I had almost forgotten about Ning, the roll your own custom social network platform. I am actually a member on a couple of Ning sites, but haven’t been back in quite a long time. No criticism of Ning implied – I simply haven’t had enough time to visit all the fun web properties I have staked a claim in.
To recap, Ning-ites can create their own community website. They can customize appearance and feel with photos, videos, forums and blogs. You can “Like” and integrate with Facebook, Twitter, Google and Yahoo!. Community managers can charge for membership directly within their Ning Network and can monetize by using services provided through Ning’s partnerships. There are in the vicinity of 100,000 communities. There are various features and price points now, gone are the days of free Ning.
Ning was bought last year by Glam Media, an advertising company. Previously, if you wanted to advertise your site or on Ning, you had to use tools like Google AdSense. Until now.
Glam Media is rolling out its own Ning advertising platform, that leverages social data and new models, such as branded discussions around a topic connected to the particular advertiser. Ning communities can use premium ads to advertise to other Ning communities, and will be able to advertise outside of Ning using Glam’s own Glam Social, and use the advertising on websites across the internet wilds.
Glam has also improved Ning’s look and function. It is now optimized for mobile viewing (about time!). Glam is also outing a new paid product – Ning VIP – intended to offer more scalability, customization, and tech support. Pricing starting at $1,000 per month.
Have you been over to Ning or a Ning community lately? Seems more than 50 million people a month have. With more than 2,000 new networks created monthly, it seems the do it yourself mentality is alive and well in the social networking space. Heck, even Linkin Park has its’ own Ning community. Maybe your trade group or law firm should consider one too.