Some things just don’t go together: toothpaste and orange juice, fox news and objective journalism, creationists and reality. Here’s another pair that aren’t compatible: blogging and non-disclosure agreements.
I’ve had to sign a few NDAs in the past few months and I’ve found it can be a frustrating barrier to my usual practice of speaking my mind here in my journal. Thankfully, NDAs lapse when the subject of non-disclosure enters the public eye.
That’s why I’m very glad that the folks at 24 Hour Laundry have taken the covers off Ning.
A few months back, I got an email from Marc Andreessen (oh, how my inner geek rejoices at being able to say a sentence like that). He asked me if I’d like to be a beta tester for an app, or rather, a framework that his company was working on. I jumped at the chance.
Unfortunately, reality intruded on my plans to constructively contribute to the ongoing development. I could list out all the reasons why I just never found the time (most of them work-related), but it would just read like a list of excuses. I kicked the tires of the website and joined in a few conference calls but I never got my act together enough to actually build anything.
My lack of involvement was entirely my fault and certainly not a result of the framework itself. In a nutshell, Ning is a framework for creating social apps on the Web. You can create your own app from scratch or clone existing an app and tweak it for your own ends. The idea is that it will enable non-programmers to easily create Web 2.0 apps whilst still allowing developers to get their hands dirty under the hood.
Now that the doors have been thrown open, you can apply to be a beta developer yourself. Go forth and play… make your own photo-sharing, bookmarking or mapping application (or any combination thereof).