Category Archives: Platform

Book Communities: a Powerful Tool for Author Discovery and Promotion

The rapid growth of the Internet has painfully disrupted the music and newspaper industries, but there’s ample evidence book publishing is going to come out a winner in their digital transformation. Why? We think it’s because they’ve got community on their side. We’ve seen successful book-focused communities on Ning since we opened up shop, and we’re seeing them grow like no other category. It seems to mirror the wider trends in book publishing.

More books by more people, less from corporations and trees

According to Publishers Weekly, starting in 2008 more books were self-published than those published traditionally. The following year, the number rose to 76% of books being produced by self-publishers or micro-niche publishers. The trends are easy to spot: Online retailers such as Amazon give authors global distribution. The Kindle and iPad are radically changing the way people read. Social platforms offer powerful new ways for authors to efficiently reach a huge audience and for readers to discover new authors. The trends become even more radical when you consider the rise of ebooks. An estimated 3 million books were published in the US in 2011 – up from only 300,000 in 2003!

More people turning to communities to read and be read

These seismic shifts in publishing and reading options have forced emerging authors and their publishers to dream up innovative ways to reach new readers and cultivate the loyalty of existing readers. Increasingly they’re using community platforms like Ning to introduce themselves to new readers, celebrate their biggest fans, and in some cases, extend the philosophy or mission espoused in their books. For readers, these communities are a fantastic way to discover emerging authors, meet favorite authors up close and personal, and in some networks, role play their favorite characters.

 

Places to discover your next good read

Many of the first online book communities created on Ning were a place for authors to collaborate with each other and introduce themselves to readers. These have frequently focused on a single genre of books. A great example is CrimeSpace.ning.com, “a place for readers and writers of crime fiction to meet”. Daniel Hatadi has grown this community to almost 4,000 highly engaged members since launching it in 2007. Another highly successful community is Book Blogs with an astounding 19,000 author and reader members. Razorbill Books, a young-adult fiction division of Penguin Canada, launched Razorbill.ning.com in 2011. It’s a space where readers can find out about anticipated titles before they launch and get up close and personal with acclaimed authors. It’s a unique venue for Razorbill’s authors to promote their books.

A space to cultivate a fan base

Book communities on Ning have also naturally evolved to be places where individual authors can reach their readers. Gena Showalter, a leading romance novel writer, launched Genashowalter.com community as her main website in 2010.  Since then, over 16,000 of her most loyal fans have joined the community to interact with Gena and each other on a daily basis. They find out the latest news about upcoming novels, watch video interviews of Gena and join groups of other readers with similar interests.

Some authors take an if-you-build-it-they-will-come approach to community. Kit Berry, the successful young-adult author of the Stonewylde Series, began by building a loyal following of over 1,000 readers with her “home-grown social network site” — which then led to a book deal with the Orion Publishing Group. (Read about her smart community approach on Futurebook.) Kit is an active participant in her Stonewylde.net community – blogging, responding to discussion posts, and posting photos and videos.

It won’t be surprising to hear that a number of publishers have built online communities for individual authors to attract and cultivate fans.  Little, Brown Books has grown the Beautifulcreaturesnovels.com community to almost 5,000 fans of the series of novels written by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Penguin Young Readers launched the Vampireacademybooks.ning.com community in 2010 and used it to build a loyal following for Richelle Mead of over 6,000 members.

Hachette Book Group has leveraged online communities to activate fans for several of their authors.  One of the most prominent is James Patterson. Myjamespatterson.com is an active community where over 51,000 fans of this mystery and thriller author can bond with each other and rave about the author. Max-dan-wiz.com is an even bigger community of over 68,000 fans focusing on his science fiction Maximum Ride, Daniel X and Witch & Wizard series and novels.

 

Fans who show up to play

One of the most interesting (and powerful) trends with online author communities encompasses role-playing and fan fiction. Stephenie Meyer’s Thetwilightsaga.com (managed by the Hachette Book Group) is a touchstone community that has spawned hundreds more communities. Many of the 500,000 members of Thetwilightsaga.com join a team and act out the lives of their favorite characters from the Twilight series of books. Twilight Saga readers can join the independent Twifans.com or Thecullensonline.ning.com communities to act out their favorite characters. Too young for Twilight? Harry Potter fans can join one of the four Hogwarts houses and have fun with 42,000 other fans on Mugglespace.com. Based on the massive success of these communities, it’s clear that a younger generation of readers sees books and reading as more than just reading books.

