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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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...
this will give you a better idea of what your members and visitors are really experiencing
Thanks for the tips Kris!!
Yep. Read some important studies - 3 second or less. More than 3 seconds is a poor user experience. I have hunt down the article where over 10 seconds basically is a death sentence.
I know the old rule of thumb was 4sec and 800kb.
Personally I think that's what killed myspace and put facebook on the map. I remember going to friends pages on myspace they would literately have 10+ videos all loading and playing at one time not to mention song and photo too.
I think speed is even more important now than before because everyone is custom to how fast Facebook is.
Yep. Part of what killed MySpace was allowing members to customize their own pages to absurd levels. While this was viewed as "cool" is turned out to be a very poor user experience. You'd go to 15 different pages and had to learn how to navigate each page.
Look at FB vs MySpace and Yahoo vs Google. Clean and simple wins every time.
I guess you are right about this.
I am sorry to say that my own network is quite sleeping right now which means I haven't spend much time exploring new features as well.