Ning has lots of great features but is lacking in a few key areas that are fundamental to business from a marketing and flexibility point of view. I don't get the feel that Ning understands online business and the needs of people who are running their sites as a business.
I am sure many of the Ning sites around are membership sites that owners wish to monetize and Ning makes it very difficult to do this. Here are my requests for additional functionality.
1. Public and Private parts of community.
This is a must and is critical to communicating to potential members about why they should join the membership site, especially if it is a paying member. There needs to be the function to have public static web pages apart from the main page that can be accessed before a person has to sign up to the private community. These pages are used to communicate to the person the benefits of signing up, free information to incite them, free content to show them what the site is all about. Surely this is a core aspect of membership sites and content management systems? Ning makes it 'all or nothing' no flexibility at all, they don't realize that they are not just offering social network communities but content management and website building software at the same time.
2. Recurring Billing
This is a major fail for a membership/community site business. I have seen many posts on this and Ning keep saying it is coming but it is nowhere to be seen in the road map. Surely this should be a priority given Ning will benefit financially from this as well as all the community owners. I just don't understand this.
3. Database access - Autoresponder
I'm not sure if this is currently possible but I have searched and have not been able to find a way. The most valuable part of the community is the members and the ability to easily communiate with them. There needs to be an easy automated process to link member sign up to an email marketing autoresponder service such as mailchimp so members can be added to the list and allow for flexibility of marketing. If not this then some form of autoresponder incorporated into Ning. For example for each new member we get we want to send them a daily educational email course for 12 day . There is no easy way to do this with Ning as it is hands on manual and impossible when having hundreds of people signing up each month.
That's all for now folks, if Ning can implement these I will be happy!
1) You can create public and private groups on your network, and charge for membership. No, they're not static pages, but would that not meet your needs?
2) Ning says it's going to happen, I can only assume it is. I'm sure you'd rather it sooner than later, but all we can do is wait.
3) Constant Contact. It's available in your Ning Extensions. You need to have an existing CC account before you activate it. I don't know if that's satisfactory to you, but that's the best I can suggest.
Can we pleeeeeaaaaaase get an easy way to "friend" members???
Can we change the terminology from 'friend' to say 'contact' or 'connection'. I run a business to business network and 'friending' people always seems inappropriate.
Mailchimp build plugins for all types of stuff, ie Sage ACT, I'm surprised thay haven't done one for ning.
YES PLEASE recurring billing, then I could use it to.
you can, go to your "language editor" under "my network" and when you get there theres a general search input bar and whatever you put in that search bar it'll look into your network for the same wording and give you the option to replace that current wording with the wording of your choice, in this case you would click "my network" then click on "language editor"...select the language for your network e.g. english, spanish, chinese and when you clock on the language it'll give you a search bar to search the words "friend" when you do that it'll show you every area on your network that uses teh term "friend" just replace "friend" with "connection or contact" and click save and each time someone makes a new "friend" it'll read "so and so is now a contact or connection of so and so" lol i know its a little long but its beyong possible because now when anyone makes a new friend on my site their "kunnected" lol visit wellkunnected.com sign up if you like! I dont all the ning tricks but ive played with it enough to give you what I just did and if you need further assistance I'll just do it for you, NO CHARGE ;)
I agree, NING has a lot of awesome features and alot can be done with the platform they give you but the fact that were actually paying for the "layout" and dont have basic features as my man is stating or even a "dislike" button along with the "like" button is not awesome. As we know there are networks that are content driven and not all content is "liked" its called constructive criticism if one "dislikes" your content so its too facebook like to "like" everything on the site and have no option to "dislike" as well as the automated email setup as my man is talking about, what it comes down to is, ning is trying to limit the networks and build things as facebook progresses, like I saw in the roadmap their going to allow the networks to now all of sudden "invite your facebook friends" whats the point of creating something better than facebook if were simply going to be limited to the exact same features of that network?
With the invite, I would like any member to be able to import their email address book and be able to invite them all, (up to 5000) rather than the 50 limit, and the manual input they have to do at the moment. Tell me if I am missing something but when I looked members could not blanket import their contacts.
Members used to be able to have an unlimited # of invites, Then it was reduced to 50 because of spam......freaking killed professional networks like mine who depend on mass invites from big players. Ning just doenst get it. They think all networks are cheery little fun things.
10k members in 7 mos is very impressive dex! My networks been live for 2 mos now and were nearing the 300 mark, i'd love for you to show me how you reached 10k and you can even promote on my site to get new members! Show me bro lol
I see, excellent point, check my site out when you get a chance, wellkunnected.com its a multimedia content driven social network for artist of all backgrounds and genres...the thing is not enough people know about the network I doubt if its solely based around topic that would be pretty weird because Ive seen ning networks with more than 10,000 members based in freaking India! lol I agree modles are defintely a topic thats going to get a lot of members but if no one knows your site exist then its pointless, there has to be something you did like gather up a serious email blast list to send out daily, or have someone to have done that but thisis50.com is where it is because of who created it...50 cent! I only expect that but your members list is impressive because you reached that level in a short time, whats your day to day marketing and Im not even sure if the domain mapping and all that google SEO stuff is properly set up on my site, I could definitely use your pro assistance on this bud lol