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I am always rooting for Ning.

From the very beginning Ning made things easy. People migrated to the platform for its ease of use and the sheer power it gave them to connect around an area of interest, issue or cause. Remember when Ning announced that it was phasing out “free” back in April?

I’ll admit that I was really worried that communities would die because of it, but chief executive Jason Rosenthal told Venturebeat, that Ning went from 15,000 to 70,000 paying customers since it got rid of its free product.He also said that Ning is gaining about 8,000 new subscribers each month.


The purpose of this post is to share another bit of interesting news about Ning, which is this: Today the company released new tools that will allow people to easily (there’s that ease of use thing again…) incorporate a social experience into existing websites with the same drop and drag features of which users of its standalone communities have become so accustomed.
The goal was to make it easy enough for technophobes, as illustrated in this comment from Rosenthal, posted here

“It used to be you’d have to hire a whole army of developers, but on Ning it is a drag-and-drop creation process so even someone with no technology skills can get all the features we expect to in a social experience online.”

Ning is also extending its platform to smartphones and an array of cloud services, including being able to integrate websites with Facebook or Twitter.

I appreciate the power that Ning brings to the little guy. Not everyone wants to put all of their eggs in the Facebook basket and this is one of the main reasons I will continue to root for Ning.

*Note: Check out my 2009 interview with Ning’s Jason Rosenthal.



This is a cross-post from my company blog. 

CNN has released the results of what I deem a very powerful study, making the connection between all  of the news-sharing madness happening across the social space, and how advertisers benefit. The global research study into the power of news and recommendation, called POWNAR, was pretty high-tech. According to CNN, it included: “a thorough semiotic analysis, neuro-marketing techniques, news tracking and an ad effectiveness survey to demonstrate that shared news drives global uplifts in brand metrics.”

Having worked at six news organizations, most recently WRAL, I am very familiar with the conversations surrounding the popularity of news sharing and the perplexities that have come with properly defining exactly how the news organizations, which create the content being shared, can capitalize on it all.

At first, the main area of concern was the fact that the content was moving beyond the news website to social networking sites. (“What, they’re taking our content and posting it on Facebook? My word!”)

News managers were finally able to move past that once everyone adopted the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” mentality, which brought in a flurry of “share this” widgets on pretty much every news story on mainstream news website.  These tools encourage sharing and have reduced it to a single click.

I sat in a number of meetings trying to convince the higher-ups that this sharing was a good thing and if the news organization actually got involved in these social networks and started communicating with viewers and readers directly, it would be a testament to the company’s ability to adapt in the new media space.  It would also further humanize the brand.

Another hurdle successfully cleared. I say this because I’m sure you’ve seen the hundreds of journalists on Twitter, heard the pleas from news anchors to “friend us on Facebook” and read the crawls underneath Larry King and Anderson Cooper’s  introductions to their  shows telling you to follow them on Twitter. I don’t need to convince you that news organizations have embraced the power their information yields across social media platforms.

But back to the point….

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This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer. Feel free to challenge me, disagree with me, or tell me I’m completely nuts in the comments section of each blog entry.


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