Sweets for my sweet…
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Sweets From Sarah - from

One of the benefits of launching the Ning Playground is that we’ve discovered all kinds of wonderful things that we never would have otherwise.

These photos, books, beers and gadgets are just some of the hundreds of fantastic contributions that people have made. (When looking for a picture to illustrate this blog entry, I simply typed “sweets” into the Ning search engine, and came up with this remarkably-serendipitous upload from butjzr. Thanks, David!)

Not only would we like to say thank you to everyone who’s contributed, but I’d like to make it easier for you all to say thank you to each other, too. And the easiest way of expressing your gratitude is with Sweeties.

Sweeties are tiny gifts with which you can show your appreciation to someone. The first time you visit the Sweeties home page, you’ll be given a Sweetie Bag containing three randomly-picked sweeties. (If you get a cherry twist, hold on to it – they’re quite rare.) Each visit after that will get you one free sweetie per day.

Of course, it’s pointless collecting gifts if you can’t give them out. Not only can you give sweeties using the form on the Sweeties home page, but any app that integrates “give a sweetie” links into their contents will let you show appreciation for a contributor. For example, the Photo Sharing With Sweeties app has a “give a sweetie” link under each photo. If you like a photo, click the link; you can send one of your sweeties with an attached message, and it’ll tell the person who uploaded that photo that you really liked it. Want to have a go? Simply click on the candy-box image above, and it’ll let you send a sweetie to butjzr. If you don’t have any sweeties yet, it’ll give you some first. (Enhancing your app with sweetie links is pretty easy.)

Right now (as you can tell from the design, or lack of it) Sweeties is a very experimental project, but I’m interested to see what one can do with Ning social platform to increase interaction across apps. As time goes on I’ll be adding more features to keep track of where sweeties are going, and how people are using them. If you’re interested too, keep an eye on the Sweeties blog.