good, i’m not the only one

22 01 2006

after my post on friday regarding the look of web sites and a=services in 2006, i got a bit bummed when i reflected on the fact that one web 2.0 technology has truly baffled me – ning.  i just didn’t get the value.  but then as if to my rescue, michael arrington posts ning – r.i.p.? at Techcrunch.

he suggests that ning’s day’s are numbered because the site just isn’t useable.  the concept is you take some webservices from here, some tags from there, oh and why not, a google map or two.  you mash them together (hence the category name – mash-ups.   get it?) to create an entirely new web service.  that’s a cool idea, but ning ain’t it according to arrington. 

the main point of his criticism is that ning is not written for the common web user.  from my experience with it, and from the comments being posted in response to the post, even good techies find it confusing and unworkable.  it’s a web service  written by programmers for programmers.

what’s so wonderfully web 2.0 about this is that one day later, a reader of techcrunch posts an emails ning users received from ning ceo and co-founder, gina bianchini announcing changes that answer some of arrington’s  concerns.

however, even in the "soon to come" section of her email, bianchini provides no solution to how or why the average dick or jane would care about using ning or the web services produced by using it.  even after the upgrades, ning remains programmers programming for programmers.  the change is, i suppose, it’s easier for them to do it now.


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29 01 2006
Diego

Dave, I’ve addressed these comments here http://www.dynamicobjects.com/d2r/archives/003321.html and other similar concerns here http://www.dynamicobjects.com/d2r/archives/003322.html

Note that in the first post I link to, Mike Arrington of techcrunch commented saying that he had gotten some things wrong.

For another perspective, you can also check out Rob Hof’s followup post in BusinessWeek: http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/techbeat/archives/2006/01/mea_culpa_wrong.html

In particular, as to the argument that “even good techies find it confusing and unworkable”, you can check the second post to see ning apps both created and currently in use by non-technical users. We still haven’t made it as easy as it can be, but we’ll get there. 🙂

Hopefully you’ll give ning a try, and don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have questions or comments!

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