Over the last few months celebrities have become something of a currency on the social web as services vie to attract big-name stars (and gather the resulting media coverage and new users in the process). Twitter has garnered the most attention for its roster, which includes celebrities like Ashton Kutcher and Oprah. Facebook too has been making strides in this area, especially since releasing… → Read More
Ning‘s social network-building platform is getting a huge boost today, with the private beta launch of Ning Apps, a new suite of applications and features that Network Creators will be able to deploy across their networks with only a few clicks. The news has been a long time coming – network administrators have long been asking for features that could enhance their networks. But because of the… → Read More
Ning is going to be reaching a big milestone this week, when it sees its one millionth social network created on its self-serve platform. Ning, which had its initial beta launch in 2005 and ‘full’ launch in 2007, makes it easy for people to create niche social networks focused on the topics they care about.
GROU.PS, a do-it-yourself social network focused on moderated online collaboration is launching a new tool, ActivityRank Pipelines. The feature is a point and reward system that lets moderators of a social network measure and rank members’ content contributions and then extend moderation privileges to members based on these rankings.
The moderators are able to activate the “ActivityRank” feature… → Read More
On Friday, during our cloud computing event, Whose Cloud Is It Anyway?, Charles River Ventures partner George Zachary noted, “The cloud is the new dotcom.” He was one of the judges for the demo startups, and for good or for bad, he might be right. Cloud computing as a term is broad enough to encompass most internet startups and already is in danger of being latched onto as the next catch-all… → Read More
Tonight Ning will introduce new chat functionality, giving Ning network administrators the oft-requested ability to integrate a rich chat environment similar to the one launched on Facebook last April. Ning’s new chat system is Flash-based, presenting users with a persistent chat bar along the bottom of their screens as they browse through a Ning network. Users have the option of chatting… → Read More
Our roundtable on cloud computing is coming up next week. (Get tickets here via Eventbrite: $75 each based on availability). In addition to the previously announced speakers, I am happy to announce a few more very special participants: Amazon’s chief technology officer Werner Vogels, Ning CEO Gina Bianchini, Facebook VP of Engineering Mike Schroepfer, and Jon Engates, CTO of Rackspace. Below… → Read More
At the beginning of last December, Ning reversed course on its anything-legal-goes policy by declaring a prohibition on adult social networks. The reason? Porn wasn’t paying the bills; instead of attracting advertisers, it was scaring them away. Legal adult content was also begetting illegal content, which drew the ire of both authorities and lawyers with DMCA notices in hand.
Canadian start-up Yourmagz.com launched the closed beta version of its SaaS content distribution platform today. You can sign up to view the site.
The platform – which can be described as a hybrid between social network platform Ning and web document sharing service Scribd – specializes in distributing publishers’ content across various websites, social networks, and mobile devices. So basically… → Read More
The eviction of Ning’s adult sites is in full swing. The actual shut down of the sites doesn’t happen until January 5 (extended from January 1), but the sites that are affected have now received an email with instructions on how to get their content off Ning.
Ning CEO Gina Bianchini says only about 1% of the 675,000 networks are being asked to leave for having adult content. She also points out… → Read More
On Tuesday Ning changed its long standing policy on allowing networks that show pornography and adult material. “Adult social networks don’t pull their own weight,” Ning CEO Gina Bianchini said, and “our ad partners aren’t big fans of the adult networks.”
