Create an Online Community with Ning!

by Paul on September 11, 2008

Committing to reach the Online Generation means connecting with Christians and non-Christians.  While this site focuses mainly on reaching the lost, we do want to highlight tools you can use to increase the level of community experienced in your church.

Ning is one of those tools.  From their website:

We started Ning with a simple premise. We wanted to see what would happen if everyone had the freedom to create their own social network for anything. We thought the results would be amazing, but they have truly surpassed our expectations. From artists to musicians, athletes, bloggers, video channels, journalists, students, educators, parents, craft hobbyists, alumni, and interest groups, the range and diversity of the social networks on Ning are profound. We thank you for using our platform and hope we can continue to relentlessly improve both the platform and the social networks powered by it.

Ning is free, if you want to have their branding and advertisements in various places within your online community.  A small monthly fee removes the branding and another one removes the ads.  Not too bad for such a powerful engine.

Increasing the number of times people in community interact during the week is a big part of building deep, authentic community.  Tools like Ning help you take the community into people’s homes in a way they can weave throughout their busy schedules.

If you use Ning, let us know so we can check out your online community.  

As always, I’d love to hear what you think.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Mark September 11, 2008 at 8:41 am

I was a part of an organic network of churches in Abilene, TX for several years. We used ning as a platform for inter-church connectivity. Many in the house churches wanted to get to know those in others, so we created jesusfamilynetwork.ning.com. It was absolutely the best way to stay in touch! You could use widgets like google calendar and google maps to stay in touch and share where other groups met. Photos, music, videos, comments, poetry, blogs…We had groups for prayer, and church planting…it was great.

We even had a few people interested in God and/or church discover us online and request joining our group BEFORE they joined one of our local house churches. It ended up being a form of outreach after all!

Stéphane September 12, 2008 at 8:05 am

Thanks for this input. I’m thinking about creating such a social network for the follow-up of our online contacts.

Stéphane September 15, 2008 at 10:40 am

Does anybody have experienced http://www.elgg.org ?

Stephen Young II April 30, 2009 at 11:34 am

I am a member of the International Orality Network ning site.

http://ion2008.ning.com

Could you have a ning as sort of a half-way place between secondlife and real life?

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