Ning Logo – Ning is an online platform for users to create websites social and social networks, released in October 2005. Ning was founded by Marc Andreessen and Gina Bianchini. Ning is the third startup company Andreessen (after Netscape and Opsware), and drew much of its notoriety from Andreessen’s successes with these companies. The word “Ning” is the term in Chinese for “peace” (traditional Chinese :宁, Simplified Chinese :宁, pinyin : ‘Ning’), as explained by Gina Bianchini on the company blog, and is also a Chinese surname.
Ning hopes to compete with large social sites like MySpace or Facebook, appealing to users who want to create networks around specific interests or have limited technical skills. The unique feature of Ning is that anyone can create their own custom social network for a topic or special need, targeting specific audiences. At the time of its launch, Ning offered several simple websites developed internally or by members of a closed beta. In late September 2006, Ning was focused on providing a web site for groups, a website of photos and a video site for people who wish to copy and use them for any purpose. Later these three templates were overcome by a single template in order to custom make it more manageable by programmers who were not so simple that they out the copy of social website.
However, Ning allows developers to have some control at the source code for their social networks, providing the ability to change features and logic low level. The kernel modifications were disabled on October 21, 2008. Ning has also been used by educators in S-GI to conduct a study of a book on curricula. Many teachers are using Ning to develop educational resources. The features were customized so that participants can upload images and videos of students developing projects as well as links to blogs and Flickr.
Ning announced support for the API OpenSocial from Google which was introduced in late 2007. Developers can use OpenSocial gadgets within their networks. The website was developed with PHP and the platform itself is built in Java. In October 2008, to the chagrin of the network of artists who were previously encouraged to develop in PHP, all access to the PHP code and APIs in REST was closed permanently and abruptly without notice, making a closed Ning with extensions to support OpenSocial.