Ning invited the entire valley over at the last Lunch 2.0 to their headquarters to meet and greet and learn about their social networking software that can be used by anyone. Remember the days of bulletin boards and forums? It seems like it’s evolving to social networking features. One of the interesting things of these web-based systems is that its easy to use, Gina showed us a demo, everyone was crowded around to see how it worked, a very engaged audience.
From a web strategy perspective, I can foresee that social networking features will be in many websites, from corporate intranets, extranets, and public sites. Who knows the next version of Yahoo Groups could start to evolve into these types of features. (which would be a good play for Yahoo to entire the Facebook market).
Although there are over 50 companies in this space (I started the master list) Ning has a strong chance of being one of the final few, a solid product, great community interaction, Gina does a great job communicating. In fact if you want to learn more, there’s a video interview that Scoble did of her and Marc.