Hi. I agree. A simple 'Hide This Group' button would be very useful if someone starts making comments that need to be taken away from public view and dealt with within the group. Even more useful would be a 'Make This Group and All Content Visible Only To Members' button. By default, this option would automatically make the group and content non-searchable too.
This is a deal-breaking feature for us. We need to have some forums that are only accessible to certain members, and I don't see any way for Ning to do this.
You can do private forums. Just enable the forum from within the private group itself and not in your public forums area that appears in the main navigation. The group and group description will still appear in the listing of groups, but if you've set the group from the beginning to " private" and / approve all new members - you content is safe from public perusal and search engines.
Some of us wanted groups where the group did not even appear in the group listing page. Currently that is not possible.
Here's my Groups page - http://www.progressandmain.com/groups
Here's one of my groups that is set to "private" and "invitation only" - http://www.progressandmain.com/group/nine
As the admin of the group, I invited and approved all of the members - none of our conversation, pages, docs... etc are public.
You can also create a page with comments and have it only visible to administrators.
Personally, I think email is a more effective means of communication between management. The open source software I use has hidden groups and even private forums but I would never talk business on them.
For now, you can create a hidden Facebook page that is private and invite only.
I'm not saying it isn't a good idea, but definitely shouldn't be a deal breaker. I am using the top open source software out there and m dumping it for Ning. The headaches alone are worth the move.