Ning, the real 24 Hour Laundry


The much talked about 24 Hour Laundry has come out from under the covers as Ning. This is Marc Andressen’s latest and has some seriously smart people working for the company. What they have done is developed a meta app, a framework that allows folks like you and me to roll our own “social applications.” It is a hard one to quantify, and you have to use it to know it. Given that we have been bombarded with social apps in recent months, its nice to see a “mother of all social apps.”

Our goal with Ning is to see what happens when you open things up and make it easy to create, share, and discover new social apps. These might include for any city, your own take on Craigslist…for any passion, your own take on…for any interest, your own take on Zagat…for any event, your own take on Flickr…for any school, your own take on the Facebook…for any topic, your own take on…for any mammal, your own take on Hot or Not or Kitten War.

Mike over at Tech Dirt says, “The idea of situated software is that it serves a specific need for a specific (often very small) group of people. It doesn’t need to scale. It just needs to serve that group. It’s certainly likely that a system like Ning could provide a platform for that (though, there’s no guarantee that it will really work out that way).”

Start-Up Coach Jeff Clavier says, “There is actually an interesting knock-on effect here: building web 2.0 applications just got potentially even cheaper/easier to develop.” Flip his comment into plain speak – a lot of those smart VC dollars that were going to end up in social app clones will now have to find a new home. But as I normally ask of these new start-ups, where’s the beef? I am scratching my head on the revenue model!




Actually there are a few CEO, from Utterz and Talkshoe come to mind who come to mind as examples, but the point is, this complainer is way off on what he says, it’s not true and such statements are absurd. I’ve spoken many times with various people from Ning and I doubt that any of them would ever be capable of being nasty with a user, even should the user deserve nastiness.

Russell Haney

This is in reference to what Mr. Kamensky said:

I have NEVER had this problem with the staff. I started my network up approx 6 weeks ago and since then it has been one of the most rewarding experiences for my website. The platform is great and the whole 4 second thing that you are complaining about – PLEASE. With everything Ning offers, 4 seconds is NOTHING.

Incompitent CEO? You are out of your mind. She is one of the most smartest, dedicated, and friendliest CEO’s I have ever had contact with. I have never talked to her on a personal level, but have read her blogs, forum posts, interviews, etc.. and I can clearly see someone who is very passionate about her company and passionate about seeing her CUSTOMERS succeed.

Please tell me right now Mr. Complainer: What CEO on this planet actually interacts on a daily basis with their customers? I cannot think of many besides MYSELF.


Fabricio Zuardi

@Mr. Kamensky, the information for deleted questions can be deleted, it is just not part of the default installation. You can remove the extra deprecated info (and make your loading times faster) either manually using the content manager (/admin/index/manage) or by writing a php script to do that.

From my experience I find unlikely that anyone from Ning might have called you “odd” or disrespected you at this level, and if someone told you that you were the only network creator at ning with more than x required profile questions, it is probably because it is true, and they were describing the issue and why this haven’t been noticed on any other network before yours, not to point fingers or play the blame game, but to be clear about the description of the issue.

As for death threats, this is a serious police issue and you should seek legal assistance, people that engage on internet flamewars are unfortunately target of this kinds of things, it is a bummer, but it is how the internet goes, a forum in a Ning network is no different than an Orkut or Myspace group (or any mailing list and web forum for that matter) in that regard, this is why moderation tools are for.

As with any community, it helps to be on-topic, and if you got banned from Network Creators, a forum to discuss issues related to ning networks I feel very sorry for you, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that the reason was off-topic posts and that you were warned.

As a Ning user and developer, I agree with you that performance can and should be better, I see incrementally improvements on this area on each new release and although it might be not suited for everyone it is not IMHO bad in comparison with other free and even paid services. But I cannot agree with the rude Staff part (yes, I am a member of the crew today but that was not always the case, and I am not speaking in Ning’s behalf in any ways here, this reply is personal and probably not supported or endorsed by Ning), and also not with the hardheaded CEO, I think she does a good job in fact considering the ambitious scope of the service. But I guess this is just an opinion. :]


This last comment, coming two years after the original post, is totally opposite to my own, recent experience with Ning in every point made. The Ning staff including Gina have not only been polite to the most clueless people on their forum, but they generally answer questions of all kinds within a day.

I recorded a conversation with her I had yesterday:

Ning is a platform. It’s like a jazz standard, in the hands of a creative person, a Ning network can become a beautiful and useful site. I’ve seen every possible idiom on Ning, from porn to teaching Spanish in Mexico, from VOIP Users to to

YMMV – for me, Ning is a winner

Mr. Kamensky

Ning is very Beta. CEO incompetent and hardheaded.

Advantages. Only site I know where a layman can create his own mini-Network or Forum

Disadvantages. Staff rude, can’t admit mistakes, blame you, Ning is not what it is advertised as.

My experience with Ning. I am a dyslexic person on disabilities whose hobby it is to coach young men in dating and relationships. I tried using Ning as a teaching aid. Ning staff are very bad at accepting criticism. They can’t admit their mistakes. Ning is very slow. Gina Bianchini said something is wrong with “me” if I think waiting 4 seconds for a page to load is slow. I am using Orkut, MySpace, Yahoo Groups, and those networks are a lot faster. Although Ning finally listened to me and made their site a little faster, it didn’t do me any good.

One of the features Ning is boasting is the ability to create your own profile questions. But what they do not tell you (at least they did not tell me) is that, the more questions you make, the slower your Network is going to be. (Right now I have to wait 20 seconds for a page to load on my Network.) After they told me this was the case it was too late. I reduced the number of questions, but the members’ profile answers are already stored in the system. They told me the information couldn’t be deleted and my Network will always be slow. Again instead of accepting responsibility they played the blame game with me. They told me I was the only one on Ning who made so many profile questions, and that I was odd. It is funny hearing this from people who allegedly want to give Network creators freedom to be individualistic. Not to mention that its rude. As a result I have lost months of design effort and time.

They say in an advertisement that you can create your own Social Network, but in reality it is more like your own forum or miniature network. The Groups feature of Ning Networks is very underdeveloped. For instance you can’t approve group posts. This one-fit-all approach is why all Ning networks look the same. I’m sick of all these sites luring you with false promises and providing no service of any value.

Also, I got a death threat and when I complained they banned me from Network Creators forum. Most of the Networks on Ning are “dead”, in part because Gina has a big head and will not accept advice on how to improve the site. They have been very rude and inhospitable to me.

Michael Parekh

The revenue model is likely to be a combination of premium hosting subscription models/paid-search and some aspects of software licensing…but it obviously only kicks in if developers find the technical and economic features palatable.

Brian Breslin

this is interesting. “web2.0” at its root, since its all about empowering the users to create their own solutions. the real money would be if they create a way to let their users SELL their newly created apps. i.e. let joe shmo create his own basecampe and charge people $10/month (of which ning takes $5).


>> can you explain the delicious revenue model to me?

Same as a Search Engine …Tags are practically keywords and IMO keyword based paid links may work .

They can partner with Google or Yahoo for the PPC feeds.


One more thing , even though i said can make money ,it will never grow out of the geek community.

If anyone want proof , just compare the most active tag list of with Google Zeitgeist or Yahoo buzz …two different worlds :)


>But as I normally ask of these new start-ups, where’s the beef? I am scratching my head on the revenue model!

True , except for & indeed (which can naturally accommodate paid links ) none of these web 2.0 startups have a clear reveue model.

But i dont think they were started with the aim of making money either , they just want to develop something and flip it when it is still hot :)

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