I have to say I'm pretty disappointed with Network Creators.
Most of you wine and cry about what you don't like or what features you want, but where is your voice when Ning is asking for feedback. Case in point the Beta Chat, I can count on my fingers the number of creators who are/have given feedback.
Don't give me some line that you didn't want to test it out cause it's in beta. Turn it on engage your members, ask them to test it out even if it's only for a few hours and get their feed back. They will appreciate you more for trying to improve your network. If it's not up to par yet disable the beta and turn back on the old chat and wait till the next update.
Don't complain for the next four years about the New Chat when you didn't even VOTE, oops I mean give feedback.
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Hey, Vickie. Why not submit a ticket so we can have someone look at it?
yehp i myself been in that chat dont like it..it's like myspace chat..i even spent time helped a few in this chat even suggested they needed a moderator init to help keep it going..i never see any of ning employees init for the simple reason they probably know they will be attacked with help questions and ticket numbers..so kind of dont blame them..i have even translated spanish to help someone in that chat that looks like is a peel off the screen chat..seriously we pay for our sites as we do..and the chat we have now looks great compared to the new..only problem i had with the present chat ..is the flash chat seems hard on those with low net speed..so as i seen someone else say ..that this new chat seems as if was a backward move ..on my site this chat is too small ..ours tend to scroll more then i have seen here and would be hard to keep up with convo..simply looks like a post it note chat..cheap ..cheezey..sorry but ..my oppinion..
Im still 100% for ning ..but yeh man i think some more consideration needs to go into the chat situation..
and before being disappointed with creators in not going in that chat..maybe they seen it and didnt want to cuz they didnt like it so they were disappointed with ning with that chat..but I myself been in several times.
P.S.. will add that I myself will help with NING of being chat (VM) volunteer moderator..i know how to suggest forums..pretty well know how the discussions are broken down have ticker number in hand blah blah ..know somewhat little about the place..but most of to have someone in that chat to greet folks keep convo going till another shows..as of now..not looking very active..I am not going anywhere for holidays i will be on my site and if i can i will come by and talk with folks..
So... starting an entire thread to bitch and whine about bitching and whining is more productive? LOL I say that affectionately, but really... that's all this is. It just goes to show that no one is immune to the drive to voice our opinions and complaints, and that when we are giving it, we feel we are justified, even if others don't think we are. So maybe it's a good idea to just give everyone a considerate nod to their feelings and experiences.
I think it is safe to say that many people are convinced to purchase Ning because they are told they can put together a nice social network that just works, but not very many of them are interested in becoming full-time Guinea Pigs for services that should already be functioning, or unrolled only when they work well, or finding alternative on top of alternative to supplement what is lacking at Ning.
I always take time to test and give feedback, but almost all "negative" feedback is immediately condemned as "complaining" and gets dismissed, or showcased as a platform for more sanctimonious complaining about the "complaining."
It's hilarious, but frustrating, too. Hence, our networks still struggling to rise above the functionality and look of a 90's Internet site.
I wanted to chime in with my constructive feedback. I hope this counts.
I'll refute that. First, that's a wrong analogy. It's not a website - it's a social network. You can also make it to look, generally how you want it to look. But it'll never look like a "website" since it's not one. And if you want cheesy looking social networking sites, check out NING's competitors. Then you'll see cheesy. I'm here for a reason - not because I didn't do my homework. I know what else is available yet I'm a NING customer.
I posted this before, but this is about our member's experience. They don't care about 98% of the stuff we care about as creators.
There's a lot of form over function out there. Some of the most popular blogs in the country with millions of views and readers aren't much to look at. Blogs like http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/ and http://thebloggess.com/ get MAD hits and readership.
...cause it's about the content. If you focus on content and your member's experience, all will be well.
John- A website that's a social network is not a website?
You are correct, it is about content. And you are correct it is about member experience. My frustration comes from the fact that members experience a lot of frustration in trying to easily access the content.
Those sites you posted are Blogs. They get bajjions of hits because their content is easy to read and navigate. Their user experience is: I come. I see. I like. I click. I see a lot more. I like a lot more.
My main use of my ning site is for blogging and it is almost all public, so I'd think that feature would work in a similar way. But my user experience is more: I come. I see. I like. I click to see more. I see a little more. I go back, I scroll down. I click again. Ooops. wrong click. I go back. I click again. I see a little more. I go back. I scroll back up. Maybe It's this button? I click again. I'm confused. Let me try again. wait. Oh- laundrys finished- I'll come back and try this again when I have more time to figure it out.... and never to be heard from again. :(
I agreed. A lot of it depends on how many features you offer. Obviously each of our site's (yes, it's a site, you're right) goals are different. I don't have a forum on mine, nor photos, videos or apps. I want to focus my member's attention on groups, which makes it a bit easier.
I tried that - At first I only activated the blog feature (not groups or forums) and even thought about disabling the activity feed to clear away some of the options and clutter that was confusing people, but the blogging system is so difficult to navigate I felt like I needed those other systems just to relay my content. Since I couldn't create categories for blog posts, (like you can in a forum) there was no way lump together like-posts from multiple users, or even mark my own posts with reasonable categories (tags simply don't work the same). bleh... I'll figure it all out....
One thing you'll notice with blogs is they are extremely fast generally load in under 1sec but lack the social interaction of a Ning network.
many NC seem to over look the importance of speed (load time). I know of some NCs that are ok with a 60sec load time but can't figure out why their networks are not successful.
don't get me wrong we use almost all Nings features and have been guilty of fattening (slowing) our network down with custom code, css, widgets etc.
That why recently we put our network on a diet and set a limit of 2sec or better load time and under 800kb page size to improve performance and visitor experience.
We have already seen a major increase in user activity not to mention member appreciation.
Kris- Please oh please tell me how to "put my network on a diet" because load time has been a huge issue for me. I put in a ticket to ning asking why my users blog pictures weren't automatically shrinking to a reasonable size because it was making my load time soooooo slow and I was told not to worry about picture size because I don't have a cap on my allotted memory. I replied that my memory wasn't my concern, rather my load time was, I didn't receive a response. My users are not necessarily internet savvy- asking them to shrink their pictures in a different system pre-upload is not a reasonable option.
Considering how many times a user has to click to get any "meaty" content- I am surprised more NC aren't concerned about it. Even *I* sometimes don't want to sit through the load times on my own site - so why would anybody else?
unfortunately that's really going to need its own thread, if I have time I'll do one in the next couple of days.
but for starters you should start using these tools (sites)
tools.pingdom.com/fpt/ (keep in mind its even a few sec slower for members logged in)
be continuous of how much and what you have loading on every page. It's probably not necessary to load the majority of your sites features in the right column for all your content.
considering your not even serving ads there really isn't no reason your site not under the 2sec and 800kb
Google Analytics now measure site speed so this is something you want to be looking at too http://analytics.blogspot.com/2011/05/measure-page-load-time-with-s...