On April 12th, we received confidential details of a security vulnerability that could allow someone to sign in as an arbitrary Ning user. The intent was not malicious, and to our knowledge and reasonable belief, there has been no unauthorized access to user accounts. The Ning engineering team immediately took several steps: We changed the encryption information to generate a sign-in cookie, and we changed where the information was stored. In addition, we proactively strengthened the encryption algorithm. The changes were then immediately rolled out across the Ning platform starting late last week. Ning Creators and their members may have noticed the protective measures when we forced all users to sign-in again. At this time, we are confident that we have addressed the vulnerability.
Not too long ago, we laid the groundwork for our member categories feature by streamlining the management of your existing and prospective members. This feature is now live and we wanted to share with you the details and how it works.
You can create up to 50 categories and assign members to them. All of your members will begin in the default category, called “Members.” You can create and edit new categories via the Member Categories tab in the Member Management section. A couple of important limitations to note: the default category can’t be edited, and members can only belong to one category at a time.
We will be performing maintenance on the Ning Platform this coming Friday, December 2, from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. (midnight) Pacific Time. During this time, all Ning Networks will be unavailable for 2 hours.
We’re proud to have been able to realize a consistently high uptime over the past year. To keep this consistent record high, we need to perform some crucial upgrades to hardware, systems and databases. We want to ensure your Ning Network stays online and speedy for the next year and beyond.
Today, we’re excited to unveil the Aviary Ning Extension, a tool that can increase member engagement and inject fun and utility into Ning social websites using photos feature.
The Big Picture
Photo sharing continues to be one of the most popular features on Ning, second only to the inbox/forum. By working closely with Aviary (www.aviary.com), a leading provider of creative web and mobile tools, we make photo sharing even more powerful and fun for your community through the Ning API.
Next week, Ning will be leading a conversation at Carsonified’s Future Of Web Apps conference in Las Vegas. I’ll be delivering a talk to entrepreneurs and speaking about my own experiences at Ning as we transitioned from a freemium model to a top-tier paid social platform empowering community organizers to build custom and powerful social websites. My goal is to shed light on ways entrepreneurs can make their customers happier, and their e-businesses and ventures successful, using the lessons learned by Ning over the past year.
Over the past year, we started doing something new: publishing a public Product Roadmap for our customers. This is a way to follow along with what we’re working on right now, what’s coming next, and offers a quick glance in the rear-view mirror to see what we’ve created so far this year. We update it from time to time, and we’re updating it again today.