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Your own social network

Posted by Michael Bloch in web development (Wednesday February 28, 2007 )

If you’ve always wanted to create your own social network and utilizing free services such as MySpace aren’t what you had in mind, this might interest you.. and yes, it’s free.

The relaunched Ning.com is now offering a service where you can start your own full featured social network without the investment of software and hosting – and with a minimum learning curve.

Your social network URL will take the form of you.ning.com – signup is very quick and the range of features and flexibility pretty darned impressive.

The Ning applications provides all the standard social network goodies such as various profile functions, Photos, Blog, Videos, Forum and RSS – you can choose to toggle on or off whatever items you wish. There are over 30 themes to choose from, plus the ability to customize look and feel even further. You can also set your network to be private/invitation only and have full member management functionality.

A very basic setup literally only takes a few minutes, thanks to Ning’s excellent layout – very clean and easy to understand.

For a few extra bucks a month, you can use your own domain name – just bear in mind that you’ll be tied in to Ning. Think ahead – moving a popular social network to a locally hosted platform would be quite a headache :).

The free service is also ad supported – Google Adsense currently; but any Ning branding on your network is pretty discreet, just the word “Ning” at the top with a “create your own social network” link next to it. For an added fee, you can run your own adsense code and have the Ning branding removed.

In a nutshell, Ning is a less frenetic, more polished version of MySpace offering better control, tools and personalization. Does this make it better than MySpace though? Depends on what you’re looking for.

Ning is a good way to build your own community, somewhat segregated from other Ning social networks – but only if you have the potential user base already. If you’re looking to get your products or services out into the crowd; MySpace is probably the better way to go. Or you can use your MySpace profile to drive people to your Ning social network – sorry Tom :).

The reborn Ning.com has generated a fair bit of interest – less than 24 hours after the launch, over 1600 social networks have been created. Probably 1400 of those from people like me reviewing the service :). But seriously, it is worth checking out!

Read more of my posts on social networks



 

 
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  1. […] Your own social network […]

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