Ning facilitates social communities through paid websites, with prices starting at £19.95 per year for up to 150 users, with 1GB of storage. It comes with a range of features. In the ‘Mini’ version (price above) these include: – blog, photos, forum, custom ‘like’ buttons, video embed and the ability to add ads and email marketing tools. You can also customise the design of your site with easy-to-use settings and colour palettes. More features, such as chat, groups and individual member pages, are available for the Plus and Pro accounts – please see the Pricing Plans page on the Ning website for more information.
Users are invited to join the site and can register via their Facebook, Twitter, Google or Yahoo accounts. The Ning Management area provides options in regard to the moderation of membership and control over content.
In terms of our features criteria, users can share status updates, photos and videos, similar to Facebook and Google+. You can also write blog posts from the status update box, enabling you to embed SlideShare and Prezi presentations.
Again, like Facebook and Google+, you can advertise and invite people to events, although you’re prompted to link to an external map/ website.
JISC Regional Support Centre South West have a Ning site – you will need to sign up (for free) in order to see the whole site – you will also be part of the community so will get access to a range of resources, advice and local training events!
Pros of using Ning:
- secure, managed community
- easy to use
Cons of using Ning:
- annual subscription required
- not supported by the University