Now blogging at diego's weblog. See you over there!

a response to dave

Dave, I think I can see why you'd be skeptical (and others too) of what we're doing at Ning. Maybe If I was on the other side of the fence I would feel that way too.

Hopefully by now you can see that we've had none of the "bubbly" behavior that one might expect from people in blue shirts and khakis. In part, that’s probably one of the reasons we were criticized yesterday – we haven’t been out there promoting ourselves, and we may have overdone it (it seems it is possible to do that too -- go figure! :-)).

What we have been doing is focusing on the product and working really hard on improving the experience, talking to users and developers, and building up our community and community resources--something that as you know (having bootstrapped many developer communities yourself) takes time, preparation, and a lot of effort. In the process, we have generally erred on the side of spending our time and efforts talking directly to our users and enhancing the product based on their feedback. Straightforward stuff really, but when you're a small company like we are, this takes up a lot of time and resources.

As to the perception Ning is a bit removed from what people want, both coders and non-coders are finding Ning useful, off the top of my head: to review LA restaurants or even beadstores, giving the thumbs-down to movies in cinecrap, and things that we couldn't have thought of like tech archaics which is a clone of the photosharing app that (as far as we can tell) was used by a class in a German university to keep track/contribute information. There's also technical experimentation on ning, like commentosphere, concern.ning.com, Ning avatars.

Sorry for the extensive linking, I kinda sounded like a brochure there for a second :-) -- I just wanted to point to some of the interesting apps that are in use on the service, there are many more.

We will definitely try to do a better job of keeping the larger community regularly updated on what we are doing and we'll continue talking to both with technical and non-technical users about how we can make ning more useful to them. We will also engage more with the technical community to discuss our APIs and how can we improve them, and how we can better support standard formats and APIs on our end, to improve interoperability for our users. Part of this is also just being more vocal a bit our current support (both in features and libraries) for standards, open APIs and formats, something that's less than obvious today.

So all I'd ask is that you give us the benefit of the doubt. :-)

I must confess though, that I do wear Khakis and blue t-shirts. Mostly in the summer. :)

Finally, thanks for the link and the comments--always appreciated!

Categories: ning
Posted by diego on January 21, 2006 at 4:49 PM

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