Monthly Archives: September 2006

New Stuff!

As promised, we’re launching three brand new Social Websites tonight: Ning Videos, Ning Photos, and Ning Group.

Here’s how each of these work:

You come in and make a copy, name it, and choose a style. Then use them for whatever you want. Invite your friends to join and share away. You can also add your photos, videos, and profiles to the originals, but things get much more interesting when you make your own sites.

Some examples for what you might want to do would be a videos site devoted to skateboarding tricks, a fan site for a band, a study group site, or a photos site to add to your blog. The sky’s the limit.

Making a copy of Ning Photos, Ning Videos, and Ning Group, gets you something like this:

Custom Sites

These screens are all examples are all copies of the new Ning Videos, Ning Photos and Ning Group Social Websites.

Check them out and let us know what you think!

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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Walk It Like Ye Talk It!

Yarrr!As Talk Like A Pirate Day draws to a close, we’re all parlayed out. I’ve avasted myself into exhaustion, and I’ve no arrrs left for any sailor. Besides, there’s a big difference between just talking like a pirate and living like one. Where can a salty dog get some excitement?

For those of us who want to take baby steps toward swashbuckling, our own Jon Aquino has produced the delightful Make Your Own Adventure. He describes it as “an interactive, collaborative novella in the form of a social web app.” In other words, it’s a adventure story in which everyone can not only explore, but contribute as well. His supplied example features a creaky ship in treacherous waters – perfect for the day!

Even better, the app’s designed to be cloned; if you fancy starting a new story from scratch (about, say, pirates in space!) just hit the Get Your Own! tab in the Ningbar. If you spin a particularly fine yarn or want some assistance with a work in progress, share it in the comments of this post. We can’t promise that everyone will keep your story on tack, but it’s bound to take some interesting directions…

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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