When I think about it, my social media experience began quite young. I wasn’t even a licensed driver when Xanga became a must have for myself and my peers. What I remember of it was great. I knew when Jessica was having a bad day, when Michael was listening to a new CD (remember those?), and when Laura broke up with David (he was a jerk). And while Xanga was great, where is it now? Well it still exists, and still has members, maybe not a thriving membership base, but hey, E for effort.
My point is, social networking sites have shelf lives. Myspace was hot. It had its time to shine, and now, I challenge you to find someone who uses it as their “home plate” for social media. And while Facebook may be most peoples “home plate,” it has come dangerously close to removing itself from that roll on several occasions. (Recall the uproar over the news feed, and most recently when they tried owning our information indefinitely?)
Enter Ning.com. This site allows you to create your own social media site based around a concept, a cause or an organization. You can make it as exclusive or inclusive as you want, and with minimal time investment, you can produce a site that looks absolutely professional. Ning.com allows you to do everything your normal home plate for social media does, only it puts the reigns in your hands.
Recently in my social media class we were charged with creating our own Ning.com site that would be available to the community in and around the Oklahoma State University School of Journalism and Broadcasting. With a small amount of fumbling, we were completely in business in under and hour. Skeptical? Here it is, the very site we created that day, still thriving.
Ning.com is a great tool, but its just that, a tool. With any website, content is king. Ning.com wont make your site the next Facebook, but with some strategic moves, and good development, you’re gonna be shocked what Ning.com provides.