I am going to show you today seven sexiest alternatives to Ning. The leading freemium social networking platform Ning announced yesterday that it was making ground breaking changes which will be forcing existing free networks will have the opportunity to either convert to paying for premium services, or transition off to Ning. What it means was there is no free Ning anymore.
Jason Rosenthal replaced Gina Bianchini as CEO of Ning, was sour for both employees and for many users of the service. Ning will cut 70 jobs and will end free subscriptions to the site. It is big blow to small business groups and organisations, especially educators in particular have found Ning to be useful, as both a tool for classroom collaboration and for professional development. That’s why I decided to put my hand up and on a machine to find alternatives to Ning Network. I was seriously exploring other Ning like platforms for creating personalised and private social networks. This is the list I compiled using my extensive search and interaction with other social geeks.
Groupsite ties together social networking and collaboration in an effort to make group communications easier and more efficient. It’s a hosted solution with Pro plans and a free tier for social networks. With the free account, you can add individual premium features at $9/month each. Groupsite has all of the features you would expect to find, including forums, calendars, blogs, file sharing, and member profiles and management. Some have said that Groupsite is to Ning what Facebook is to Myspace. Check out blackweb20.com coverage here and go take it for a spin yourself.
Demo : http://buddypress.org/demo/
Social networking in a box. Build a social network for your company, school, sports team or niche community all based on the power and flexibility of WordPress. I am big fan of wordpress (wordpress as a CMS) and buddypress is a popular wordpress plugin. If you use it right, it has the capability to compete with Ning. It is free and easy to install.
(I highly recommended this application. This is one my favourite social web app without a doubt.)
url : http://www.socialgo.com/
SocialGo founded in 2007, is more of a direct competitor to Ning as far as their goals. It is fully loaded with features like profiles, messaging, groups, Events, chat, forums, blogging, media, white labelling, facebook connection. You can fully monetize your socialgo network. There are hundreds of widgets available to plugin. By for this is the closest encounter for Ning. They allow anyone to create a professional-grade social network for their group, business or interest. They are focused on expanding premium services, but do offer a free (forever) account to get your feet wet. If you don’t really feel like setting up your network on your own, you can pay $149 and have a SocialGo Concierge do it for you.
(If I have to build a social network tomorrow then I will choose this application without a doubt. Highly recommended. A+++++++++)
Tim and his team built this superb application using Django. This application is very breeze and highly scalable. This amazing application built in 48 hours with £3000 pounds budget. Completely home grown in London. 40 committed geeks had contributed voluntarily and still contributing to make this application more social. By serving 200,000 hits per day, this application proved highly scalable and easy to use. This has all the elements that you need for the next generation social platform. It’s damn free. You have to download and install this.
url : http://grou.ps/
GROU.PS is a do-it-yourself social networking platform that allows people to come together and form interactive communities around a shared interest or affiliation. The functionality of any online group is limited only by the members’ collective imagination and ambition. The GROU.PS platform is used to create a wide variety of community sites, including online gaming forums, e-learning classrooms, fan clubs, charity fundraising campaigns, college alumni societies, and event planning portals. In short, any organization seeking to aggregate and organize people online can greatly improve its effectiveness, engagement and appeal by migrating to the GROU.PS platform.
Grou.ps is free for first 10gb storage (and first 100gb Bandwidth)
Make beautiful, search engine-friendly sites with easy-to-use site editor and widget dashboard with NO HTML CODE required. Devhub took the website builder concept and gamifyed it. At it’s core its still a website builder but it’s also a game. With DevHub users can build a web site/blog and when they’re done they’ve got something real, something they can make money with, share with their friends, or their community. Primarily for creating sites focused on niche topics or you can create a site that’s all about you, connect your favourite social media profiles under one site and share content with your friends or create a business website that you can point loyal and new customers or promote products and make money. You can just start in 2 minutes and grow your network that earn $ on the DevHub platform. DevHub is free and no credit card is required! No cost to get started and no cost to earn rewards and make money. There are more than 40 partners hooked in to DevHub platform currently and the list is growing. In addition to its editing tools, you can add videos, products, adverts and social media plugins more from various top-tier partners around the web.
url : http://www.elgg.org/
It has all the features like regular social networking platform. The beauty about the elgg is, it has a webservices API, expose functionality through the REST API by building a plugin and then either publish the API for other developers to build clients or provide your own. Currently you have to host elgg externally but in the next month (May 2010) elgg is offering hosted services prices ranging from $29.95 – $49.95 per month per network, it really is the smart way to get social.
That’s it. I hope you agree with my choice of seven sexy alternatives to Ning. You just go and explore all these and more. See below for more recommendations. If you like this article or you think I got it wrong or you have more recommendations to share then please feel free to leave a comment below.
- LovdbyLess – http://lovdbyless.com/
- Mixxt – http://www.mixxt.com/
- Insoshi – http://github.com/insoshi/insoshi
- Xoops – http://www.xoops.org/
- Community Engine – http://www.communityengine.org/
- Astrospaces – http://sourceforge.net/projects/astrospaces/
This is the end of my seven sexiest alternatives to Ning and for you just the beginning of exploration.