Introducing the New Dashboard: Window into Activity, Information and Statistics

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With yesterday’s launch of the Ning Mini, Plus, and Pro plans, we rolled out a brand-new experience for Network Creators. You’ll notice it as soon as you sign in. We’ve replaced the old Manage page with a Dashboard, which offers a dynamic snapshot of your Ning Network.

You can access the Dashboard by clicking the “My Network” link in your navigation. All of the tools from the old Manage page are now neatly organized on the left-hand side of the Dashboard. While your members will continue to land on the Main Page when they sign in, you and your Admins will go straight to the Dashboard.
 This is a big first step toward providing you with valuable information and statistics that will make managing your Ning Network a lot easier.

Network Creators who are familiar with the old Manage pages know that it was limited in a few ways. First, its organization could appear arbitrary, and trying to find the right icon for taking certain actions could be a hassle if you weren’t already familiar with how it was organized. Second, it was a static page that didn’t surface new or interesting information.
 What follows is a quick introduction into some of the key elements of this new experience:

Members Section

 Members

The Members section gives you a snapshot of information about members who have recently joined your Ning Network. It includes a table which shows members awaiting approval and members who have joined in the past 10 days. 
Clicking the number under the “Pending Approval” column will take you to the Member Moderation page.

Content Section

Content

Similar to the Members section, the Content section provides you with a snapshot of information about the content on your Ning Network. The table shows content pending approval and content added in the last 10 days. All of this is broken down by content type — there’s a unique row for Photos, Videos, Blogs, Events, Forum discussions, and Groups. For quick moderation for each content type, click on the number in the “Pending Approval” column. This will take you to the Content Moderation page for that content type. One big improvement we’ve made to content moderation page is that you can now switch between different types of content all on the same page. For example, click the “Events” tab to moderate events, and then switch over to the “Videos” tab to moderate videos — without leaving the page.

Underneath the Content Section table, a chart shows day-by-day contributions from your members. Hover over a particular content row in the table, and you’ll see the relevant information in the chart below.

What’s Popular: Members & Content
The What’s Popular section surfaces information about who and what is popular on your Ning Network. You’ll see the most popular members, as well as the top content from the features you’ve added. It’s easy to promote or share what appears in this section — just hover over any piece of content, and you’ll see a tooltip that lets you feature, comment, or share it. Currently, popularity measures are the same as those found in individual features. We’ll continue to refine the way we measure popularity as part of the leaderboards and engagement work Diego mentioned in his Product Roadmap.

Ning Announcements & Message Board
The Dashboard is also the place to get the latest news from Ning, as well as tips specific to your Ning Network. Under Ning Announcements, you’ll find messages from the Ning Team about upcoming features, company updates, and other communications. The Message Board section shows communication specific to your Ning Network, for example: It will recommend features you haven’t added yet but that are available on your plan and may be helpful.

Navigation Improvements
Along with all this, we’ve improved the overall navigation so you can easily find relevant settings and options for your Ning Network. You’ll now see navigation links on the left side of the Dashboard and all other My Network pages. This left-hand navigation makes it easier for you to navigate from one page to another. It’s organized into Members, Content, Settings, Tools, Support, and Subscription sections, and each of these has its own sub-section.

Share your feedback!
For veteran Network Creators, we recognize that this will be a new experience, and it might take some time to grow on you. We have made these changes so it is easier for you to manage your Ning Network as features are added and allow you to gain more insight into what’s happening “right now.” For new Network Creators, welcome to the new experience! Please note that if your Ning Network is brand new, your charts and What’s Popular section won’t populate without content or activity. As you actively add members and content, you will notice these sections populating automatically.

We’d love to hear more about your experience with the Dashboard and My Network pages. Please let us know on Creators if you have any questions or thoughts.

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27 thoughts on “Introducing the New Dashboard: Window into Activity, Information and Statistics

  1. David O'Connor

    I am one of the administrators on this web site I have a company that wants to foot the bill all the time for ning plus. He wants to advertise his company with us. I would like that. How can we do it before the deadline ?

