Monthly Archives: December 2006

Ning Photos + eBay REST API = Instant Embeddable Slideshows

Our new “eBay Seller Photos” site makes it a snap to drop an embedded slideshow of your auction photos into your auction pages or anywhere else on the Internet It’s a version of our popular Ning Photos site that’s been juiced up with some eBay-specific features, all made possible by the eBay REST API.

Getting your own eBay Seller Photos site just takes a few seconds (just like getting your own copy of any Ning site) — visit and click on the big fat “Get your own” link. Enter your eBay User ID into the configuration panel of your new site, and then your site is automatically populated with photos from all your existing auctions. From there, you can add more photos, generate slideshow embeds for one auction or all your auctions, and edit which photos appear in which slideshows.

The eBay Seller Photos site is a modified version of Ning Photos. It uses a few new eBay REST API functions to work its eBay-related magic. If you’re an eBay API developer (or want to be one), the site is a great place to start to see how the basics of the REST API work. Inside your copy of the site, take a look at the file /widgets/photo/lib/helpers/Photo_EbayHelper.php to see what’s going on.

Especially when combined with PHP’s SimpleXML extension, the eBay REST API is a breeze to work with — the requests you make to eBay’s servers are just regular old GET requests, with assorted query string parameters describing what you’re looking for: info about a particular auction, all the auctions listed by a particular user, and so on. The responses are XML documents with a predictable structure, so pulling out the information you need with SimpleXML is easy.

Just in Time for Tonight’s Holiday Parties…

We’ve got a longish planned downtime tonight to give our hardworking Ning platform infrastructure some love.

The good news is that this means you can go to your holiday parties tonight and not feel guilty that you’re not glued to your site. Ok, so maybe that’s not what you were going to do tonight.

Anyways, our servers thank you for your patience!

Blogging Sins

I’ve committed one of the great blogging sins. I let this blog sit idle for the past week and a half. In this case, the blog has been the casualty of alot of hard work on the next major turn of Ning which we’ll be rolling out as a closed beta here in the next two weeks and releasing publicly in February.

I’ll be talking here in the coming weeks more about the new release and what we’re doing. In the meantime, excuse the fact that there will be lighter posting. I think that the result will be well worth it.

Just because I’ve been remiss in posting doesn’t meant here hasn’t been a ton of new sites popping up on Ning. Here’s a smattering for you to check out:


This is a Ning Group site for supporters of presidential candidate Mitt Romney.


This is amazing, if not sort of trippy. You come, you draw, and a little dude on a bike rides your lines. Hence, linerider. Have a look:
And a personal favorite due to my unhealthy obsession with French Bulldogs (despite not actually having one), FrogDog has created a host of sites from entertaining to informative around all things Frenchies.

Checkout French Bulldog Cuteness Wars, Frenchie Vets, and Frogster in the French Bulldog network.