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Ning 2 Archive (49)

NC for Hire
Tips left for other Ning Creators get buried with time, so I developed a method to resurface those good ones for another round of help. A while back I showed you over 200 Ning tips that I had scraped out of my own profile discussions dating back to 2007. There was quite a bit of garbage in there so I have gone through those and picked out around 110 tips which are still relevant and have compiled them into a collection for you. You can simply learn something new every day from these tips alone. So, if you think you have done all you can do to make your network the best it can be, i am here to show you that you still have much to do.
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He pensado que sería interesante disponer de una plantilla para recordar las opciones de MI RED, desde donde controlamos todos los aspectos y funcionalidad de nuestras redes. Se trata de 6 plantillas, 6 "chuletas", que muestran en español las correspondientes capturas de las diferentes opciones que hay. Esto sin duda ayudará a localizar rápidamente una determinada opción de menú. Es posible que también nos ayude a descubrir algunos aspectos nuevos.

He incluido también los iconos de los Accesos directos para los que aún se rigen por estos. También he provisto de un margen a la izquierda de las capturas por si alguien quiere hacer algunas anotaciones a mano. El tamaño se ajusta más o menos para imprimir en una hoja DIN4 (recomiendo imprimirlo en color).


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The screen shot, above, is of my private website for the members of The 100.  ---martial arts school owners, teachers, and their staff members. 

 

The green tabs on the left are expandable --and I found the idea here on Ning Creators. It's made organizing my information so much easier --and it's so much better looking than what I had before. 

 

Wanted to pass along a thanks. I really enjoy Ning. 

 

Tom Callos

 

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All praise for the new design tools!

I love, love, love the new design tools.

Thank you to all the boys and girls at ning that put this stuff together. I'm a designer but not a programmer and I made our Veloist site look awesome!

The beta 2 column format is exactly what I wanted to do, cleaner lines and bigger ad space--now I just need some advertisers.

Rock on ning, oh and ride safe.

 

Mike the Veloist

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One of the great things about living and working in Silicon Valley is that from time to time we get to meet people who are working on a truly cutting-edge product that has the potential to transform, well, just about everything. We ran into one of these products recently. It’s called the Kno. You may not have heard of it, but you will soon. The folks who make this hard-to-get Kno tablet have been kind enough to provide us with two of them, which we want to give away to two people here on Creators! Read on for all the details, and check out the Kno. — Jason Rosenthal, CEO, Ning


Next Monday is the second annual celebration of Community Manager Appreciation Day all across the Internet.

Last year, I pasted Internet High-Fives into conversations and profiles of community manager types I know as a way to recognize all their hard work. It was great fun. This year, I’m proud to say that we can do better.

The fine folks who make the Kno tablet computer have graciously donated two of their upcoming tablet computers to our cause: recognizing people who devote their time to encouraging online conversation and activity — just like you do every day on your Ning Network. As the head of your own social network, you are essentially the community manager of your own site. This is your chance to share your expertise — and get a shot at winning a tablet computer.

You’ve undoubtedly had a ton of experience growing and shaping the conversation on your Ning Network. As your entry in this contest to win a Kno tablet, tell us...


What’s the single best piece of advice you can give to a new community manager?


How this contest works

  • You can submit an entry by simply replying to this discussion with a piece of good advice for a new community manager. One sentence works. A few more if necessary. 
  • Witty, insightful, funny, serious, straightforward? It's up to you. Whatever you think is compelling.
  • One entry = one reply: Please only one reply per person. Multiple entries will be disqualified.
  • Enter early but not often. No do-overs!
  • Network Creators only, please. Admins are not eligible.
  • This contest begins now and will end at midnight (PST) Monday, January 24th.
  • On January 25th, we’ll close this discussion, gather the responses, and force our CEO to choose only the two best pieces of advice.
  • We’ll announce the winner here on Creators on or around January 28.
  • We’ll also update this discussion with the results, so you’ll be automatically notified since you’re following this discussion.
  • We’ll contact the winners before announcing the results, so rest assured that if you win, we’ll track you down!

