Ning: Can someone explain it to me?

I stumbled upon, signed up for an account, but I'm not quite sure I get it. They're calling it social networks, please bear with me as I am first navigating the site as I write this blog. So far I have peeked at the Got Milf network (does this make me a dirty old man?) and the confess network. I'm beginning to think that this is a tool that allows you to build a site kind of like a Craig's list type of thing, where you can make your own mini-application on the topic of your choice. The questions and answers network is interesting, it looks like it could be cloned and customized for your own network of questions and answers (yet an easy way for those long and drawn out q&a you get when you search for technical info on Google).

Taking a look at Ning's FAQ, here is what it is saying.

"What is Ning?
Ning is a free online service (or, as we like to call it, a Playground) for people to build and run social applications. Social "apps" are web applications that enable anyone to match, transact, and communicate with other people. Our goal with Ning is to see what happens when you open things up and make it easy to create, share, and discover new social apps. These might include for any city, your own take on Craigslist...for any passion, your own take on any interest, your own take on Zagat...for any event, your own take on Flickr...for any school, your own take on the Facebook...for any topic, your own take on any mammal, your own take on Hot or Not or Kitten War. You choose the app, decide for whom it's most relevant, create the categories, define the features, choose the language - or just clone an app that's already up and running on Ning - and be on your way."

Any comments would be appreciated.

Until next time...Rich


You've got the right idea. Basically, Ning offers the ability to run any PHP code on it - and once you've created that code (apps) you can then have other people copy, modify, and do whatever they want to make it their own - or you can do the same.
Yoz said…
I should add that what we at Ning let you create are social apps rather than social networks - though you can create those as well. One of our most important features is that, to get an app running, you can just find an existing Ning app that suits your needs and hit "Clone This App" on the sidebar - and bang, it's yours.

Sign up and have a go. If you have any further questions or problems, give me a yell - my email address is yozg (at) ninginc dot com.