Kyle Ford
Kyle Ford
Your Own Branded Empire
5 (100%) 1 vote

One of the nifty new features we just rolled out to the Ning Videos and Ning Photos sites (Ning Group has had it for a bit) is a small “About This Site” module that sits at the top left column of the page. This little area can be easily customized by clicking the “Edit” button (no need to dig into any code), and can accept regular text or HTML.

Why is this cool? Good question. Well aside from providing site owners with a handy place to describe their site or drop in embeddable content, it’s a great way to link together multiple Ning sites and create a Branded Empire (patent pending – ok, not really).

Here’s an example:

As I’m in the twilight of my twenties, my ten-year high school reunion is coming up in a few weeks. Since I’m not going to be able to attend, I thought it’d be cool to create a Ning Group site that’d give Libertyville High School Class of ’96 members (go Wildcats!) a place to reconnect without paying fees or digging through countless MySpace pages trying to find someone from their class.

LHS ScreengrabWell, the official reunion committee picked up on the site and it caught on like wildfire. Pretty soon I created LHS 1996 Videos and LHS 1996 Photos companion sites. This resulted in even more interesting stuff, including this video from a former classmate’s FOX-televised “Wedding on Ice,” and plans to send cameraphone pictures to the site “live” from the reunion, which you can do on any photos or videos site on Ning with the handy unique email address we provide to people automatically.

The one drawback, however, was that as my little empire grew, there was no easy way to cross-link the three sites so that users could wander from one to the next without leaving my magical branded reunion theme park.

No more! As soon as the new “About This Site” module debuted, I pasted in some simple HTML and linked ’em up.

Some other situations where this cross-linked setup is/could be cool…

Blogs
Extend your personal brand to some Videos, Photos and Group sites. I’ve done a bit of this with House of Kyle Videos and House of Kyle Photos.
Weddings, Births or Vacations
Similar to the reunion, you can quickly and easily organize sites around an event.
Fansites
Love Lost? Maybe Veronica Mars? Create an instant fan empire.
Groups at Your School
Be it a fraternity/sorority, a club, a team, whatever…the potential is endless.

As always, we love hearing about the creative things people are doing with their Ning sites, so drop us a line and let us know!