Monthly Archives: June 2009

New advanced management options

As we mentioned Sunday, the upcoming release to your social network contains a new bulk media uploader and a new list view of the Members and Friends pages. This release, now scheduled for July 7, will also include some new Advanced Options and other improvements making it easier to manage your social network. Additionally, we’re making it easier for members to manage their profile pages by adding a “My Page” link to the Settings page.

Advanced Options for managing your social network

In the upcoming release to your social network, we’re adding three advanced options for Network Creators to manage their social network. These are the new features:

  • Domain Redirection: If you’ve purchased and set up the “Point your domain name to your social network” premium service, you can make sure all traffic to your social network appears under your domain name.
  • Google Webmaster Tools: See Google’s view of your social network, define a preferred URL that you’d like to show up in search results, and set how frequently Google should crawl your social network.
  • Robots.txt file: Edit and control which pages of your social network are indexed by search engines.

You’ll be able to access each of these features by clicking the new “Advanced Options” link on the Manage tab:

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Improvements to approving and moderating content

In addition to these Advanced Options, we’ve also made a number of improvements to the process of approving content. Network Creators and Administrators will now be able to see private photos, events, and blog posts in their entirety before deciding to approve them.

Also, to make it easier to organize and categorize content, Network Creators and Administrators can now edit tags and titles of content, and add tags to members’ content. Tags added by Network Creators and Administrators won’t be editable by the member who added the content. However, if a Network Creator changes a title and the member decides to change it back, the member’s title will stand.

New My Page controls

We’ve added a “My Page” link to the page you see when you click “Settings.” This link replaces the “Appearance” link that you see today, and offers an expanded set of controls in one central location. By clicking on the “My Page” link, you’ll be able to change your profile photo, set your profile page’s theme, and choose your profile page’s address. You’ll also be able to manage Apps that you’ve added to your profile page. Here’s how it will look:

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And that’s it! As always, we’re happy to answer any questions and appreciate your feedback at the Ning Help Center.

The 405 Club for New York’s (un)employed

405Club_blog

The 405 Club is New York’s (Un)employment social network. Named after the $405 per week that the unemployed can receive in New York State, The 405 Club is all about members finding their next job and taking advantage of unemployment while it lasts.

Ultimately, The 405 Club serves as a fantastic job resource. Groups drill down to specific career paths, like Marketing and Technology. Useful third party sources, like a Twitter Job Search widget, are placed in text boxes on the main page. And an RSS box pulls in job posts from other websites. This post asks whether your resume should exceed 1 page in length, and offers some pro tips on the subject.

A social network for pugs and their people

Pugslife-1

Pugslife is a social network for people who love their pugs. Members discuss the ups and downs of being a new pug parent, health issues, and organize in person meetups. They’ve also added nearly 12,000 photos and over 200 videos of their pugs doing everything from playing with their puppy siblings to going for a drive to taking a nap.

Pugslife has added a “Pug FAQs” section using the Notes feature. With the Language Editor, they changed the name of Notes to Pug FAQs, then filled in tons of helpful information for people who own or are interested in owning a pug. From information on pug rescue organizations to famous owners to tips to stop shedding to information on health problems common to pugs, the Pug FAQs section is a valuable resource to current and prospective pug owners alike.

New articles in the Ning Workshop

planning

A month ago, we launched a new feature in the Ning Help Center called Ning Workshop, which is a set of tutorials to aid you in creating a successful, vibrant, active social network. Since we launched the Workshop, we’ve added more tutorials including how to Use Google Analytics to track sign ups, how to create in-network FAQ or Help Center and how to add a store to your social network.

We also enabled the ability to download as a pdf and print out the Workshop. The Workshop functions well as individual tutorials but we’d heard from a few Network Creators that they wanted a physical copy of the whole thing to highlight and take notes. To get a copy yourself, head over to the Ning Workshop and click the PDF icon.

We’ll continue to add new articles so if there’s a tutorial you’d like to see or if you have feedback, we’d love to hear from you in the Ning Help Center.

A social network for T-Pain’s record label

Nappy Boy Online - The Official Website of Nappy Boy & T-Pain

Nappy Boy Online is the official website and social network of hip hop artist T-Pain and his record label, Nappy Boy. The artists on his label all have profiles on the social network and write blog posts to keep fans updated on everything from last night’s BET Awards to rehearsals for their upcoming tour to videos from the studios. Blog posts from T-Pain, Tay Dizm, and others are highlighted front and center in the middle column of the main page.

Members of the social network can stay connected to T-Pain and the label’s family across the internet thanks to a handy text box in the left column of the social network. The text box contains links to the record label’s official Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube profiles. To further drive people to the social network, each of these external profile pages contain links to Nappy Boy Online. This is a great way to unite an online presence across multiple social networks and drive people back to the social network.

