In the past month, the nation has come face-to-face with an alarming epidemic among its youth: bullying, cyber bullying and teen suicide. As a platform that enables any person or organization to create a social website, we intrinsically understand the power of the social Web. It lets people gather around and connect directly with the organizations, artists, politicians, non-profit and brands that matter most to them. Anyone can instantly share, engage in a conversation, and connect with other people who share similar interests—to be social online. But just like in real life, bullying can happen online too.
With the launch of Ning Mini, Plus and Pro, we’ve reinforced the ability for Network Creators to put their brand first. The ability to have total control over your brand is an out-of-the-box feature of Ning Plus and Ning Pro, and Network Creators who have already selected these plans will notice a few positive changes.
Specifically, the Ning Burst no longer appears in the network bar, and the Created By box has been removed altogether. We’ve introduced a lightweight “Powered by Ning” tag in the footer, which is easy to remove if it’s not right for your Ning Network.
I’m excited to introduce three new versions of the Ning Service that we will roll out in July. When we announced two weeks ago that we were going to refocus on paying Ning Networks and phase out our free service, we knew there would be many questions about what the new Ning would look like. Our goal with these offerings — as explained below — is to enhance the experience Network Creators have on Ning, and by extension, the experiences your members have as well.
Member engagement happens when your members interact with you and with each other. Interaction includes posting or commenting on a blog, forum discussion, photo or video. It may take the form of becoming friends with another member, giving a gift or adding a comment to a profile. It’s all about participation.
Why It Matters
Member engagement is more than just social networking buzzwords. It’s the difference between a successful Ning Network and a stale Web site. It’s what makes your social network, well, social. And it’s about more than simply getting people to sign up.
If you have an active Ning Network, you know that moderating the content added to your Ning Network can be an important part of making it a welcoming place. We’re happy to announce a new feature we think Network Creators are going to be very excited about: content flagging. With the new content flagging feature, you don’t have to go it alone when it comes to moderation. You can appoint members to flag — and hide — content that might be inappropriate and then decide for yourself whether questionable content belongs on your Ning Network. The idea is simple: Use the power of crowdsourcing and make the moderation of your Ning Network more efficient for everyone involved.
When we announced the launch of Ning Network Creators in November, we knew we’d be successful. We knew that many thousands of creative and helpful NCs would sign up to share advice and tips with other NCs, but whenever you launch something new, it’s hard to know how quickly it will grow and be adopted. Creators is four months old today, and we’ll soon be welcoming our 10,000th member. We’re delighted that Creators has been so warmly received and useful to everyone who’s joined.