Monday, October 26, 2009

Ning's Virtual Gifts

If you have created a social network on Ning due to the blog post I wrote here on Web Bytes (, you may be interested in the following information as the network creator.

Early last week Ning has joined others in introducing “Virtual Gifts” such as teddy bears, books, desserts, flowers, jewelry, handbags etc. to their network. This feature gives members another way of connecting with each other. Network creators have two ways of customizing the gifts on their network - They can choose from hundreds of Ning Gifts that are applicable to the type of activity on the network they have created or provide their own custom gifts through upload to the Gift Store for their Ning network. Ning may also allow network creators to customize the Gift Store for their network.

This new feature makes history as it is Ning’s first attempt at a revenue-generating feature on its networks and providing a 50/50 revenue sharing Incentive Program between Ning and the network creators. Once the network creators have opt-in to the Incentive Program they can start receiving their share of the revenue earned quarterly starting in 2010 when they have earned a minimum of $100.00.  Ning also starts each network member with 100 credits to go toward the purchase of “Virtual Gifts” on their network. More credits can be purchased through the Gift Store with a PayPal account.

To give a member a “Virtual Gift”:
  • Click on the Member tab
  • Select the member you would like to give a gift to. You will be taken to that member’s page
  • Click on the link by the gift box that states “give a gift”. You will be taken to a page with gift categories. You can narrow your search to a specific category or search all the “Virtual Gifts” available on your network
  • Selected your “Virtual Gift”
  • Add a message like you would on a gift card
  • Set the privacy setting
  • Send Gift for delivery to the member’s My Page
As I browsed the Gift Store for my network, the “Virtual Gifts” were all worth 75 credits except one. This was a pink ribbon signifying, to me, breast cancer which is celebrated during the month of October.

Hope this information will encourage you as a Ning network creator to go deeper in creating your Virtual Gift Shop if you choose to opt-in to the Ning’s Gift Store Incentive Program. I like the idea of the ability to have a free gift to choose from as the one signifying Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I think this should continue throughout the year for other worthy causes. What are your thoughts?

As always, post your comments, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together

In His Service,

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