Ning. I Likey The Idea

Om has the scoop on the first look at Ning's new services, backed by Marc Andreessen and run by CEO Gina Bianchini. I was there today getting a demo of the service, which will be showing itself off at Web 2 later this Fall. In short, they are launching…


Om has the scoop on the first look at Ning’s new services, backed by Marc Andreessen and run by CEO Gina Bianchini. I was there today getting a demo of the service, which will be showing itself off at Web 2 later this Fall. In short, they are launching open, free, customizable versions of YouTube, MySpace, and Flickr. At once. And that’s just the start….it does not lack for ambition.

I really liked the philosophy behind this company and its platform. It has the potential to change the game that major first wave Web 2 companies (like MySpace, Flickr, and YouTube) defined. In short, it’s not about one company owning a space – video, or social networking, or photo sharing. It’s about letting anyone have these kinds of services. That’s biting off a hell of a lot, and there is much to prove, but if the planets align, I have to say, it’s an impressive play. More as soon as I can….

From Om’s post:

The company, if you ask CEO and cofounder Gina Bianchini, has built a web platform that allows users to clone, and modify many social services that can allow you to share bookmarks, or have your friends help you create a little recipe site. Even your own Hot or Not!

The company is about to launch a new video and photo sharing applications based on the Ning-platform. I can hear readers groaning and saying, not another “something” sharing service. The key difference is that unlike YouTube or Flickr, these new add on are about creating a private space, where you can share family videos and photos. You can make it private and limit access to these spaces.

But most importantly, the Ning Video (and Photo) can help you pull in and organize videos from across all video services like YouTube and Google Videos. If you so desire, you can embed the videos in your blog, or MySpace page.

You can customize the look and feel of your video player. I tried it – its pretty simple actually. In other words, if I could find time to exhale, I might be able to do GigaOMtv. No that is not happening anytime soon, but the power of Ning platform makes it possible.

Author: John Battelle

A founder of NewCo (current CEO), sovrn (Chair), Federated Media, Web 2 Summit, The Industry Standard, Wired. Author, investor, board member (Acxiom, Sovrn, NewCo), bike rider, yoga practitioner.

4 thoughts on “Ning. I Likey The Idea”

  1. Hi John,

    I liked the idea initially too, but it seems like a lot of these communities are sort of empty. It might be due to the fact that some work is passed on to the user. Yes its suppouse to be easy, but sort of not. Also, each of these communities is a silo, while other social networks have ability to cross-pollinate interests.

    Nevertheless – very interesting!


  2. I’ve played around with NING quite a bit and I do agree that it is an interesting concept, however, what I’ve found is that, like any venture, it is time intesive to make it have any viability. If I were going to build another Flickr, YouTube, MySpace, etc, as a business, I would base it on my own platform, not NING’s. There are enough freeware tools out there that this can be done fairly easily and you have 100% of the control.

    As for using this for friends / family, why not simply use any of the existing free services available for doing the same thing and set permissions? MySpace, Yahoo Photos, PhotoBucket, all offer restrictions on who can and can not see your end product.

    In the end, I like the service, I’m just hung up on where the real value is.

  3. I tried and I realized that almost none of the “content” there is actuall there’s. When you click on the profile of a girl it pulls yahoo and flickr photos, does an amazon search, a web search, displays ads by google, videos from youtube/google, and shows wikipedia info. The only original stuff comes from their “hot or not” clone, they show how often the girl won, and who beat them, who they beat, etc.

    Very interesting idea leveraging other sites’ content to the max, but is this spam? Is ning basically enabling a new form of site spam?

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