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Our first week!

Welcome and thanks for being an inaugural member of Ning Creators!

We had several goals in mind when we co-created Ning Creators with the Guides. We hoped to create a central place where you could:

  • Learn and share best practices, lessons learned, and tips & tricks.
  • Meet and collaborate with other Network Creators who are facing similar challenges.
  • Get answers to questions, help with thorny problems, or constructive feedback on your Ning Network.
  • Find the most up-to-date, comprehensive product, release and incident information.
  • Give us feedback on releases, report bugs or other issues, and suggest improvements to the Ning Platform.

We are just one week in, and we’re blown away by the depth and value of the best practices shared and the respectful, constructive nature of the discussions. However, we knew we’d need to monitor the network, get feedback from you and the Guides, and make adjustments early on. As such, I’d like to clarify two policy topics and get feedback on the second.

Profile Names

Discussions are much more likely to stay constructive and respectful when real people are involved and anonymous trolls are kept out. We agreed early on, and included in the Guidelines, to require that each profile display as a real person, and use a real name. We’ve started reaching out to those who are using a company, Ning Network or generic name (like Admin or Ninger) as their profile name. The next step will be to ban these accounts. We appreciate this may not be ideal for everyone, and have made the network public to ensure those people who choose to not participate within our Guidelines can still benefit from the information here.


We've seen some discussion on whether we should allow Groups on this network, and if so, which kind.

There are two types of groups that are clearly helpful to Creators here, and make the most sense to be Groups. The first is the Groups that are here to support Network Creators in a non-English language. The variety of languages used on the Ning Platform is fantastic and we'd love for each to have a place here. The second is Groups that focus on a specific location or region. This cultivates a local community for Network Creators and can help facilitate real life events or meet-ups.

There are two types of Groups that we will not be approving going forward, and those already on the network, we’ll help move to general forums. The first type is Groups that cover information that could be useful to any Network Creator, like “Starting a Network.” The second are those that are specific to a third party company or service. Those members that represent third parties are welcome to link to their own support forums in their profiles, to ensure people looking for that help can find it.

There is a final category of Group that we’re still debating. The best way to characterize this category is niche networks. Examples might include Non-profits, Education-focused, or Sports.

We’d love to have this initial membership think about whether to allow these and add your comments below. Some questions we’ve been asking include: What are the benefits to allowing these, or the potential pitfalls? If we allow them, how do we determine which are “niche” enough to be a group? What is the harm in not allowing them?

Thanks so much! And please let us know if you have any other suggestions or feedback – just start a discussion in the Improvements to Ning Creators category in the forum.


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  • woohooo!! so happy. Yes public is preferable to me too. Private groups are dead groups, or for administrative purposes only.

    well, I'm not totally against product groups, but It seems like you already made that decision, and I respect it. In my networks, my rule is basically, "if you want to start a group, come talk to me and we make a plan" because most groups get abandoned after the first 3 minutes, and the site doesn't need more dead wood. If you made a clear path gr group proposals (the create group page isn't enough) to your current guidelines, I think you would have it solved.
  • Hi j.

    Thanks - What you say makes sense. I'd just ask that it be public so people can access the content easily?
    Do you have any thoughts on broader guidelines we can use to apply to niche groups on the network?

  • well, those are code snippets, which are useful, but what i meant was words. code snippets would be a different group, or probably maybe more appropriately
  • Hi Ningsters,

    I recently started a group that hasn't been approved. I can now see why, based on the criteria here, but I want to make a case for it. This group would actually be more like a feature. Something that is really useful to NCs.

    The concept is a "Copy Share". By this I mean an "open source" repository where people can place snippets of promotional copy, help text, policy notes, newsletters, etc. The kind of things all ning admins have to write. We all spend a lot of time writing this copy, but much of the work is redundant. If we could crowd source ideas and cut and paste basic things, the work would go much faster.

    So an example of how this would work... Someone would go to the group and there would be an index on the front with the names of ning features and general things ning admins need to communicate about. They would click "Ning Chat", and that would take them to a list of group discussions that contained copy related to that feature. Newsletter text announcing the feature, forum posts that describe how to use it, rules for the chat from various sites, etc. An NC could then cut and paste what they needed and customize from there, ideally placing significant inprovements or variations in the comments of the original snippet.

    The reason I think the group feature is the best place for it is that by posting their copy in the group, people automatically indicate its something they want to share. Also the group feature gives us just enough flexibility through discussion tags to actually create a nice index of copy based on function.

    Making this very focused concept a group rather than having people post the snippets in the general forum will cut down on the amount of explanatory text needed in the posts, and keep the forum geared toward more high level discussion. Also some of the content in the group will be promotional in nature, so it lets people share these ideas without appearing to promote their network in the general forum. The only people wanting to read the group will be creators interested in copying their ideas. lol.

    Of course the best reason to do it as a group is so that it can be grouped and indexed. There's no simple search query that would help group these posts.

    Its very obvious this should be on, and really wouldnt work as a stand alone site, because Creators will eventually grow back into the central hub for NC's like it was before.

    So anyway, take it or leave it, but at least I made my case for it. Thanks for listening.

  • Thanks Alexis, however as mentioned, we will not be participating in Groups.
    Can you think of any standards or guidelines we can use in determining which Groups fall into the 'different' category? I'd like to apply them consistently to each.

  • Hi Laura the issues Professional networks face would be different. Yes I think a separate forum for these organizations is needed. It would enable you to find out what some of these issues are. You can try a beta test group for it and find out. Make it private and select a few professional networks for this private beta group.

    In this way you can find out some issues they are facing and ways your platform is also meeting their needs as well.
  • Hi Ken!,

    You touch on the crux of my question - is Professional Networks a niche group? Are the best practices they use or the issues they face so different to require a separate forum?

    The other thing to keep in mind, is that we will not be monitoring content in Groups, so if you choose to discuss a part of the product not working for you, we will likely never see it.

  • NC for Hire
    Hi Laura,
    I'll start moving the tips over next week, about mid-week. I don't think I'll have the time, until then.
  • I created a group for ''Professional Networks'' - which I think have extended requirements to basic ''Social Networks'' e.g. business directories, company info, whitepapers, press releases, etc.

    I don't think this is ''niche''. Think of LinkedIN which is a professional network and claims to have more that 50 million users!!!! If NING ignores the needs of professional networks - they are missing a hugh opportunity. I've already seen quite a few groups on linkedin refer to NING networks as their group the opportunity is definitely there for NING.

    So in light of the above....what is the professional networks group on NING creators - a niche topic?
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