OK, here's what I have really liked about Ning so far:

1. One place to store and comment on photos/videos
2. Flattening of discussion (all voices can be heard, even beginners)
3. Ability to use tools of Web 2.0 with low learning curve
3. Photos of everyone in the network

Some thing that I think need to be improved, and that I've emailed them about:

1. Some forum posts don't have a reply link underneath them
2. Not clear if you can change the license (to creative commons) if you pay for
the upgrade
3. Not clear if you can remove all ads if you upgrade
4. Doesn't seem that you can search the forum topics

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More improvements I think are needed:

1. Option for email notification for all forum posts
2. Including actual comments in email notifications for forum discussions, photo and video discussions, and chatter
For all my early snarkiness, I think it's not a bad environment. You're right about letting people get into the conversation on a low threshold, and that seems to be important. I'm not sure how many of the current people *require* that lowered threshold. Most of the names I'm seeing here are "old hands" and a lot even have their own blogs already.

Once agan the problem with it is that I have to 'come here' in order to participate. I need to take time from my aggregator, blog, and PLE to visit this space in order to really see what's happening and that's a liability. It's not Ning's fault -- that's an artifact of having a separate space, any space, that's not feeding me the content externally.

The other thing I've noticed is that it's taking more and more time to load as more and more people join and more and more content gets added in. Perhaps unloading some of the widgetry from the front page might help? I dunno.
The true test of the network will be if we get past the early adopters and can make the site inviting enough for others that a genuine community is formed.

Yes, you have to come to the space. But because it is a "space," it's pretty defined in its content, whereas my own aggregator/blog/PLE cover a wide range. That's why I hope Ning will provide more content in their notifications. I did place the feed for the forum in my reader, and that has helped.
For a newbie can you tell me what you mean by PLE?
I am trying to figure out if I can add an MP3 audio. I understand how to load a video and that's great, but are we leaving audio out, or am I just missing something.
My understanding is that an audio play is coming. For now, I believe you can upload audio through the video section, or you can include audio by using an embedded player like you can get the code for from Odeo...
Forum's need to be sortable by *comment* date .. not just main post. It's too easy for comments on older posts to disappear.
Yes, I agree, and I have seen that feedback from others on Ning's developers site. Sortable by *last comment date* is what I'm thinking.

I've also got an RSS feed on the forum, so I see all the comments anyway.
Can I add...
The Classroom 2.0 box should take rss or flash embeds. I think tagging ourselves might be useful (or dumb, but I'd still like to try it).
I'd also like to be able to put a text header above the boxes on the main page for the forum, blog posts, and the RSS feed box(es)--just to be able to describe or give brief instructions. Let's keep collecting our thoughts, and I'll send them over to Ning!
I have seen a lot of confusion over the Friends features. At the moment it seems to be more of a concept than a feature with much functionality.

Here are some improvements I suggested (or supported) on one of Sylvia Martinez's blog entries.

"I agree that it would be nice to have a way to tell who is live right now.

A functionality with friends that I have seen on another site and would love to see here is a page that contains all of your friends and their latest blog and forum posts. That way it is easy to track the movements of your favorite people."

This thread was hard for me to find. Is there some way you can make it more visible? I think a lot of people would make suggestions if they knew that they could.

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