Good luck! Our hope is that everyone will get a good nugget of advice out of this community-based contest. 

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Hey all! I wanted to share a special offer for interested Ning Pro NCs. We've worked closely with Mobile Roadie (one of our Ning Everywhere partners) to provide a significant holiday discount on their mobile app creation services.

If you're interested in creating a native iPhone, Android or BlackBerry application that can integrate with your Ning Network, you'll be able to save 20% on setup fees through December 31st.

Check out this offer page for more details and some product tour videos. Happy holidays!

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The holidays are coming up and we are in a giving mood here at DoubleDutch. Recently we announced our partnership with Ning to bring networks ‘geosocial’, and since then we have been ecstatic at the response from network creators about the potential of this platform. Specifically, what this means for you is that you can now let your community members "check-in" to places in the real world on their mobile phones, and win badges and points for their efforts.

Sign up in 2010, it’s free for 3 months

Yep: sign up by Dec 31st, and you get a mobile check-in app private for your Ning Pro community for free for three months. We are doing this for two reasons: 1) we believe Ning is a great fit for our platform for a long time to come, and 2) we want feedback from as many networks as possible to grow and develop the platform to best fit Ning communities.

doubledutchdoubledutch

What you get out of it

As network administrators, you can provide your community with a great mobile component. Our app uses geolocation technology to give your members the ability to share their location with other members, while adding notes along with their check ins to add a fun and engaging way to connect your community. And because of our partnership with Ning, the apps share members’ activity seamlessly with their friends on Ning (as well as Facebook and Twitter). Each piece of activity within the app earn the user points and badges (that come with the app), so members can compete to be on the top of the leaderboard.

Once the three month introductory period is over, our plan is to offer three very reasonable pricing tiers: Our Mini tier, for communities of up to 150 people, will be free. This package will include full check-in functionality, access to DoubleDutch's 5M or so points of interest (aka places like bars and restaurants) around the world, and our standard badge package.

For larger communities, our Plus tier is a good option. This package will include all of the features included in the Mini tier, plus a self serve dashboard that lets you manage your community's place data. With this tool, you will be add new venues in bulk, and edit existing venues. You also get unlimited usage with this package. Pricing will be about $10 per month.

Our Pro tier offers just about everything you need to run a world-class geosocial network. In addition to data management tools, you also get a local deals / coupons dashboard that will allow you to monetize the network, as well as access to analytics that lets you track and understand your community's real world behaviors. With our Pro package, and you can also upload up to ten custom badges. Usage is unlimited, and pricing will be about $25 per month.

Take a look at the screen shot below of our analytics panel to get an idea of how it could benefit you and your community. doubledutch

If your community can benefit from geosocial, you can learn more about our platform and this offer, or jump straight to Connect & Create.

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ning_pageNing is a great platform that allows organizations and individuals to launch their very own niche social network in only a few minutes time. As a Ning certified partner, over the last few years The Bivings Group has built and designed Ning-based sites for clients such as The Pickens Plan, Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans and America and the National Peace Corps Association. We think Ning is a great solution for organizations looking to launch their very own social network quickly and cost effectively.

As a result of our work with Ning, folks frequently get in touch with us asking for help in setting up and designing their network. Most of the time their needs are pretty modest – they just want someone to help them create a custom design for their network or some initial advice as to how to set up and manage their community. Since our focus is on larger development projects, we typically haven’t been able to help.

As a way of filling this void, today we are pleased to launch a cost-effective new suite of Ning consulting services. For a one-time fee of $2,500, we will create and implement a custom design for your Ning network and provide some initial advice on how to get the most out of your network. If you need help developing your overall strategy, integrating your network with a CRM, managing your network long term or completing custom development work, we can help with that too.

Learn more about our Ning services here.

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Happy Holidays, Ning Creators!

