I just took over a Ning site as Creator yesterday that has been up for 6 years or so. It is a social network for miniature villages/villagers. Collection of information, how to's, videos, pictures, etc.
In the last 6 month's it has gone from 100 people on a day to maybe 15 or so. It needs to be revamped and made more interesting. I am not looking for a bling type style just more than what we have and eye catching, not like it is now. I will post a link and you can see what I mean.
We had an andmin that was working on it, left it in Developer Mode because they changed the background color and everyone lost their ability to customize their profile pages. This is a big no no for them. With all that being said, I am not a computer guru and have no idea how to fix this. I know Ning has come out with so many new features and would like to add them. Like sharing on Facebook, Twitter and such.
Could some of you guys take a look and see if you can help me?
link to site: http://buildingnewworlds.net/
Your site is fine and it looks good. Nothing messed up. If you are looking for more than that or something different look, you may join hire a creator or contact me for details.
Bernard knows his stuff, and if you want to get help on the technical end then you might get just what you need in the Hire A Creator group.
There is something real special about this niche... very intimate. Right now is the perfect time to rethink the whole thing through. First off, why keep it private? I think the content/ social media needs to be public. Participation can still be reserved to whoever needs to be on it, or just moderated to mitigate spammers and preserve the integrity of the experience. I just think a passionate community like this needs to be shared. The exposure could do wonders for growing the network, increasing engagement, and achieving the desired financial viability.
Next, it's in the details isn't it? The craft is visually intensive. it needs presentation. Think at least about making the photos more prominant and large view as possible.
Probably sounds funny, but...use magic to bring it all to life! Video presentation as much and high quality as possible. Also feature that media more prominantly.
The reality of imagination- people stories are surely there. It takes someone special to do these, incredible care, communicating a lifetime of wisdom for an audience that is just opening their eyes to the world. The site needs to be great for grandparents and maybe even grandkids. Either or both demographics present unique social and interface dynamics. For example, old folks need sites to be easy to figure out and read. Young folks need things to be entertaining i.e. watching, playing, downloadable craft activities etc.
These are highly marketable crafts. The site has the potential for a strong product based monetization that can be mutually beneficial to the network and members.
Just a handful of ideas for you to contemplate. Just because you are little does not mean you cannot think big! The site is a prototypical example of what Ning was originally about- and that's building passionate communities. Good on the original creators and best of luck to you!
You can take it out of Developer Mode, and it will all revert back to normal. Just click to open the Design Studio, and look to the right.
Bernard and Anthony have provided you with valuable counsel. Being two of the best here at Ning, I'd heed their advice.
Hmmm... I replied to Bernard earlier but it didn't post. I know that the site is "okay" I just want it to have better "eye candy" I guess. I hate the airplane thingy as to where are you from. I do not like the background color and so much more.
Anthony, you have some very good points, but we don't want to go public because of our age group restrictions. We allow 13 and above on and have had some pretty rank people try to join. With that being said you are so very right about what we do. Old to new, heck I am the old and my granddaughter is on there who is the new. We look at this as passing down traditions within families and friends. Now I am open for suggestions, we do approve our members and most of them get in. They just have to answer the right questions.
I love the info on the photos and videos, this is where I want to make this "pop".
By the way how did this get moved to Critique My Site? I posted it in Creators and it got moved to here. We have been trying to do this for months and can't.
Thank you in advance for all the help and Bernard, I will post this in Hire A Creator...not asking for free..just help.
O.K. great. I completely understand. Sleep on it though. The main page will need to be way more comprehensive, complete, and engaging.
I live in a relatively small town that is heavy on family engagement with things like this. In fact, I think our local parks and recreation organization just put out a summer activity catalogue with similar craft workshops. That's part of why I'm so impressed with the prospective social value there- ton's of potential for your network.
Glad I could help. Keep up the great work!
Now you have really caught my attention.
If you are interested to get help from me, it's not compulsory to join Hire a Creator. You can directly contact me to discuss via my email at email@example.com
The one thing I would add is to make the links more visual... as it stands I can barely tell them apart from regular text and it just makes everything look jumbled, so perhaps make the links white and bold. That should help create more visual appeal, also, perhaps a gradient on your module headers and/or rounded module headers.
Also, it helps to add some space and horizontal lines between the discussions on the forum module, that way the threads aren't bunched together and are more reader friendly, let me know if you need that code.
If you don't like that plane thing, you can always drop that and add the members map app provided by NING, also do you have "likes" activated? sorry for all my replies lol.