Monthly Archives: October 2008

Snapping pictures in the Photo Pit

At any concert these days, you’ll see a bunch of people angling to get to the front of the stage. It’s not a teenage fan, though they might be there, too. It’s photographers who now populate the front row at any given rock show. Whether amateur or professional, the place for concert photographers to meet and network is in the Photo Pit.

No surprise here: the photos section is where the action is on this network.

To see a series of photos from the same show, navigate by album. Alice Cooper is still rocking hard, after all these years! The same could be said about Skid Row, who seem to be commanding the stage like nobody’s business.

Photographers who are seasoned pros and those who are just starting out, can collaborate, trade tips and admire each other’s work when they entire the Photo Pit!

Reminder: Changes to Premium Services Pricing This Weekend

We posted here a few weeks ago about some upcoming changes to premium services for new networks only.

To recap, we are raising the price of the “Control the ads” premium service from $19.95 to $24.95/month. We are also raising the price of the “Remove Ning promotion links” premium service from $7.95 to $24.95/month. There will be no changes to the price of “Use your own domain” and “Get more storage and bandwidth” premium services.

This will only impact new networks created after November 1st. If you have a social network today, there will be no impact on the price of your premium services, even if you purchase them for your network after November 1st.

If you have a network today and after November 1st decide to purchase, say, “Control your ads,” then it will be $19.95/month. If you create a network after November 1st, then the option to “Control your ads” will be $24.95/month on this new network.

We’re happy to answer questions about either of these updates here or via the Ning Help Center.


Tonight’s release is live!

We’ve just rolled out a mini-release tonight, adding a whole set of minor improvements to your network. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Simplified URLs for Better Search Engine Optimization. Content uploaded on your network, such as blog posts, videos, photos and forum posts will have new, simple URLs based on the title of the content. URLs for content uploaded before this release will not change to short URLs tonight. Uploading new content after this release or changing the title of any older content will generate a short URL. Going forward, both the old and new URLs will work, so there is no need to update old links anywhere.
  • Network Icon as Favicon. Favicons are the little logos you see in the tabs on your browser. We’ll now automatically create a favicon from your network icon. You also can upload your own custom favicon from the Network Information page.
  • Network Timezone. You can now set the timezone of your network on the “Network Information” page under the Managetab.
  • Event Invitations. Network Creators and administrators can invite all members to an event.
  • Improved banning. Banning members from your network will now take place behind the scenes, instead of having to keep your browser window open while banning a member. No matter how much content is being removed, the normal banning pop-up will disappear after a few short seconds, allowing you to continue browsing the network.
  • HTML Links in Activity Feed. Links can now be placed in custom latest activity messages, found on the “Latest Activity” section of the Manage tab:
  • Increase Friend Maximum. Members of your network can now have a maximum of 20,000 friends, instead of the current 5,000.

If you notice any issues, please contact the Help Center.

Jump in at down the tubes

Can’t get enough of British comics? Get your daily fix at down the tubes, a network for fans of British comics.

The perfect place to start is of course the video section. Check out the collection of scenes on video comics and add your own favorites. In the forum, share your thoughts on past and current comics and even pick up pointers on creating comics.

Stay up-to-date on the latest relevant news in the blog section. Recent topics cover humour contests and iphone comics. On top of this, there is a featured comic each week and instructions on how to create your own. Since we last blogged about down the tubes in April, hundreds of comic photos have been added. With so many examples to learn from, now is the time to jump in at down the tubes.

Chocolate Rain’s online home

If you made it through through 2007 without hearing Chocolate Rain, the strangely captivating song by Tay Zonday, then it’s possible you didn’t ever go on YouTube, or hadn’t yet learned how to use the Internet. It’s now 2008, and 2007’s web celeb Tay Zonday’s official network was recently launched to give fans a place to connect with their favorite baritone.

