If you’ve been reading along, you know we’re pretty excited about the ways we’ve integrated with Twitter and Facebook. Both services provide tremendous audiences for sharing and syndicating content from your Ning Network, but we also know they aren’t the only game in town, at least when it comes to social sharing.
Today, we’re rolling out a new Ning.com design with a new Ning Network discovery feature. Here’s the new Ning homepage:
This new design strives for a clean, simple and elegant design with pops of beautiful images to represent the diverse interests and passions across the Ning Platform. You’ll see these new visual changes across Ning, including the Creators, Developer, the Ning Help Center and here on the Ning Blog. Our new logo will also replace our old logo in the Ningbar you see at the top of your Ning Network. Here’s the new Ning About page:
Growing a Ning Network by populating it with lots of members is often considered to be the Holy Grail for many Network Creators. As a result, we see Ning Networks that are so excited to grow — and grow quickly — that their invitation lists more closely resemble the population of a small country. But, as the saying goes, it’s about quality not quantity. The key to building a vibrant Ning Network is to attract people that will love to be part of it and regularly contribute. Think before you hit send; are these invitees likely to be active, engaged members? That’s why it’s important to invite the right connections and friends that share your passion. To reach them, we’re highlighting four simple ways to best share with and invite the people that can make your Ning Network stellar.
Contests are a core way to drive participation on your Ning Network and keep members coming back. For example, the folks at My Kicks on Fire ran a contest to win a free pair of Nike Air Yeezy sneakers. To enter, members were asked to help get the word out via Twitter. Friends or Enemies launched a t-shirt design competition, where the winner had their design printed and sold in the FOE merch store. To participate, members uploaded their proposed t-shirt design to the group in the comments section.
Running a Ning Network is a lot like hosting an awesome party. But no matter how rocking it is, sometimes people leave and sometimes you have to kick people out. On Monday, we’ll be introducing more flexibility to the experience members have when they leave your Ning Network, and to the experience you have when you need to remove a member. These improvements will facilitate member management and keep the party going strong.
Along with launching our brand-new Ning Creators Network today, we’ve also updated the design and layout of Ning.com. As we first posted here, this is the first step of a redesigned Ning.com that will be focused on Ning Network discovery, Ning Network management and no default Ning-wide profiles.
We’ll have more on this update soon, so stay tuned. Thanks!
Today, we run Google Ads on the right-hand side of Ning Networks that don’t have the Go Ad-Free premium service.
Starting this Wednesday November 4, you may notice some changes to the ads that display in this right-hand column. We will start mixing in display ads, along with the contextual text ads that you currently see. We will also start targeting ads separately to Network Creators and members, so you may begin soon to see ads that only you as the Network Creator are seeing from Ning.
Every day, millions of people come together across Ning Networks to explore, express, and meet new people around their interests and passions. Today, we’re giving members another meaningful way to connect with Ning Virtual Gifts.
This customizable virtual gifts offering is unique in that it can be highly relevant to the activity of your Ning Network. As a Network Creator, you can pick and choose from hundreds of virtual gifts. Best of all, you can add your own custom gifts to the Gift Store. Check out how Lost Zombies is using virtual gifts for some creative inspiration:
Earlier this week, we wrote about how you can use Ning Apps to add a store to your Ning Network. Ning Apps are also incredibly useful for driving donations and fundraising efforts. Hawks for Homeless is a Ning Networks that’s using a Ning App to help drive donations to the The Midnight Mission in Los Angeles:
Other Ning Networks like TuDiabetes and The Hoot Owl have launched similar fundraising efforts. Adding your own fundraising Ning App takes a few quick steps.
Your Ning Network can be a place to see beautiful images, set out on new adventures and connect with other members around shared interests. It can also be a place to make a little extra cash. Included in our Ning Apps launch from last month are several Ning Apps that you can use to sell products directly from your Ning Network. For example, Every Day Moms is using the Sellit Ning App to sell homemade crocheted gifts, directly from its Shops tab.
No one likes spam, especially us. It makes for a less-than-awesome Ning Network experience for members and makes a Network Creator’s life harder than it needs to be. While we’ve been building spam prevention into more and more elements of the Ning Platform, we’re constantly looking to drive more spam prevention projects that make Ning even better. Some of these projects are obvious and others are behind-the-scenes. Our ultimate goal is to eliminate spam on your Ning Network before it ever gets there.
We’re thrilled to announce the launch of Ning Apps, available today on your Ning Network. As a social platform, we’re finding that each interest and passion requires a unique combination of features. Ning Apps dramatically expand the quantity and quality of the features available on your Ning Network, and allow you to engage even further with your members.
Today you can choose from more than 90 Ning Apps, and that’s just the beginning. This number will continue to grow as developers here at Ning and around the world build additional Ning Apps tailored around your interests and passions.