    1. Eric Suesz

      Hi, David. You have to be the Network Creator to pay for a Ning Network. However, you might consider using PayPal to transfer funds between people.

  2. Moses

    I just upgraded to Pro, and I can’t get a single link to work on the Dashboard page………very uninspiring thus far.

  3. Patty

    I’m with Rebecca…”okay…i give up …i can find the networks i created, but cannot find a list of the ones i belong to…where do i go to find these now?”

    So what happened to our networks we signed up and paid for they were under the “MY NING NETWORKS” page. It now says, “The page you are looking for doesn’t exist.” Hmmmmmm…help!

  4. Ms. Murphy

    I agree with Phil, too.

    I also have a question:
    One of the Ning Network groups I created still has the “Manage” tool. I don’t mind the fact that
    “My Network,” but wonder if this will create any problems… Will it?

  5. Woody13

    i thought We were on lockdown till we pay up… fact is new manage tab does not work in Internet Explorer ?

    1. Eric Suesz

      Woody13: No, you are not on “lockdown”. You can continue doing what you’re doing. Thanks for the bug report.

  6. Mark Oakes

    I think the dashboard is very uninspiring. Hopefully it’s a stepping stone to something more inspiring!

    What would be more useful would be to help us place google analytics tracking at certain pages on our site so that goals set up in analytics could be measured a little better.

    We’re tracking new member sign ups in google analytics and when someone invites someone.

    Would be great to track – new posts, videos, events, blogs, etc… in google analytics.

    It would save you guys a lot of development time and give us much more info on our site and the growth/failure of certain areas of the site.

  7. charlayne

    The dashboard is too confusing. I like it the way it was user friendly with the icons and all.

  8. Frank Lengel

    I’m new to NING so he old interface and the changes does not throw me so much. I am struggling with something that should be pretty basic. CHAT, DISCUSSION, and apps like that … I see how to add them to the main page, but how do I get them on a page of their own (DISCUSSION PAGE, CHATPAGE, etc.). Thanks.

  9. BeachLocal

    Where can I see the amount of ‘space’ used for my NING account? I don’t know what plan I need since I don’t know how much space I need. Thanks.

  10. Junaid Basir Post author

    No worries Ronald 🙂 and thanks for the feedback. Providing ability to see data over time and filter it are definitely areas we plan to explore as the Dashboard evolves.

  11. Ronald

    Sorry Junaid,

    I was trying to post this reaction on the developers ning. But since that did not work I reacted on this Blog. Forgot to change the Eric into your name…..

    Ronald

  12. Ronald

    Hi Eric,

    The dashboard looks great!

    It would be great if the content section would also show columns with the numbers of Total content, Total content/month and Total content/year. Or similar to Google analytics a filter in which we can select the period that we would like to see the numbers for.

    We use these numbers to test the result of our actions to try and activate certain parts of the network. And for that we need long term data.

    Hope to hear from you if this will be possible in the future.

    Ronald

  13. Rebecca

    okay…i give up …i can find the networks i created, but cannot find a list of the ones i belong to…where do i go to find these now?

  14. Phil Sim

    I generally like the new dashboard, however I think you’ve streamlined the navigation far too much

    My genuine question is what do you achieve by grouping all of the functions into just those six headings?

    After all you have an entire column of whitespace, but you’re forcing the user to work out what section they’re option falls under, rather than simply looking and seeing what they are after. If you have a look at the feedback on Creators people have been clicking around looking for stuff, and that makes in an inherently bad UI design.

    You’ve also forced me to go from one click to two on management features I use a lot like Features Layout and Appearance.

    Why not expand all those options – they would still all fit above the fold. Might not look as ‘clean’ but it would make it easier to find what we want and save from an extra click.

    1. Eric Suesz

      Delores, You might want to share your question on the Creators Ning Network. You can also submit a ticket in the Help Center if you are having specific problems and we’ll try to get you some one-on-one help. Hope this helps!

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