Welcome to the Ning Thing

Not a Cat in the Hat sequel (or is it?!), it's Ning, a toolkit site for building social networking apps. I predict lots of fun at TagCamp playing with Ning. In fact, Ning bills itself as a *Playground*, not a toolkit. I like that approach!!

I have a small quibble with the Ning user agreement, though it's not enough to keep me from signing up. The UA specifies that "For free accounts during the beta period, all Developer-generated Code is Public Code." Hokay, no problem. But further down, it also assserts "You, as a Developer, own your Code. Full stop. We'll cover Content in a moment, but you own that too. We claim no ownership interest in the Code you use to build Applications on the Ning Playground. To encourage collaboration and sharing among Developers on free accounts, you grant Ning and Developers on the Ning Playground a worldwide, fully sub-licensable, fully paid-up and royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable license to use, reproduce, modify, distribute, publicly display, publicly perform, and create derivative works of your Code."

Good philosophy, but I'm now wondering what their lawyers (whom they refer to in the UA itself) were thinking using "public domain" in the earlier section. Kudos to stressing that Developers now and always retain all rights to their Content, and making the distinction between the Content and the Code.

Overall this seems a highly admirable and intriguing play. One wonders about the revenue model, but I imagine subscriptions and hosted apps play a large part in it. Now all I need is *time to play with it* (oy!).

Hmm, actually all I need is for the registration to work. I registered, and got the confirmation email, and tried to sign in. It keeps bringing up the "sign in" pop-up box along the top right. I thought I'd munged the registration process, so I created a 2nd account, and got the same results. Grump. Maybe they're getting swamped-- they say that they'll be "throttling" the number of Beta Developer accounts they create, on a "first come, first served" basis. We'll see-- I'll try logging in again in an hour or so.

Update: I realized that I could check whether an account had actually been created based on whether a pivot existed for it. Sure enough, there's a pivot for strata. I'm guessing that their provisioning is set up such that my request for developer status puts me in some kind of queue where the account infr is created, but the login isn't enabled until someone makes the dev-stat decision. Aaaand....I'm wrong, because I just provisioned a 3rd account, which did NOT request developer status, and I still get the repeat login boxen. Hm. Don't worry, I will nuke the other accounts once I get one that works!

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Blogger Gina Bianchini said...

Sorry about that. We are looking into this sign-in issue right now. It's a bug and we should be able to fix it in the next hour (or we're fixing it now but will redeploy in the next hour or so).

Thanks for checking us out!

11:42 AM  
Blogger Mike Rowehl said...

We were having some trouble with the account setup. You might be able to get access to the accounts by using the "Forgot your password" link in the login box. We're working on fixing that and should have a release out shortly. Sorry about the hassle.

11:43 AM  

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