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.
Today’s update will certainly delight our mixxt community creators: mixxt has launched detailed statistics to give administrators a deeper insight into the activity and the utilisation of their networks.
We have added a new menu to the network settings of the administration panel called – guess what – “Statistics”. In addition to some general network information (name, domain, launch date, creator), this page provides a detailed membership analysis. The number of members – split into their their different roles (members, admins, mods) – is supplemented by it’s increase over the last week and the last month. As a further indication for activity in the community, it also shows the number of pin board entries on member profiles.
Features – Utilisation & Activity
The main screen shows different values for each active feature in the community (as a reminder: you may choose from Blogs, Videos, Forums, Images, Groups, Wiki, Events, Files, Polls, Content Management and News):
- Number of posts/content plus the number of collections/albums/main categories
- Number of new posts/content by x different members over the last 7 days
- Number of new posts/content of x different members over the last 30 days
- Number of comments
- Recent edits
Disk space & traffic
On top of that, the network statistics provide information on available and used space and traffic:
And now: Go ahead and have a look at your community’s numbers! As always, your feedback is highly appreciated!
Some of our users have been waiting for this announcement for months: We will be adding “global friendships” to your communities! When joining a network, users will automatically become friends with all members they added as friends in other networks before. By implementing this feature, the flood of friendship requests and confirmations going along with joining a new network will be reduced to a minimum.
The desire for these global friendships mainly arose from barcampers and webworkers, who actively participate in many of our networks. But since the majority of our users hold a membership in only one network, we have postponed this topic several times.
BarCamp Power Users
One of our goals is to keep mixxt with it’s multiple features as simple as possible to use, even for non-techie users. On the one hand, both the administrator and the members of a single (non-barcamp) community would most probably not catch the importance of “global friendships”. For them, they appear to be just needless. On the other hand, feedback and wishes from the BarCamp scene are very important to us, we see ourselves and our software as part of this scene and have grown with it. That’s why we were looking for a solution which satisfies our power users, but is not too complex to build or to use.
Our “Global Friendship” Solution
After discussing different scenarios, we have decided to go for a system which we can implement with reasonable effort and that will surely make our barcampers happy: Read more »