All Posts (163)

In an ideal world you’d have so much money to throw at online advertising that you could just wait to see what works and then fix it. But here in the real world we need to start with best practices and expand with success. If you're trying to expand your ad scope and cast a larger keyword net, you may be harvesting more weeds with your wheat, but if you can avoid these five common pay per click mistakes, your returns will be greater than ever.
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Beards aren't just for lumberjacks and pirates. In fact, they have a long history as the facial hair of choice for statesmen, educators, and philosophers. Look no further than Bearded Gents for a new generation of bearded wisemen. The site's creator, Gary W. Norman, took a moment to speak with us about the Bearded Gents Community, beard history, and bringing together a community from around the world.
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Are Comments Bad for Science?

Popular Science declared that it is shutting off comments because "comments can be bad for science." The logic driving this decision is that less informed, quick-to-react readers may dominate the discussion and lead others astray. We argue that there are better ways to approach the problem at hand and offer alternative solutions to keep the community in tact.
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Metrics can paint a vivid picture about whether your existing, active members are more or less engaged in the community, and they can highlight anything that might be a cause for concern. If you want to answer questions about how healthy your community is, begin by gathering data. Join us October 1st at 11am Pacific time to find out how to capture and interpret the data that will tell you if you have a healthy community.
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One of the best (and quickest) ways to drive traffic to your website is to build a paid search campaign on one of the big search engines such as Google or Bing & Yahoo!. Paid search is a great way to drive traffic to your site because it will bring in visitors that are already looking for your specific kind of product and/or service. Best of all, it can happen right away! You could have people coming to your website just hours after it has gone live.
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Ben's Friends Patient Support Communities was launched in 2006 to help people find others suffering from chronic and rare illnesses. It is now a network of over 30 rare disease support communities. John Stamler, a member of Ben's Friends since 2010 and survivor of Atrial Septal Defect, took some time to speak with us about this inspiring and encouraging network of communities.
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Unleash The Power of Groups on Ning 3.0

We are excited to announce the all new Groups feature for Ning 3.0. Groups have always been an effective way of creating spaces in your community for more targeted conversations, and now you can do so much more! Hit the jump to see some of our favorite examples and learn more about the redesigned Groups feature.
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Using his experience in a variety of communities, Marc Siegel took us through the steps necessary to create, build, and nourish a human-centered online community experience. Watch the recording and tune into Marc's fabulous stories of community cultivation successes and failures.
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The biggest influence upon whether a newcomer becomes a regular (after their first contribution), is the speed and quality of the response to their first message. If they don't get a response within 24 hours, they're gone. Give priority to ensuring newcomers (the people with a 1 post count) get a quick response.
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Communities are collections of people, with desires and egos. Instead of worrying about community in terms of technical platform or UX experience, let’s focus on what makes people tick and want to participate in our online communities. Join us September 10th to learn the ins and outs of connecting with your community in a humanized way.
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The goal at this stage isn't to persuade members to create an online identity for the community. Don't ask any questions that don't relate to the name, e-mail, and password. The goal is simply to get them through this stage and back to participating.
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Why Ambiverts Make Great Community Managers

Myers-Briggs personality testing has been popular in academia and human resources as a way of discovering how different students and employees learn, work, and rest. In regards to attitude, the test sorts people into two categories: extraverts, who derive energy from outward actions, and introverts, who gather energy from inward pursuits. An ambivert is someone who falls in between those two extremes.
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The goal of every community manager is to progress your community through its lifecycle. If you achieve this, you maximize what your community can be, the benefit it brings to your organization, and the benefits that members gain from the community. Watch the recording of Richard Millington's presentation to learn more about The Online Community Lifecycle and improve your approach to community management.
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In the first visit, members need to see something they want to participate in. Too frequently we focus upon getting members to read. That's easy. Getting them to participate is more difficult.
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Every few weeks, Ning invites a leading expert to discuss trending topics and best practices for community management. Watch the recordings here.

More than two million people have built a branded social network on Ning. Many of these customers now enjoy thriving online communities. You can find a few of those success stories here.

Learn what it takes to thrive and see what it is possible to achieve with Ning.


Growing a thriving online community is one of the most rewarding things you can do.

Our goal at Ning is to make building a community dead simple. We provide an incredibly reliable, popular, and easy-to-use platform so you can focus on cultivating your community.

Learn how to start your community in minutes.

Have you considered monetizing your community? Download your free copy of Monetizing Online Forums by Patrick O'Keefe to learn what methods are available, how to implement them, and how you can benefit today.