Ning, based in Palo Alto, provides a brilliant platform for you to create your own social network so you can keep business social networks separate from personal.

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Social networking has become kind of a big thing over the past few years. MySpace and Facebook have been duking it out, and it’s pretty clear that Facebook has taken the lead as the social network of choice (especially for our demographic of college aged job seekers). But what about other options? Nobody is going to beat Facebook head to head at this point, but there are some interesting companies out there that have put together really cool social networking products. Ning is one of those companies.

Instead of trying to get you to join their network, Ning wants you to create your own social network. Whether you want a website for your campus organization or club, would like to bring together people who are obsessed with raw food, or need a site for your family reunion, Ning provides a brilliant platform for doing so – in fact there are already 130,000 Ning Networks out there. Facebook groups are great, but they don’t offer the full list of features that creating your own Ning network can offer. We’re sorry that we keep mentioning Facebook in a post about Ning, but if you’re going to apply for a job at Ning, you need to understand why Ning can thrive in a world where Facebook dominates social networking (end of the article). Ning gives you the ability to create a network and an identity that is separate from your other networks and identities. The idea of your Mom on Ning isn’t nearly as scary as getting a friend request from her on Facebook. We’re a member of a couple of Ning networks, and we’re pretty impressed with their platform. Beyond the elegant design and feature set, it offers the luxury of keeping our business social networks distinctly separate from our personal social networks.

Want to know more about Ning? Watch this video interview with CEO, Gina Bianchini. Still have questions? Shoot an e-mail off to Gina, who was named by Business 2.0 Magazine as number 48 on their list of 50 People Who Matter Now. You may also be interested to read Co-Founder Marc Andreessen’s personal blog – especially his post from when Ning signed up its 100,000th network. And if you’d like an outside opinion on Ning, read TechCrunch’s posts about them.

We can tell Ning is a great place to work by how they write their job postings. They’re descriptive, clear, and direct about the skills that you’ll need to succeed in the position, while at the same written in a voice that is personal and inviting to the reader. We don’t need to tell you any more, take a look at the current job openings at Ning: Product Manager (which says MBAs should not apply – score one for entry-level!), Community Advocate, Developer Support Engineer, Application Developer (PHP & AJAX), Core Platform Engineer (Java), Interaction Designer, and Visual Designer.

If you’re as intrigued by the jobs at Ning as we are, you’ll want to make sure you get familiar with their product before you apply. Go do some more research and then start a Ning network for people who share one of your passions.

Note: On April 22nd we revisited entry-level jobs at Ning.

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Do you think Ning has what it takes to become a social networking powerhouse? Leave a comment and tell us your thoughts.

We've identified Ning as having career opportunities in the following categories:

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