University Web Developers

University Web Developers

I actually had never even heard of this place before. I wonder if it has the vitality to hold up over time, or if it will vanish in a year?

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Ning has been around for at least a year, and I've been in a couple of really active groups.... at least it's not myspace.....
I have several networks on Ning and I feel it will be around for a while. Marc Andreessen is one of the main people behind it.
This would move may beyond just a mailing list. It would allow us to get to know each other, build groups around specific interests, and provide a platform to connect and collaborate.

As with any social network, the value will grow exponentially as more more people join so let's ask our colleagues to give it a try
So we think this would be better than a Google Group? This feels like a real big swing from one end of the spectrum to another.
That is my question, too. I suspect that if it appeals to UWEBDers, then it will gain some momentum.
To get a better idea of what a fully developed Ning community looks like, see the ASPCA site:

http://aspcacommunity.ning.com/
It all feels very cluttered, with no way to visually tell things apart real easily. That's probably due to them making it as generic as possible for global use. I dunno. I'm not sold yet.
Ning provides the ability to fully customize the interface which will alleviate this problem.
What about on our profile pages. Is there any way to move content boxes around? For instance, putting an RSS feed of my current blog in the place of Ning's blog area, which I won't be using, rather than it getting crammed into the narrow column on the left?
The appearance is very customizable, from the level of the admin on down to individual users' pages - you can remove extraneous stuff, etc (for example, uwebd would probably not need to keep photo sharing functionality).

Now that I've suggested it, though, I'm wondering if this is a tool we really need. I guess the question is, do we want to uwebd to simply be a quick and dirty way to get help or feedback on our projects, or do we want it to be more of a community? And if so, do we really need to be our own social network, or can we leverage existing ones like Facebook?
I would like to make this more of a community. I also feel that niche social networks are the future. While Facebook and LinkedIn attract millions of users, these users have very dissimilar interests and share little in common. They were not built to be flexible. Niche social networks have the potential to allow like-minded people to connect in a much more meaningful way than the larger sites.
I don't really see what a Ning network offers that a Facebook Group wouldn't also, other than another online profile that I have to maintain (though maybe with OpenSocial this will be less of a problem). What are the meaningful ways that this network would allow us all to connect that Facebook et al would not?

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