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© 2013 Kebba Buckley Button.  World Rights Reserved.

Social media, Sabrina Gibson, Ning

Illustration by Microsoft

As part of the Author Blog Challenge this month, we are asked to share our thoughts about Ning.com.  My writer friend Sandi Tuttle cheerfully posted a great article (http://www.averagewomansj.com/ning-the-merciless/) describing how developing your own site within Ning.com can really eat your time and energy alive.  She suggests we ask ourselves who exactly we are, before we get into the time suck of creating a community on Ning.

I agree with Sandi totally, in the general context.  However, I had a great experience with Ning when I was first learning social networking.  I was studying with the amazing Sabrina Gibson, around 2009, in what began as a single sample class, free, under the banner of Eric Lofholm.  Eric, of Eric Lofholm International sales training, was interested in providing his community with experts in different specific tools.  I took 4 sample classes.  When I took Sabrina Gibson’s webinar,  I was riveted by her clarity, her orderly teaching, and her amazing broad grip on the then-infant field of social media.  I signed up for 4 more weeks of Sabrina.  Sometimes you just know you need something, and this was It for me.

I didn’t even really know what social media was (were?).   But Sabrina ran the first seminar as webinars, with all the practice on Ning.com.  We learned to post photos and construct bios of all different lengths.  We learned to design our own page and edit photos.  We learned to define our brand and how to be friendly with people in our Ning community without talking business.  We learned about blogging and blog posts.  We learned to organize our bios, photos, and social media to-do’s on our desktops, in a Social Media folder.  We read topics on the Ning site and did homework and posted our creations.  We also learned how to join FaceBook, LinkedIn, WordPress and Twitter, how to use TweetLater Pro and PicResize.com.

I studied with Sabrina, using the Ning site, for months.  Finally, we learned one of the best lessons in business and social media: sometimes, you close a project.  Ning costs!  It’s $25/$49/$99 per month, depending on the size of the community you want to build.  Several months after our class ended, our microworld of social networking on Ning was closed.  But our friendships and our extensive skills remain.  And Ning is there, for those whose needs include a format for creating community.

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● Kebba Buckley Button is a minister and the award-winning author of  the 2012 book, Peace Within:  Your Peaceful Inner Core (http://tinyurl.com/abd47jr), and Discover The Secret Energized You (http://tinyurl.com/b44v3br).  She also has a natural healing and stress management practice and is a celebrated public speaker.

● Your comments are welcome!

● Reach the writer at kebba@kebba.com .

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