I’m on the CafePress Team working with Ning to help you ring up more holiday sales on the Ning Network. Chances are, holiday shoppers will love buying gifts from your CafePress shop, if they know how to find you. Here are a handful of suggestions on how to quickly and easily promote your shop:

1. Create more designs around your topic. Think of all the slogans your members will love. Let’s say you have a Knitting site – offer your members products that embrace their passion with designs such as “peace love knitting” or “EAT SLEEP KNIT”. You can upload your own designs, use our online design tool to create your own, or use one of our design templates. The more designs you have in your shop, the better. You can add up to 12 different designs on your shop.

2. Let your members know about your shop. Blog about it, post it on the forum, or post a graphic. Share the different designs you have. Each sale from your shop supports your site. You receive 10% commission of all sales from your shop.

3. Take advantage of the holiday promotions we’re sponsoring for November. Below is a calendar of sales – be sure to let your members, friends, and family know. Post to your members as each sale starts and a reminder before it ends.

*Coupon disclaimers apply – more information.

4. Add the CafePress Shop App to your store. Make it easy for friends, family and a world of shoppers to find your designs. If you haven’t already done so, add the CafePress Shop App to your site (you can install it for free from the Ning App store).

Need more ideas for sprucing up your store? Check out the tips from my previous post for inspiration.

Wait. What’s that sound? Do you hear sleigh bells? Must be time to start sprucing up your shop and spreading the word on your holiday offering. Let shoppers know that your designs make perfect gifts.

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NC for Hire

Free Banner Rotators for Your Networks

In the infinite pursuit of making a little money with our networks, the know-how for creating rotating ads and banners is ever-present. I figured I would help you all out a little bit and point you towards some rotating banner scripts and image rotators for you to implement on your networks as I am on my network for land surveyors. I hope you enjoy these. If you use one, please stop back by and drop a screenshot in the comments below and show us how it turned out.
Simple Banner Rotator

[DEMO HERE] This free JavaScript supports an unlimited number of banners, the ability to refresh (change) the ads every n milliseconds, where n is an interval you set, as well as the facility to specify a banner or set of banners for rotation at a particular location, or have them rotate randomly. You can set an expiry date for a banner as well, where a particular banner is removed from display after a certain date. Different sets of banners can also be assigned to different parts of your web page, and the script is able to avoid displaying the same banner in different spots on the same page. You can set the sizes of the banners (overriding the default size for the banner), cause the links for each banner to open either in the same window/tab or a new browser window/tab, etc. The script is released under the GNU General Public License, which means that it's open source.

Magic Image Rotation

[DEMO HERE] This script rotates your pictures, photos or other types of images along with their associated links (that is, each image can have different target links). The first image that is shown is random, and the subsequent images will be shown in sequence (as far as I can tell). The site's demo uses the script as a sort of photo slideshow.

ESPBanner Script

[DEMO HERE] This banner rotation script will automatically switch the advertisements displayed on your site while your page is being displayed. It can handle Flash, images and other types of banners, and allows you to display two or more banners on the same page.

Free Banner Rotator with Caption

[DEMO HERE]This banner rotator will display your banners, which may be either images or Flash files, together with their captions.

Random Image Ad

With this java script you can put random image ad or rotate banner ads randomly. Just put source and link to your images in array and this script will do the rest.

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Interested in monetizing your network through Skimlinks, but not sure exactly how it works?

Well, Skimlinks is giving you an opportunity to harness the power of the conversations happening on your network, and help make sure you're rewarded for the purchase intent that's created through your content.

Skimlinks is best suited to networks that have a product or retail focus, such as electronics, gadgets, mothering, automotive, sports and fashion, and you could be earning immediately through Skimlinks, with an easy sign up process, right inside your Ning network interface.

To get a break down of how the Skimlinks technology works, and how you can make the most of it, check out our easy Skimlinks Startup Guide, or find out out more about affiliate marketing with this simple video.

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Want to build your own iPhone App but are hesitant about how it all works?

