When you think about Social Networks usually the first thought that comes to mind is Facebook, LinkedIn or even MySpace.  Most people don’t usually think of another Social Network called Ning.com  In face many people might have stumbled upon a really cool Social Network and they don’t even know they’re using Ning.com.

What is this Ning thing?

According to Ning they are a free online service for creating, customizing and sharing your own Social Networks.  So, basically anybody can now create a Social Network on demand. You can think of Ning like Facebook, but with a specific purpose to build up and encourage your Social Network to grow.  The interesting thing about Ning, is that it lets you do some customization of the user interface and specify whether the users can play Social Apps within that particular Social Network.

Why is Ning.com important?

This is huge in that you can create a very focused Social Network just for the purpose of getting like-minds together for the purpose of sharing information and experiences for the good of the community.  Just imagine, it’s like a Facebook, it has messaging, a public wall, a forum, polls, chat, photos, birthdays.  Everything you’d want, except you have the choice of being public or making the group by invitation only.

Another cool thing, is the ability to switch back & forth between all your registered Ning Social Networks.  This helps with the management of several Social Networks.

I wholeheartedly recommend spending the time to get familiar with Ning and you’ll see the possibilities too.