Social Web Directory :: Social Network Directory :: Ning Tips and Ning Support
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!
Yep Firetech i remember making my 'Final Ning archive'...felt so momentous and sad at the time (six months ago), but now it sits unceremoniously on a spare external drive in the back of my desk drawer gathering cobwebs, likely never to be needed or opened again (kinda like my Dell winXP desktop in the basement...lol). Ning was great years ago, but they got flushed down the commode, er, glammode.
Change happens, and thank goodness people have a few feasible options. Love the liberating feeling of completely owning my own site now.
yeah... I will always host my own work from here on out. I'm glad you found Jamroom, but it comes up short for me. Either way, I'm sure we'll bump into each other around the web. Best of luck Strum :)
I'm waiting anxiously for the full responsive version of SE PHP, can't wait. Those guys are as passionate and creative as the Ning Team used to be. Best of luck, Fire-Tech. Never be a stranger. =)
Same here. Their next version may be what I'm looking for when it's more responsive, or I could just drop the cash and get all the SE Addons. They are exactly what I need anyway. They have come a long way since I looked last, and totally agree that they remind me of the old days here.
You know I won't be a stranger. I may hit you up for some custom work on SE if you have your head wrapped around it pretty well. I can handle all the CSS, but haven't built custom API before... I'll email you when I get closer.
Sounds good, Fire-Tech. =)
Happy New Year to All...
Just wanted to chime in to offer some clarification to those who aren't familiar with SocialEngine. SocialEngine PHP isn't fully responsive but there are responsive templates/themes available (at a premium). Having said that, I should point this out, there are a few elements of the platform that will need additional tweaking despite having a responsive theme. I guess that's the reason why Jen wants to wiat.
I'm anxiously waiting on the next SE update as well but what I'm really looking forward to is the day SocialEngine implements a single standard for all third party plugins that aims to eliminate issues with conflicting codes. This is a major problem. "The Other Troy" has written yet another post venting his frustration about this (I May Quit SE PHP).
@Fire-Tech: Let me know when you're ready for a test drive (SocialEngine PHP, Dolphin Pro, PHPFox...choose your platform).
Wishing everyone success in their endeavors.
Thanks, Troy, very nice of you to share these details. I want to wait before jumping in too deep, because I am truly tired of band aides. And I am hoping that the new responsive version will be awesome.
Thanks for the info Troy. I need to catch up on a couple projects first before I can have time to play.
Great Scott! You mean to tell me they never finished the platform? Good grief. :(
LOL, good to see you, Patrick. =)