Good things, Ning.

I was initially skeptical about Ning – whose claims of being able to create your own social network without programming knowledge seemed a bit optimistic.

I take it all back. I finally got around to creating a network for a project which I was consulting on, and I’m really impressed. I think I got the whole thing up and running in about 6 minutes.

Obviously, that’s without much in the way of customisation, and I had the logo all done beforehand etc. but still, that’s pretty quick.

So Ning Pros:

  • Stupidly fast to set up
  • Initial site free
  • You can request the source code for customising – although you’re then on your own in terms of code updates
  • Good use of Groups/Forums/Social Profiling, and user management – you can lock down the whole thing to registered users if you want
  • Quite simply, this will do *most* people, if they want some community based system

Cons:

  • not so much a con, but you have to pay to remove adverts, use your own domain or subdomain, add extra bandwidth (100GB per month) etc – they’ve got to make their money somewhere I guess.
  • Every event seems to require a picture of some description, which seems pointless.
  • Some people are happy on facebook, and don’t want yet another social network

I’ve yet to really delve into the inner workings, APIs etc, but it seems all sensibly thought out so far.. Now if it was only written in CF…