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Partner Blogs (7)

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.

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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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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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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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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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