I was all prepared to like Ning. This service provides the ability to create, without charge, one's own public or private social network. Your newly created network may include links to blogs, rss feeds, forums, photos and videos ... just to name some of the more prominent features. Your members can add to most of this content. I even created a Ning ... you can view it at eContent.Ning.Com. Consider my Ning a sandbox to join and play around in.
Okay ... if I like the feature set and concept, how come I give Ning a partial Ding?
- The administrative interface needs work. It was not obvious to me at first how one could delete individual entries ... important if one makes mistakes or objectionable content gets posted. I kept searching via the "Manage" menu. I expected to find a link to each feature which would list the various entries ... with the option to edit or delete. It took a visit from one of Ning's administrators (see comments) to point me in the right place. If one drills down to each piece of content, you ultimately get the ability to make changes.
- The system is sllllooooowww. Ning needs to optimize their code, or get more bandwidth.
I've included five annotated screen shots which take you on a quick tour of my Ning. Just click upon the thumbnails to view. If you're interested, Ning does give you the ability to edit source code, however, personally I've got better things to do than learn another scripting language.
This company is worth monitoring. They are on to a good idea, but I'll wait for the next release. Take some time and watch this short Ning demo from the Scoble Show. In addition, here is a link to Ning's Blog.