It doesn't seem possible that Ning has only been with us since February 27. Since its launch, the company has grown to over 61,000 networks, attracting more and more users who are interested in forming online communities around any possible kind of need, niche, market or location, with the best user experience you can get for free.
For the enterprise, Ning offers the opportunity to create a network using up-to-the-minute social networking API's without having to invent them yourself, and to enjoy at the same time the privacy and branding environments of a private, built-from-scratch platform.
Does it matter for marketers if a network is strictly business-to-business or business-to-consumer? For co-founder (with Marc Andreessen) and CEO Gina Bianchini, the "boundary between the individual and the enterprise is crumbling." True enough, and Ning's business model sees individuals in the context of their network keyword "behavior," serving up Adsense accordingly. But Gina also recognizes that the networks might offer improved contextual targeting down the road for more tailored marketing programs.
Improvements such as full SMS, IM, and email notification are weeks away. But enough for now: tune in to hear Social Media Collective Members Gina, along with fellow Social Media Collectivists Rohit Bhargava, Vice President Interactive Marketing at Ogilvy 360, Julie Wittes Schlack, Senior Vice President, Innovation and Design and Communispace, and Craig Cmehil, Chief SDN Evangelist at SAP, on our next SMT live Web Roundtable taking place June 6, 2007. Hosted by the Bulldog Solutions. Here's the registration link.