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As the year comes to a close, it’s a great time to look to a few communities that have had great success throughout 2012 for inspiration. We asked our community of Network Creators on creators.ning.com to let us know how their year went, and received some exciting stories of success and lessons learned.

These Ning Networks were led by creative, hard-working teams and have achieved their own forms of success because of their leadership. As our wise Network Creator of wellkunnected.com, Armani, reminded us, There isn’t a hack for had work and creativity!



The ecoronado team showing off their schwag!

1. ecoronado (Here is our top 10 milestones for 2012 (in no particular order):

1.  Hit 6,000 members and are driving hard for 7,000
2.  Hired two paid writers and site admin (it’s now possible to sleep)
3.  Interviewed many candidates and brought on our 13th intern
4.  Have 20+ paid sponsors that get great promo while supporting a local newspaper
5.  Hosted an anniversary party and bought hundreds of local members ice-cream
6.  Started rewarding top photo contributors with badges and company schwag
7.  Launched over 40 physical photo/scavenger hunt contests to drive activity
8.  Created a local discount card in partnership with our public schools
9.  Added 2,000+ contributed posts to dominate local news coverage & drive traffic
10. Launched version 3.0 (just last week) to rave reviews (thanks SweetPotato))



The IAVA community is been providing real life saving resources and support for veterans.

Jason: http://iava.communityofveterans.org/  http://iava.org/

Been a crazy year on our network.  Running a mental health / veteran network provided endless excitement. Here are some of our highlights:

  1. Broke through 24,500 members (we were at 18,900 in 2011)
  2. Implemented a Crisis Response SOP which we used to connect at least 3 members who expressed suicidal ideation to lifesaving resources
  3. Created a “Sound of to IAVA” group, which in just a few months became our largest and most active group with 823 members
  4. Personally officiated a wedding of two long time and active members of the community – who actually met because of it
  5. Secured a couple grants to get some part time support and a redesign for 2013

We are all looking forward to a powerful 2013!


survey earth.png

Remember to check out the surveyearth.com gear if you happen to be a Land Surveyor to join in on the fun.


1. Hosted the world’s first ever global Survey Earth in a Day, looking forward to Survey Earth in a Day 2.0 in June 2013

2. Closing 2012 with 4300+ members in the most conservative industry (and subsequently the oldest industry) known to mankind, land surveying. We are the largest geospatial network on the planet

3. Usage of my mobile network is exploding all over the planet, allowing professional land surveyors to network from the field..actually changing a LOT about the industry as a whole..

4. Josh:  1. I got 41,000 users this year so far, Mobile apps, My new splash page: swapmessenger.com/splash
http://swapmessenger.com/main (splash: http://swapmessenger.com/splash)


sound check

Image by Riccardo Rossini


“We are near to 2000 users and we are proud to offer in Italy something different [in a] photography site.”




6. Jennifer is looking for her founding members

parent chat

Parent-chat.com is looking for its founding members.

“2012 Milestone – Creating my first ever network: www.Parent-Chat.com

I am a web novice, but back in September I had an idea for an on-line parenting community that just took over my brain.  Having no experience what-so-ever, Ning was recomended to me.  Within only 4 weeks I have the 1st level of my site up and running!  I have 10 members (and am only related to 5 of them) – but it is a good start for going live only 3 weeks ago.”

7. Antonio (233% growth): This was a wonderful year for my social network the orbati.com. We at least a year out of 300 members to over 1,000 members. Today through contact with other creators ning, we have reached aa major networks in appearance and technology and every day more members joins our network.

It’s important to remember that each community defines success differently. The beginning of the year marks a great point to look at your own community and decide what you define as success. Whether it is defined by page views, engagement, or financial profit, we wish you the best of luck in 2013!


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Google, Youtube, Yahoo! and Facebook (as well as several others) have released their ‘2010 in review’ results.  Some, like Yahoo!, have released an article featuring the top searches in 2010 accompanied by heart wrenching photos, of course.  Twitter took a different approach.  True to its nature, Twitter has put up a microsite with information on the top trending tops; it even reorganizes them by category (people, event…)

And although content writers at Mashable comment on Twitter’s more realistic depiction of 2010, I favor the Google Zeitgeist, year in review.  (I have had a soft spot for videos produced by Google since the airing of the Parisian Search Story during the one of the NFL commercials).  

Google also has a list of fastest rising search topics.   (more…)

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