I'm amazed at the number of people who have joined and added content to OAC here on ning. Truly awe-inspiring. However, I have to say that I worry a lot about the platform. I never liked Facebook much and Ning seems like a poor imitation of Facebook. Will OAC devolve into people answering quizzes: "Which anthropology network am I?" I personally prefer Google Groups because of its simplicity, and the fact that people can use it as they like: via e-mail, via RSS, or via the web. I find that something like Google Groups encourages conversation in its simplicity, whereas Facebook/Ning seem designed to create walls: Why do I have to invite "friends"? Why do they have to acknowledge my "friend request"? Do I post content as a blog post or a forum entry? It seems that layers and layers of unnecessary complexity have been added to what something like Google (and Twitter, which I also like) makes simple: conversation.
And yet, the tremendous activity already here seems to belie my concerns, so maybe Ning doesn't suck as much as I think it does?