Ning is a site that allows anyone to set up and administer their own social network. It’s came a long way over the past couple years. In the past, it was more like setting up your own classifieds section. Not very useful.
With the new roll out, it looks like the team has hit a home run (or at least extra bases). I wanted to try it out, so I set up the Dayton OH Stebbins High School reunion site in about 45 minutes. It was drop-dead simple. Anyone can do it.
I believe that valuable online social networks will mimic real-world networks. It’s simply impossible to have 30,000 friends (myspace). Most sociologists agree that somewhere in the neighborhood of 120-150 is the right amount. However, with better tools, this number might increase 25% or more (in my opinion).
This means that most people will belong to multiple online networks (segregated by location, interest, profession, etc.) and these will be smaller networks of 150-250 people. David Silver agrees in his rockin’ book, Smart Start Ups.
Congrats to the guys at Ning. I think they’ve done well with this release.