Ning Launches New Version of Build-Your-Own Social Network Service

Ning’s new version of its build-your-own social network service puts the Marc Andreessen-backed company in the spotlight again.Reuters has a good roundup of Ning’s intentions, and how it compares to other players in the space. “How will Ning make money?” you ask. You’re not the only one, apparently, since there’s a “What Is Ning’s Business Model?” question high in the company’s FAQ. In a nutshell: advertising and subscriptions: a mixture of increasingly ambitious offerings for individuals and businesses. A year ago, everyone wanted their own personal MySpace page. A year from now, will everyone want to run their own personal MySpace? Podtech.net has both an interview with Marc Andreessen, Ning’s CTO, and CEO Gina Bianchini, and a Bianchini-hosted tutorial. The key here is whether Ning can differentiate itself from the other players. It has a great pedigree (Andreesseen did help start a little company called Netscape) and this post from CEO Bianchini suggests that being a full-fledged platform is exactly what the company has in mind.