The CEO at AppMakr, who we recently partnered with us to help NCs quickly and easily build their own iPhone app, is giving the first 25 Pro Network Creators who built an AppMakr app for their Ning Network 3 months free. All you have to do is sign up here, and they'll help you get set up.

What's the catch? Once you're done, we'd simply like to here how it went here on Creators.

To summarize:

 

  1. Sign up with AppMakr and build your Ning iPhone App.
  2. Fill out this form.
  3. Share your experience here on Creators with a Blog post.

 

That's it. This is a great way for you to get started and try it out.

Good luck building your app, and if you're chosen — we want to hear how it went!

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Ning Pro accounts have the ability to offer a fully branded Music Player, but if your Ning Network isn’t all about music, there are a number of lightweight options that may work for you that are worth checking out. I did a little research and tried out a few services myself in the hope that I could find a few decent alternatives for Creators who like having music but don’t need a full-fledged player.

A few things to keep in mind…

Nullum Gratuitum Prandium *

There’s an undeniable truth about online services that offer music and/or embeddable widgets: It’s not cheap to host millions of songs. As a consequence, there are few completely free services that have survived with this business model (a great case in point is imeem, which shut down last year). But, there are still a few out there.

White label generally isn’t free

Some of these services include advertising or branding from the company that makes the player. Some of them offer limited functionality for free — and more options for a price. For most of these, the cost is reasonable. If branding is of utmost importance to you, check the FAQ pages for each service to confirm their policies about logos and branding.

Size matters

Some of the players will auto-resize, but some aren’t easily scalable in their dimensions, so you should experiment and make sure one really fits into one of the columns of your Ning Network.

Sign-up to play

All of these services will require you to create an account in their system. It’s usually quite easy, although at least one requires a connection to your Facebook account. Most include ads or links back to their home page. If you’re uncomfortable with that, you may want to consider a Ning Pro account, which allows you to offer an unbranded, fully hosted Music Player that offers complete control.

Check your tech

Some of these players use Javascript, some use Flash, and some use both. As such, they could interfere with other code that you’ve added to your Ning Network (or perhaps could conflict in specific situations). Chances are they won’t, but (as always) test it out and see what you think before totally committing to something new. That said: There’s no harm in trying out as many as you can.


With all of those caveat emptors, here's a list of some you might want to try...

If you haven’t already tried the Muziic Ning App, it’s easy to install and test out. Every Ning plan can take advantage of it for free, so give it a try and see what you think.

If you simply want a way to play a few music tracks on your Ning Network, Playlist.com is one to try. They have a decent song selection and a good-looking (albeit branded) player. Their FAQs.

MixPod offers another decent-looking player, and it also offers something you’ll notice is becoming more prevalent with embeddable music widgets: it plays video in addition to audio. Many of these players pull their content from YouTube (a big host of content for a lot of scrappy start-ups), which you might consider more awesome — or not. It depends on what you prefer. Their FAQs

8tracks is a very hip choice. It allows you to upload (at least) eight songs to make a simple playlist, which you can then embed on your Ning Network. What’s great about this service is that other people share public playlists, so you can find some great mixes. This is a good choice if you aren’t tied to the idea that your music player must be like a jukebox and only play songs you want in the order you want. More info.

If you’re a musician who wants to offer your own music for sale directly on your Ning Network, you should absolutely try Bandcamp. It’s a very cool service that is tailor-made for independent artists who want to advertise their own music.

PodSnack is a Flash player made by SnackTools, which offers similar services for podcasts and other types of media. It allows you to upload tracks and create a nicely designed, unobtrusive music player. However, the free player will only allow you to play 1:30 of your songs. Purchasing isn’t unreasonable, but this isn’t a good choice if you insist on having a free player. Their FAQs.

iLike was purchased by MySpace last year, which makes it a very popular choice. Will you like iLike? There’s only one way to find out. Try it out. Their FAQs.

Share your own here

These are just a few to get you started. The main thing I’ve learned from researching embeddable music players is that none of them will allow you to have the kind of complete control you’ll get with the Ning Music Player available to Ning Pro. But, if you simply want a short playlist of songs for your members to enjoy, you should definitely try a few out and see what you think.

