Here's my goal with this post. To show you the many things holding back v3.0 from being alright to Great. Now this is from a developers perceptive, so if i go on a future proofing rant don't mind me.
Lets start with me. I've used Ning starting back in 08 when I was only 12yrs old (Currently 21). Now this is something that MUST be stated. Back then we used the Developer's community until Creators was pushed to the forefront. During those times we still had many DEVELOPERS on the platform. Problem with today Ning is you've forced all your developers out. The only option we have to work with is JS... This was alright in 2010. But in 2013 when you guys announced 3.0 and still forced people to use JS as the ONLY way to make an interactive uqnie platform was crazy. Hence why my team had to leave and just build our own platform. Looking at the current status of Ning you've still failed to see the importance of allowing developers access to PHP. In 2017 going into 2018 we have people STILL talking about injecting codes via Jquery into their websites... We still have to HACK ning to develop complex features (which are still being injected via you know the name already).
OMG Loading speeds O_O!!!
I took some time to view the current 3.0 sites created by users here and man theses sites are still slow... because of the same old 2010 problem. Focusing users to use JS to make their sites more complex. Ning went from a Wordpress competitor to a glorified Wiki.com rival.More options to make our platforms unique is key. No one wants to walk around looking the same. Believe me, CSS only goes so far.
My platform at the time www.zincview.com ( I'll just say this, we were easily the most customized Ning site. Having tons of custom features built into the platform rather it was a Slider with an off site CMS (Content Mangagemnnt System). Point system ,Custom Notifications, Custom content activity feed, and more. Guess what! Load Speed became a problem. Now this was old times so the minimalist styles weren't fully standard, but pretty much closing in. Now what's worst than Loading speed? Not being able to customize the site. ^ After all of that work we still were limited to what our platform was capable of. We couldn't do anything other than EDIT what was already there.
So this begs the question if Ning doesn't want to allow PHP edits nor go open source then who's the platform for? Oh it's for for the freelancer who wants to quickly put up a platform for a cilent. No can't scale the project for cilents nor do any real customizing.(I mean look at that nasty site "Thisis50" that used to be a good designed website at on point). Or is Ning for the small guys to jump in and work on things right? Yet your price is pretty high for what they need. Also why go here when there's other companies that do the same thing but actually updates and manages the platform faster and better. If you're trying to help people grow their business shouldn't you help them load their site faster? Oh they can't do that with the loads of JS. They MUST now paste into their website just to add a few images or text onto their website. Your top competitors allow PHP edits btw.
Don't worry rant is done. Here's some things I've seen on my testing of v3.0.
Groups: Looks like groups need some work Same old comments are here for some reason. That doesn't promote social interaction. If anything a status system would be better. Hell even allowing for Latest activities would be nice. Communities with thousands of users can't handle simple static Comments. We need dynamic stuff. (Or do your communities only consist of small user bases less than 100 people?) Groups are communities within a much larger platform. Therefore you need to give them the right tools to build a great community. Notice how I said TOOL and not feature. Lets build things that they need to make their mini platform standout and pop within their network.
- Status System + Latest Activities (Some of us have really active communities)
- Wiki (Allowing communities to build wiki's and guides for what ever reason)
- Monetization features: Allowing for CSS design would be interesting or some type of background uploader (This can be set as a premium feature for users allowing creators to make money off of that) You could actually use Text boxes with a Css link code in the past; and actually have your entire group display it's own custom CSS separate from the site.
Forums: You don't have categories for some reason... well you do but you don't really display them with descriptions so you can explain to new users what categories are for. You can set this all up with Jquery or even better using the HTML text boxes. But why do we need to do that? Just code one out. Speaking of categories... Do you know how many community forums have announcements or site news on the forums where only authorized personnel can create. We no longer have this in 3.0 forums. Fix that. No reason for us not to be able to do what many would require mandatory.
Now about this html box. Why does it travel to all forum post pages and not just the main forum page? Well we would like the option to simply display it only on the main forum page or on forum thread pages. If you can't do that then there's no point in having the HTML boxes, when Jquery can handle just that fine.
Why are categories displayed on top right next to the All Discussion link? I mean shouldn't it be displayed on the side or something. This can all be fixed with a little coding, but shouldn't you guys have this looking decent by default. Descriptions are better than just names. Forums are worst than 2.0 forums. And 2.0 forums where bad already.
Chat: Allowing creators to remove or close the main group section off would be nice. As in having 40 people in one chat would be crazy ( Not sure of the limits of the current chat, but in the past i've had up to 50 people posting in one chat on here and that was nuts). Allow for a facebook like method and just display friends.
Blogs: Blogs aren't forum post. FIX IT. You pretty much just copied the same codes for both of them, and slapped on a worst main blog page with minimum detail and information.
I'll come back to work on this post later until then cache and reload.