 

A broader mission

Online communities can be an even more powerful solution for authors when they use their writing as a springboard to a larger purpose.  Gabrielle Bernstein launched the Women’s Entrepreneurial Network just one year out of college and has been a motivational speaker since 2004. She self-published her first book, Add More ~ing to Your Life: A Hip Guide to Happiness, in 2010.  Her second book, Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles, was published by Random House in 2011. At the same time her motivational books were achieving wide distribution, she built HerFuture.com into a vibrant community over 21,000 strong where Gabrielle shares her philosophy and works with other women to mentor, inspire and connect with each other.

After successfully battling a rare and incurable form of cancer through nutrition, Kris Carr made a documentary about her journey and published a companion book, Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips. Her Crazy Sexy attitude expanded with more books, including Crazy Sexy Diet, targeted at anyone looking for a healthier lifestyle. She launched My.CrazySexyLife.com as a companion to her books. Over 37,000 readers and adherents interact with this “wellness warrior” — and each other — on a daily basis.

One of the latest examples of using writing as a springboard is WANATribe.com,  a community launched by author Kristen Lamb. Kristen is the author of two best-selling books providing insights for authors to use social media to build a loyal fan base of readers. WANATribe.com brings together creative professionals who are dedicated to supporting one another. Since launching only 2 months ago, this community has quickly grown to over 1,300 members — proof that “We Are Not Alone” is a powerful idea!

All told, that’s 16 popular communities on Ning that are serving more than 650,000 members — and that’s not nearly all of the book communities on Ning! We expect this trend of book lovers and bookmakers using Ning for community will continue to mirror ongoing trends. Book publishing isn’t just being disrupted but being remade into something that genuinely incorporates the enthusiasm we all have for our favorite books — by giving us a place to share it.

Nerd Alert! Nerdfighters Using the Power of Community to Increase Awesome and Decrease Suck

We were thrilled to hear a story about Nerdfighters on the radio this morning (WAMU in Washington, D.C.) about their ongoing campaign to make the world a better place using wonderful services like the micro-loan site Kiva. Take a listen:

Not familiar with Nerdfighters? It’s one of those online phenomenons that makes some people scratch their heads and wonder how it is that a rarified group of Internet celebrities can live their lives — and maybe even make a living — by simply existing on the Internet.

This list of Internet celebrities includes Rhett & Link, Smosh, Tobuscus, Freddy Wong and Ze Frank. They’re all masters of the video blog — speaking directly into the camera to anyone who will listen and making their videos as creative and pop-culture-rich as possible. Most of them release a new video out to the world once or twice per week, which helps them organically pick up new followers as people stumble onto their often hilarious and insightful observations about life. Such is the case with Hank and John Green, the two brothers who started Nerdfighters as a way to stay connected via videoblog (one lives in Montana; the other in Indiana).

All of these Internet celebrities use YouTube as their direct-to-the-Internet video broadcasting medium, but what makes them hugely successful is often what they do beyond their YouTube channel (which has an impressive 746,564 subscribers and 246,389,701 video views). The best ones are masters at nurturing communities of online followers in all kinds of locations online — including on Ning. They have over 81,000 members on their Ning site. Serious nerd alert!

In addition to their Ning community, which is one of the most trafficked on the Ning Platform, they have spawned fan Tumblr blogs like Eff Yeah Nerdfighters, Nerdfighters Don’t Fight Nerds, and Little Nerdfighter Things.

We wanted to give a shout out to Nerdfighters for all that they do to “increase awesome and decrease suck.” Their Kiva-raising efforts have resulted in a phenomenal 21,000+ loans totaling over 1 million dollars. Not bad for a bunch of nerds. Keep challenging your community and the world to be a better place!


Join them in donating on Kiva.

Not familiar with NerdFighters? Here’s a recent video:


 

Ning Relaunch: Social, Mobile, VIP

Today, Glam is re-launching Ning as the next generation social platform for creators, businesses, and brands and announcing new ad options, a new mobile web version, and a VIP subscription service.

If you’re already a Ning customer, you may not have noticed any drastic changes since Ning and Glam joined forces to become one entity last December. We’ve been working diligently behind the scenes to make sure the transition has been a smooth one. What did we know when we started? We knew the combination of our two companies was going to be all about social. Ning + Glam = Social Publishing. This short-hand equation sums it up pretty well. Now what, specifically, have we done so far? And what comes next?

