Author Archives: Athena von Oech

Create a group on your social network

You can use the Groups feature on your social network to meet people with your interests or in your region. For example, a social network for runners could have groups for fans of specific distances like marathoners, half-marathoners, 5kers, and groups for specific regions like New York, San Francisco, and Chicago.

To create a group on your social network, head to the Groups tab and click “Add a group.”

Add a Group - Royal Purple

From here, start by filling out information about your group. Name your group and upload an image to make your group look nice and stand out. Add a description to let prospective members know why they should join your group. You can also modify the URL of your group, add a website, and even add your location if your group is specific to a region.

Next, choose which features you’d like your group to have. Groups on your social network come equipped with their own discussion forum, RSS reader, text box and comment wall, and several privacy settings. As a group creator, you can choose the features and privacy settings you’d like to have for your group.

Once you’ve filled in information about your group and chosen the features and privacy setting you’d like, click “Add Group” to finish creating your group!

Make your pet famous at the Hawaii Pet Network

Hawaii Pet Network

Pets and their owners meet up at the Hawaii Pet Network, a social network run by the Hawaii Pet Magazine. Like many other social networks connected to magazines, the Hawaii Pet Network has done a great job of seamlessly integrating the magazine into the social network. They have added a tab using the Tab Manager that points directly to the magazine and have embedded an online version of the current issue in a text box.

The Hawaii Pet Network is currently holding a contest for their Fall Issue cover model. Over 200 pets are vying for the title. To help voters with the decision process, they’ve put together slideshows of the contestants, sorted by name. Members can watch pets sorted by A-G, H-M, and N-Z and then rate and comment on their favorite pet. Voting ends on July 18th, at which point the editors of Hawaii Pet Magazine will choose a winner from the top 12 finalists.

Making people and ideas findable at Smaller Indiana

Smaller Indiana

Smaller Indiana is a social network for people in Indiana to meet and share ideas. The social network prides itself on making “creative people and innovative ideas easier to find. This is the place for you to share your ideas and engage with Indiana’s most creative and inspired souls…working together to build community, culture and commerce.” Created nearly 2 years ago by Pat Coyle, it’s grown to over 6000 members. Members meet up around events like a Farmers Market, happening today, and Cow Appreciation Day, scheduled for next Friday. On the forumPat has created several categories of discussions to encourage conversations including one for “Blatant Self Promotion,” which already has 302 threads.

Within the Groups feature, professionals meet to discuss web development, Social Media Marketing and filmmaking in Indiana. Food is also a popular theme in groups where members quest for the best burger around, discuss buying local food, or search for great hole in the wall restaurants.

Assign a member to moderate a feature

Yesterday we blogged about appointing Network Administrators to help you manage your social network. You can also provide members with moderation tools without giving them full access to all administrative features on your social network. This can be useful if you’d like a member to moderate and delete videos and photos, but don’t want to give the management privileges to do more than that.

You can create different levels of administrators and assign specific features to each level. To do this, go to the Manage tab and click on the “Members” link. From the “Members” page, follow the link to “Manage Roles.”

On the Manage Roles page, click “Add a Role.” You’ll see all permissions that you can grant to members on your social network:

Manage Roles3

From this page, you can create specific administrative roles for your social network. For example, if you’d like help moderating members, just check the “Members” box and name the role something like “Member Moderator.” Or if you’d like help with moderating a combination of features – photos, videos, events and blogs for example – check all those boxes, and give your role a title.

After you have selected the mix of features and content items that you want a member to moderate, click “Save” to create that role. Once the role has been created, you can appoint members to the role back on the Manage Members page. And, to save you time, energy and repetition, you can assign as many members as you’d like to a particular role and create up to 20 roles on your social network.

You can even assign people to moderate specific content items like a popular discussion forum thread or video. We’ll be back tomorrow to walk you through setting that up on your social network.

Welcome to Jason’s Place

Where single parents are never on their own.

Bachelor star Jason Mesnick appeared with his girlfriend Molly Malaney on Good Morning America today to talk about their relationship and the new social network, Jason’s Place. As he said on Good Morning America, “There are over 20 million single parents in the country, growing by 1 million every year. We’ve started an incredible website that’s a combination of online resources and expert advice for single parents everywhere.”

