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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!
The limitation is 20 - it's a good number but unfortunately not enough for me or you unless we get creative.
Hope this helps,
Well, that just stinks! Let me think on this. And, I will add to forum sometime today.
Thanks for bringing this up.
See here's and example what my directory will look like: http://mybulverde.ning.com/business-directory
Here are some things I noticed when creating my Directory that bother me . . .
So unless I missing something you can see my business directory looks somewhat limited.
Is anyone interested in taking over my Ning at http://bonyoyage.ning.com ???
I hate it, absolutely hate it. We have a ning 3.0 site at http://roleplaysocialv2.ning.com/, but we only use it as a hub site for our members to gather, when we need to work on our main site. Our main site at Roleplay Social, is built off of the Oxwall platform.
I recommend trying out oxwall, if you truly wish to build a social network that you can be proud of. www.roleplaysocial.me
March 2013...so this thread dates from two years and 10 months ago- almost three years ago now.
It's enlightening to read this in depth post now in hindsight- it clearly reveals just how badly Ning/Glam let down their customers. Most of the things that were confidently promised to " soon be delivered"... never came to pass. A total bust, and now for 2016 ning is adding insult to injury by bumping customers into higher priced brackets through introducing super restrictive new storage limits.
Starting the year 2016, it's looking like the three social networking platforms that offer the closest matching solutions for those leaving Ning are SocialEnginephp, Jamroom.net, and maybe BuddyPress/Wordpress. These platforms all have pros and cons and everyone has their personal favorite of the three, but all three are well supported, flexible, and kept updated. And all three can import some or all of a ning network's content, which means minimizing your losses when exiting ning. For myself, I have already migrated successfully from Ning to Jamroom, where I'm really happy. But each person will make their choice based on their particular goals and needs. Various platform choices are helpfully compared over on excreators.com, Troy's site. Maybe see you over there! :)
Practically breaks my heart that Ning did not finish this product. It is still in my professional opinion, the sleekest interface out there, to build a Social Community. Still to this day, I love designing 3.0 sites, and have a host of Clients who use it, and love it. However, I can't begin to count how many Clients I have had to turn away with honesty like: Sorry, Ning does not offer a site-wide Search feature. We can install a 3rd party Search like a custom Google Search. BUT, if you want a private site, you can't install a Search feature without spending a great deal of money on a custom app. The idea that Ning still hasn't added a site-wide Search is mind boggling to me - - words escape me.
I agree. I have 6 months left on an annual plan for the one of my sites (I'll be setting up my my main network on another platform soon). After that, I have a feeling I won't be using Ning anymore, as I doubt there will be any upgrades or correspondence.
Crazy as it may sound, I still love the product. But, agree 100%, they did NOT fulfill their promises.
Yeah, we've talked about it a million times. I love it too, but it simply has too many holes to be a finished product for my needs. That's the key word here... NEEDS. Sometimes one sided relationships need to end...
I should have said "Mode Media did not finish this product." The Ning Team was the most passionate and talented team of designers, software developers, and support technicians that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and collaborating with. To say they loved their product is an understatement - - ate, dreamed, breathed for it. Mode Media came in and the rest is history.
Yup. If it wasn't for friends I have made over the years, and hopes of Mode getting their act together, I would have left a long time ago. It's really a shame to see them drive this into the ground. Makes me sad. I will likely go to SEphp within the year when they have a better responsive layout. I have needed a lot of custom work and need to build some custom apps / API integration into it anyway, SE makes sense for me.
This is what I am doing today...