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The New Ning: Ning 3.0
Have you heard the news? Re-Imagining Ning
Ning/Glam Social has completely rebuilt the Ning platform from the ground-up - - well, almost. This platform release is major, and will be known as: Ning 3.0. The development of 3.0 has been a huge hush-hush project, and will come at some as "rapid fire".
One of the primary reasons for the development of 3.0, Ning was pushing the limits with Ning 2.0. Obviously, their acquisition by Glam Media gave them the resources to upgrade. The strategy for development: (1) Move Ning into the future, and (2) Move the Design and User Interface up to Industry standards. Ning definitely needed a facelift. And boy, did they give it one!
According to John McDonald of Ning: Ning 3.0 is our next generation product. It's geared toward social leaders: people who already have — or want to attract — a community of people to gather around compelling content and conversation. It's a full re-launch of the Ning product. We invite you to start a free trial to test drive it. (Although obviously you can cancel before your free trial is up if you don't want to continue!)
John also talks about, and the most exciting new features - - extremely powerful:
The new Ning offers powerful flexibility for publishing and populating sites with multiple kinds of content and layouts, as well as multiple instances of features. You want 10 forums? You've got it. A community blog and an official blog? Done.
The last big upgrade was (Ning 2.0). In that release, Ning added the new Design Studio from the old Ning Editor, Header and Footer Instant Ad Boxes, and the alternative tools to designing a site: Developer Mode and LESS variables. The word upgrade doesn't apply much to Ning 3.0, at least not from my viewpoint. With the launch of Ning 3.0, I would have to call this a new product - - a new Ning. Too much has changed to call this an upgrade. Although the overall platform features will be similar, the entire HTML structure including CSS selector names have completely changed. This is to accommodate a new responsive design.
With the huge platform changes, there are a lot of pros and what appears to be some serious cons. The good news is: Most of the cons are temporary. There is so much to write about. I will try to touch on the most important aspects of the new Ning 3.0. I'll spare you a lot of the details, and we'll cover more as time goes by.
Before you take it all in, although I have concerns about different issues; all-in-all, I believe if existing Ning Networks can approach this with an open mind, 2 years down the road, you'll own even better and more exciting Social Communities, with creative possibilities that are never-ending.
For those new to the platform: Ning is the Industry Leader in online Social Community Building. The platform enables anyone to build their own niche Community with: Members, Friends, Blogs, Forums, Photos, Profile Pages, Latest Activity, and more. With the new release, there are modules not yet available that are part of Ning 2.0, but the power to build multiple modules is huge. Most of the modules are in development, and coming soon. After an extensive preview of the new Ning 3.0 by our Team, these are our findings.
Social Site Manager / Site & Pages:
Don't Panic, Help Is Here - As JenSocial and NingCustomDesign has done for a while now, my Partner (soon to announce!) and I, will specialize in hand-holding, redesigns, recreating apps, and everything Ning 3.0. We'll be here for you. We will offer customization at our design and application development rates. But, we will also offer tips and free support when possible.
It's tempting to list: What is included in 3.0? It's highly likely that most modules and features are on the way. I'll cover what I know is missing, and what I know for sure is coming.
Forum comment and Link by Ning Developer: As part of the upgrade process, you can move over already uploaded videos from your v2 network and members will be able to access them on devices that support flash.
After Diving In?
Now that I've shared the overall features, pros/cons, and what's missing, I'll give you my overall thoughts after diving in!
Responsive web design (RWD) is a web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones. ~ Wikipedia
Member Profile Page Functionality and Features:
The Profile Pages are 100% different in 3.0, than 2.0. But, give them a chance. At first, I was completely thrown off. Then, after a few hours in the system, I realized the elegance behind the layout and features of the new Profile Pages. They're beautiful in style: modern and sleek, and have tabs that access different sections of a Profile Page - - instead of everything being all jumbled up and busy. I would like to see Ning add the ability to add the different Profile Modules to a canvas page, similar to what's available in 2.0. But, I don't know that this will happen.
Will Current Ning Networks Be Impacted?
Not yet. In fact, as mentioned above, current sites cannot move to the new platform until Ning completes the "Migration Tool", not your current content and members. Ning states that current Ning Networks will be able to move over to Ning 3.0, seamlessly, in a few months.
Ning 3.0 Roadmap - for updates:
As of 3/11/2013
Complete the Ning 3.0 Feature Set
We plan to develop and release the following additional features for Ning 3.0 by mid-summer 2013:
New Features Planned for Ning 3.0
These projects are currently in progress and should also be completed by mid-summer:
It's going to take time for existing Nings to feel comfortable with the new 3.0. Newbies can dive right in and start building new Communities. Once all modules are rolled out, any bugs are ironed out, and the Migration Tool is ready, there's no doubt that Ning will continue to be the Industry Leader in Building Social Communities; the platform is here to stay and continue to grow. Ning will be the most reliable and up-to-date Social Community Building platform available online.
Hopefully this review will assist many. We'll do our best to answer your questions, and discuss more about 3.0 as time goes by. We will add new Discussions under the Category Ning 3.0. Feel free to start...
JenSocial Team - new partner announcement coming soon!
Gods and Sigh.
I like what I've seen and have had the chance to experiment with thus far over the weekend. Naturally I have some concerns, which I made clear at Creators. For music sites, the removal of the music players and no text box whereby our artists can embed a ReverbNation or SoundCloud widget means certain death for us.
Even if Ning doesn't add the Text Box back, and I believe they will based on Phil's comments, we can do it. =)
Right! I remember Phil's response.
Well, I trust in your wise counsel, Jen. This looks promising, and I'm looking forward to the changes come what may.
For some reason I can't sign up for a new network though. I've tried twice. Ugh!
I didn't have any trouble. Maybe try another browser?
Blake has reached out to me, and I guess they're going to investigate the issue.
Oh good. Sorry, I missed this reply.
Thanks for all the investigation Jen
You mention that Groups don't exist at the moment. Are we to presume they will in the next few months!
Otherwise a lot of people would be very upset!
Thanks! Yeah, exhausting few days. Yes, Groups are in development, and will be rolled out in the near future.
It looks like the price will be doubling for me because I have between 1000--to 10,000 members--- so will be required to pay Ning $49 a month.
That means I will be closing down my network-----but luckily I made plans long ago in anticipation of Ning getting way too greedy.
Sorry to hear it. I didn't cover pricing in this discussion, thinking it should be a new and separate discussion. I plan on trying to add it sometime today. Thank you for posting the link, very helpful. From what I saw, I agree. The break in member base is too vast. For what it's worth, those of us who were able to preview the product, have already voiced loudly, this is not good.
Best to you,
Mark same here, and I too have been slowly moving my community as I knew a price increase was around the corner. I cannot afford the 50% increase.