Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Ning - No More Excuses to Creating a Web 2.0 Travel Site

Ning.com is hottest new Web 2.0 tool to be announced this past week. Ning.com (now in version 2) allows anyone to easily create, through a drag and drop process, a Social Network on which members can post discussion items, blogs, photos and videos, and more. It is entirely free, with advertising, and $19/month without ads. Although it is in no way only for travel and tourism, there were close to 200 social networks that are tagged "travel" on the day that I wrote this.



I have created two social networks of my own at Ning.com. One is centered on my Travelography Travel News podcast (at http://travelnews.ning.com), and the other is on Responsible Travel and Sustainable Tourism (at http://responsibletravel.ning.com).


It was very easy to create these, though doing more customizing will probably take some time. In particular, I would like to add a Google Map mashup, which is found a quite a few of the social networks (such as the Travel Tips one, below). The networks with these maps appear to be from version 1 of Ning.com, and is not a standard tool built into version 2.0. In fact, if anyone has some tips on how to create a map mashup and add it to Ning.com, I would appreciate the help.



For a video introduction and tutorial to Ning.com, go to the Scoble Show blog. Also see Ning reviews on Tech Crunch and GigaOM.

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NEW (7 Sept 07): There are other web services similar to Ning that may meet your needs better. TechCrunch.com reviews nine of them here.

3 comments:

Jesse said...

Interesting article. I've actually used Ning for a Caribbean cruise promotion put together by our company. I suggested to our travel agent the possibly of using this platform for her business.

Based on my experiences with Ning, I posted my own blog about its use in the travel industry: Effectively Using Web 2.0 In The Travel Industry.

You'll find it at my website, Jesse Kanclerz under the blog section.

Jaime said...

I think Ning offers a great service for individuals and companies who want to try building a Web 2.0 community. The platform is very user friendly and the developers are constantly working to improve it. After becoming familiar with the platform through my membership in the Turismo 2.0 community (turismo20.com), I finally took the plunge and launched a Travel 2.0 site called Canadamigos Network (canadamigos.com) The site's purpose is to complement the network of Web 1.0 websites I run that promote Canada to Hispanics around the world. So far Canadamigos is on track. Launched late last December it has reached almost 1,000 members. The challenge now is to bring in the Canadian travel industry to participate in order to make it a complete Travel 2.0 website.

Regards,

Jaime Horwitz

Alan A. Lew said...

1000 members, that is great. I am using Ning this semester to supplement a class that I am teaching. The Ning site, "Interpreting Tourism" is currently closed, but I plan to open it to the public at the end of April. The students have had some great discussions there. -- Alan