Monthly Archives: July 2009

Buy1GIVE1 at the Global Giving Village

Global Giving Village

The Global Giving Village is a Ning Network where members connect with the common purpose of making a difference. Partnering with Buy1GIVE1, the Global Giving Village works with businesses to automatically make a specific contribution to a good cause with every single transaction. With an effective text box on the Main Page, the Global Giving Village links to some of its 700 worthy causes, like health support for a child in Peru.

Started in Australia and Singapore, B1G1 has since become a global phenomenon. A recent blog post links to an interview with Kaila Colbin about B1G1. And on the forum, Paul Dunn talks about the great results B1G1 efforts have yielded so far.

Go big (and hike far) with GoSmokies

GoSmokies - A social network for lovers of the Great Smoky Mountains

With the hot summer months, it’s natural to look to the great outdoors for fun and adventure. GoSmokies is a social network for lovers of Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountains.

As part of their community guidelines, GoSmokies asks its members to only post photos relating to the Smoky Mountains. The result is a fantastic groups of images that showcase the beauty of the region. For every outstanding image of a sunset, there’s an equally beautiful one of a sunrise. Other photos of nature, like these images of waterfalls and wildlife, are similarly inspiring.

If you want to keep your social network’s photos focused on a single topic, like GoSmokies has done, you can create community guidelines, or turn on photo moderation. Photo moderation allows you and your moderators to view photos before they are published and choose — if they don’t meet your social network’s guidelines — not to publish them. This allows you to have a cohesive, topical photo section, just like GoSmokies.

Manage your photos on a Ning Network

So let’s say that you’ve uploaded some photos to your Ning Network and you’re ready to add them to an album. As we noted on Tuesday, creating an album for your photos is now an easy part of the process. From the Add an Album page, you can add a title, description, location, and tags for your photos (click the image for a full screenshot):

Add an Album - sm

By clicking the “Add more details for these photos” link at the bottom of the page, you can edit the title, description, and tags for each of your photos. Click the “Apply to All” button to apply one photo’s tags to the rest of the photos in your album. This section is also where you can choose which photo will be the album cover.

Once you’ve taken care of the details, click “Save” to finish adding your album. You can always go back and manage the details of your albums and photos. To rearrange the photos in your album, or change the title, description, and tags, just find your album from the “My Albums” page and click the “Edit Album” link. To edit any of your photos or change their privacy settings, find your photo from the “My Photos” page and click the “Edit Photo” link.

It’s all in the family at Genealogy Wise

Genealogy Wise - The Genealogy & Family History Social Network

Family history is a fascinating thing. People interested in researching and discovering their family’s history are joining Genealogy Wise, a social network created by World Vital Records.

The 10,000 members of Genealogy Wise are extremely active in the social network’s 2,000 plus Groups.  One of the main ways Groups are used is to give people with the same surname a way to connect with each other. If your last name is Poe, Pollack, Johnston or Rea, there’s a group for you! Another group helps members learn how to date photos they have of their ancestors and even possibly get help in identifying people in the images.

Those who want to extend their search outside of the Genealogy Wise social network, can click on the Genealogy Search tab. This tab links to a Page in which a World Vital Records search form has been embedded, allowing members to look for family members without ever leaving the social network.

Crete comes alive at VideoKriti


The island of Crete is an incredible destination, and now tourists and locals have a place to connect at VideoKriti. To cater to its international audience, VideoKriti has key Administrator profiles in English, German, and Greek. By linking to these profiles from the Main Page, VideoKriti makes new members feel at home.

Like the name suggests, VideoKriti is all about capturing Crete on film. This Ning Network makes great use of tagging to categorize its videos. Right on the Main Page, members can check out videos of beaches, nightlife, and ancient attractions. My personal favorites are the documentaries, where it’s easy little more about Crete’s rich history.

For friends new and old, Bolt on Ning


Ning is now home to, a popular social network started in 1996 which has been through many versions and iterations before finding its way to Ning.

With 10,000 members, it’s clear that many of the original members of Bolt have found their way back to their favorite social network. While features like Photos and Videos have been added to Bolt, the members themselves are the focus of this social network. Each week a member is selected to be the member of the week; this week it’s Mikey-Light and his photo is prominently displayed on Bolt’s main page. Another feature used to put members in the spotlight is Birthdays. Displayed on the right-hand column (so it’s on every page), Bolt’s birthday feature helps members remember to wish their friends “Happy Birthday!”.

Upload photos to your Ning Network

Photos are one of the most popular features on your social network, and the flash uploader makes it easy to upload and organize your images. When you click “Add Photos” from the Photos tab, you’ll see a page like this:


From here, click the “Click to Add Photos” icon to select which images you’d like to upload from your computer. If you want to select multiple photos at a time, just hold down the “Control” or “Command” key on your keyboard and click the extra photos. You can add up to 100 photos at a time. Continue reading

The online home of the Aspen Music Festival

Aspen Music Festival eTENT

“Where the summer live online” is the tagline of the Aspen Music Festival eTent, a social network for fans and attendees of Aspen’s annual summertime series of concerts.

The Videos section of the eTent is a great way to check out this summer’s performers in advance of their concerts. For example, a recent concert featured Van Cliburn International Piano Competition winner Haochen Zhang. Visitors to the Aspen Music Festival social network could check out a preview video of his masterful playing.

Since contests are a great way to drive membership and activity, the Aspen Music Festival is running a photo contest. Members are asked to upload their favorite photo of something festival related for a chance to win iTunes gift cards and other prizes.

Making it easy to see who’s online again

Update: As we mention here, online indicators still need some tweaking and we’ve temporarily disabled them again.

We’re bringing the green icons on the Members page that show who’s online back to your Ning Network next Friday, August 7. We know how valuable these online indicators are for connecting with members who are online right now, and we’re excited about reintroducing them with some under-the-hood improvements. Once they’re live again, we’ll post to the Ning Status Blog. Thanks!

Cindy Crawford on My Best Birth

My Best Birth-1

When My Best Birth launched in May, it was described as a place for expecting parents to plan their perfect births. It’s more than that, however; it’s also a place were those who have had natural births can share their stories — including supermodel Cindy Crawford.

Created by actress Ricki Lake and filmmaker Abby Epstein, My Best Birth knows that offering exclusive content is a great way to drive membership and activity on a social network. Crawford’s contribution is a fourpart webisode series detailing why she chose to have a natural birth, and what that process was like. The four videos on My Best Birth offer an intimate look at her decision-making process around planning her child’s birth.

After members of My Best Birth have watched Crawford’s story, they are invited to discuss the webisodes with her (all this week!) in the social network’s forum section.