I know the people here on Creators are a resourceful bunch and will share their own ideas and experiences with other, similar services they’ve encountered and tried. So, have at it and offer your own suggestions!
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Greetings, Creators!

I work at CafePress, and I've been collaborating with Ning to develop a partnership that's designed to help you make more money from your Ning Network. We launched a CafePress App on June 16th, which makes it incredibly easy for you to get started with your own storefront. We also worked with Ning on a very unique offer: the ability for you to earn a free year of Mini or Plus. We're very excited about this idea because it’s really a win-win situation for everyone. It’s clearly excited a lot of you as well. As of today, the CafePress App has been installed on over 2,500 Ning Networks.

If you're not familiar with the offer, check it out. We've already seen a number of Ning Networks meet their goal and earn a free year of Mini or Plus.

The folks from Ning invited me to stop by Creators and give those of you who haven't yet reached your goal a few tips that might help you get there faster. We’ve obviously had a lot of experience seeing storefronts succeed or fail. Here are three of the best tips I can give you.

1. Include a custom design.

From my experience, the single most important thing you can do to increase revenue in your CafePress store is to offer custom designs. While the standard "I heart" message works great for some people, I've seen a dramatic increase when people go the extra distance and create custom images. It also helps to offer a number of choices.

The Bayan Ng Candalaria site is a great example of a Ning Network that’s already reached their goal of earning a free year’s subscription to Ning Plus. Their CafePress store offers a dozen graphically rich choices that can be found on over 20 fabulous products, including t-shirts for dogs! Now, that’s clever.

Not a designer? Create your own design with our "Designer" — simply select the option "Build a design." You’ll find a library of clip art and text tool to help you create a great design.

2. Don't just think visual — think textual

Even if you aren't a whiz at Photoshop, with a little bit of creativity you can offer compelling text-based designs that include your tagline or fun sayings that your members will connect with. A great example to follow is Duke City Fix, a Ning Network with a longstanding CafePress store. They offer witty and catchy sayings that read like bumper stickers. Very clever bumper stickers.

3. Put it above the fold

We do a lot of statistical analysis at CafePress, and one of the things we focus on is how people integrate their CafePress stores into their Web sites. There is a very important detail that we've found makes a big difference: display your merchandise "above the fold" — closer to the top of the page so people who take a cursory glance at your Main Page will clearly notice it. The old sales adage "show the product" applies here. As I'm writing this, I notice that a Ning Network that does a great job of making their CafePress site visible above-the-fold is Walden International Corps — and it looks like they just met their goal of a Ning Plus subscription today. Go, Walden!

It's easy to add new designs to your Ning CafePress store! Here are steps to help you get started:

  1. Go to your CafePress store on your Ning site and click on the "Edit Your Shop" button.
  2. If you're not logged in, it will take you to the member sign in page. Enter your account information.
  3. Click on the "edit" link for your Ning store and you will be taken to the edit version of your store.
  4. Under Shop by Design (left side), you can start adding new designs by selecting the "Add a Design" link. You will be given the choice to:
  • Browse our Designs by using our design templates personalized by your site name or text
  • Upload a logo
  • Build a design by using our easy "designer tool" to put together clipart and text with your choice of font

Once you're done, be sure to save your design!

We hope that you're already on the road to earning a Ning Mini or Plus year's subscription. You still have until August 20th to take advantage of this offer, so if you haven't started, you can get going right now. Or just add the CafePress App to make money — it's your choice.

If any other Creators have tips to share based on their own experience of integrating CafePress into their Ning Network, feel free to share them here.

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We have always prided ourselves on our uptime record. In March, we had 99.999% uptime. However, Ning Networks experienced slowness last week and brief downtime on Thursday evening. I wanted to take a few moments to walk you through what happened last week and what we’re working on to improve on situations like this going forward.

