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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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I know there have been post on why not to send your users to facebook and I may have mis read or not understood but one thing I know for sure is that we are starting to see more members and people actually blogging more on our site then ever before. In the last 2 days we got 11 people to join. We have been trying hard to control the spam so I would say maybe 2 out of the 11 could be spammers but most we can see that they like our page on facebook. 

Make it simple and put in the work to talk to people who like your page on FB, invite them to join your Ning site. With the new like page profile update you can see and do allot more. Everyone who likes our page we "TRY" to send them a thank you and to check out our NING site. On our ning we ask how did they hear about SwurvRadio and guess what they say :) not myspace....If you don't put in the work to get people to your site stop complaining about nobody coming to your site. I'm personally up at 6am daily promoting, engaging and networking...We are not even close to this is 50 or sites like that but I can see the fruit of my team as well as my labor. 

I can't remember this guys name but he was a great programmer that I met in SF years ago at some apple convention and he said "if you don't break it your not gonna know how to fix it" Basically try everything...look at what other sites are doing and do what they are doing but make it your own. Do it better. Try something different do research on your competitor, google 100 sites like yours and look at what they are doing and see what you can do to stand out. 

When we first started I had over 200 employees and I personally spent more money developing Swurv over that past 6 years than I thought I would. Paying a programmer thousands for a site that never got developed I had to think how can we have some sort of online presence and along came NING. We aggressively put our site together and within days we have almost 2-300 people join and it went nuts from there. But that wasn't because we didn't Hustle. We got out and promoted with flyers and word of mouth and just about anything we could do to get where we are today. I can honestly say I'm almost as excited about The new ning as I was when we first got on the platform. Whatever kind of site you have, if you believe in it...DO NOT WAIT FOR PEOPLE TO COME TO YOUR SITE, MAKE THEM! GO GET EM! BREAK SOMETHING & figure out how to fix it..You might Discover something new.  

I know I'm rambling now but I hope this helps anyone struggling with there site. I always tell my djs "I would rather have 1 really good dj than 35 who don't do Shit" How many ever members you have treat them like they are #1 and they will bring people to your site"

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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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YAAAAAAAAAAAAY 1000 Members!

I've finally hit over 1000 members *does a little dance*!
Im so happy and excited! Im actually on 1162 to be exact :D So chuffed I needed to brag ;)
Im starting to branch out now too...I've found a company that makes really affordable websites so Im getting a new directory made...I have a directory section already on my website where I sell add space for business's .... I make some okay money from that...it all depends how much effort I put into it..for instance..one night of emailing and I made R1000! So cool!
So I am now going to make an independent directory with awesome features for my clients and connect it to my NING network as well and a new online shop that I'll link too...so things are finally starting to grow and Im slowly starting to actually earn an income from my site :)
Happy days!
And on a last note of my gushing excitement......Im soooooo excited for the new premium options too!! I'm going to get to save some money (I was already a premium member) AND get more features!
Im counting the days to the swap over!
Just in case you want to have a little look see at my NING baby, its Mommalicious Mammas :)
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Generating revenue through advertising can be golden; however, how does a network creator manage the advertising real estate?


First...what is advertising real estate? Since there is only so much space on a web page (okay so technically there is nearly unlimited space on a web page, but being realistic, there is only so much that is considered quality space) advertising real estate, is that space that a network creator allocates to advertising.

A few of tips before moving forward:
  1. Too much advertising can take away from the site visitor's experience and too little can be lost revenue. Finding a balance that works for your demographic is key.
  2. Work within your chosen web design. Placing advertising in awkward places on the site just to draw attention can be counter productive. Yes, you may get a visitor's attention, but by diminishing their experience on your site can be a huge negative.
  3. The key to success in advertising revenue is going to be return site visitors. The amount of effort and cost to get a new visitor to your website can be very costly and usually is. Keeping a balance of new visitors vs returning visitors is key. The balance and mix of these two variables is dependent on the site business model. For a social network, heavy percentage on return visitors is a must. If they aren't returning, something is wrong.
Okay, so how to manage the ad space? First, what are the variables that affect ad space?

