Monthly Archives: August 2009

Conversations that matter at the World Cafe Community

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The World Cafe Community is a Ning Network that deepens connections between World Cafe practitioners. The World Cafe is all about hosting conversations about questions that matter; their Ning Network gives them an online place to continue the discussions.

In the Forum, Ellia R. posts feedback from a recent public salon in Seattle that investigates where our sense of community comes from. And in her blog, Amy L. posts from New Mexico and includes a beautiful photo of the landscape. A donation link in the right column of the Main Page gives members a way to help out directly and keep the conversations in the World Cafe brewing.

Back in the classroom and signed in, too

For educators across the country, today is the day when they head back to the classroom after summer vacation. While overhead projectors, textbooks and print-outs will always have a place in the classroom, integrating technology — and collaborative online learning — into the classroom is easier with the help of teachers who have been there before. Two Ning Networks,  Ning in Education and Classroom 2.0 help educators integrate educational Ning Networks and collaborative technologies, respectively, in to their classrooms.

Ning in Education - Using Ning for Educational Social Networks

Education in Ning is a resource for teachers who want to set up their own Ning Networks internal to their classrooms. The Forum section provides answers to many common questions, including: what type of information should be given to parents when a Ning Network is launched, the benefits of setting up a Ning Network for teachers and general how-tos. Education in Ning also outlines how Ning Networks created for educational purposes (for grades 7–12) can have the default Google Ads removed.

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Social gaming at Battlefield Bad Company 2

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Bad Company 2 is a fansite around the follow-up to Battlefield: Bad Company. With the game expected to come out early next year, members are posting trailers and sneak peeks.

Social networks like this one are perfect for social multiplayer games like Battlefield: Bad Company. Bad Company 2 renames the Groups feature to “Clans,” and it’s here that members meet up to play the game online together.

Living the good life, in the 562

562 City Life

562 is the area code for scenic Long Beach, Calif. Residents who are lucky enough to call this area home are joining 562 City Life, a Ning Network for all things 562 related.

With some quick changes in the Tab Manager, 562 City Life has renamed their features. What’s normally Main is now 562 Downtown. Instead of Members, a “562 People” tab lists the members of this Ning Network.

The Events section boasts dozens of offerings for members to check out. Upcoming options include roller skating lessons, pet photo sessions and the Long Beach Funk Festival. Since not every event creator necessarily has an image to go with their event, 562 City Life has uploaded a custom default image for events. This makes it even easier for members to quickly add events to the 562 City Life calendar.

Discovering success at My Wired Style

My Wired Style

My Wired Style is all about providing a path for children to uncover their naturally wired strengths. This Ning Network starts off with an introductory video front and center on the Main Page to highlight some classic questions parents have about their kids. My Wired Style is all about answering those questions.

Wired Talk is a series of videos led by parenting experts, and it’s well-placed as a tab in the navigation bar. Videos take a look at case studies like a teenager with ADD, and a middle-schooler struggling with bullying. Blog posts on My Wired Style take a broader scope on parenting, and include some great links to resources like Seth Godin’s blog post on teaching your child to ride a bike.

For food and wine enthusiasts

The requirements for joining Taste and Share are simple; be interested in tasting food, trying wine or doing both.

The Events feature has been renamed Festivals, which is where members turn to when they are looking for new foodie adventures. Upcoming events span every type of culinary interest and are being held around the globe. Members can eat Mexican food in Ireland, seafood in England and drink wine in Texas. The photos on Taste and Share are almost as tempting as the events. From images of glazed ham to crab stuffed lobsters tails, there’s plenty of inspiration for planning your next great meal.

Student-driven change at National Marriage Boycott

National Marriage Boycott

The National Marriage Boycott is a student-driven movement urging President Obama to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. Members of NMB are wearing Equality Rings as a symbol of their pledge to boycott marriage until the LGBTQ community has full rights on the federal level.

NMB has used the Page feature to give members a way to place their order for an Equality Ring without leaving the Ning Network. The National Marriage Boycott is also up for a $10,000 prize from Ideablob, and they’re making great use of the Text Box feature to direct all visitors to the competition site.

A vibrant community in Plumas Lake

Plumas Lake Network - A Place for Friends, Family and Neighbors of Plumas Lake to Connect Online

Plumas Lake is a community about 30 miles north of California’s capital Sacramento. The Plumas Lake Network is “a place for friends and neighbors in the Plumas Lake community to gather online for discussion and sharing.”

We’ve previously written about the power of forming online communities to complement physical neighborhoods. On the Plumas Lake Network, the top center of the middle column offers up the latest members who have joined this Ning Network. Visitors to Plumas Lake Network can easily see which of their friends and neighbors are already members this way. Once they’ve joined the Plumas Lake Network, the Forum offers community members a way to organize around taking care of their neighborhood. For example, in this post, members are discussing ways to ensure that all streets in Plumas Lake are properly maintained.

(Update) Tonight’s release is live!

We’re excited to announce that tonight’s release, which we talk about here, is now live on your Ning Network. This release makes it easier to use the mobile interface for your Ning Network by introducing an automatic redirect for anyone who visits your Ning Network from an iPhone. It also adds some more structure to the way Main Page features display, keeping your Main Page speedy and focused. Finally, this release refreshes the default layout for My Pages to add emphasis on the Comment Wall, making it easier for members to keep in touch with each other.

For more details, check out our blog post here. Please drop us a line in the Ning Help Center with any questions or feedback!

A great start for Photo Finish Records

Photo Finish Records

Photo Finish Records is a record label for a variety of indie bands including New Medicine, Danger Radio and Fighting with Wire. In addition to giving fans of these groups a place to interact with them, their Ning Network also has a great custom design that gives it a look all its own.

On the Main Page, the bands of Photo Finish Records are all displayed in the Members module. By default, the members module displays the most recent members to join your Ning Network, but using the feature option, you can specify which members you want to appear on the Main Page. On Photo Finish Records, the featured members are bands signed to the label.

The customization work Photo Finish Records has done is all with CSS on the Advanced tab of their Appearance page. Customizations like this take some time to design and implement, but give your Ning Network a completely different look than any other. A good place to start, if you are looking to customize your own Ning Network, is with a customized header.