As far as I can tell, at this time Ning has only one advertising partner – Google. Google won’t put adsense on sites that contain… → Read More
YouTube is trying to clean up its act by cracking down on sexually explicit videos that are just short of porn and spam videos with misleading titles and descriptions. (Porn has always been grounds for removal). On its most visited pages, YouTube will now apply a “stricter standard for mature content” and demote sexually explicit or graphic videos from its “most viewed,” “top favorited,” and… → Read More
For those of you not closely following the drama between social network platform Ning and a popular widget provider called WidgetLaboratory, you can read the background here. On Friday Ning unceremoniously shut down their access to Ning, making all those widgets vanish. WidgetLaboratory cried foul, saying they’d done nothing wrong, that the ban was “completely without any… → Read More
Yesterday we reported on Ning’s termination of its most popular premium widget developer, WidgetLaboratory. Although apparently justified, Ning removed all WidgetLaboratory widgets from its platform without warning to the community, and in doing so broke many of the social networks that had been created by its members. The decision was met with a backlash from the Ning community, as many… → Read More
Ning, the build-your-own social network platform, has removed all widgets created by popular premium developer WidgetLaboratory. The news has come without warning and is being met with outrage by a number of users who have spent hundreds of dollars on the widgets to build up their social networks. WidgetLaboratory sells its widgets for around $30 a month, and has managed to become the most popular… → Read More
In what can only be described as a grand experiment, Fujifilm has teamed up with Ning.com to create a social network, ZSpotNow.com, based around a single digital camera. The Z20fd is a 10-megapixel point and shoot that comes in multiple fun colors and a special blog mode that reduces and resizes images for upload to blogs and email lists. It also records MPEG4 video and can upload directly to… → Read More
Marc Andreessen, founder of Netscape, Opsware and Ning and the former CTO of AOL, is adding a new notch in his belt: he has joined the board of directors of Facebook, two sources close to the company confirmed to us (speculation about Andreessen possibly joining the Facebook board started last month on the Boomtown blog). The company should be announcing it shortly, perhaps this week. Andreessen… → Read More
Digg competitor Mixx just launched an extension to its groups feature that founder Chris McGill describes as “Ning for social media”. Users can now set up Mixx community sites on their own subdomains (see ours here). Administrators have the power to brand them visually, post editorial content, and even make some revenue off advertisements. Others can join as members and begin… → Read More
Adam Penenberg of Fast Company got lots of well-deserved grief for his cover article about Ning last month, the one that focused on the Andreessen and Bianchini duo’s “viral expansion loops”. The overly simple idea behind those loops is this: members join a service and then invite their friends. Rinse and repeat, and you’ve got exponential growth rates. Things aren’t… → Read More
Seattle based wiki startup Wetpaint has always been ahead of the pack in terms of design and usability. Now, a couple of years after launch, they’re starting to see real usage traction as well. The product isn’t just about wikis – they also have social features (profiles, friends, etc.), and added things like forums and, more recently, photo uploads, over time. In many ways they… → Read More
There’s seemingly no end to the number of collaboration tools out there: blogs, wikis, forums, bookmarking, photos, chat. Chances are you already use one or more of them already to keep in touch with friends or coworkers. The only problem is that all these platforms don’t work together very well. Grou.ps is trying to fix that integration problem. They’ve created a service that… → Read More
Social network platform Ning joined Slide in the Half Billion Dollar Club by raising $60 million (after banker fees) on a $500 million pre-money valuation. Like Slide, Ning used influential investment bank Allen & Co. to represent them in the deal. Venturebeat broke the story based on a perusal of SEC filings, and we’ve confirmed it with Ning co-founder Marc Andreessen. “We have… → Read More
Ning certainly continues to rock and roll, at least according to data released by the company and reported by Comscore. The company, which allows users to easily create social networks, now has over 200,000 social networks on the platform and is adding another 1,000 or so per day. And Comscore-reported traffic is spiking up nicely: 3.1 million unique visitors/month, generating 71 million page… → Read More
The Viacom-backed Flux social network, which launched just last September, is really taking off. Flux is a partially distributed social network. Like Ning (and more recently KickApps), it’s a place for sites to easily create a new social network, or bolt a social network onto an existing site, and add users from other platform social networks with a single click. Ning has the benefit of a… → Read More
KickApps is implementing a lot of new features and capabilities with its newest release, version 3.0, which debuts today. For a complete list of the improvements, you can check out the company’s official release (see the summary in the second half). The upgrades are largely divided between those that appeal to advanced publishers and those that appeal to novice consumers. The API Developer… → Read More