I love the ’70s cartoon feel of the header, which sports an awesome illustration of Zonday (it’s hard to believe from his videos and the illustration that he’s 26). On the forum, network members are discussing their desire to say Tay live in concert and what they would do with a Tay-like deep voice. Or you can just keep up with Tay via his blog, where he muses on YouTube and Weezer concerts.

Chocolate Rain has been viewed more than 30 million times. While the network doesn’t have that many members — yet — it’s the new official online home for Tay Zonday. Connect with other fans and talk with Tay himself when you join the network!

Connect with GreetScraps!

Check out one of our newest OpenSocial applications, GreetScraps for a new way to connect with your friends. Create, send and receive greeting cards directly from your social network on Ning.

No matter what the occasion, GreetScraps covers it all. Popular categories include Halloween, Birthday and Friendship. Each card can be customized to suit your needs. You can also go a step further and create a personal greeting from scratch!

Aside from the greeting cards, also known as Greetscraps, you can send Videoscraps, partake in Greetchat and keep track of your favorite greetings. The next time you have a special message or event, consider GreetScrap and send your greeting in style!

Check out the Blindian Network

If Blacktino wasn’t a cool enough racial mixing term, now we give you Blindian: Black Indian, and a whole network to go with it. Blindian has its toes in everything from political discussion about Obama on the forum to a video of former Guns N Roses guitarist Slash playing “Black or White” with Michael Jackson — it’s a true catch-all spot for anything at all relating to race, and the content is all great!

Blindian Network features interest groups as incredibly diverse as a Rastafarian group, a chocolate lovers’ group, and (in cheerful opposition) a weight loss support group. It’s all sizzling hot and active — Blindian doesn’t have a member of the week, it has a member of the moment featured on the front page!

Even the profile page to fill out for membership showcases how incredibly diverse — and yet welcoming — Blindian Network is. You can choose traits to describe yourself as anything from egotistical to reflective, and body types like bootylicious, among a host of other options and categories. All the more to love!

Blindian Network is 100 percent in-your-face and excited about its people and all of the things that make them unique. We suggest you join the fun immediately — stop by and throw a post up, or come to the London Halloween Party!

Find the best Internet Experts

Want to make your fortune on the Internet? The Internet-Experts-Live network is for you. Making top Internet experts and their advice directly available to you, this network is your best bet for creating the next Ning once you’ve become a member. You can even see already-successful members profiled on the front page in a “Yes I am on iEL” section!

The best part of Internet-Experts-Live is its accessibility. You’ll find how-to videos marked “In Plain English” — concise but thorough blog posts about marketing technique and an entire group dedicated specifically to mastering search engine optimization. It’s hard not to learn something!

Go ahead — dust off your HTML and your CSS and start thinking about how to get rich. Join the almost 250 members of Internet-Experts-Live, and your chances will be better than most!

Get ready for Q-Tip’s Renaissance

Nov. 4 isn’t just the day that either Sen. Obama or Sen. McCain will likely begin picking out drapes for the Oval Office. It’s also the day the Q-Tip’s new album The Renaissance will drop nationwide. Are you ready? The day for both the election and the album is approaching quickly!

Q-Tip has done some great customization on his network; it’s sporting a sweet splash page that features a countdown to the album release as well as a new video. While you wait for the new release, the videos section features some of the best of the Q-Tips’ past work. Fans of A Tribe Called Quest will definitely want to check out the former front man’s performance on Jimmy Kimmel as well as his music videos. And it isn’t only the date that connect Q-Tip to the election; his song, Shaka, also features an excerpt of one of Obama’s campaign speeches.

While the presidential inauguration won’t occur until January, you can enjoy Q-Tip’s The Renaissance on Nov. 4 when it drops nationwide.

550,000 Social Networks on Ning!

Ok, make that 552,381 by the time I finished this blog post a few moments ago. I started it this morning so, as you can tell, new social networks are coming in fast and furious here on Ning. We’ve got some great tutorials over at Ning Network Creators and, as always, the Ning Help Center for getting the most out of your network.

We appreciate you choosing Ning for your social networks and look forward to seeing the amazing new networks blossoming all over the place. Thank you!