Social Networking with NingNing is an online platform for users to create their own social websites and social networks. It hopes to compete with other social networks like MySpace and Facebook. The unique feature of Ning is that anyone can create their own custom social network for a particular topic or need, catering to specific audiences.
They offer a single customizable template aimed at allowing non-developers to more easily customize their copy of the social website. Ning does allow developers to have some source level control of their social networks, enabling them to change features and underlying logic. Ning has announced support for the OpenSocial API that Google announced in late 2007. Developers will be able to run OpenSocial gadgets within their networks. So if you’re looking for an easy to use alternative that doesn’t involve having to get a new hosting account, then Ning is your thing.
Getting Set Up With NingGetting set up with Ning is simple. Just visit www.Ning.com and click on the "Get a Ning ID" tab to get started. Once you have an account set up they provide a number of tutorials and references to help out with customization and configuration. >
Another alternative is to find a freelancer. When looking for freelancers make sure you get someone with experience in what you’re looking for and can provide working, published examples at the aforementioned places. Ning sites are hosted with Ning, which results in a www.YourSite.ning.com url, but they also offer a url masking feature for $5.00 that will eliminate the .ning from the url (result: www.YourSite.com). And with features like blogs, video, audio and almost anything else you want including mini-forums, you now have a social networking powerhouse at your fingertips.