that have happened so far this year, Toronto and Amsterdam, and check out the details of the upcoming events, FITC Chicago in June and FITC Mobile in September. The Photos section is a great place to see what happens at the conferences, with albums from the Seoul 2008, Amsterdam 2009, and Toronto 2009 events.

I got the chance to catch up with Shawn Pucknell, the social network’s Administrator and Director of FITC Events, to ask him about the FITC social network. Check out his answers after the jump.
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Find wine liberation at Three Thieves

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Three Thieves — the folks behind Bandit, Firehose, and other popular wines — have created a social experience for consumers and winemakers to connect.

Three Theives have added a tab called “The Boys“, where you can meet the Three Thieves themselves: Charles Bieler, Joel Gott, and Roger Scommegna. The three have been spreading the gospel of fantastic affordable wine ever since, even creating their own reality TV show pilot.

The social network just launched and Three Thieves is already rich with content, thanks in part to some well-placed RSS feeds of Three Thieves on Twitter and the Inexpensive Wine Review blog. Three Thieves have a blog of their own, including a “Wino of the Day” award.

Rename a tab on your social network

Yesterday we talked about the Tab Manager, one of the built-in tools you have for customizing your social network so it’s perfect for you. Adding new tabs to your social network’s navigation is a great way to highlight the important content on your social network while making that content easily accessible to your members.

By default, your social network has a couple of standard tabs, including Main, Invite, My Page, and Members. When you add new features to your social network, like Photos or Videos, a new tab will be automatically be created that links to that feature’s page. The names for all of the tabs automatically added to your social network are standard.

Another great and easy way to customize the navigation on your social network using the Tab Manager is to rename a tab. You can easily update the names of your tabs so they match the vibe of your social network. For example, you may want to rename “Main” to “Home,” or call the “Members” tab “Fans” or “Neighbors.”

On the Nashville Fashion Group, a social network we wrote about yesterday, the Network Creator has renamed the Photos tab to “LookBook.” This new name lets members know what the Photos section should be used for: photos of their favorite designs and shots from recent fashion shows.

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To rename a tab on your social network, head to the Manage tab and click on the “Tab Manager” option. In the left side of the page, click on the tab you’d like to rename. Under the “Tab Information” section, type the new name for your tab, up to 24 characters. Click the “Save” button, and enjoy your new tab name!

Exchanging ideas at the Travel Blog Exchange

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Travel bloggers and writers will be meeting in Chicago this July for the first ever Travel Blog Exchange conference. The Travel Blog Exchange social network is the main hub of organization, planning and connecting blogger attendees.

The social network is based around a single event, Travel Blog Exchange ’09. Creating a social network around an event, like MacWorld or SXSW, can help attendees connect with each other before they arrive at the event while building excitement for the event. On the Travel Blog Exchange social network, most of the action is happening in the blogs section, where members are getting ready for the conference by blogging about their current travels. Recent posts include topics like biking in Montreal and local customs in Vietnam.

Share, enjoy, and discuss architecture at MyarchN

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MyarchN connects people across the world around their mutual love of architecture. Members of this social network organize into Groups based on their specific interests, like sustainable architecture, lighting design, and digital design. Members also use their blogs on MyarchN to talk about who inspires them, share news in the area of green architecture, and ask for career advice.

MyarchN has 17,000 photos and nearly 500 videos to date. Members have added photos of inspiring architecture from San Miguel, Mexico to Cappadocia, Turkey to Siena, Italy to Pretoria, South Africa. Photo albums present especially beautiful images, like this album of New York street language.

Add a tab to your social network

Your social network’s tabs help your members navigate around your social network, and can guide their experience on your social network. When you add a new feature, like Photos or Videos, a new tab will be automatically be created that links to that feature’s page. As the Network Creator, you have full control over the tabs on your social network, and they order in which they appear, with the built-in Tab Manager. With this feature, you can add a tab, remove a tab, rename a tab, change the order of your tabs, and even create sub-tab menus.

Because they are prominent on the top of your social network, adding new tabs is a great way to highlight the important content on your social network while making that content easily accessible to your members. You can add a tab pointing to a brand new Page, or you can add a tab that points to an existing page on your social network, like Albums or an important Forum discussion you want all members to see. Remember to keep tabs on your social network to only the most important things: too many tabs can overwhelm visitors and make it difficult for them to figure out what your social network is about.

On the Twilight Saga social network, three new tabs have been created: for books, for series author Stephenie, and for links.

You can add additional top-level navigation options for features or a new page of content using the built-in Tab Manager on your social network. To access the Tab Manager, head to the Manage tab and click on the “Tab Manager” link.

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From here, click the “Add New Tab” link in the top left of the page. In the “Tab Information” section, edit the tab’s name and select a “Target Page.” This is where your members will be taken when they click on the tab. If you choose “Use Existing URL”, you can choose any URL. It can be internal to your social network, like a blog post with your social network’s guidelines, or external, like a popular search engine.

You can create a fresh Page on your social network by clicking “Create a New Page”, or point the tab to a specific page by clicking “Use Existing URL”.

Click the “Save Tab Settings” button at the bottom of the page. Your new tab has been created!