Category Archives: Ning Network Spotlight

Business Fights Poverty: A Community With a Cause

Business Fights Poverty was established in March of 2008 to pioneer new ways of fighting poverty utilizing economic and business opportunities by groups and individuals. Founder and Director, Zahid Torres-Rahman discovered and implemented the perfect platform for his idea through a chance conversation and a day’s worth of work.

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Nerd Alert! Nerdfighters Using the Power of Community to Increase Awesome and Decrease Suck

We were thrilled to hear a story about Nerdfighters on the radio this morning (WAMU in Washington, D.C.) about their ongoing campaign to make the world a better place using wonderful services like the micro-loan site Kiva. Take a listen:

Not familiar with Nerdfighters? It’s one of those online phenomenons that makes some people scratch their heads and wonder how it is that a rarified group of Internet celebrities can live their lives — and maybe even make a living — by simply existing on the Internet.

This list of Internet celebrities includes Rhett & Link, Smosh, Tobuscus, Freddy Wong and Ze Frank. They’re all masters of the video blog — speaking directly into the camera to anyone who will listen and making their videos as creative and pop-culture-rich as possible. Most of them release a new video out to the world once or twice per week, which helps them organically pick up new followers as people stumble onto their often hilarious and insightful observations about life. Such is the case with Hank and John Green, the two brothers who started Nerdfighters as a way to stay connected via videoblog (one lives in Montana; the other in Indiana).

All of these Internet celebrities use YouTube as their direct-to-the-Internet video broadcasting medium, but what makes them hugely successful is often what they do beyond their YouTube channel (which has an impressive 746,564 subscribers and 246,389,701 video views). The best ones are masters at nurturing communities of online followers in all kinds of locations online — including on Ning. They have over 81,000 members on their Ning site. Serious nerd alert!

In addition to their Ning community, which is one of the most trafficked on the Ning Platform, they have spawned fan Tumblr blogs like Eff Yeah Nerdfighters, Nerdfighters Don’t Fight Nerds, and Little Nerdfighter Things.

We wanted to give a shout out to Nerdfighters for all that they do to “increase awesome and decrease suck.” Their Kiva-raising efforts have resulted in a phenomenal 21,000+ loans totaling over 1 million dollars. Not bad for a bunch of nerds. Keep challenging your community and the world to be a better place!


Join them in donating on Kiva.

Not familiar with NerdFighters? Here’s a recent video:


 

Things to make your 4th of July explosively fun!

Next week, Americans everywhere will be celebrating the 4th of July. It’s a holiday that’s code for fireworks, sparklers, outdoor activities, BBQ cooking and comfort food, camping, picnics, parades, stargazing, bluegrass and country music, warmer weather and spending time with friends and family. Not a bad deal, right?

Members of Ning communities nationwide are sharing about the things that make for a memorable and special 4th of July — and letting the world know what makes them as all-American as apple pie… or Bruce Springsteen.

The Chamber of Central Mass South Online is letting people know about its fireworks show on July 3. It’s one of the region’s largest fireworks displays! A few states south of Massachusetts, Amy Shair, a member of The 919 Business Network, shares over a dozen 4th of July activities happening in North Carolina’s Triangle area. Celebrations continue even after the 4th of July, and Morgen Connor shares about the July 7 fireworks show happening in Peterborough, New Hampshire.

Though fireworks remain one of the mainstays of the 4th of July, other Ning communities are highlighting other ways to enjoy the great outdoors. On the Naples Velo Community, an inclusive cycling Ning site, there’s a 4th of July 50+ mile bike ride followed by a post ride picnic.

Despite being 2,000+ miles from the mainland, 4th of July celebrations are in full swing in Hawaii. On The Society of the Friends of St. Patrick Hawaii, this Irish-American Ning community will be marching in the Kailua 4th of July parade.

As many of you know, Colorado is experiencing major wildfires right now. On VW Camper Family, member Jeremy Nix asks the community for ideas and suggestions for making camping fun when building a campfire isn’t an option.

Quintessential to any 4th of July celebration is, of course, a great BBQ. In May, we highlighted many wonderful Ning communities cooking up a storm of delicious summer foods. Adding to this, Penni of Raw Food Rehab shares how to make a Cleanse America Fruit Cake (catchy, no?). Not only is it easy to make, it’s kid-friendly, and healthy!

Looking to make this or something else delicious and healthy for your 4th of July? If you live in the San Diego area, there’s still time to pick up some organic produce thanks to the Ramona Certified Farmers’ Market (held every Saturday). Used as their main website, they also use their Ning community to introduce the world to the various famers selling produce at the Ramona Farmers’ Market. Other healthy meals you can make include French Potato Salad, which Lois Carter Fay shares on RecipeIdeaShop.

Needing some good tunes to play during your 4th of July celebrations? Look no further than the chords heard on No Depression, a bi-monthly music magazine and home to Americana and roots music.

