Monthly Archives: October 2010

Just one more thing…

We’ve been rapidly developing new features here at Ning (there’s plenty more to come), but in this latest round of announcements, we wanted to add one more…

It’s now even easier for Network Creators to manage and monitor their Ning Networks on the go. We’re excited to announce that a Ning iPhone app for Network Creators is now available in the Apple iTunes Store.

This app makes it possible for Network Creators with iPhones, iPads or iPod Touches to access their Plus and Pro Ning Networks. Once you’ve installed the app and signed in, you’ll be able to:

  • Monitor your Ning Network’s daily statistics
  • View, approve, delete or add Blog posts
  • View, approve, delete or add Photos
  • View your members’ Profiles
  • Approve, reject or suspend members
  • Add comments to a Blog post or a profile
  • Send a Broadcast Message
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest Ning news

Best of all, this app is free in the iTunes store. You can download it here today. If you have feedback about the app, please let us know on the Creators Ning Network. We hope to continue adding features and functionality to the app, and expand to other mobile platforms as well (such as Android).

The Ning iPhone app is part of our Ning Everywhere effort, which allows Network Creators to customize, integrate and make their social Web sites accessible on any device or service. While this new iPhone app is for Network Creators to manage their Ning Networks, thanks to the new Ning API, Ning Pro networks can bring a better mobile experience to their members. Check out our Ning Everywhere page for more information about the possibilities opened by the API.

Launching Ning Everywhere

We held our Ning Everywhere launch event on Tuesday night in San Francisco, and we’d like to take a moment to extend our deepest thanks to the companies, artists and Network Creators that helped us successfully kick things off. They include:

Learn more about Ning Everywhere and the new options available, and check out a few photos from the event:

Want to see more? Visit our official Facebook page.

Introducing Ning Publisher for WordPress

Built on the Ning API, Ning Publisher for WordPress allows WordPress blog posts to be automatically published into your Ning Pro Network’s blog section. This allows you to mirror content from your public WordPress blog inside your Ning Network, so your members can add comments without needing to visit a separate website. You can see this in action on the Brooklyn Art Project network.

You can also create a private WordPress blog that publishes directly to your Ning Network. This gives you the same seamless integration you’d get from using Ning’s built-in blogging tools, while allowing you to take advantage of advanced WordPress features and workflows.

Head over to the Ning Publisher for WordPress Help Center article to get started.

Looking for even more blogging options? Learn about our existing support for the MetaWeblog API.

Introducing Skimlinks Integration

We’re pleased to announce a new Ning Extensions integration with Skimlinks. Visit our Ning Everywhere page to enable the functionality on your Ning Plus or Ning Pro network.

Skimlinks helps you earn money from your community’s content effortlessly and transparently by converting your normal links into affiliate links, and turning product references in your content into relevant, geo-targeted shopping links with SkimWords.

Once the extension is activated, you’ll sign up for an account in seconds, the Skimlinks tracking code will be automatically installed on your network and you’ll receive an email message with additional instructions.

Enjoy!

Introducing the Ning API

Today, we’re pleased to announce the official launch of the Ning API. API is an abbreviation for Application Programming Interface; it’s a system that allows trusted mobile or desktop applications and third-party services to interact with your Ning Pro Network. This means your members can see network activity, update their status, and post photos and blog posts on the go.

How should you leverage the new API? That depends on your development experience or budget. If you are a Ning Pro subscriber and a developer (or have access to a developer), you can start building applications that use the API now. Dive right in to our docs and examples. We even have helper classes that will get you started if you’re using Java, PHP, or Python. Find out how to manage your API keys here.

Ning mobile partners

If you’re not a developer, we’ve lined up some amazing partners who will help you build powerful mobile applications for your members, and they offer solutions to fit a wide range of budgets.

  • Mobile Roadie, a Premium Ning partner, creates beautiful iPhone and Android apps that can be tied directly into your Ning Network.
  • Without any special skills, you can create an AppMakr iPhone app and submit it to the Apple Store for approval.
  • DoubleDutch, a provider of location-based apps, offers a smart way to add location and check-ins to your Ning Network.

A few details on how the API works

All Pro Ning Networks will receive the first 10,000 API requests for free, and bundles of 20,000 additional requests will be available at $15/month. Since the API is new for Network Creators, we want to help you get started and let you gauge your Ning Network’s API usage. So, we’re offering all API requests for free until the end of this year.

We’re excited to see how our creative Network Creators are going to leverage the power of the Ning API for their networks.

New Feature for Ning Plus & Pro: Dedicated Test Networks

Today, we’re excited to launch our new Test Network feature, which provides a sandbox environment for Ning Plus and Pro members to try out changes before making them live on their network.

In the past, Network Creators would often create separate networks to try out new themes, test out Ning Apps, or see how a particular piece of code would work before making it live. With the launch of this feature, NCs with Ning Plus and Ning Pro networks can now conveniently create a test network with the same settings as their live Ning Network.

You can get started right now by going to My Network and choosing Test Network under the Tools category. The first time you visit this page, it will show you a “Create Test Network” link. Clicking this link will create your test network, which will automatically open in a new browser window. That’s all you need to do to get started.

Your test network will always be private, so you will be asked to sign in. At creation time, your test network is set up with the same email address and password as your live Ning Network. If you wish, you can change the password. Once signed in, you can safely try out changes in this separate test environment. Your test network will always have a visual call out — a persistent banner at the top of your test network — so you’ll always be able to quickly distinguish your live network from your test network.

 

When your test network is first created, key settings from your live network will be replicated, including your Main Page layout, Text Boxes, and RSS Feeds. Also included will be Feature settings and preferences, Theme, Advanced CSS, Custom Code, Language Editor settings, and the File Manager (Ning Pro only). Note that most content, such as Blogs, Forum discussions, Photos, Videos, Events, and Groups will not be replicated. For full details on the settings, check out this Help Center article.

Want to get other people involved? You can invite up to ten members to your test network. For example, you could invite trusted Admins to provide feedback on potential changes to your live network.

If you’ve made a lot of changes to your test network and need to reset your test network, you can. We’ve added a “Copy Settings” function that allows you to easily reset your test network to reflect the current settings of your live network.

We hope this new feature will help you feel confident in exploring new ideas and choices in a safe environment!

10/10/10: Tell Your Story of One Day on Earth

What a difference a day makes. Or can make.

We’ve had our eye on a Ning Network that has been — for about the last six months — counting down the days, hours, and minutes until one important day: this Sunday.

One Day on Earth’s goal is at once high-minded and idealistic, but ultimately simple in its execution. They want to create an archive of global media to affect positive change, and they intend to include in that archive video footage that represents every single country in the entire world. They’re asking as many people as possible to contribute at least one minute of film that is shot during the 24-hour period of one particular day: 10/10/10.

One Day on Earth Participant Trailer from One Day On Earth on Vimeo.

What’s great about this project is that, with the near ubiquity of mobile phones sporting video cameras, nearly everyone can use (or borrow) a video camera and take just a few minutes out of their Sunday for a unique cause that will stretch a memorable day into an ongoing story. By participating, it will at the very least be a story you can tell on Monday. But more importantly, your story will add up with thousands of other stories to tell One Big Story.

So, what story will you tell this Sunday?

Sign up and see what other people have planned.