Good For New Networks, No Go for Existing Ones

Ning is a very advanced social networking platform. The features are second-to-none. Everything that users now expect from social networking (for which the benchmark is Facebook) is available, from private messaging, friending, forums, blogs, video embedding etc. And it all looks and feels amazing. It also has a very active "Creators" (network owners) community,
and a "Build" developers community. Very useful and encouraging.

We evaluated Ning as a platform for a large existing social network that has outgrown its current software platform. We decided that rather than build a whole load of extra software, at enormous expense of time and money, we'd go for a hosted solution that we could customize as we wished. This is unfortunately where Ning falls short.

Even though recents upgrades to the way Ning handles users internally now allows the same user (same email address/username) to be a separate member of multiple networks, this has not brought forth the upgrade we needed, which was the ability to import users. To be fair importing users is a technical challenge - translating data from one format to another needs close attention to detail. And importing friends, blog entries, forum posts etc would be a much bigger challenge still. But when networks do not offer
this ability, they close to the door to those of us who have spent a long building networks, and now need to move.

Message to Ning: you're fantastic for new networks, and a no-go area for existing areas. Very disappointing!


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