Safe tanning at FakeBake

Fake Bake

Fake Bake is a UK-based company that makes and sells self-tanning products. Their social network by the same name connects self-tanners around the world to discuss achieving the perfect glow, promote Fake Bake’s products, and highlights the company’s “Save your skin” campaign. Members are reminded that the only safe tan is a fake tan, and they’re encouraged to “live the lie” of a faux glow.

Members of this social network can even learn how to host their own Fake Bake Spray Tan parties. Fake Bake is currently running a contest with several several sets of prizes to give away. Members can win by either writing the best blog post about a hilarious shopping experience, or by inviting the most people to join the social network. The current leaders in the competition are posted in a text box front and center on the main page, encouraging others to participate and rewarding the members in the lead for their work.

New Media Uploader and List View of Members

**Update: This release is now scheduled for July 7.**

Following on the heels of Thursday night’s Chat and Latest Activity release, we have another release to your social network currently scheduled for July 7 Tuesday, June 30th. In this release, the bulk media uploaders that members use to add photos, videos, and music are being upgraded to make it easier to quickly add content to your social network. In addition, the Members and Friends pages will move from the grid view you see today to a list view to make it easier to skim members and make new friends.

Redesigned media uploader

We’ve redesigned the bulk media uploader to make uploading photos, videos and music as easy as possible. Here’s how the new media uploader will look on the “Add Photos” page:

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Just click the “Click to Add Photos” icon to select which images you’d like to upload:

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Once you’ve uploaded your photos, you’ll be able to create a new album for them or assign your photos to an existing album you’ve created:

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Uploading images straight to an album should make it much easier to organize your photos. From this page you’ll also be able to rename photo titles, rotate your photos, and add descriptions and tags just by clicking the “Add more details for these photos” link.

New list view on the Members and Friends pages

Today, Members and Friends pages display members in a grid view. With this release, these pages will move to a list view. This will make it easier to get a skimmable view of members, find new friends, and take the actions — Add a Comment, Send a Message, Add as Friend — that make sense for these pages.

At launch, these pages will display up to 21 members per page (the same number you see today). We’ll monitor activity on the Members and Friends pages, and if it makes sense we’ll reduce the number of members per page to 10.

Here’s how the Members page will look to a regular member:

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In addition to the “Add a Comment”, “Send a Message” and “Add as Friend” links, Network Creators and Admins will see “Feature” and “Ban Member” links. This change won’t be optional for some of the same reasons we didn’t make the profile photos on the Latest Activity feature optional last week: we’ve got early data showing that this display will be more effective for driving more page views and fostering friendships between your members than the current one.

We appreciate that this is a new look for the Members and Friends pages and it might take some time to grow on you. While we want your feedback in any case, give it a try before hating it. If after a few weeks you still can’t get used to it, by all means let us know what’s happening on your social network.

Grassroots Labour in New Zealand

Grassroots Labour - Social democracy meets social networking

Grassroots Labour is where social democracy meets social networking. Members and supporters of the New Zealand Labour Party use the social network to discuss issues and organize their efforts. Events, like fundraisers and rallies, are an important part of Grassroots Labour and are given a prominent spot near the top of the middle column. The many Groups on Grassroots Labour allow members to find others with their specific interests or in their region.

From the minute members join, this social network gets them talking: two of the customized profile questions new members can fill out are “Why do you support Labour?” and “What one thing would you like the Party to do that it’s not doing now?” Adding profile questions that ask new members to share their opinions promotes conversation on the social network. It’s also a great starting point to engage new members in the discussions already happening.

A collective of photographers, all of out Louisville

Louisville Photography Collective

The Louisville Photography Collective is a social network for artists who choose photography as their medium and who live in or around Louisville. Not surprisingly, the Photos section on the Louisville Photography Collective has thousands of photos uploaded to it, with content ranging from family portraits to architecture shots. Using the ability to feature content, this social network highlights the best photographs and encourages other members to check them out.

To showcase featured photos on your social network, head to the main page and locate the photos box. Click the “Edit” button and choose to display “Featured” content. Next, find a photo you’d like to feature on the main page and click the “Feature” link on the photo’s detail page. Or, if you want to draw even more attention to these choice photos, you can encourage members to check them out by adding a text box with a link to the featured photos page, like Louisville Photography Collective has done.

The spirit of photography at Photogeist

Photogeist - The Spirit Of Photography

Photogeist is “a place where people who love photography share and learn.” This new social network seeks to unite members who are serious about photography to discuss how they discovered their passion and share their stories. The Photos section is full of beautiful member photography, from old-fashioned family bonding to brilliant sunsets to bridal shoes to a misty, ominous Ferris wheel.

Members can share what inspires them on Photogeist, thanks to the Inspiration tab that’s been added using the Tab Manager. Inspiring words and favorite photographers are discussed. Members also share the stories behind their favorite work, like the photo and story by Network Creator Brad Wieland, currently highlighted on the main page.