Posts Tagged ‘Ning’

Ning Badges, Widgets and Self Promotion

August 23rd, 2007 3 comments

We haven’t been around Ning for a while and our hockey network was a big flop. But, with the upcoming season we stopped by to see where we left off. It’s not pretty. There are a whopping 4 members for Center Ice. Then we noticed a new (to us) badges and widgets section. Clicking through, we were presented with 4 badges/widgets to grab and help promote your Nine network. So, with the upcoming season and the badges, we are going to put some more effort into our little Center Ice hockey network on Ning. Maybe this time around we can actually get some traction, armed with the new badges/widgets and a renewed drive.

1) Profile Badge – Tell others you are a member of a Ning network.
View my profile on Center Ice

2/3) Small/Large Network Badges – Displays the network name and some info about membership.

4) Music Player – Allows playback of playlists. (blank example since it doesn’t apply to our Center Ice network)

Find more music like this on Center Ice

Each one of the badges/widgets allow for basic customizations. While these are pretty basic, it is a nice easy way for people to try and get visibility for their Ning networks and hope to grow their memberships and traffic.

So, if you’re into hockey, feel free to drop by and help build the community. There’s NHL highlights from YouTube, complete games from Google Video search, NHL News and Scores, forum and IRC chat.

Categories: Widgets Tags: , , ,

Ning Brings Social Networks to the Masses

February 28th, 2007 4 comments

Ning has re-launched with new functionality to make it drop-dead simple for just about anyone to create their own social network. We have spent the last couple of days playing around with the system. To start your very own social network, just sign up and follow a few simple steps. The basic features are all there; layout customization, RSS feeds, forums, member profiles, blogs, videos, images, etc. You can even add widgets and embeds; this is where it excels as you will see later.

This new release actually allowed us to execute on a project that we’ve been planning for a long time. We just never had to time to develop a social network from the ground up. With Ning, we don’t have to. We can let Ning handle all of the technical issues, which will allow us to focus on developing the social network itself. Check out our Ning social network. It will especially interest you if you are a hockey fan.

Our New Social Network on Ning: Center Ice

Our Center Ice hockey network is a bit of a mashup. It’s obviously built on the Ning platform, but it includes additional value add content via the use of widgets. The default RSS feed feature parses the NHL Plays of The Week content perfectly from YouTube. Daily game scores are provided by SpringWidgets Scoreboard. And surprisingly, Ning allows javascript on their system. We have taken full advantage of this and added full game videos using the Google AJAX Search API.

Center Ice also provides three methods of communication among its members. The default forum from Ning is provided for asynchronous group communications and a live real-time video chat room is powered by Stickam. Couple of the StickiWidgets services provides the glue that binds the Ning platform with Stickam. Lastly, each member can add a personal blog to their profile page for member centric communications.

The question is, “Will anyone care?” For the average person, they just want something there that they can be a part of. They are not going to care about the platform or putting the work into creating the social network. However, Ning does provide people like us with the ability to easily build these networks. And ultimately, it’s up to us to bring the users to the network. We applaud Ning for building a system that is easy to use, customizable and open to widgets.

Does it have limitations? Sure. But, not everyone wants to take on the task of building and maintaining the technical infrastructure to run a social network. We are more than happy to accept that trade-off. Now we just need users. So if you’re a hockey fan… Check out Center Ice.

If you are interested, Ning also has a developer program and premium services.

Update (2007.3.2): added Grazr and some hockey news feeds