Monthly Archives: November 2005

The best things in life are… ranked from 1 to 10

Sliced Bread!From cheeses and houses to wristwatches and web startups, our How Much Do I Rock? example app has been put to all kinds of linearly-subjective uses. (I’m particularly fond of Phenomenologist or Not?)

For sheer ambition, however, my current favourite has to be KaiserSoze’s Greatest Inventions And Achievements – its intention being to rank all of human endeavour (from Indoor Plumbing and The Wheel to Dominoes and Jazz) on a one-dimensional scale of greatness. I’d call it the best thing since sliced bread, but that’s only scored 6.78.

New! Anytown Marketplace with Maps

On this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for family, friends, Ning, and a new Example Apps created by Jonathan Aquino, Anytown Marketplace with Maps .

For those of you just tuning in, Anytown Marketplace with Maps is the next generation of Anytown Marketplace, which is a fully-featured marketplace ready for anyone to clone and run for their own area or group. You can edit the categories to suit your own group or area, see listings on a map, and generally connect with other people.

It’s free, easy to set up and customize, and if you need any help whatsoever, drop us a note at and we’ll do what we can to get you exactly what you need.

Happy Thanksgiving!

This one is the turkey holiday, right?

Northwoods Fall Colors, by BasserPlease forgive me: being a Brit, I don’t have much experience with the whole “Thanksgiving” thing. However, I’m heading Stateside shortly, so I’d better get used to strange American customs. I’m starting with this Thanksgiving app, which lets you share the things which you are thankful for this year and converse with others about them.

In addition to my existing list I’d like to thank May for the lovely autumnal banner and colour scheme, basser for sharing the gorgeous pic you can see on the right, and robotwisdom for coming up with the idea in the first place. Have a lovely Thanksgiving, one and all!

Yahoo Maps on Ning!

Jonathan Aquino has been busy. He’s just added Restaurant Reviews with Yahoo! Maps which let’s you use Yahoo! Maps for restaurant locations and
reviews. It automatically detects whether your browser supports the Flash version of it, and if not, it uses the DHTML version. Nifty. We’ll also be adding Yahoo Maps! as a PHP Component you can integrate into any app on Ning here in the next few weeks.

With Restaurant Reviews with Yahoo! Maps you can decide for yourself if Google Maps or Yahoo! Maps provides the better Restaurant Review experience.

Sort of like the great Pepsi Challenge…only not rigged.

Performance of the Ning Playground

I’d like to take a moment to mention a couple of things we are doing
preemptively on performance and scalability. While we’ve only experienced the
occasional slowdown so far (knock on wood!), we think we can do even

To this end, our development team is working away on a significant
performance and scalability upgrade that we’ll roll out in December. That will
be the first of a series of such upgrades over the next several months that
will make the system steadily more scalable and speedy even as the number of
apps, users, and content objects continue to grow.

In the meantime, if you have an app that you think could or should be
faster, please feel free to contact us
and we will help you optimize it. Performance of apps on Ning is a function of
both the app and the Ning Playground, so
we’re happy to help any developer with this as it’s something that helps
everyone on the service.

As always, please feel free to send us thoughts on the general topic at any
time, either at or
via a comment to the blog. Thanks!

Happy six week anniversary, and a fun thing to download

Hi all — it’s been six weeks since we took the covers off of Ning, and we’d like to thank everyone for all of your great ideas, feedback, and creativity! We’ve been blown away by the response and the enthusiasm we’ve seen.

To celebrate, one of our key architects, Martin Traverso, whipped up a fascinating visualization of all of the apps on the Ning playground as of today. I don’t know if it’s art, but I know I like it!

You can view or download it by clicking here. It’s a 500K PDF file.

Restaurant Reviews with Maps: The Fix is In!

If you’ve cloned Restaurant Reviews with Maps and want to add the features described earlier, you’ll need to add one line of code into your app and follow a couple more instructions.

Here are the steps from your app:

  • Sign In and click on the “Edit Source” link in the upper right hand corner of your app
  • On the Edit Source page, click the “Create file” on the right hand side of the page
  • Name the new file ‘update.php’
  • Copy and paste the following line of text into the file: <?php XN_Application::includeFile(‘RestaurantReviewsWithMaps’, ‘/update.php’); ?> then save
  • Visit, replacing ‘yourappname’ with the name for your application
  • Follow the instructions

If you run into any issues, please don’t hesitate to drop us a note at support at ning dot com.

A Quick Tour of This or That

This or That offers anyone the ability to clone and run a head-to-head competition between two things. What are some of the creative things we’ve seen in competition? Well, here’s a few for you to enjoy and share:

If I’ve missed your This or That variation or you are inspired to create a new and even more brilliant one, drop me a note at ceo at ning dot com with the link and I’ll post it.