Not living in the USA? Share your traditions on a Ning community and let us know about it!

Have a safe and fun 4th of July. Wear plenty of sunblock and enjoy, ya’ll!

Ning celebrates its communities with Pride

June marks LGBTQ Pride month. Cities around the world are celebrating the LGBTQ community — certainly something top of mind for many people in an election year and as LGBTQ rights like gay marriage are being hotly debated as laws and views are changing and evolving.

You might remember the 2010 launch of Dan Savage’s It Gets Better project and the untimely death of Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi. Organizations and online services like Ning, Google, Twitter and Facebook have continually invested in building teams and safeguards to ensure user safety on these services. These circles of support extend to prevent and stop online bullying, while properly educating users how to remain safe online.

We wanted to take a moment and acknowledge a few Ning communities making waves for LGBTQ rights and to stop online bullying:

Gay Healers Circle – San Francisco / Bay Area

LGBT Weddings Forum – Free LGBT Wedding Planning Community – EnGAYged Weddings

GayWallet.com

Change. Not Charity.

Village Outsiders

PFLAG Twin Cities – Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays

Team San Francisco – Where the games began

Bullying Sucks – Don’t just stand there. Do something.

We’re really proud of the millions of connections being made and thousands of communities using Ning everyday. We know that it sometimes takes courage and initiative to get a community of any nature off the ground — so we especially want to thank Ning communities pushing the envelop on cultural and social norms by igniting conversations, and building communities and places true to their passions and convictions. Be proud. We’re so glad to be supporting you on Ning.

Celebrating dads, everywhere

As Hallmark Holidays go, Father’s Day is probably the favorite amongst men — they’re off the hook for buying flowers, chocolates or greeting cards. Instead they’re celebrated with a Sunday filled with rounds of golf, breakfast in bed, brunch, BBQs, enjoying brews, baseball games, and new power tools (if they’re lucky). What could be better than that?

With Sunday fast approaching, members of Ning communities nationwide are getting ready for paternal celebrations and sharing how they’ll be thanking Dad.

On Santa Rosa Mom, member and web host Trisha Novotny of 24/7 MOMS sits down with Valerie White of Gig Harbor Scrapper to chat about creative Father’s Day celebration ideas and presents (fast forward to 33:00), like a memory jar. What’s a memory jar? It’s a DIY gift that turns into a daily surprise for dad for the next year… and the best part is kids of all ages can contribute!

HomeLife Magazine provides great tips for helping kids craft poems for Dad. Cuteness aside, it’s a great way to provide some laughs and lasting memories. And what better way to decorate the refrigerator or office? Homelife Magazine also celebrates Father’s Day through its weekly give aways; Wednesday’s gift was an NFL authentic game ball signed by Tony Dungy — sure to make any sport-loving dad happy.

Vets for Vets takes a step back to thank all active military and veteran fathers for their dedicated service — both to their country and their families. The community is providing hundreds of photos that can be used to create a personalized card for Dad (and for grandfathers, uncles, cousins and extended family members too!).

Though many dads lack a fashion sense, The Coastal Star reminds us of a few tried and true ways that Dad can remain looking sharp with a hassle-free wardrobe staple — the blue blazer. From the board room to a baseball game, he’ll be looking good now!

For the macho-dad, The Muscle Car Network of Central Florida is publicizing its Father’s Day Super Cruiser event — a 45 mile drive from South Daytona to Titusville, Florida. The ride is followed by lunch at the food-dive Dogs R Us in Titusville, where kids eat free!

Other activities out of the house for Dad includes a Father’s Day 8K on Jack Quinn’s Running Club Ning community, the Fathers’ Day Skinner Butte History Walking Tour through the Eugene Downtown Neighborhood Association, and a Father’s Day Snack with the Animals in Irvine, CA through the Children & Nature Network.

Though the dads in your life might not ask for much for this holiday — know there’s plenty of things out there that’ll surprise and delight them — and Ning communities nationwide are brimming with great ideas if you need any inspiration. Happy Father’s Day, dads!

Finding and creating community to get a beach body

Summer is fast approaching. Have you kept that New Years Resolution to get that beach body you’ve always wanted? If not, that’s okay. There’s still plenty of time to do just that, and there are many Ning communities out there to help you reach your goal!

Health and fitness sites are nothing new, but finding a place that motivates and connects us to others with the same fitness goals is something of a foreign concept for many people. After all, we can’t all be on the The Biggest Loser and who wants to publicly share their weight loss goals?

The beauty is that people naturally feel more comfortable sharing this type of thing with like-minded people around them. We see this extending to the online world. In many ways, Ning Communities serve as the social lubricant, getting people to open up and share their story — for support, motivation and to highlight their successes to encourage others. With that in mind, we wanted to point out a few Ning communities making an impact on people’s health:

Move Nourish Believe

iAmTRI

Runners For Life

Strength Performance Network

Adelaide Cyclists

Russian Kettlebells UK – Helping Fellow Kettlebellers Come Together. Learn, Connect and Grow.
Russian Kettlebells UK - Helping Fellow Kettlebellers Come Together. Learn ,Connect and Grow.

