I am a brand new NC and I am faced with selecting the right social network for my community.  I have started a trial with Grou.ps and the out-of-the-box template seems to be set up PERFECT for our needs. Our community is geared toward youth group members that are heavy Facebook users and the Grou.ps template looks and feels a lot like Facebook.  They could jump in and participate immediately in that environment.

I sense that Ning may be more robust and it definitely has a fabulous support network. At the same time, I feel like Ning would require a learning curve on the part of me any my users that would not be necessary if Grou.ps is sufficient.

Can anyone speak objectively to the differences between these two solutions to help me be at peace with my choice to go with Grou.ps or persuade me to switch to Ning??  Our membership will ramp up rapidly and I won't be in an easy position to switch.

Thanks for any and all assistance!!

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Ning 3.0 will be responsive. In other words it will automatically resize to the screen size of any device. It would be very easy to make a ning installation look like grou.ps or facebook if you feel that is necessary...however if it is young folks you are going after, a tumblr blog would be the best way to go, since Facebook is not heavily targeted to youths. I caution you to stay away from any installation that is not "RESPONSIVE"... BE SURE TO LOOK FOR THAT TAG. Although almost all social networks will be responsive within the next year or so. With a responsively designed site, you do not need a separate mobile site, app or address. I would encourage you to look at one of the beta sites to see what responsive is. Mine is at http://carnival.ning.com but I have an IFrame on the front page so it does not LOOK like facebook. But click on your browsers minimize button and drag the screen to the size of a tablet or smartphone and you will see what responsive is. Try it then with grou.ps and you will see it does not work in the same manner and good luck.

Wonderful feedback.  Thank you so much!  If I opt to give the Ning learning curve a go, where do I start?  I haven't found an obvious home for beginners.  Can you recommend a forum, site, video, or Ning for Dummies type book?  Just need to find the starting blocks.  Thanks again!

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