Social Aggregator

A big focus this year has been on engineering the heart and driver of engagement on Ning Networks — the Activity Feed. We’ve integrated a range of social aggregation options directly into the Activity Feed. Things like Twitter search, hashtag results, and custom RSS options have helped make Ning the true hub of social activity for Ning Creators. Even better, we’ve been able to drive this development directly in tandem with the launch and growth of Foodie.com, a Glam social network powered by Ning technology that’s been eating up market share in the online food world. Look for even more social networks in that vein, like the new Tend.com social network for parents. Social hubs like these can take advantage of Glam’s advertising reach and Ning’s technology, providing even more momentum to Ning’s already impressive 50 million unique monthly active users.

Social Mobile

ning mobile Perhaps the biggest project this year has been a complete rewrite of the Ning mobile experience. We’ve been working on it with our beta group of testers for the past few months, and we’re happy to report that all Network Creators can turn on the beta right now if they wish — look for it in the Ning Labs section of your dashboard! It’s a major revamp that eliminates the need for Network Creators to create customized apps for every platform (and every app store). This new version works for mobile devices, iPads and tablets right out of the box. It’s been designed in future-friendly HTML5, and it’s a giant leap forward in usability and on-the-go convenience. Best of all, it’s a great starting point for ongoing advancements. What’s next with this new mobile platform? More money-making opportunities with Glam mobile ads. Ning Creators will soon be able to earn some additional revenue on that all-important and ever-growing mobile traffic.

Glam Social Ads on Ning

Just as Ning has already made Glam more social, Glam is helping Ning become more advertising friendly. We started by rolling out a program for larger Ning Networks to run premium, high-quality Glam brand advertising on the Ning Platform. It’s been a great success, and we’re happy today to be able to hint at more revenue generating opportunities in the future — for Ning Networks large and small. We’ll soon be introducing optional, easy-to-turn-on ads that can appear directly on Ning Networks and will allow even more Ning Creators to join in the revenue generating opportunities.

Ning VIP & Design Services

We’ve always had requests for more. For example, some business and professional customers have asked us for a higher level of service or a premium SLA (service level agreement). Others want our internal design folks to take our collected years of experience and make them a unique, stand-out design for their social network. We’ve been adding some of those services quietly in the past few months, and with the re-launch of Ning we’re now ready to officially roll out the new Ning VIP plan, complete with tons of storage and bandwidth, a dedicated account manager, training, consultation, and custom design and development. Don’t need the full VIP treatment? You’ll be happy to know that we also offer a range of Design Services for both new and existing customers.

The Ning Product Roadmap

We’ve always been different than most tech companies in that we publish a public Product Roadmap. It’s our way of showing our customers that we’re committed to continual development that is based on specific features they’ve requested us to build. If you’ve been following along this year on the Creators Network, you’ll know that we’ve already:

  • Added a slew of social options like expanded sign-up and sign-in using LinkedIn and Windows Live. Up next: an improved invitation system with additional third-party integrations.
  • Introduced Member Categories + Badges which provide all kinds of new ways to expand member reputation, as well as provide an enhanced sense of belonging to the community. Plus, avatar badges can be a whole lot of fun.
  • Rewrote the Ning Chat application completely from the ground up in HTML5.
  • Transformed our limited customer knowledgebase into a beautiful new butterfly of a Help Center. We’ve consolidated all of the content that our customers need to be successful in one handy location.

Those are just a few of the things we’ve created in the first half of the first year of Ning and Glam, and we look forward to adding more and building more. For example, be on the lookout for a massive redesign of to the administrative Dashboard that Network Creators use nearly every single day. It’s all part of the Glam + Ning equation that’s already adding up to some winning numbers.

Making your Ning site look beautiful

As Art Basel kicks off this week, we wanted to highlight the tools many of our customers are using to make eye candy out of their Ning communities — turning their sites into social destinations looking more like works of art and hubs for creativity and conversation.

Out of the box, Ning communities come packing the punches with the Ning Design Studio. The armada of options from the Design Studio means greater flexibility to customize the look and feel of Ning sites. All sites come with 30 themes and 8 layouts to start. From there, the sky’s the limit when it comes to creativity, look and features available.

Want to change the layout or number of columns? Looking for the font color to match other branding assets elsewhere? Need to easily switch out a background image with a takeover ad from an advertiser? You can customize the appearance of these and other features like the header image, navigation, tabs, module treatment, format for links and buttons — no problem.

