Here at e.politics, we may cling to our victrolas, our morse code and our Windows XP, but some people in the online world look a little farther ahead. For instance, along with co-founder Marc Andreessen, Gina Bianchini at Ning has been working since the company’s 2005 launch to put the ability to create online social networks into the hands of people and organizations around the world. The results? You too can build a MySpace or Facebook, my friend.
Unlike general social networking sites, which create a common river of profiles in which everyone swims (think our individual networks of social connections as groups of rafters floating on the current), Ning has built a platform on which anyone can build a defined online community of people interacting around any issue or interest. A MyBarackObama.com in every garage! Of course, as with blogs and so much else online, many of these erstwhile communities will fade for every one that thrives.