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Vikas Kamat
 Vikas Kamat is a programmer- entrepreneur living in Birmingham AL. This blog is a complex mix of Indian culture, life in southern USA, computer sciences, and sports. Opinions are his own.
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Review of Ning Durable Link to this BLOG
As the members signed up for Kamat Network have increased, I am under a lot of pressure to add value for the members -- stuff like allow them to add blogs, pictures etc., which I have been reluctant to implement, because I don't have time to write all these programs.

Last few days I have been looking at FaceBook API, the OpenSocial API to see if I should abandon my development and instead use theirs. Out of the box, we'd get these cool apps.

But I have long been a critic of the Frankenstein Web, because of the subsystems eventually goes out of business and we are left with "upgrading" or "refactoring" our code. Recently Amazon did that with their e-commerce service, which was working just fine all these years.

Then today I read about Ning in the FastCompany magazine. First let me criticize review the article. Other than the pictures of "Silicon Valley Hottie" Gina Bianchini, the article itself is lame. I wonder how much money Ning paid FastCompany to be featured on the cover. The article reads like a marketing brochure of Ning and one of these silly, boastful pitches they give during "enterpreneur-meets-venture capital" shows.

Nowhere it explains why what Ning has cannot be accomplished by others.

What blew the credibility of the article was the claim that Ning is able to predict accurately the future behaviors. "...for reasons no one can explain seem to accurately describe a dizzying array of natural and unnatural phenomena.". What bunch of bull!

So I had to sign-up fro Ning and see it for myself.

Review of Ning

The signup process was painless, except it kept on telling me something about "Sorry, that address is the same as a Ning ID or reserved word". What address? My email address?!

Soon after its limitations were obvious to me. Everything had to be hosted at, Oh, so lame.

I investigated the developer docs, and I couldn't figure out how to migrate my existing base to Ning. Perhaps it is not possible.

They also seemed to serve advertisements on the network I created.

Requirements for My Social Network

The question is, do I create new software and own it or should I use a service like Ning?

That is my dilemma this week.

What I need(as an administrator) is the ability populate and extract registration records, a stable discussion forum, and ability to manage mailing lists.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Sunday, April 20, 2008
Last Modified: 4/21/2008 8:34:02 AM

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