The resources needed to build a healthy online social network as demonstrated by the ning network philosophy are as follows.
1. Photos, (images)
2. Videos, (and audio)
3. Discussion, (forums, comments, and replies to comments)
4. Friendships, (membership)
5. Groups, (sub networks of friends and probable friends)
These are the default tabs in any ning network, the Seven Sides of Ning, the ning pie.
These are the seven slices of Pie in the ning community matrix. The community is complete and rich when all the pie pieces are in place. When the pie is complete ... google devours the pie. When a ning community has good development by a large number of members in all these resource activities then any one slice of the pie can compete effectively with respect to Search Engine Optimization in google with any other slice of pie that stands alone, no matter how tasty that pie may be.
1. People love to post photos and images, no problem to develop that resource from membership. Photos are easy to take, easy to upload. No deep thought is required to post a photo, it's easy and fun.
2. People love to post videos, (and audio). It's easy to develop this part of a social network, it's automatic when your network members are already into media like musicians. It's a little more technically challenging, but when you are dealing with fiddlers and violinists, you've got a smart group of people.
3. Discussion is a natural part of a ning network, it happens by itself and internet folk love to discuss stuff. Live chat is the height of this type of activity and is difficult to develop.
4. Friendships and membership connections develop naturally and they tell us a lot about a particular member, or a group of members.
5. Groups are an outgrowth of friendships and are higher up on the friend scale. They require some work by a social network developer and the creator of the social network and administrators.
6. Events are difficult to get people to post and update and maintain unless their is a professional promotional angle or a social agenda attached to the event functions, then they can happen naturally.
7. Blogs take writers, people who can actually type coherently and with subject matter that is cohesive and relevant to the target network.
Gathering the ingredients to Bake the ning pie, to create a rich, attractive network, (to google), and to prospective membership is made straightforward with the default tabs or applications that are encased in a ning network node object.
Preparing the raw ingredients and incorporating them into the pie, and then baking that pie, serving that pie, cleaning the dishes, paying for the energy to bake the pie ... etc ... are the jobs of network creators and online social network developers.
I like Pie.
The most difficult part of the pie to bake, to find the ingredients for and to serve and get people interested in is the blog part of the pie.
Blogs are in any network that has discussions. Longer posts in discussions are already blogs, they just need to be copied and pasted into the poster's blog section. I often develop blogs using this method. Discussion is free form writing to a specific audience and posting that as a blog after opening up to a larger audience is straightforward.
Any group is an extended blog that includes scads of comments and replies already. Encouraging membership, especially those who are already prolific in the written word piece of the Ning pie is tedious and can be managed very effectively by using the resources already at hand.