With Ning Plus and Pro, you have even greater design flexibility with full access to your site’s CSS — opening the flood gates to limitless design and professional controls over branding.

We invite you to also check out Ning Creators, where our customers are sharing hints and tips for building and maintaining a snazzy-looking site. The Ning Design community is also a great resource for getting the most out of the Ning Design Studio.

Learn more about the Ning Design Studio here, and make your Ning site pop, too!

Social: In the veins of your Ning community

At Ning, we’re all about social. It’s in our veins. We play well with others like Twitter and Facebook; and we focus on how other services like them can best be implemented into the Ning Platform to give you a seamless and awesome experience for building and contributing to a Ning community, and sharing content elsewhere.

We encourage Ning Creators to take full advantage of other social platforms as they build a social strategy and online presence to reach their goals. Here are 8 ways your Ning community works with other social platforms, making your Ning site an integral part of that strategy:

Adding Social Sign-In to your Ning site allows people to sign-up and sign-in with their social identity on Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yahoo!, WindowsLive and LinkedIn. It’s 1 less login account to remember, and allows for 1-click access and engagement. Learn more.

 
 

Track web traffic and see how people discover your Ning site and its content with full support of Google Analytics. It’s simple to add, and gives you the valuable insights you need to make informed decisions on where else to focus your marketing and social efforts. Learn more.

 

Use our Social Feeds feature to automatically pull in the activity from your social channels into your Ning site. Easily add streams from your Facebook page, multiple Twitter accounts and custom searches, and RSS feeds. It just works. Learn more.

 

Members can post their status updates from your site directly to Facebook and Twitter, a simple way to share what’s important across multiple social profiles. Learn about sharing to Facebook and Twitter.

 

Add Ning Apps and Extensions to enable full integration with other social services. Support for YouTube, WordPress, Ustream and SoundCloud add a streamlined and slick interface for you and your members, giving you options for pulling in content from across the web into your Ning site. Learn more.

 

Big into photos? There’s no reason to be uploading photos in 2 places if you use Flickr. We give you an easy way to import content added to your Flickr account directly into your Ning site. Learn more.

 

The share and Like buttons you want are always available to you. Add buttons for Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Or use the Network Like option to have the likes live within your community. Either way, get your members engaged with no coding needed. Learn more.

 

Constant Contact is a great platform for email marketing and communicating externally of your Ning site. You can synchronize your members’ contact information to your constant contact account, automatically. Learn more.

 

Since we’re on the topic, be sure to follow and stay connected with us:


 
 

As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day — and we’re a work in progress. What features and services do you want to see added to the Ning Platform?

Introducing the Ning VIP Plan

like buttons Today, we’re rolling out a new Ning plan for customers who need extra special treatment: the Ning VIP plan.

Ning has become known as a flexible, powerful social platform. Within minutes, anyone can create an online community that’s completely custom. A wide range of individuals, organizations and companies depend on Ning to bring people together – right down to the smallest groups that may only have a few dozen members.

Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen Ning Creators take the platform to a whole new level. Many successful communities with big audiences are generating significant revenue. Others use Ning as a co-publishing platform to fuel social conversations for their brand and products. These customers are demanding more from Ning. They need to be confident that their network won’t go down. And, if something serious does happen, they need to know Ning will respond quickly, even at 3 a.m. on a Sunday morning. They need an account manager who understands their objectives, the progress they’ve made with their network and the challenges they face – someone who can provide a high level of service and advice. They also need deeper metrics to understand how members are interacting on their network and sharing content on the social web.  And, they need professional design services so they can launch a community that communicates their brand and values.

We frequently receive inquiries for this higher level of service and premium SLA (service level agreement) from prospective customers as well. Up until now, we haven’t offered a subscription plan or a dedicated team who can address these needs. In several cases, we’ve negotiated a special deal and tasked a number of internal support and engineering resources to deliver this special treatment. With others, the customer either purchased a Ning Pro subscription or we lost out on their business.

Today, I’m excited to announce the launch of the Ning VIP Plan:

  • Guaranteed uptime
  • Point-in-time recovery back-ups
  • 24/7 IT support for urgent issues
  • A dedicated account manager
  • Monthly social engagement reporting
  • Launch consultation and training
  • Professional design and development
  • 1 Terabyte of storage and 10 Terabytes per month of bandwidth

Due to the location and time zone of our VIP account managers, we can initially only deliver the VIP Plan to customers in the U.S., Canada and Germany. If you’re interested in the new Ning VIP plan, please give us a call at 1-866-992-0971 (U.S. and Canada) or 0800-101-4903 (Germany).

