We’ve been making a lot of progress behind the scenes developing several important new features for Ning 3.0, and feel like this is a good time to give you an update on these upcoming features, as well as highlight several recent releases in case you missed them. We’ve also refreshed the Ning 3.0 roadmap.
Groups in Ning 3.0 is a completely redesigned, super-charged version of Ning 2.0 Groups. We’ve tried to incorporate all of the feedback you’ve given us over the past several years. For example, in Ning 3.0 group creators will be able to add blogs, forums, photos, and custom pages to their group (aka super groups). They will be able to customize the design and layout of their group – even customize what group members are called (e.g., bird watchers). Members can be automatically signed-up for a Group based on profile questions or manually via the Members Management page. And we've done away with the concept of Group ownership to allow for improved management and control by Network Creators.
Groups 3.0 development is nearing completion and we plan to invite NCs with Ning 3.0 Networks to participate in a beta later this month (July). If you’d like to participate in the beta, please join the Groups Beta Testers group on Creators. If all goes well, we’ll incorporate your feedback, complete development of a few additional features, and fully release Groups in Ning 3.0 in August.
If you’ve experimented with or built mobile or web applications using the Ning 2.0 APIs (Application Programming Interface), you are going to be very pleased with the Ning 3.0 APIs. We plan to release full read/write/edit APIs for all current features in Ning 3.0 in August, and then add an API for Groups in September. Most exciting: for the first time, NCs will be able to add new members through a read/write member API!
NCs will be able to import a WordPress blog to a Ning 3.0 Network starting in late July. With a redesigned blog, multiple blog instances, and blog categories, NCs no longer have a compelling reason to maintain and pay for both a Ning Network and a WordPress blog. WordPress import will make consolidation a cinch.
Ning 2.0 to 3.0 Upgrade Process
Our back-end engineering team has been hard at work developing the infrastructure to import content and members from a Ning 2.0 Network to a Ning 3.0 Network. Interested NCs should be able to upgrade their Ning 2.0 Networks in a process closely managed by Ning in September. Note: it will not be possible to transfer a network subdomain at the time of this initial release (see this comment for further explanation).
The Rear-View Mirror (Recent Releases)
- Spanish, Portuguese, French, German and Italian Versions of Ning 3.0 (just released)
- New Spam Folder for Ning 2.0 and Ning 3.0
- Design customization enhancements for Ning 3.0:
Clarification of the initial Ning 2.0 to 3.0 Import Process
Development of a seamless import process is complex and involves building multiple tools. We know many NCs are eager to import their Ning 2.0 Networks to Ning 3.0, so we wanted to release an import process as soon as possible. This initial process will be most suited for NCs using custom domains. We will not be able to transfer subdomains yet from a Ning 2.0 Network to a Ning 3.0 Network. We hope to develop this capability late this year. It’s quite complex, so we aren’t able to set a release date yet.
What does this mean? In the initial import process, an NC with a Ning 2.0 Network will first create a new Ning 3.0 Network (they can use the Sandbox Network they’re already experimenting with). Because two networks can’t share the same Ning subdomain (subdomain.ning.com), this new Ning 3.0 Network will have a different subdomain. The NC will customize the design and layout of their new Ning 3.0 Network. When they are ready, they will contact Ning Advocacy and we will assist them with importing all members and content from their Ning 2.0 Network to their new Ning 3.0 Network. During this process, the Ning 2.0 Network will be unaffected – members will continue to post and comment. When all members and content have been imported to the new Ning 3.0 Network, the NC will simply change the DNS settings for their custom domain and map it to their new Ning 3.0 Network. Members will then start seeing the new network, including their profile and all of their content – and they can continue posting and commenting where they left off.
We eventually plan to release an import process that is more seamless. We envision an NC will be able to choose “standard” import. After they customize the design and layout of their new Ning 3.0 Network, they will simply push a button and Ning will automatically import all members and content to the new network and switch the subdomain from their Ning 2.0 Network.