Nick Barr
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I’m excited to introduce Leaderboards for your Ning Network. Leaderboards are ordered rankings of the top members and content on your Network, and they’re powerful for two reasons:

  • For Creators, Leaderboards make it easy to discover and promote the best of your Network.
  • For members, Leaderboards spark friendly competition, establish reputation, and encourage deeper, more persistent engagement.

With today’s launch, you have the power to make use of Leaderboards in the perfect way for your Network. You can view the latest trends on your Network Dashboard, add Leaderboard pages to your top-level tabs, and even add a Leaderboard module to your Main Page. Details below!

Smart, Fresh, Flexible

As you explore the new Leaderboards feature, you’ll find that it’s smart, fresh, and flexible.

Leaderboards - Landing

Smart: On Ning, Leaderboards make use of a brand-new engagement system that’s going to continually get smarter. To calculate the Top Members, we look at a combination of quantity and quality. Basically, the algorithm boils down to asking, “How much is this member contributing, and how valuable are her contributions?” You’ll also notice that the Top Content Leaderboard takes in items across multiple features — photos, videos, blog posts, and events. Your members want to see the cool stuff now — they don’t necessarily care what kind of stuff it is.

Fresh: If your Leaderboard looks the same every day, it’s not going to encourage members to get involved. This was something we heard from many Network Creators who had used other Leaderboards in the past, and we wanted to make sure we built a feature that tells you what’s hot right now. By default, members and content get ranked based on the last week of activity. As an NC, you can set this to a day (if your network is really active), or a month for a more long-term perspective.

Flexible: We have some ideas about how you can use Leaderboards on your Network, but we wanted to give you the freedom to use them however you want.

For example, you can customize the Leaderboards landing page (/leaderboards) to display the 5 Leaderboards that are most relevant to your Network.

Or you can hide the Leaderboards landing page altogether, and add the “Top Members” Leaderboard (/leaderboards/topmembers) as a sub-tab under your “Members” tab:

Leaderboards-TopMembers-sm

Or you can run a quick-and-dirty photo contest by loading up the Leaderboards module on the Main Page and seeing whose photo wins the day:

Top Photos-Main Page-sm

And naturally, you can use the Language Editor to rename just about anything you want. There are a ton of possibilities, and we’re excited to hear about how you use the Leaderboards feature on your Network.

The Plan From Here

From here, we’re looking to roll out more ways for your members to engage. That means releasing features including login with Facebook, Twitter, etc., as well as a Network “Like” feature. It also means continuing to improve your Leaderboards.

Here are a few next steps we have in mind for Leaderboards:

  • Take your Leaderboards anywhere with RSS
  • Customize your Leaderboards pages with text boxes
  • Introduce the ability to drag-and-drop Leaderboards into place on your landing page.
  • Enrich the engagement system by rolling out a “Like” button

After you take your Leaderboards out for a spin, let us know if there are some improvements or new features you’d love to see added.