Security Updates on the Ning Platform

On April 12th, we received confidential details of a security vulnerability that could allow someone to sign in as an arbitrary Ning user. The intent was not malicious, and to our knowledge and reasonable belief, there has been no unauthorized access to user accounts. The Ning engineering team immediately took several steps: We changed the encryption information to generate a sign-in cookie, and we changed where the information was stored. In addition, we proactively strengthened the encryption algorithm. The changes were then immediately rolled out across the Ning platform starting late last week. Ning Creators and their members may have noticed the protective measures when we forced all users to sign-in again. At this time, we are confident that we have addressed the vulnerability.

We would like to thank the team that identified the vulnerability and collaborated with us to fix it. We take privacy and security very seriously at Ning. We would again like to emphasize that due to the confidential way we were approached, no user accounts have been maliciously compromised.

Member categories and badges are here!

Not too long ago, we laid the groundwork for our member categories feature by streamlining the management of your existing and prospective members. This feature is now live and we wanted to share with you the details and how it works.

Categories
You can create up to 50 categories and assign members to them. All of your members will begin in the default category, called “Members.” You can create and edit new categories via the Member Categories tab in the Member Management section. A couple of important limitations to note: the default category can’t be edited, and members can only belong to one category at a time.

Listings
When you create a category, you have an option to create a listing page exclusively for the members in that category, and you can create listing pages for up to 10 categories. When you do this, a new submenu item for the category will appear in the submenu items for Member pages. You can choose the text for the submenu listing, so that you can pluralize or customize it. This is a great way to highlight specific members within your community.

Image and Text Badges
Each category that you create can also have an optional image or text badge that gets added as an overlay on a member’s profile picture. Whether you create badges of honor or badges of shame, this is an excellent way to identify admins, reward special members, or just make it easy for visitors to identify different types of members. Text badges are based on the category name, and can be placed at the top or bottom of the profile picture. You can set the text color, background color, and the background opacity for each badge, so you can get as creative as you like!

Images badges can be positioned in one of the four corners of a member’s profile picture. We’ve included over 20 badges to get you started, and you can upload and manage up to 50 of your own custom badges!

CSS Tricks
Designers and Ning Creators comfortable with CSS will be pleased to know that each category made is associated with a CSS class added to the #xg_themebody div in profile pages. This means you can create CSS styles that will be applied to the profile pages of members in a category. This will let you do things like adjust the background or color scheme of every member of your network who’s in a specific category.

Messaging
Once you’ve assigned your members to categories, you can use new functionality in the Broadcast Message feature to send a broadcast message to just those members. Choose any category you’ve created and proceed from there.

A few ways you might use this

Suggested use for categories: Teachers & Students
You run a community for karate enthusiasts and want to reward members with the best zen advice; spotlight the admins who help you run your community; and identify long-time masters who practice as professional teachers and run their own expertise-based groups on your community (sensei).

  • Create a category for members who say smart zen-like things and surprise them with a zen-circle icon badge in the bottom-right area of their profile picture.
  • Create a category for admins. Then, make a text badge that says “Admin” and slap it on your admins’ profiles by assigning them to the category. Instant authority. Create a listing page of your admins so new members can easily see who they are.
  • Show the teachers on your community some respect with a Japanese two-character sensei logo — in the upper right-hand corner of their profile picture because kanji reads from top to bottom!

Suggested use for badges: Marathon Masters
You run a sporty community of long-distance runners who regularly keep track of the number of marathons they’ve tackled. You always encourage them to post a summary blog post after each new marathon describing how they overcame the toughest moment of the race. It’s not a totally competitive network, but there sure is something awesome about rewarding people who have run 1, 5, 10, or even 20 marathons in a lifetime! Set up categories for each one of these designations and reward them with I, V, X, and XX text badges — old school Ancient Greece marathon style.

Suggested use for messaging categories: Quiet Targets
Your nonprofit community for animal lovers doesn’t have a hierarchy — everyone is equal and respected in their own way. But… you wouldn’t mind sending them targeted broadcast messages from time to time. Create a batch of categories for owners of dogs, cats, birds, lizards — you name it. Remember: You don’t have to expose these categories to members if you don’t want. If you have a special promotion you only want to send to lizard lovers, lock and load a broadcast message.