They are:
  1. Ad size
  2. Ad placement
  3. Ad cost
  4. Ad exposure
In a nutshell there are just four variables to consider. Let's break each one down.

First, Ad size. Ad size is defined by the actual space that the ad will occupy on the web page. Whether placing graphics-based or text-based advertisements, the space requirement should be considered. Banner ads are typically sized by pixels, so for example, a 160x600 banner requires 160 pixels for the width and 600 pixels for the height.

Second, Ad placement. There are many combinations that can be used with regard to ad placement. The typical placement on a Ning network will be the right column. This space will receive the highest exposure because nearly every page on the network will have this column visible. It is also easy to manage by simply placing a text box and adding a banner image. Network creators can also easily place ads in all three columns on the network homepage. With bit more work, posting ads in the header, footer, and content areas, can be done; however, at present this will require a bit of javascript code and may offer some unpredictable outcomes.

Third, Ad cost. In determining how much to sell advertising space for, there are numerous considerations.
  1. What are the demographics of the site?
  2. Who could benefit from advertising?
  3. Do I charge CPC, or CPM?
  4. How much traffic does this network generate?
  5. Where will the ad be placed, (for example above the fold or below)?
This consideration (ad cost) can be expanded even further, but I will leave that for the comments.

Forth, Ad exposure. Ad exposure has four basic variables. They are:
  1. How many times an ad is seen by an individual.
  2. How often an ad is seen by an individual.
  3. The geographical location of the individual seeing the ad.
  4. The time the ad is being seen by an individual.
There are additional variables, like age, gender, browser type, etc., but those are beyond the scope of this discussion and can be explored in the comments.

Managing the complexity of advertising space can be daunting if not properly equipped. for the task.

For this reason, I recommend, Google Ad Manager as a solution for managing your advertising campaigns. This robust solution offers handy tools for managing your campaign along with providing confidence in reporting for your advertisers.

What experiences do you have regarding generating revenue via an advertising model?

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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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As we announced last month, Ning.com Network Search is making a comeback!

We have been working hard to make it easier than ever to find Ning Networks for your interests and passions. So we’re happy to announce that in the next few days, search will be back on Ning.com! We’ve heard a lot of feedback about how important this feature is from Network Creators as well as from members looking for Ning Networks.

For your Ning Network to appear in Ning.com’s Network Search, it must:

  • Be public. Prospective members won't know too much about or be able to join your Ning Network if
    it's private, and we want to protect the privacy of private Ning Networks and their members.
  • Be active. If your Ning Network has thousands of members but hasn't had new content in months,
    it's not likely to be ranked highly in searches.
  • Be launched and accessible. We don't want to showcase Ning Networks that aren't yet ready for prime time!
  • Not contain content that violates our Terms of Service.

For information on how to optimize your Ning Network for search, or if you have any search-related concerns about your Ning Network, please contact us through the Help Center.

Thanks,

Brent

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Last day, and Mama's headin' out the door to an SXSW party (Get OUT. Reeeeeally??). Unlike last night and the night before, tonight should be a fairly early one (*snort*), seeing as my flight leaves at 8:30 tomorrow morn.

What a fabulous experience this trip has been. I've been inspired, learned some new things, met some great people, made fantastic contacts (fingers crossed!), and hopefully turned a bunch of people on to the awesomeness that is Ning.

I'm SO grateful for such an amazing opportunity -- I have no question that with all I've gained these past few days, Swap Mamas will benefit immensely. I owe it all to you, Ning. I'll definitely be posting better pics when I get home ... catch y'all soon!

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Today was FANTASTIC. Great sessions, great parties, and now, at 11 pm, we're on our way BACK out to meld into the fray -- first on the list, the Mashable Party (if we can deal with the line wrapping around the block)!

