Member Categories: Now integrated with Profile Questions and Paid Access

Read all about how to Integrate Member Categories with Profile Questions in the Help Center.

Two requests we've heard about the new member categories feature are to a) add the ability to tie categories into Profile Questions so members can automatically be placed into categories upon sign-up, and b) tie this into Paid Access. We're happy to report that we've completed the work for both of these. If you've thought member categories might be a nice-to-have feature, these changes may turn it into a must-have feature.

Automatically add new members to categories

Most Network Creators ask their members a few profile questions when they sign up. Now, you can use a multiple-choice question to automatically slot members into a custom-made member category:

  • You'll find the option to assign members to categories only when you use multiple-choice Profile Questions.
  • You can assign a member to only one category, so one "single-answer" multiple-choice profile question can be used for this purpose.
  • Create a question and match up the answers you've specified with the categories you've created. New members are automatically added to those categories.
  • You can easily add or remove answer choices. You can also drag and drop the answer choices into the order you prefer.
  • You can assign members to categories using up to 10 multiple-choice answers. The first 10 you've indicated will be used. You can always reorder these by dragging and dropping them.
  • Want to use a Profile Question you've been asking for the past two years to put people into new categories? Not a problem. You can retroactively assign members to new categories you've created based on the answers they've given in the past.

A few things to keep in mind

  • One person, one category: Members can only be in one category at a time (the most recent category they were assigned to, whether that was manually or automatically).
  • More robust messaging: You can use member categories to message your categories directly, so this gives you a more powerful way to filter members for messaging purposes.
  • Simpler might be better: You have the flexibility to keep changing these details, but too much revision of category designations might confuse members if they are continually moved to new categories. Of course, it's all up to you, but we recommend picking a few categories and sticking with them.
  • New Profile Questions & Old Members: If you want to create a new profile question and tie it into member categories, existing members will need to edit their profile question list. They can do this from their Settings page.
  • Adopt this when you're ready: Not sure how you want to use this yet? This is an optional features, so you can always add this later if you're not ready to jump in.

Member Categories + Paid Access

The other big request we've heard from Network Creators is to tie the new member categories into the Paid Access optional add-on. We knew that would be a big request, and we're happy to report that this second round of improvements now supports Paid Access. We've added two different ways to encourage your members to sign up for special membership designations and badges.

Fixed-price paywall integration

Use Member Categories in conjunction with a fixed-price paywall to assign paying members who pay to a custom-made category. For example: You want members who pay to subscribe for access to a special VIP Group to be identified with a special VIP badge. You can simply assign those paying members to a custom-made category.

Donation paywall integration

Use Member Categories in conjuntion with a donation paywall to encourage members to give more to achieve a higher level of prestige. You do this by setting a threshold for payment that puts one (higher-paying) class of membership on a pedestal. For example: Gold members = $20/year donation; everyone who contributes below that amount = Silver member; all non-paying members = a non-paying category (you can simply use the "default member" designation for non-paying members if you choose).

We hope you will find a lot of new uses for Member Categories using these two new ways to extend the feature. Let us know how you plan to use it!

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Thanks for that enthusiasm!!!!!!!! Love it. 

You're welcome, Eric! Thanks for the great news, I'm working on this right now.

Wooooot wooooot!!! <= Ning coming like a freight train filled with goodies!! =]

Super awesome!!!!!!! Now, if I can figure out how to do this.

If I have 3 levels of group membership for a VIP Group, will it work for me? I'm not finding this.



I just did some editing, but I can't save. When I click "Save", the page does not refresh. =(

I can't seem to reproduce that error. I am getting a save and refresh. 

Try a hard refresh Thunder; the old js on that page may be cached by your browser.

Nothing doing, Phil. What's stranger is the difference in appearance from one browser to the next. The Firefox image is how this section looked when I first edited it. I have both browsers open and both Profile Question sections are different.

Hi Patrick,

I noticed you have the same skin package I have from Skins for Ning, ot the Ning Master, whatever he goes by now.

A few months back Ning did something that caused my management page to screw up, probably because of the custom CSS. I'm just wondering if that happened to you and if you found a fix for it.

As you can see from the pics, everything is shifted down and out of alignment of my management page, the rest of the site is unaffected.

Ning won't troubleshoot this issue since it is custom CSS.


It's the tabs you're using that's causing this problem, Ken. I don't use them for this reason.

I wish I could offer a solution.

Hi Patrick,

Thanks for your input. I think it has to do with the tabs too. What I don't understand is:

1) Only the management page is affected.

2) The same tabs and CSS worked flawlessly up until a couple months ago.



What's Up With Ning 3.0?

Click here to share your thoughts on what features we should develop next! - Survey will close Friday, 4/25

Projects that the Ning 3.0 Team is currently working on: 

Articles - a new way of organizing longer content pieces. Released 4/16.

Activity Feed Updates - options for more content in the activity feed.

Forum Notifications - ability for members to opt into receiving notifications of new discussions in forums. Released 4/9. 

APIs - The ability to create new members and content programatically.

For more information on what's next, visit the Product Roadmap

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