So here we are. It's 2018. And Ning is "humming along nicely". Or is it?
If you're like me, you need progress. The kind that, Ning 2.0 had back when it was around. Before it's discontinuation, we just had all of this handed to us did we not? You know, the leaderboards, a working chat that shows the members online on a moment by moment basis site wide. The way members could customize every aspect of their profile page. A working gifts feature, a section to add apps to profiles. You got to see who liked your posts, you received new notifications for new content. You could limit who could administer what features with moderator roles. You got to ask new members for payment on sign up to join, using paid access. You got to invite your friends to join your site if you were a member of another site back in the day, so you had a great experience. You had the ability to back up your content in case you wanted to look at a localized copy of it later using the Ning archiver. You had invidual music playlists on profiles so people could upload music. You had RSS feeds on profiles so people could link another blog and keep the connection going and the word spreading. You had the ability to add custom information to your profile using text boxes. You could even delete or suspend a member who didn't fit in with your community right from their profile page. Along with being able to see who did it, as well as who featured them if they were a good member. You had advanced search so people could use profile questions to find members who interested them. You had the ability to add any main features you wanted members to keep in mind site wide if you wanted to using features layout. You had the ability to truly make your community unique by customizing the footer, media players, and even badges you could paste onto other sites inviting people to check your site out. You had the ability to even put a tag line in the site to complement the site name so that you could describe your site separate from it's main description in member generated emails, in case people wanted to know. You could even email people outside the network to participate in groups, and any piece of content just by clicking the share link. You had the ability to set the default text editor in case you wanted people to use HTML view. You could even type in network.ning.com/profiles to get to your own profile page. Things were great! Fantastic even. We even had Pingomatic working in the background, along with a sitemap of all the important Ning pages of our site to keep us going for SEO. With a few minor tweaks, any Ning powered site on a 2.0 platform could instantly hit the top search results for any search term. So, what's lacking in Ning 3? Is it all of the above? In Ning 2, we could share content with the members of the site so they stayed informed about what was going on. Classic tools of member engagement, it's called notifications and they worked. Well, relatively. What would've made it even better is if members had the ability to customize who can see their posts. Oh wait a minute, Ning 2 had that also. but with Ning 3, you guessed it. Everything I mentioned so far, has been stripped out, taken away, abandonned to never be seen again.
In light of Ning no longer supporting the continuation of the Ning 2.0 platform, it's time for a chat. the kind that gets us thinking, what can we do to bring the good days of Ning back again. Well, we may not be able to bring back auto posting, or sitemaps, or pretty much anything else I mentioned so far. but what we can bring, is hope.
Hope that one day, someone will understand why successful Ning 2.0 networks still around today, will only become more so as we try our best to make it work for us on Ning 3.0 with all the things we are lacking from the 2.0 sites. Things which are still available on the competition. Phpfox. Dolphin. Social Engine. Jamroom. Etc.