Today's "Best of the Rest" installment is a little different. It's the final post in our series (read Part 1 here, and Part 2 here if you missed them!), and today's two featured social networking sites are actually, in our opinion, usually best avoided. However, we recieve lots of questions about them, so here's our take on Myspace and Ning:

Best of the Rest, Part 3


5. Myspace

Myspace is one of the larger social networking sites on the web. However, we would caution nonprofits against trying to use Myspace for increasing awareness or for fundraising activities. In our experience, the only organizations that Myspace would be a good choice for are those with a very young (early teen) target demographic. In nearly all other cases, we’ve found Myspace to be less than useful for nonprofits.


6. Ning

Another service we get a lot of questions about is Ning. Ning is an online platform which allows users to create their own social networks based around specific interests. Users can choose and customize the features and visual design they want.

While Ning may sound like a great idea, however, in recent years the company has been at the center of a lot of controversy. One of the most disturbing developments was when Ning notified its network creators that Ning would be emailing their entire membership bases with marketing emails – however, most members were not even aware that the network they were part of was a part of the larger Ning network. Even worse is that Ning network creators often pay a fee to keep Ning promotional ads off of their sites – so the idea that Ning would bypass that completely by sending marketing emails straight to network members is unsettling.

Furthermore, social networks already exist for just about everything under the sun. Why try to do something better than the market leader? Facebook has already done all the work of creating a huge network with a lot of features, so why not just use theirs?


So now you've gotten our take on the major social media sites - what's yours? What do you think of the "Best of the Rest" websites we've discussed? Are there any we missed that you'd like us to talk about? Let us know in the comments!

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