Tools to Help You Participate on Ning - dummies

Tools to Help You Participate on Ning

By Manny Hernandez

Ning has some tools that everyone in the know takes advantage of. Whether you’re a member or running a network on Ning, these tools can make your life easier:

  • Firefox: Firefox is a very stable, fast, and safe browser, and you can find some very powerful extensions developed for Firefox that are simply not available for Internet Explorer.

  • Flash Player: You probably don’t need to worry about installing Flash Player because most of the world’s Internet users have it on their computers. Ning network features such as the Video Player require Flash to even appear on your screen.

  • Java: To use the bulk uploading option for photos, videos, and music, you need to make sure you install Sun’s Java Runtime Engine.

  • A text editor: Although any text editor can do the job when it comes to editing code, Notepad and TextEditor natively come loaded with Windows and Mac OS, respectively.

  • Firebug: Firebug is a Firefox extension that allows you to inspect a Web site’s CSS by placing your cursor over the element you want to find out about. You can even make edits to the CSS in a non-permanent way, which lets you see how those changes would appear.

  • A video converter: You may find yourself needing to convert your videos to a format supported by Ning. Two applications that are well suited for this task are iSquint for Mac and Videora for PC.

  • An audio converter: An audio converter is helpful for audio files because your network’s Music Player supports only MP3 files.

    One of the best programs you can get to help you convert audio files (and much more) is iTunes, which is available for both Mac and Windows platforms.

  • A tool for screenshots: When members communicate with you or you communicate with them or with Ning to get help with an issue, having screenshots makes the process easier. To take screenshots in a Windows computer, you can follow the steps on this wikiHow page. A great solution to obtain (and comment on) screenshots for the Mac is Skitch.

  • A digital video editor: If you run a network on Ning, you might as well dust off that webcam because video gives you an excellent means to offer unique content and connect with your members. To make your videos look good, get a digital video editor.

    Most Windows computers have Movie Maker natively installed, but you can download a free copy, if you need. For Apple computers, you can get iMovie, which is part of the Apple iLife suite. Linux users can count on Kino Video Editor.

  • Dual monitors: If you haven’t tried working with two monitors, you don’t know what you’re missing. Using two monitors expands the space available for you to spread windows, ultimately increasing your productivity.