I’ve been geeking out a bit between meetings and phone calls these past couple of days setting up a Ning for Big Stone Local Foods. A Ning is a social networking tool/service that can function both as a website for the public and a communications base for group members.
I learned about and started using Ning during a Blue Cross & Blue Shield Healthy Eating Minnesota Networking Community of Practice (which unfortunately I’ve had trouble keeping up with lately with due to conflicting schedule issues).
But the Networking COP has been helpful in many ways, including the realization that a Ning could be the right tool to create a public face for our Big Stone Local Food group while hopefully side-stepping the fear and dread that
sometimes (yeah, pretty much always) go along with building a “traditional” website and producing content for it.
And, it alleviates e-mail inbox pressure. I’m generally caught between sending a three-page update to our group every week or two (with details on several different projects and events) or sending out four e-mails a day.
Neither one of those options is particularly pleasant on the receiving end–with a Ning, members can subscribe to project groups they want to follow and everyone can see scheduled events. I linked our Ning events into our Big Stone Local Foods Facebook page, so I can send events there and not have to re-type them.
Check out our Ning and let me know what you think! If you are interested in getting involved in Big Stone Local Foods Group’s work, contact me, and I’ll send you an invite to join.