No other element or feature of a social network elicits as much venom or praise as the member profile page. Why? It’s simple:
Profile pages on social networks represent the very heart of freedom, self-expression, and the ability to make something uniquely your own.
A profile page is all mine to do (almost) anything I want with it.
Profile Page Features
So, this is my profile page on Ning’s Network Creators:
In many cases, The Right People First is an easier and more common path to creating a wildfire network than One Great Piece of Content.
It’s totally your call as to who are The Right People for your network. That’s the beauty of your own social network. You have the freedom to do anything you want with it.
It is not an exaggeration to say that Funny or Die is the best example of a social network that was created with One Great Piece of Content.
Unlike The Chronicles of Narina on YouTube, Funny or Die was no accident. It was constructed. That’s what makes it beautiful to you and me. You don’t have to be Will Ferrell to do it. You just need to be paying attention.
The most important thing you can be asking yourself as a Network Creator is:
How the heck do I get this thing off the ground?
This is true for any entrepreneur, hobbyist, or company Network Creator.
The good news is that one person can get a network off to the races by focusing on a very small number of important things. That’s easy enough, right?
We get asked a lot why we called the company Ning. Ning means peace in Chinese. When we heard this, we were pretty darn excited. However, it was after we’d already decided it was the exact right perfect name for us.
Ning was short, sweet, and wouldn’t take away from the main focus of our service: your social networks. As I’ve mentioned before, our service is about you, not us.
I don’t want to say that I have a “favorite” feature of your own social network on Ning. That would be like saying you have a favorite child.
But one of my favorite features of your own social network on Ning is the ability to customize your flash video player and flash photo slideshows on your social network on Ning.
You can watermark them so they look like this video from the Offshore for San Francisco Surf & Happenings:
Or this video from American Idol Fan Central:
Or how I stopped worrying and learned to love a good online party
Creating your own social network is a lot like hosting a fabulous party. Like all parties, it usually starts with being an interesting person and a love of meeting people. Bands and porn stars work too. Just kidding.
Like any party, it also takes a little bit of preparation to take cheap beer and stale chips and turn it into a night to remember.