Ning tip #1 – change language
If you’re a Ning network creator, you can change ‘blog’ to ‘journal’, ‘notes’ to ‘resources’, ‘music’ to ‘podcasts’, ‘my page’ to ‘my e-portfolio’, you could even change ‘banned’ to ‘retired’ or ‘booted’ or whatever you want.
The point of changing these labels and the other text in Ning is to personalize your network by using the language that your members are most likely to relate to.
For example, we found that among some of our members the word ‘blog’ had negative connotations. So we changed it to TP Journal (short for Teaching Practice Journal), and then it became something they felt comfortable using.
Go to ‘Manage’, then ‘Language Editor’, pick your language from ‘current language options’, mine’s English (British). This will open your language editor page. In the left column you’ll find the original Ning version, on the right is where you add your ‘custom text’ version.
So on the left search for the word you want to change. Let’s say you want to change ‘blog’ to ‘journal’ everywhere on your Ning site. Enter the word ‘blog’ in the search box on the left. It’ll return all the instances of ‘blog’ on your Ning network. On the right, you can edit all the instances of ‘blog’ and change them to ‘journal’ or whatever.
Sections on the right that are pink and contain no text have ‘missing’ text. With these, just copy the text from the left-hand column and paste it into the corresponding empty pink box opposite on the right. Then edit the word.
Once you’ve finished changing your words, save the page. Then go and check how your site looks. If you’ve changed all instances of the word on your site, you’ll see the changes everywhere.
Suggestions & stuff
For an education-focused Ning network, I can recommend changing ‘Music’ to ‘Podcasts’ (unless your network is about Music Education, of course). Podcasts are usually more relevant than Music in an Educational context (this doesn’t exclude music, of course). This makes the ‘Music’ player suddenly useful as a ‘Podcast’ player.
The ‘Notes’ pages work well when called ‘Resources’.
On one site we’ve renamed ‘Events’ as ‘INSETTs’ (IN SErvice Teacher Training) which is more relevant to the members on that site.
‘Groups’ we’ve renamed as ‘SIGs’ (Special Interest Groups), which in our context is more specific and relevant to our members.