I don’t want to be a hater, but my frustration with Ning grows day by day.
What Ning does
Ning is a site designed to make it easy for you to create an online gathering place for your group. So, for example, I’m a member of a Ning group for Digital Nashville–Web and tech professionals here in town, one for my high school, and one for contributors to a moms’ website where I write.
Each of these is a separate community. I can’t flip from one to the other. Though they are built on the same platform, they function independently.
Except for one thing.
I once made the mistake of starting a Ning site. I was just testing some features, comparing Ning to some other community solutions. And so, Ning knows that I am a site creator.
At some later time, I stupidly changed one of my Ning community’s email addresses to be the same one I’d used to test my own Ning community.
Now I’d like to change that email address again. But I can’t, unless I want to change it on my test community. Because now I’m a Ning creator, and I have to go back to my personal community to change contact info.
At first, I thought I was being unreasonable. After all, I’m happy with my one email on Facebook, and my minimalist contact info on Twitter. But then I realized — Ning is making me use the same identity everywhere. It’s like having to use the same email on Facebook and Twitter and MySpace and you get the picture. My relationships are professional in some Ning communities, and personal in others. I’d like my emails to reflect that.
Now, this is undoubtedly not a common problem. Just like other social networking sites, the vast majority of Ning users aren’t creators. But two thoughts here:
- Ning does actually promote itself as a site where anyone can create a community.
- If you anger your power users, you lose them as soon as there’s a better solution.
I’m not the only one out there with similar issues. Ning, why aren’t you listening?