One of the most intriguing companies to materialize this fall is Ning. It's co-founded by Marc Andreessen of Netscape fame. As their site defines it in "What is Ning?":

Ning is a free online service (or, as we like to call it, a Playground) for people to build and run social applications. Social "apps" are web applications that enable anyone to match, transact, and communicate with other people. Our goal with Ning is to see what happens when you open things up and make it easy to create, share, and discover new social apps. These might include for any city, your own take on Craigslist...for any passion, your own take on any interest, your own take on Zagat...for any event, your own take on Flickr...for any school, your own take on the Facebook...

As of now you can get a user account immediately but there's a waiting list for developer accounts. In the meantime, you can check their:

Many interesting possibilities.

John Musser

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