We Are the Service that Goes Ni(ng)

The Stealth Project Formerly Known as 24 Hour Laundry is now live and called Ning. So, what is the service co-founded by Gina Bianchini and some guy named Marc Andreessen? It is a toolbox/playground for the unwashed to use and build social applications, ranging from your own Craigslist to your own Flickr.

Sliced social apps is an interesting idea — what narrowcasting Flickrs, say, will appear that would not otherwise? —  so I will be curious to see how this Roll Your Own social service is received. At the very least, the speciation could be interesting, even if it’s not clear yet to me (oooh, you knew this was coming) how Ning gets paid enough to make it all work.

And speaking of specious VC-ish questions, the Ning FAQ is entirely worth reading even if you don’t fancy the service: It is chock-full of arch and random asides, swipes at VCs, knowing winks, and general verbal horseplay:

Can my mother use Ning?
Ah, you must be in marketing or an associate at a VC firm (and why is this question never about someone’s dad?). If your mother knows how to add a review to Amazon, rate a restaurant on Citysearch, add a listing to Craigslist, type in the name of a book on Google, add her two cents to a discussion board, contribute to a concept on Wikipedia, vote on the cuter kitten on Kitten War, create a profile on My Space, or bid on an eBay auction, she’ll be fine.
P.S. Notice how all the way through this I didn’t say anything about Ning representing the “long tail” of social applications, nor did I say anything about Web 2.0. Pretty good, huh? You bet. Oh wait, I said it! Darn. Darn, darn, darn darn. Darn!


  1. Mashups

    Lots of people have recently posted about Ning, a playground in which one can develop social applications. Apparently it’s easy using Ning to mash up web services (e.g., Amazon, Craigslist, Flickr) into web applications. I join them in posting enthusia…