Monthly Archives: November 2010

Empowering You to Stop Bullying

In the past month, the nation has come face-to-face with an alarming epidemic among its youth: bullying, cyber bullying and teen suicide. As a platform that enables any person or organization to create a social website, we intrinsically understand the power of the social Web. It lets people gather around and connect directly with the organizations, artists, politicians, non-profit and brands that matter most to them. Anyone can instantly share, engage in a conversation, and connect with other people who share similar interests—to be social online. But just like in real life, bullying can happen online too.

Ning is the platform that enables people to freely and safely share their ideas and thoughts. As an employee who’s constantly in touch with members of our platform, I want to highlight the handy tools we have to empower Ning Creators to prevent aggressive, hateful behavior within their social communities:

If there’s anything that should be reported to Ning, don’t hesitate to contact us. If someone you know is a victim and in need of help, you can reach out to one of the following national suicide prevention lines:

To anyone out there feeling alone or different, you’re not alone. There are many communities on the Ning Platform where you can also find support:

Introducing Social Sign-In

Here at Ning, we pay close attention to customer feedback. Ning Creators consistently remind us how important it is to have complete freedom to customize their online community experience. An important request around this idea has been for a more streamlined member registration and sign-in process. After all, who has the time to create and remember yet another username and password?

In the last couple of weeks, we’ve had our heads down, rolling out new ways for Ning Creators to integrate and unlock the value of their communities. Today, we’re taking another big step in this direction. With the launch of Social Sign-In, Ning Plus and Pro Network Creators now have the ability to enable sign up and sign in via Facebook, Google, or Yahoo!

How it works

First-time visitors no longer need to provide an email address and choose a password to sign up for a Ning Network. Instead, they can simply use an existing Facebook, Google, or Yahoo! account — and complete the registration flow in a couple of clicks. Their name and email address will be automatically populated in the sign-up form. Better yet, if they sign up with their Facebook account, their birthdate, gender, and profile photo will also be automatically filled out during the sign-up process.

Returning members will find that signing in to a Ning Network has now become incredibly simple. All it takes now is one click. Gone are the days when members would need to type in their username and password. On the Sign-Up / Sign-In box, members can also see which accounts are supported. If a signed-out member clicks on the icon of the service they initially chose to join with, they’ll be signed in right away — no extra steps or clicks needed.

This Social Sign-In feature is powered by Janrain, the leading user management platform for the social Web.

This implementation of Social Sign-In lays the foundation for supporting additional methods of third-party authentication. Facebook, Google, and Yahoo! are the initial set of available services, and we will be adding more options in the future.

Guest Blogger: Double Dutch

Hey, Network Creators! You may have heard about the recent Ning Everywhere launch, which for most of you will mean more options for building mobile apps for your networks. I wanted to introduce you to DoubleDutch. We’re one of the new Ning partners, and our service is all about bringing you the opportunity to make your network geosocial.

As many have pointed out in many different contexts: Mobile is the future. If you’re on board with that idea, a mobile app for your Ning Network may become a key component to your network’s future growth and engagement. As our CEO Lawrence is fond of saying, “location changes everything.”

A great example of that statement applied to a Ning Network is She Writes. They’ve created a Double Dutch iPhone app that allows their community of women writers to view their friends and fellow writers’ locations, and even meet up serendipitously or schedule meetings in advance. Because their community is grown around a very specific, shared interest, the potential for real world collaboration is very strong. Furthermore, the private nature of the app ensures that sensitive location data is shared only with members of the community. Locals can meet up, share strategies, and argue philosophically about the art of writing. What happens in She Writes stays in She Writes.

There’s a lot more to what you can create using our service. I won’t go into all the details here, but these features may be of particular interest to Network Creators:

  • Branding: A primary and basic feature of our apps is that you can apply your own branding. Every Ning community app will have its icon displayed, as well as the option to match a theme to their Web-based Ning Network.
  • Game and badges: Each DoubleDutch app comes with about 200 achievement badges, awarded for things like checking in, posting photos, and exploring new places. The app also boasts a place specific “Rockstar” title for people who check in the most at a particular place.
  • Administrative dashboard: From the hot spots to the hot badges, you can see what the community enjoys doing and where they enjoy going. With this knowledge, you can begin to reward users with badges or physical goods for activities. And, of course, you can watch the analytics closely to see which campaigns work the best.

Those are just a few of the things you can do with a Double Dutch iPhone app. There’s no better way to build a strong community than in the real world, so start building those real-world connections today among your community with a DoubleDutch mobile app. I encourage you to check in on our site and check out the new options you have to bring a unique mobile experience to your members.

Mathew Spolin, CTO, Double Dutch

Guest Blogger: Skimlinks

skimlinks_blogger Hello, Network Creators! Interested in monetizing your network through affiliate links, but not sure exactly how it works?

We’ve been working with Ning to provide a seamless integration of the new Skimlinks Extension, allowing Network Creators to start earning in just one click. If you’re a Network Creator, you can create an account from within your Ning interface, and in one click our technology is installed automatically and instantly. Just like that, you can start earning from a new revenue stream through your content using both SkimLinks and Skimwords — hooked in to 12,000 international online retailers. Network creators also have access to the Skimlinks interface, allowing you to use our other tools and products, as well as our comprehensive reporting suite. We’re really excited to launch our integration with Ning and give you an opportunity to harness the power of the conversations happening on your network, and help make sure you’re rewarded for the purchase intent that’s created through your content.

Skimlinks is ideally suited to networks that have a product or retail focus, such as electronics, gadgets, mothering, automotive, sports and fashion. To get a break down of how the Skimlinks technology works, and how you can make the most of it, download our easy Skimlinks Startup Guide, or find out out more about affiliate marketing with this video.

If you have your own Ning network, make sure you check it out today.

Hannah, Skimlinks