I'm spreading the Ning luv aaaalll around -- hoping to catch up with the RVIPers shortly. (Ning has an RV. They drive around. They let people on. And they SING KARAOKE. It's a beautiful thing.) One thing's clear -- EVERYONE knows what Ning is. And convincing them of it's awesomeness has been unnecessary.

Best session today? Peter Shankman of HARO (Help A Reporter Out). If you're not already familiar with his site, do yourself a favor, head over and sign up for his 3x daily newsletter. His best advice? Be kind to people. When someone asks what my business model is, it's hard not to respond, "Be good to people and good things will come to you." It's how I live my life and it's how I run my network.

Sadly, tomorrow's my last day ... I'm packing in as many panels as I can. As for photos? Of course, I have a bunch. But, um ... yeah, left the cord to download 'em at home. Lovely. Sooo, I promise to post as soon as I get back. For the time being, this crappy phone-photo should whet your appetite.

To be clear, this is NOT the Ning RV. (One can dream ...)

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Day One at SXSW and seriously? I heart nerds. And I say that with all kind of luv, seeing as I'm a complete nerd myself. (Self-love is good, no?) Which means I'm in H-E-A-V-E-N.

So far, best part of the day, was the Opening Speaker, Danah Boyd. Boyd works at Microsoft Research New England and also serves as a fellow at the Harvard University Berkman Center for Internet and Society. She's doing some fascinating stuff with regard to privacy and publicity. And one of her comments struck me as particularly relevant to many of the conversations going on in the Ning Creators Community. In a nutshell, she makes the very valid point (IMHO) that when it comes to social networks, more is not necessarily better. That just because we CAN "optimize" the user's experience, doesn't necessarily mean we SHOULD.

Hallelujah.

I've often felt, that as much as I ADORE social media, it's important to remain grounded and remember that nothing replaces the human touch, metaphorical, or physical. Leaving just a little bit of that "human" experience in my network is integral to my network, and I would argue, ANY network. And when you can create a community that successfully straddles the chasm between the virtual world and reality? Gold.

So, enough of the soapbox. Needless to say, I was impressed. And inspired. And later, when I attended the panel, "The Socially Conscious Geek: Making Money While Doing Good," I was inspired even more.

Like I said, I heart nerds. (Oh, and Ning, btw. :D)

PLUS ...

they party like ...


Forever's gonna start tonight.

But more about that tomorrow. (RAWR.)

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Thanks to all the amazing Network Creators who entered our Ning + Austin contest! We’re thrilled to announce the three winners:

Swap Mamas is about getting to know other parents, making connections, and doing a little old school trading with friends. The more you give, the more you get.


Amped 4-a-Cure uses the universal language of music as the vehicle to deliver the message to the masses of the importance of getting behind the efforts of cancer research.



20 Something Bloggers has brought together thousands of bloggers from all over the world, and spawned a vibrant community of like-minded, fascinating people who thrive on one another's support and feedback.


Stay tuned – we’ll be announcing another Creators contest this Monday - open to every member of Creators!

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The buzz word for 2010 will be Micro-Localized Social Networking. Spacial relativity will become less and less a factor in determining social borders. A new world order will begin to emerge within two years.According to Nielsen Online, 2009 saw exponential growth of social media. Twitter alone grew 1,382% registering more than 7 million unique US visitors in the month of February alone. Meanwhile, MySpace users continued the migration to Facebook. What will social media look like in 2010?Next year, "social media will get even more popular, more mobile, and more exclusive" — at least, that's what David Armano's thinks, author of Six Social Media Trends for 2010.I believe the boutique social media phenomenon that Ning has enabled will surpass all other social media providers combined. Due to the ability of Ning users to create their own social media experience based around what ever passion they share with others. When I last checked, in November 2009, Ning users have created 1.5 million social networks with a combined 37million unique users; growing at a rate of 12 million new users every month.I believe the tasks Ning made possible for us to undertake will have a tangible lasting impact on the evolution of the human experience.

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