30 Bananas a Day!

NJ Hiking: Connect – A Social Network for New Jersey Hiking Enthusiasts
NJ Hiking: Connect - A Social Network for New Jersey Hiking Enthusiasts

www.DiscGolfersR.Us – The Community of Disc Golfers and About All Things Disc Golf
www.DiscGolfersR.Us - The Community of Disc Golfers and About All Things Disc Golf

Richmond Road Runners – Supporting running in the metro Richmond area
Richmond Road Runners - Supporting running in the metro Richmond area

Outdoor Baby Network – An information sharing site for families who enjoy the outdoors!

 

Whether you’re trying to lose weight, bulk up, or simply interested in mixing up your dietary habits, there’s likely a Ning community filled with people aspiring to achieve the same results as you. And if there’s not, create your own community today and you can help improve the lives and health for thousands of people out there seeking the same fitness and health goals as yourself.

Beach-goers worldwide will thank you.

What to get Mom for Mothers Day?

If you’re like me, you might be at a loss what to get your mom for Mother’s Day. This year, skip the flowers and cheesy greeting cards and instead find a great Ning community for her to join. Does she have a love for knitting or is she a compulsive runner? Addicted to coffee or a travel buff? There’s likely a Ning community out there just for her! With over 100 million people part of Ning communities today, she might already be a part of a Ning community and not even know it!

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Baseball is happening, on Ning

As Major League Baseball kicks into high gear for its 2012 season, Ning communities are showing their excitement for America’s favorite pastime.

Baseball.net made its debut as this season got started. Though the site is a rookie in terms of tenure on Ning, they’ve scored an A-list custom domain name. According to Arbel Arif, owner of Baseball.net, they built their site to support a “vast community of baseball enthusiasts who gather to ‘talk baseball’.” We’re looking forward to following their growth as the season progresses.

Opposite Baseball.net, The World Baseball Network and CheckSwing have been using Ning for 3+ years, amassing nearly 9,000 members and aspiring baseball players.

On Netflix Movie Fans, the community answers the question “What are some of your favorite baseball movies” (A League of Their Own or The Sandlot, anyone?):

 

For sports memorabilia collectors, the Sports Collectors Social Network provides a taste of retail therapy. The Ning community connects like-minded collectors, and provides useful tools to help in their search for elusive and rare baseball cards and other must-have goodies.

On MyTown Colorado, community member Alyson Miller recently publicized an event inviting children from all around Boulder County to gather to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and be recorded for the soundtrack of Labragirl Pictures’ film 6-4-3. The title refers to how a double play happens between players on the field: six is the shortstop, 4 is the second baseman and 3 is the first baseman.

The Hawai’i Chamber of Commerce of Northern California is using their Ning site to bring together members and non-members of the organization to a real-world meet-up for an upcoming San Francisco Giants game against the Milwaukee Brewers on May 4. They’ll be rooting for Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson, for sure!

Meanwhile, as anyone who’s played on a club sports team knows, having a great looking uniform adds to team morale and pride. San Francisco-based Fog City Athletics & Apparel is a company specializing in athletic team uniforms and casual wear, ensuring teams are looking sharp. Their site lives on Ning, where they show their portfolio of custom print graphics and designs available for creation. From their site, they recently Tweeted a shot of custom designed baseball caps made by the company. Lookin’ good, guys!

In the same vein, members of the Kreg Jig Owners Community are learning how to build a baseball storage center with their Kreg tools to organize the likes of little league gear:

From spectating and playing, collecting memorabilia, and making apparel and equipment accessories, bringing a community together to highlight the love of baseball is a home run on Ning.

How a Ning community is telling the world’s story

Everyday, there’s billions of happenings around the world, spanning momentous occasions like the birth of a child or the start of a new job, or seemingly insignificant chores like walking the dog and taking out the trash. But how do you tell the world’s stories, through the world’s eyes?

It’s a challenge that Kyle Ruddick and Brandon Litman are tackling and showing through their film project, One Day on Earth. The film is making its worldwide premier on Earth Day, this Sunday, April 22, 2012.

One Day on Earth - Video archive

The 2 filmmakers have amassed 3,000 hours of video footage captured and added by members and supporters of their site and Ning community, aptly called One Day on Earth. And the footage was, fittingly, captured during 1 day on earth: October 10, 2010 (10.10.10).

On Sunday, the film’s premier will recognize the worldwide collaboration and shared vision of thousands of people, from every country in the world, and we couldn’t be more excited to see One Day on Earth, and Ning’s impact in telling the world’s story through this film. Many of us from Ning will be attending the San Francisco screening of One Day on Earth. We’d love to see you there, or hope you can make it to a screening location worldwide.