Author Archives: Laura Oppenheimer

A Place to Discuss What’s Going on in The Nation

The Nation Social Network

The Tea Party, economic democracy, Arizona’s immigration reform efforts — there’s plenty to discuss on The Nation Social Network, an online community for reader and associate of The Nation magazine.

If it’s on the pages of the magazine, or in the news elsewhere, it’s being discussed in the forum discussion. No topic is off limits, which means members discuss everything from SCOTUS nominees to baseball (hint: some think there should be a salary cap). For a discussion that’s indicative of the intense debate that regularly occurs amongst readers of The Nation, make sure to read through this discussion on the pros and cons of a national ID card.

For both new and long-time readers of The Nation, their social network provides an outlet to explore topics, connect with other readers and engage in some healthy and vigorous debate.

The Crunchiest, Cheesiest Ning Network in Colombia

Cheesetris - Cheesetris

Crunchy, cheesy and full of rock and roll: that’s the promise of Cheese Tris, a snack offering from Frito Lay. To get Colombians excited about Cheese Tris (and the possibility of becoming a rock star), they’ve created a new Ning Network, Cheese Tris Rockero. At the heart of Cheese Tris Rockero is a contest to discover the next great rock and roll star in Colombia.

To enter the contest, members need to upload a video or song and then get their friends to vote for their submission. The top 20 vote-getters receive prizes. You can check out some of the submissions on the video and audio pages.

Cheese Tris Rockero is just the most recent example of how brands are using Ning to reach out to their most passionate customers. For more examples of how this is done, check out the brand spotlight page, where you can learn about how other companies are Ning Networks.

Exploring and engaging through TEDx

The TED conference is an invite-only event held annually in Long Beach, Calif. The theme of TED is “ideas worth spreading,” and speakers have included everyone from Jamie Oliver to Urgent Evoke Network Creator Jane McGonigal. Inspired by the talks and ideas at TED, communities around the world are creating their own TED events, called TEDx. From the TED website: “TEDx is a new program that enables local communities such as schools, businesses, libraries, neighborhoods or just groups of friends to organize, design and host their own independent, TED-like events.” Many TEDx events are using Ning to organize attendees, post information and continue the conversation, even after the conference is over.


In the Netherlands, the TEDx Ning Network is active on a daily basis, despite the fact that their next event isn’t being held until November. Members are already planning details about the Nov. 10 event, which will be held in Amsterdam. Not to be out-shown by their countrymen, thought leaders in The Hague are planning their own TEDx event. Leading up to the official event is a series of interactive salons featuring speakers on a variety of interesting topics. The next salon — this weekend — is all about science.

TEDx Kigali - Overcoming Obstacles !

Around the globe in Rwanda, plans are in the works for TEDx Kigali. Being held on May 22, the event is bringing together leaders from nonprofit, political, cultural and social organizations. A list of who will be attending the one-day conference is also available on TEDx Kigali.

Keep on Truckin’

Let_s Truck - Home of Trucking Business & Beyond

24,000 members can’t be wrong. Let’s Truck is the place to be for anyone and everyone in the trucking and long haul business. A longtime Ning Network (it was started in spring of 2007), Let’s Truck has a suite of features meant to keep members engaged and coming back for more.

In addition to the standard suite of features, Let’s Truck is also rocking the BlogTalkRadio Ning App. Members can tune into “Let’s Truck, with Kevin Rutherford” without ever leaving the Ning Network. If you have an existing online radio show, using a Ning App is a simple way to integrate it with your Ning Network.

While profession is what ties the members of Let’s Truck together, the discussions in the forum range from equipment to politics. Interested in a new set of tires? Here’s a group of people who can offer up their own experiences. When they aren’t talking about trucks, the members have lots to say about other subject, including regulations, taxes and insurance issues.

On the Last Tuesday of the Month, a Virtual Artwalk


On the last Tuesday of every month, artists and art lovers are invited to meet up for a virtual art crawl. Tomorrow night, at 7 p.m. Eastern, art lovers from around the globe will congregate online and try to answer the question, “Where is the best art now?”

Much of the monthly artwalk happens on Twitter. Participants use the hashtag #artwalk to mark their tweets, and usually include links to their favorite new art. Following the stream creator Kim Sherrell has set up is a fantastic way to explore the contemporary art world without ever leaving home.

Artists participating in Artwalk are invited to join the Artwalk community, a Ning Network. There, members have a centralized place to post — and promote — their own art, on the monthly Artwalks, or whenever they simply want to share their work with a new audience. More than 2,000 photos have already been added, and members are increasingly posting videos as well.

So, to recap: the monthly virtual art crawl, Artwalk, starts tomorrow night at 7 p.m. Eastern. Join in via Twitter tomorrow, and upload and share at anytime on the Artwalk Community Ning Network.

Go Joe Sestak, for Democrats in Pennsylvania

Go Joe - Go Joe | The Sestak Action Network-1

Rep. Joe Sestak is challenging Sen. Arlen Specter for the democratic nomination in Pennsylvania’s next primary. Sestak’s Ning Network — Go Joe Sestak — is the online action center for his most committed volunteers and supporters.

What can supporters do on his Ning Network? For starters, they can easily access an online toolkit. He’s built in easy-to-use tools for members to write letters to their local newspapers, request a bumper sticker and sign up to volunteer. To help facilitate the conversion of online volunteers to offline volunteers, there’s a variety of groups based around location. For politicians using Ning, building in features like these can help arm members with the resources they need to be effective supporters.

Political Voices: Retire Harry Reid

Retire Harry Reid

Nevada’s senior senator isn’t well loved by all Nevada residents. He isn’t even well-liked by some. And so those who dislike their D.C. representation (or who are voting for Republican Sue Lowden) have launched a new website, Retire Harry Reid. To go with it, a Ning Network for political activists to connect with each other, share plans and starting making plans to get out the vote..

Ooooby — A New Way of Local Eating


Ooooby. Sounds like baby speak, but it’s actually an acronym standing for: Out Of Our Own Backyards. Ooooby is all about “connecting communities through local food.” It’s a place for people who grow, eat and sometimes sell food grown in their backyards to connect with each other, a network of food gardeners and locavores who support local food and living locally.

The Ooooby Ning Network also serves as a place for people to plan and organize Ooooby Market Stalls. Ooooby Stall sells fruit and vegetables grown in local neighborhood gardens; farmers market attendees can buy or barter for food from the stalls. That way, everyone wins. People who grow excess food can make sure it doesn’t go bad, while shoppers know they are purchasing locally and humanely grown food.

Not every local market has an Ooooby stall though, so one way members are getting access to the fresh fruits and vegetables they are seeking out or people they want to sell to, is online. Via a custom Ning App called Grower’s Market, members can post listings for homegrown foods they are looking to barter or sell.