Friday, June 8, 2007

Viral Politics takes to Ning, The Social Network For Social Networks

Ning is a fairly new venture by a team including one the the Netscape founders. It is a platform for building your own social networks. Last time I've checked, that's exactly what Facebook has become, but never mind that now. Anyway, the point is it's the newest Internet outlet that netroots political supporters have taken to. There are already social networks created for most of the popular candidates, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Ron Paul...

The problem with allowing users to dictate what might constitute an affiliation is that it actually discourages unity and cooperation. I say this based on the fact that if you search for say Ron Paul, there's 6 different Ron Paul networks that appear. And it's not like one is for "hollywood gays for Ron Paul" and another for "gun-toting anti-Semites for Ron Paul". That would make sense. But Nope. They're all competing versions of "Ron Paul For President." This sorta suggests that Ning is going to need to undergo some sort of evolution to separate itself from Myspace, YouTube and Facebook. Because as-is, it seems to be competing head-to-head, but from light-years behind the pack.

That said, the platform seems to have a uniquely flexible architecture as some pages are heavily customized like the Rate This Candidate social network. But still, it would be nice to see a political network that includes various applications such as one for rating candidates. It should not exist as a network itself. Check out

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