I've been following the Ning blog lately, where they are increasingly profiling different Ning networks. (Full disclosure for our anonymous friend: I do consulting work for Ning!)
I'm struck by something lately. In a "long tail" world of increasingly varied interests, and where organizing groups has become "ridiculously easy," I sense a huge opportunity for the entrepreneurial individual. Creating and running a successful Ning Network around a topic now potentially places someone in a position to make a career of that role--or, at least, to springboard from there.
In fact, historically, I would argue that this might be an incredibly unique period of time in the history of business and social movements, where armed just with passion, authenticity, a proactive mindset, and time (notice the lack of financial prerequisites), the pioneering man or woman or youth can stake a kind of virtual claim and oversee the development of a topic area. It sure seems like Ning is the magic ingredient. At last count, 275,000 social networks. Wow.