In about five minutes you can set up a network where people come and read/write blogs, comment on blogs, dicuss stuff (forums), upload photos, link videos, interact with places like Flickr and Youtube, and wield some pretty sweet RSS magic.
That’s not all. You can customise a fair amount of what goes on under the hood, because the frontend is mostly PHP. Not bad.
One of the craziest segments of this story is that currently Ning is free. You can sign up and start creating networks willy-nilly. And seriously, despite any limitations Ning might have, the price means you should at least give it the once over.
I’ve set up http://clarionfolk.ning.com/ to test it out. Still don’t fully understand how the whole thing works. There’s a concept of "Friends", which I think is another layer of security. Time will tell.
In other news, I’ve decided to move back to working on Rasp. At this stage, this early in the game, I need a single kicking product, a flagship, that has to knock the socks of people. Rasp is going to be that baby.