Welcome to the Ning Roadmap! First, let me introduce myself. I'm Jonathan Shambroom, Chief Product Officer at Ning, in my fourth month here and loving it.
2011 ushers in a new era of communication from Ning to you, our customers, and it includes a six month view of our roadmap. The Roadmap page is now a permanent resource where you’ll be able to see what’s coming up next, big and small. The projects are listed in their general intended release order, though these will inevitably move around a bit. (When they do, I’ll let you know). At the end of every quarter I’ll add to the roadmap the next set of major initiatives so there is always a 6 month window of insight and you can know what to expect on your networks. Each of these projects will link to individual posts on the Ning Blog and Ning Creators where we’ll provide a greater level of detail.
The driving force behind our roadmap is to build the very best product for you. If we succeed at that, and you are delighted with our service, and your communities are thriving, the Ning business will similarly thrive. Our roadmap is a balance between improving your existing experience today with current features and introducing new, innovative dimensions to your communities. Our roadmap reflects a few other balances as well. We have resources dedicated to our backend, performance, and scale, while other teams are working on our feature set. With every feature, we consider how to make it work for our loyal, long-time users who are accustomed to Ning today as well as for the brand new users of tomorrow.
Lastly, I’ll share with you my top level thinking on our product, chiefly that it empowers you to do four major things: 1) Customize your sites, 2) Build vibrant and engaged communities, 3) Manage and moderate, and 4) (Finally!) Earn revenue from your site if you so choose. Our plan is highly informed by your feedback, so please keep it coming – via the Creators site, our Help Center, and your participation in product surveys.
I look forward to the year ahead with you!
Replies are closed for this discussion.
So many of you have commented on this topic I really want to clarify a few things. Currently I think Ning is and has done a wonderful job on implementing a very usful social networking platform. That being said there are 3 primary issue that I think should be at the top of the list.
1. Paid Subscriptions
The only thing better then a lot of fans, are fans that pay. For those of you that cannot see the benefits of this... you really don't know what you’re missing. I've seen a few posts on here that say something like, "it will be great to be able to make some of the money back that it cost to have a pro membership..." I would suggest thinking a little more outside box... There is way more revenue to be made than $50 a month.
STATUS? I understand that this is something Ning has been working on since last year and is almost complete. Bravo!
2. True Multi-Media Capabilities
Currently, Nings video platform does not allow a user to fast forward through video unless it completely renders the entire video. This mean that even for a short 5min video the user will be forced to watch the entire thing. Unfortunately, this and the absent features of HD makes the Ning video platform comparable to that of the VCR. Yikes, that sounds real crappy if you ask me.
STATUS? I'm told there are no hd upgrades in the near future :-(
3. File Management
Ning has an amazing platform of data enriched content. Very impressive. However they do not currently offer "folders" for videos . Let’s face it. Social networking means a lot of content. The more ways things can be filed the better. Also, photo albums can be searchable but they do not give results according to most recently added... The results are in random order. If the content is hard to find the so will your members be.
STATUS? Not sure if this is being worked on.
4. Customer Support
Service after the sale is #1 in my book. The only reason I decided to go with Ning knowing that they did not offer any real form support is because I know what I'm doing. I'm definately not perfect but I've beem doing this long enough to do most of my own support... but yes, phone support would make me feel much better. As a newbie or somone that doesn't really know anything about websites... Nings support feature would really scare me. I now Ning offers online support and primimum support and all that... but it's still not "real" support if you'll get my meaning.
STATUS? I think Ning is working on this...
So thats it. Feel free to comment.
I'm extremely excited about the updated mobile website. Long overdue in my opinion.
I have two wish list items that I would like to share and hope the dev team takes into serious consideration.
Eric, we are launching a new company that combines the strategy of a consulting agency, the functionality of a purchasing cooperative and the advantages of social media. Tiered/paid membership is key to its operation, and we are ready to go. We had hoped Ning's projection of second quarter for your tiered/paid membership meant the beginning of second quarter, but apparently you are not ready. We have implemented a two-step process for now, but I need to know:
1) Will we be able to assign existing members to the member levels I establish once yours goes live?
2) Will those members retain their existing "sign up" dates, so their member renewals are tied to their original sign up date, or will their membership essentially be extended, starting with the date we convert them?
3) We have 3 levels of membership with pricing options - each has its "regular" price and "discount" prices if they enter a specific code (group pricing deals). There will be multiple discount codes, and each needs its own pricing we can easily change (like having a "special"). Will your tiered/paid membership have this flexibility?
Tony / RCTI Business Resources / www.rctinetwork.com
We are also anxious for a paid membership feature and we have also implemented a two-step process as well.
We are anxious for this update...