Suggested use for CSS category class: Classy Profile Pages
You run a community of educators, entrepreneurs, and business leaders all focused on spreading the gospel of e-learning. You rely heavily on both experts and sponsors to make your site run. They don’t want to be seen as behaving in a crass, commercial way in forum conversations, and you don’t want to be seen as unwittingly enabling unknown advertising to your members. Set up categories to transparently identify them, and you can even go a step further (if you have the CSS chops) and give their profile pages special headers, colors, and treatments. Expert profile pages!

Let us know how you’re using member categories and badges within your community!

Platform-wide scheduled maintenance this Friday, December 2

We will be performing maintenance on the Ning Platform this coming Friday, December 2, from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. (midnight) Pacific Time. During this time, all Ning Networks will be unavailable for 2 hours.

We’re proud to have been able to realize a consistently high uptime over the past year. To keep this consistent record high, we need to perform some crucial upgrades to hardware, systems and databases. We want to ensure your Ning Network stays online and speedy for the next year and beyond.

During this time:

  • Your Ning Network will display a maintenance page matching your current theme customization to let your members know that your community is temporarily unavailable.
  • We will update the Ning Status Blog when this maintenance begins and ends.
  • We’ll also provide ongoing updates during this maintenance period on the Ning Status Blog and on our @Ning Twitter account.
  • The Creators Network will also be down for maintenance. We will update on Creators when all is complete.

We recommend advising your members of this downtime in advance via a broadcast message and/or other notices on your Main page. We’ve put together some boilerplate language you can use for messaging by simply copying and pasting. Or, tailor it for your community:

    • Formal: We will be performing maintenance on [network_name] this Friday, December 2, from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. (midnight) Pacific Time. During this time, [network_name] will be unavailable. We hope this won’t be too much of an inconvenience as we work to perform some necessary upgrades.
    • Informal: Just wanted to give everyone a heads-up that we need to perform some simple but necessary maintenance on [network_name] this coming Friday, December 2. We’ll need to take the site down from 10-midnight (Pacific). During these 2 hours, we’ll simply show a message asking folks to check back later. Thanks in advance for your patience while we tune up the site!

We know that maintenance like this can be an inconvenience, and we appreciate your patience while we perform it!

Building Outside The Frame: Aviary Ning Extension Allows For Integrated Photo Editing

Today, we’re excited to unveil the Aviary Ning Extension, a tool that can increase member engagement and inject fun and utility into Ning social websites using photos feature.

The Big Picture

Photo sharing continues to be one of the most popular features on Ning, second only to the inbox/forum. By working closely with Aviary (www.aviary.com), a leading provider of creative web and mobile tools, we make photo sharing even more powerful and fun for your community through the Ning API.

Our priority is to provide the best social experience for Ning Creators; we’re constantly pushing the innovation envelope through product development and partnerships. By strategically partnering with the best-in-class providers and services, like we’ve done with Aviary today, and uStream and SoundCloud earlier this year, we can roll-out new functionality even faster.

The new Aviary extension lets Ning Plus and Pro Creators and members easily edit photos directly in a Ning Network. It’s easy to make useful tweaks like cropping and red-eye reduction; editing the contrast, brightness and colors; adding text to photos; and — if you’re feeling creative and playful — placing “stickers” like mustaches, hats and sunglasses directly onto the images of people and objects in your photos.

As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Aviary’s Ning Extension gives people the freedom to make these changes on the fly, meaning these creative tweaks happen directly within Ning Networks and lets you speak volumes, such as on PetBrags.com:

How it Works

Ning Creators and members have always been free to express themselves, and now, our partnership with Aviary opens the floodgates for letting them do so in a new, unique and fun way. Aviary’s suite can be applied across Ning Networks and even integrates with making changes to member profile photos — now, it’s never been easier to show off your personality!

Once Aviary is up and running, simply hover your mouse over a photo you want to edit and you’ll see a “Photo Stickers & Effects” option. This will start up Aviary’s editor and encourage you to apply updates, transformations and filters to your photo. Once the changes you want to make are complete, click on “Save” and the modified photo will be saved back to the Ning Network.

To activate the Aviary Ning Extension, just head to your network dashboard and visit the Ning Extensions page (under Tools). Once there, click “Activate” to turn it on. For troubleshooting visit this Ning Help Center article.