October 2007
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Day October 13, 2007

Why I use Ning as my Digital “Hub”

I have a large (for me) and expansive web presence. I have two blogs (this one and Setting Contexts, my GTD blog), a Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Jaiku, Pownce, Yahoo!Mash, my Upcoming page, etc., etc., etc. A lot of these services were initiated under my jquig99 moniker. As a woman, I felt a bit vulnerable having these under my real name.

Then Brian Solis wrote his great post on Facebook as a Digital Hub. It was a post that rang true for me and helped push me to look at my own brand strategy. And I was all about Facebook. Still am. My network was deep across Twitter and FB, easy to build and maintain. I wrote a entry here responding to Brian’s post (I read Brian’ PR 2.0 every day – his perspective on what’s going on in Silicon Valley and the space is fun, informative and gives me a crucial West Coast window). In the comments Chris Brogan made a case for Ning (which I had used to build a Social Network for one of my clients). He also gave me some great feedback on my web presence and has since encouraged me to be consistent and aggregate my content. And he’s inspired me to start working with video (In a small way, so far). Bought a FlipCamera (thanks Geoff Livingston) that I can carry around with me so that I can talk to people on my travels, do video updates on my blogs, transcribe panels and sessions, etc.

But back to Ning. Ning allows you to develop your own social network. It’s modular, so you can add and subtract features on the fly.

Here’s a list of features(from the website):
- Social Networking
- Full Customization
- Photo Sharing
- Video Sharing
- Discussion Forums
- Groups
- Music and Podcasting
- RSS feedreaders
- Widgets
- Member Profiles/Blogs
- Management Dashboard
- Ability to use Google Analytics
- and more…

In a couple of weeks I’ll be getting a new design and my own logo! I also decided it was time to use my domain name, www.janequigley.com, took the ads off and added some widgets – my upcoming page, my blog RSS feeds, video, my NewsGator shared links and a forum to stimulate conversation and interaction.

What’s challenging – building the traffic. It’s not as easy as Facebook to build my network. Ultimately, it’ll be worth it, as the readers will be here because I’m adding some value and (hopefully) people will want to be part of the forum conversations.

So any suggestions? Anything I should add?