Starting Tuesday morning we saw sporadic instability in our servers, resulting in slowness that many of you experienced. Our operations and engineering teams investigated a variety of potential causes for the instability including a back-end release that was pushed out on Monday. We rolled the release back as part of our investigation and continued to look for the root cause.

On Thursday morning we believe we identified and addressed the primary cause of the instability: we had started testing a prototype to deliver real-time information to Ning Networks on Monday. We stopped the test and continued to monitor the platform. At around 8pm that day a cluster of cache servers that had become slightly unstable during the investigation started failing. At this point, we began an unplanned maintenance to restart them and it took about 70 minutes to complete the restarts and go live.

Whenever there’s an issue on the Ning Platform, we pursue the following protocol: First, our on-call engineers begin investigating what might be causing the issue. Then, for larger issues like this week, we escalate it to all-hands on deck. We also strive to get information out to you as fast as possible through several channels including the Ning Status Blog, Creators Ning Network and Ning Status Twitter account. Longer-term, we are working on an NC landing page with an announcement bar for important messages and a separate, lightweight “Report an Issue” link, which will allow NCs to quickly and simply report an issue they may be experiencing.

Following this incident, I wanted to highlight two specific areas we have identified for improvement:
1 It took longer than we’d like to identify and fix the problem: To address this, we are continuing our work on a series of projects that will simplify the platform and improve our ability to identify problems quickly when they happen. I will share more details with you early next week.
2 -We were not as effective as we could have been in communicating both the state of the platform and what we were working on: To address this, we are reviewing our internal and external communication processes to ensure that we can give you the most accurate and timely information on what is happening.

Keeping your Ning Network online and speedy is our top priority. Thanks again for all of your patience. As always we appreciate your feedback, so please let us know if you experience any problems on your Ning Network or have ideas for how we can improve the service.

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The Big Announcement: We haven’t sent out a regular digest in a few weeks. If we had, it would have been about one thing: Our big May 4th announcement. We’re thrilled to have finally announced the upcoming plans and pricing, and we’ll be working to bring you as much information about the changes coming in July. We’ll be updating our News & Views About Change regularly if you want to follow some of the highlights and new things we’ve seen. We’ll also keep you updated via this weekly Best of the Week digest.
Ning Network slow-downs: We’ve had reports from Creators of slow-loading pages and even some folks who are having trouble accessing their Ning Networks. The issue seems to be sporadic and only affecting some Ning Networks (it was visible on Creators yesterday for a bit). Our engineers are working non-stop to identify the root cause and lessen the impact on Creators and their members. You can check and/or follow both the Ning Status Blog and the Ning Status Twitter feed for updates. We’ll also do our best to keep you informed on Creators.
New spam tools: We’ll soon be rolling out more ammo in our fight against spam: 3 New Ways to Stop Spammers and Verify Your Members. Some of these tools echo previous product requests from Creators. So, for example, we’re happy to be delivering things like a customized quiz for prospective members. That tool will help protect your Ning Network against spambots, but it will also let you ask “in-the-know” questions to help you attract quality new members.
Made by Awesome Creators
Jen: Ning Conference Call Highlights: Discussion on Ning Premium Plans and the New Ning
Across the Internet
This week we stumbled upon a ton of conflicting advice — yet both points of view were still valid.
For example, Why Fights Are So Important was written by the same community-focused guy who wrote The Dividing Line On Inflammatory Comments. Both good reads. He always has great advice, from Creating Titles For Members to why you should turn your sign-up form into The Application Form.
Lots of folks keep talking about Facebook and privacy and the Bewildering Tangle of Options you may encounter if you are keen on being a more private person on Facebook. Again, lots of conflicting opinions out there, including differing opinions about the new Facebook Like button (which some Creators have already asked for). It ranges from Why I Like the Facebook Like Button to Think Before You Like.
This had nothing to do with anything, but we loved the header on this Ning Network. Fun!
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NC for Hire

Ning Conference Call Highlights:


What Got My Attention On the Ning Conference Call? The Plus Plan

I'm not sure if any of you chose to join one of the phone conferences Ning offered in the past couple of days. I attended the last one on Thursday May 6, 2010, before the final call on Friday (Spanish call).

