Ning

Common Sense Media says

MySpace-like site lets you create your own social network.

Age(i)

2
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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Social network creators get to monitor all that goes on at the sites they create, giving even young owners valuable experience in managing an online community.

Violence

Possible references in other Ning sites.

Sex

Mild references and images fairly easy to find in other Ning sites.

Language

Prohibited, but rough slang probable in some other Ning sites.

Consumerism

Unless you pay extra, Google ads automatically appear on created sites.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

References to all these and more can be found on other social networks that can be visited at Ning.com.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this site-generation tool also offers entry into more than 700,000 social networking sites that have already been created by other people, most of them adults. Although Ning's terms of service forbids content harmful to minors, including porn, "extreme" violence, and profanity, it clearly does not want to quash all adult fun. As a result, some of the sites are suggestive or a little risquu; for example, the innocent sounding Tree House Kid's [sic] has a female cartoon cat with exposed breasts. On the plus side, most such sites require a password to delve deeper into forums and other features beyond the home page.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

NING.COM is two destinations in one. First, it's a huge collection of social networks others have created for every conceivable interest and topic, from needlepoint to Britney Spears. Second, it's a place where almost anyone can create their own full-featured social networking site for free. Just type in a name for your social network (say, Friends of Emma), give it a short description, and start building the Web site by dragging features from a list on the left side of the screen to a three-column homepage layout on the right. Options include photos, videos, groups, chat, music, RSS, forums, even your own blog and RSS feed. Choose your site's appearance from 64 templates, then tweak the typeface and background colors. Now you're ready to invite people to your social network and start managing their interactions as owner of the site. The URL will be a subdomain of ning: http://friendsofemma.ning.com.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Nothing – not even MySpace or Facebook – matches Ning for its simultaneous simplicity and creative potential for social network fans. Rather than creating a page in a community like MySpace, users are in effect creating their very own MySpace knockoff and inviting others to join. A Ning site can be cobbled together using templates in just a few minutes, or users can spend hours tweaking features, colors, and even the underlying code.

Regardless, the fun and sense of pride and ownership that comes from creating and running one's own social community complete with posts, photos, and blogs can be priceless, perhaps even a window into a future career for youngsters. Creators can choose to let anyone join their social network or make it invitation only, an important consideration for minors and their parents.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the types of social networking sites your child is allowed to visit and join. Not all of the existing sites have been created by adults. For instance, there are plenty of fan communities for the Jonas Brothers, Twilight, and other social phenomena that have been created by teens for their peers. The real excitement, though, will be helping your teen create his or her own social network complete with blog, email, photos, and discussion groups. The downside: managing an online community is a time-consuming responsibility that could overwhelm some teens' schedules.

Website details

Genre:Social Networking
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Ning was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byEZRASHUGEREVIEWS August 28, 2009
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

IT COULD BE ANYTHING.

THE SITE IS GREAT. IT COULD HAVE ANYTHING BEAD AND ANYTHING GOOD. EVEN I HAVE A NING SITE THAT'S GOOD FOR 10 YEAR OLDS AND UP. SEARCH FOR EZRA'S HUGE REVIEWS ON NING AND YOU'LL FIND IT.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educational value
Great messages
Safety and privacy concerns
Adult Written byjkittle June 6, 2011
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

Ning is Terrible and a Scam

Ning is a rip off. There are multiple people who claim Ning still charges them after they shut down their network. They had to go to the bank to stop payments. Ning has a better business bureau rating of F: http://sanjose.bbb.org/Business-Report/Ning-Inc-245024
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Kid, 10 years old September 19, 2010

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