Big news has rocked the world of micro social networks. Ning has cut large parts of its staff as well as giving many networks a difficult choice: pay or move away. We believe Ning has its reasons for making this step and nobody should take it personally. Of course this doesn’t help the networks that will become homeless. Many social network creators and bloggers have started looking for (sometimes strange) alternatives. That is where mixxt comes in.
Providing you with more options: mixxtFREE
mixxt offers you a free alternative to Ning. A mixxt community website will provide you with most of the Ning functionality, including customizable layout, discussion forums, event management (incl. RSVP, waiting lists), sub-groups, wikis as well as file and media sharing. In addition to all features you know already, mixxt also offers several key benefits you will most probably not have seen elsewhere:
Unbeaten Community Management features
- Custom welcome emails, powerful newsletter system
- Highly customizable activity feeds
- Control the read and write access for every module individually. Imagine letting all members blog, but only the creator can upload files
- Decide who can access your network, how the members can join and how search engines can access your site
- Create sub-groups with their own forums and images
- Control who can join groups and how
- Create closed or open segments for your users by creating controlled groups
- Allow your members to mail all other members of the group, this way you can have handy mailing lists
Full Collaboration features, not only for educational and work-related use-cases
- Wikis, collaborative image albums, powerful document-sharing
- Add images to any text (incl. forum posts, content pages, wiki pages, news or blog posts etc.)
- Attach files to any content (incl. forum posts, content pages, wiki pages, news or blog posts etc.)
- Very powerful event-management (RSVP, automatic waiting lists, attendee exports), ideal for networks focussing on an event (e.g. BarCamps and others) or a series of events
- CMS, news system, blogs (for users or only for admins) …
- Customize your main menu and start page
- Create your own design with the layout manager
- Change any element of your community with CSS
Why can mixxt provide free social networking when Ning can not?
mixxt has a completely different business model which provides us with a more versatile and stable revenue situation. Although the mixxt business model shares the Freemium Model with Ning (or at least used to), we also provide fully White Labeled networks for enterprises or large institutions. These Enterprise Communities provide high customisation, external integrations into CMS/CRM/ERP systems and custom SLAs. Our customers include ministries, pharmaceuticals, publishers, radio stations as well as universities and non-profits throughout Europe.
So apart from you being able to add Premium Features to your network for a small fee (starting at € 9 per month), large corporations can tap into our technology and expertise to deploy powerful and flexible social networking solutions. Many of our customers came into contact with us via our free and premium networks, learned to trust us and opted for one of our large Enterprise Communities. We also offer a partnership programme in some European countries that rewards Enterprise Community referrals with free Premium Services and a substantial referral fee.
In addition to all this we have revenue sharing deals with many other services and we even provide complete social networking universes, that let a company run a complete social networking kit for their employees or customers or students (similar to mixxt.com itself). The educational pricing will be out soon, so stay tuned!
mixxt is popular with: Education, work-related and event networks
Many of the existing mixxt networks are used for educational purposes, for work-groups or as event networks. The reasons for this are mainly the easy configurability, sub-groups, file- and media-sharing, our wiki and CMS systems as well as the powerful event management. Another very popular feature is our WYSIWYG-Editor that lets you include images and attach files to any content. The event management provides network creators with full RSVP abilities, automatic waiting lists, CSV exports for attendee lists and is very popular with German and European BarCamps. Participants can connect before the event and stay in touch afterwards. Who doesn’t like seeing who will be there?
A real Ning-Import
Our Ning-Importer not only imports members from your Ning network to mixxt, it will also grab all profile questions and it will also detect multiple choice answer options. Read more about the Ning-Import, backup hints and content importing here: A real Ning-Import and the migration survey.
mixxt is looking forward to providing you with a new social networking experience and helping you connect your collaborators, participants, class room or any other group members. Give it a try and create your own social network with mixxt!
The wild search for alternatives to Ning is keeping many social network creators more than busy, especially in the educational sector. Migrating your social network from Ning is a daunting task. Several services have rushed to offer you a “Ning-Importer”, which in many cases just sends out invitation messages. If it does some kind of import, it will probably scramble non-English characters. You also have to check if profile questions are imported properly, in most cases they are not. Multiple choice profile questions? Not so easy, either. At least until now.
Ning to mixxt member import
We have just released a Ning member import that does all that and more. You even get to choose which profile questions are imported and what type of profile question it should be. The Ning-Import to mixxt lets you do some nifty stuff:
- Upload the memberdata.csv file
- Review the memberlist that is going to be imported (user data view of all records)
- Review the profile questions, set question types
- Automatically detect multiple choice answer options (you must select “multiple choice” for the detection to work)
- Add further questions and multiple choice answers on-the-fly
- Sort, rearrange and rename the profile questions
- Automatically join the imported members into your network
- Imported members automatically receive an activation email with a direct link to the activation system
- Soon: custom messages for the activation emails
Your members will be able to login with their email address and choose a new password. Please keep in mind that you might run into legal issues if you import the member data to another service and don’t ask them for confirmation of the Terms of Service as well as the Privacy Policies. This is why the importer will not automatically activate the member accounts, they will have to activate their account themselves with one click. This keeps you on the safe side and respects the privacy of your members without impeding your networking goals.
Give it a try and create your own social network with mixxt! You can learn more about mixxt here: Welcome to a new social networking experience and a reliable Ning-Importer
Importing Ning content
Now this is a different topic altogether. Ning does not offer any content export at the moment. Grabbing content via the RSS feeds is not possible, as most feeds neither contain the full content nor the older posts. This leaves creators in a bit of a pickle. We have tried various options, but Ning will have to follow up on its promise to help creators export their content so we can provide a reliable content import. This leaves us with one major question most social networking alternatives will be asking themselves: What content do Ning network creators want to migrate? Are Ning creators interested in migrating blog posts, events, images or something else?
Ning content importing survey
Many services and developers are wondering what kind of content Ning network creators want to migrate to other solutions. We have come up with a small survey to help developers and services all over the world in providing content import features. Most of all the survey should help the Ning network creators themselves, as they will have a better chance of getting more options to migrate to. The results of the survey will be published (anonymized), so please invest two minutes of your time to tell us about your requirements: The Ning content importing survey
Premium migration service for selected networks
mixxt will help 20 selected networks to migrate to mixxt. The only thing you have to do to apply for this migration is to enter the survey about Ning content importing.
Ning exports and Backup options
Apart from the member data export in the Admin area of your Ning network, you can get a full data backup of your Ning by signing a release form and sending it to Ning via fax/mail: http://help.ning.com/?faq=3772 Your network will be deleted 30 days after requesting the data release, so you will have to close the network. Should you “only” want a backup for security reasons, the options slim down even further. You could automatically crawl and download all pages of your network by using a website archiving system (Windows: HTTrack Mac: SiteCrawler). This will not help you import your content to an alternative service, but it will at least save everything to your hard drive.
We believe mixxt is one of the best services when it comes to micro social networking, collaboration and the organization of content, events and groups. But more important than that is the necessity of free choice. We want you to have choices, one of them being mixxt.