Jason has added a welcome video to introduce himself and the social network.  In the welcome video, he elaborates on why he wanted to create Jason’s Place. When he became a single parent, he says, “I needed a lot. I needed support. I wanted to find someone who was going through the exact thing. Jason’s Place is a place where you can get that support right away.”

The goals of providing support and resources for single parents are apparent throughout Jason’s Place, especially in the “Connect” and “Resources” tabs, which they added using the Tab Manager. Clicking on “Connect” shows members all the ways they can meet other people through the Forum, Blogs, Events and Groups. Under the resources tab, they’ve added resources for parents, kids, and health.

Jason’s Place is running two promotions for single parents right now. The first is a New Zealand Trip Giveaway, which he is offering to “the most deserving single parent.” He has added videos describing how to enter the contest as well as an overview of the trip. Jason uploaded these videos directly to Jason’s Place and added a watermark to them so when people embed them on other sites, they’ll be linked back to the social network. These videos drive people back to the social network.

He’s also inviting single parents to submit photos of themselves in the Photos section. The winner of the photo contest will have their photo on 100,000 Jones soda bottles.

New articles in the Ning Workshop


A month ago, we launched a new feature in the Ning Help Center called Ning Workshop, which is a set of tutorials to aid you in creating a successful, vibrant, active social network. Since we launched the Workshop, we’ve added more tutorials including how to Use Google Analytics to track sign ups, how to create in-network FAQ or Help Center and how to add a store to your social network.

We also enabled the ability to download as a pdf and print out the Workshop. The Workshop functions well as individual tutorials but we’d heard from a few Network Creators that they wanted a physical copy of the whole thing to highlight and take notes. To get a copy yourself, head over to the Ning Workshop and click the PDF icon.

We’ll continue to add new articles so if there’s a tutorial you’d like to see or if you have feedback, we’d love to hear from you in the Ning Help Center.

Late Saturday Night Maintenance

Work tools
To finish up on the work we blogged about earlier, we are taking a brief maintenance tomorrow night, Saturday June 27th at 10pm. The maintenance will last for about 30 minutes.

During this time your social networks will be offline and will display branded maintenance pages, and we will be posting updates from the Ning Status Blog. We appreciate your patience with this, and please let us know if you have any questions. Thank you!

5 questions for My Modern Metropolis

My Modern Metropolis

My Modern Metropolis is, by their own description, “a social network and community blog where trendsetters gather to share today’s best modern day experiences. We focus on five main areas: art & design, photography, architecture, hotels and restaurants.” Alice created the social network over a year ago and it’s grown to 2500 members, or “Metropolites” as they call themselves. Members chat about movies opening this weekend, creative ad campaigns and what music to play in the main page music player.

I recently chatted with Alice, Network Creator of My Modern Metropolis, to find out the inspiration behind her social network and how she’s gotten the word out.

Where did the idea for My Modern Metropolis come from?
The idea sprung up after a trip to Europe with my husband. After traveling through Italy and Greece I became inspired by all the wonderful works of art and architecture. The trip got me thinking about where modern art was going and how technology is making it easier for us to share in our experiences. More than anything, I’m fascinated by people and their stories. I’m interested in knowing where creativity springs from and how we can each build upon each others’ work to advance society.

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The booklover’s place to be


Buzzaroonie is a place for authors and book lovers to meet. It was created by writer and publisher Kenneth Arnold. The name Buzzaroonie comes from “Buzz,” a common word in the publicity world. Publishers want to create “buzz” for their books and authors.

Kenneth advises members on how to get the most out of the social network and tells authors to let others know about their work. Many authors blog about their books, such as Susan Whitfield‘s posts about Genesis Beach and Just North of Luck.

Kenneth also used the Language Editor to change “Forum” to Book Reviews and “Groups” to Book Clubs to convey how members should use those features. By featuring published authors and renaming “Featured Members” to “Featured Authors”, Kenneth shows that Buzzaroonie is set up for both for booklovers and the authors themselves.

Today in Montclair

Today in Montclair,,

Today in Monclair is a social network that celebrates “all the joys and woes of Montclair,” a district in Oakland, California. Network Creator Deborah has integrated her blog about Montclair into her social network with a tab that links to “Today’s Blog.”

Deborah and members write about happenings around town including a turtle sighting in downtown and the recent appearance of a local ice cream parlor, Fenton’s, in Pixar’s movie Up! Members also gather offline at various events including a free outdoor movie tonight and a Bluegrass festival this weekend.