I have to tell you, on behalf of a lot of fellow Network Creators and friends, I was pleasantly surprised with what all I heard. Even for the Plus Plan, the power and features will be so much more than currently offered. With the exception of uploading Videos, Music and branded players, the Plus is like all of the premium services put together, plus a whole lot more, and all for $19.95 per month. This is actually a good deal less than premium networks pay today, for the same features - - again, except the music and video uploads. But the most critical point to keep in mind, there are a host of additional features you will gain from the Plus, that no one has today. Read more, below.

There were a lot of exciting topics touched-on in the conference call. And, for current premium customers it's almost a no-brainer. I have been a premium subscriber since day one, and will remain a premium. However, my main reason for joining the call was to learn and share any information I thought would be helpful to fellow Network Creators; especially for those of you who are currently free Ning Networks, and are struggling with making a decision. Some of you know your next move, and that's great. For those who aren't sure, and are considering the Plus Plan, here are a few tidbits I retained from the call.

Plus Plan Highlights:
Since the biggest loss is uploading videos and music, I will cover that first. In regards to Video, my understanding is: if you choose to go with the Plus instead of the Pro, any videos you currently have on your site will remain accessible in the same manner they are today. However, you or members will not be able to upload any more in the future. But, here's the thing. You can upload/host your videos somewhere like YouTube and add the embedded code to your Ning Network, in pretty much any text box from the home page to profile pages. And, I believe you will still be able to upload Videos with the "+Add Video" feature. My guess is: you just won't see an upload button, but a text box for embedded code.

For music, you can use a similar method formusic uploads, by utilizing embedded music players. There are several free music players available online - - and you can use the embedded code for those players on your Ning Network. I know for sites where video and music uploads are critical, this adds an extra step. However, if these two media formats are that critical to a site, you probably should figure out how to upgrade to the Pro Plan.

This is how I see it, if I were trying to make a decision. If I could not go to the Pro Plan, and I could live with video and music embeds, the Plus Plan is awesome. This is why.

  • Unlimited Members
  • All the features premium Networks enjoy today, with that one exception of no uploads on video and music.
  • Removal of all Ning Branding. Now you can promote your brand completely.
  • Ad-free - - you can run your own Ads, even if just Google Adsense. You can sell whatever you want - - I suppose as long as it's not illegal or something in the porn arena.
  • Your site will no longer carry the Ning brand/name. When a new member signs-up, they will see your name, your brand.
  • And this simply ROCKS! Sign-in with Facebook, Twitter or other authentication services
    (Coming soon)
  • You will have the option of using your own domain name.
  • You will have new features like special text boxes for the header/footer.
  • Small yet very powerful new features like: being able to choose the home page - - what your members and visitors will see first.
  • Member Stats
  • 25 Text Boxes and 25 RSS Feeds
  • Feature controls like: Hide invite, share, Facebook or Twitter links, turn off private messaging, and strengthen member verification.


Here's another topic that of course got my attention - - optional premium Memberships:

I can't remember if this was available for Plus and Pro. If any other attendee knows, please let us knowand I will move it up to the bulleted items for the Plus Plan.

You will be able to choose whether or not you want to charge members formembership, and the way I heard it: you should be able to choose areas of your Social Network, and enable a membership fee for that specific area. It wasn't clear on when this level of membership fees would be available, and I may have misunderstood how this will work. Time will tell. I do believe however, the basic "membership fee" feature will be available soon. Additionally, the Ning platform will process the payments for you, via PayPal.

There was definitely more covered in the call, and especially with the unique questions/answers asked by fellow Ning Network Creators. For example: a fellow Network Creator asked if Ning would raise their rates. The Ning Team was very quick to answer, "We have no plans to raise the rates." You had to be there. It was very convincing. But, time will tell.

