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
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