Monthly Archives: September 2006

A Ning Primer

Hi all! We’re going to be launching three new Social Websites this evening (which I’ll blog about in a bit) and, in putting together a couple of things, it struck me as a good time to summarize here on the Ning Blog a few general points for people curious about Ning.

So, without further ado, here are some frequently asked questions we regularly get and our answers to them.

What is Ning?

Ning is the only fast and free way to create custom Social Websites online today. By custom, we really mean custom.

First, we give you simple, obvious ways to customize how your new site looks and what you want it to be about. [At this point I always get asked “but don’t I have to be a developer?” The answer is no. Getting your own site on Ning takes about 30 seconds and requires you to click a button.]

Second, – and this is the biggie – we also give you a copy of the code running your new site so you can change how it works too [But only if you want to. It’s totally optional. This is the piece that requires some knowledge of HTML, CSS, and PHP to change the guts, which is where there is the confusion about having to be a developer to use Ning. You don’t have to be a developer to get your own custom Social Website on Ning.]

This means that you the option to change every last thing about your new free Social Website. This makes it possible to customize your new site as far as you want to take it.

This ability to change features, add new features, or extend your new site in new ways is possible because Ning is an online platform that let’s you take a Social Website and do what you want with it. Ning also hosts your new site for free and continually makes available great new features you can quickly add to your Social Website running on Ning.

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A Chat with Benjamin Wilkoff, School Teacher

One aspect of Ning about which we’re keenest is the facility it provides for people to go from merely consuming to creating. We call it the Ning Playground because it’s a forum for the best attributes of play: experimentation, creativity, and most of all, fun. Benjamin Wilkoff is a teacher who’s using some of Ning’s playful aspects to give his students a place to to experiment with reading and writing online. He’s also taking advantage of Ning’s easy app creation to rapidly produce a variety of educational resources for his local district. In this conversation I asked him about the many ways he uses online services to assist in his teaching, and how his students have thrived as a result.

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