I have covered the main points I caught. If anyone else reading this blog attended a call, and you want to add more, or correct anything I've stated, please do. :-)

Hoping everyone is able to make the absolute best decision.

Best,
Jen

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Can content enhance your Ning Network?

Yesterday we interviewed Box.net Platform Manager Jeremy Glassenberg about the Box.net Ning App, and how Ning Networks can use it to help manage and share content. Today, the friendly people at Box.net are giving away one year of Box.net Business service for 20 seats — a $2,400 value!

Entering is super simple. All you need to do is comment on this blog post, and let us know how your Ning Network would benefit from Box.net’s Cloud Content Management capabilities. Please include both your Ning Network’s address (http://) and how you would use Box.net in your comment on the blog post. One winner will be chosen by overall best use case. Hurry! We’re accepting entries up until Tuesday, April 20 at 5 p.m PST.

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Best of the Week Creators Digest

Important! Maintenance on Friday

Important notice for all Network Creators: All Ning Networks will be down for scheduled maintenance this Friday (tomorrow), April 9th from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. PST. Since this is planned downtime, your Ning Network will display a branded message (with *your* Ning Network’s name) to any visitors. If you have any questions, please let us know here.

10,000 Creators Strong Contest Winner(s)

It’s official. We’ve now reached our 10,000th member and awarded our contest prizes: John and Jennifer, FTW! Thanks to everyone for helping us celebrate this milestone.

Want to Connect Your Ning Network to LinkedIn?

Someone asked for a clever way to connect their Ning Network to LinkedIn, and a Creator had a really nifty idea about how to use a simple RSS feed to connect the two. Great answer, Steve!

Made by Awesome Creators

Jen: Check Credentials of Potential New Friends Before Accepting Friend Requests

Joseph Porcelli: Teaching Members Which Features to Use When! and How to Export Your Members to a CSV File

Amit S: Running a Ning Network Isn't a Child's Play!!

Across the Internet

Fundraising from Online Communities: Love this quote: “If you want to fundraise from online communities, don’t start by asking for money.”

Is your Ning Network F-U-N? Don’t Build a Boring Online Community

This is (in theory) written for PR folks, but a few of these tips could be invaluable for Network Creators (check out BackTweets and Wordle for usefulness and fun, respectively).

Excuse me, sir. Are forums going to be replaced by something shiny and new? Forums Are Everywhere and Here to Stay, So Skip the Tools Discussion and Focus on Your Objectives

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If you joined Creators recently, you may have known about our contest to reward our 10,000th member with a Timbuk2 Ning bag and 10,000 gift credits. We’re happy to report that we have a winner! Well, actually, two.

Please join us in raising the roof, hoisting a glass, and high-fiving Creator John Freeman! He’s located in the U.K., and his Ning Network, Down the Tubes, is all about British comics. Congratulations, John! You are our 10,000th member!


We always ask folks to let us know how they heard about Creators, and some people regularly tell us that they heard about us from an existing member of Creators. We wanted to reward one of those people who get mentioned a lot, so we tallied up the person with the most recommendations and came up with a second winner: Jennifer James. It makes sense for us to see so many people listing Jennifer as how they heard about Creators; she runs a number of very successful Ning Networks, including the Mom Bloggers Club.

Thanks for joining us, Jennifer and John. You'll both be receiving a Timbuk2 Ning bag like this one in the mail, and you should soon see 10,000 gift credits attached to your account. Go crazy with the gifts!

We also wanted to say thanks to everyone else who’s been following along as we grow. The Creators Network as you see it now has only been alive for five months, and we’re thrilled at how much we’ve grown. What makes it especially wonderful for those of us who work at Ning is how we can take the combined wisdom of our members and apply that directly to how we build Creators. Like many of you, we’re building up a Ning Network from scratch; having so many smart people around to offer suggestions and feedback moves us along and inspires us to keep building new things.

Thanks again, everyone! We’ll do some more contests soon. Feel free to suggest an idea for one, too. Always open to suggestions.

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