Home > 3. et cetera > Ning vs facebook for membership organizations — follow up

Ning vs facebook for membership organizations — follow up

October 10th, 2007

airmailSomeone in South Africa found my video on youtube about facebook that I previously posted here. Here’s his question to compare Ning vs facebook and then my response. Isn’t it cool how sharing works on the net?

I saw your video on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzAG9wGF2QA

I want to find out, you listed a whole bunch of other alternatives that you tried out, and in the end I assumed that you settled on a Facebook group, but you don’t mention it. Were you planning on building a Facebook app or what happened there? Also, what were the reasons that you didn’t end up using Ning?
I’m very interested in the Facebook/socialnetworking space at the moment (product manager for a youth social network), but I’m interested in how Facebook fails to deliver on giving brands and other communities more functionality than a basic group.

And then here is my response:

Thanks for watching my video.

I produced that video to recruit a team at Stanford University, but I wasn’t able to attract any developers to work on the project. So, sadly, it’s not an active project at the moment.

Depending on your priorities and concerns, both Ning and facebook are possibilities in my opinion. If you have the resources, Ning seems to be highly customizable. If you use Ning, you also have to invest a lot of effort in gaining members and convincing them to use your social networking tools. Ning offers a neat technical solution, but as you probably know, there’s a lot more than technology to create a successful community/social network.

Facebook has the promise of attracting new members as well as tapping into the existing profiles of your members. The main problem with groups on facebook is that they don’t give you, the organizer, many tools to work with. As I’ve written about before, facebook is very open to letting you put more information *in*, but it doesn’t let you get information *out*.

And here is another blog post on the topic if you are interested in more…

3. et cetera ,

  1. October 11th, 2007 at 01:51 | #1

    Hey Mike,
    I orginally mailed you because I didn’t have a blog link for you, but now I know :)

    I very much agree with your comments. A community isn’t about the technology at all, otherwise we would see all the phpBB forums flocking over to better tech, but they simply aren’t.
    Facebook is a great tool for affiliation groups, but as an organising tool it’s very bad. I still want to see something that pulls all my profile data ala OpenID, but that works with forums, networks, apps, etc.

  2. October 11th, 2007 at 10:18 | #2

    Thanks for your comment. I’d love to hear about what you decide and your experiences with social networking – keep me posted!

  1. No trackbacks yet.
Olark Livehelp