The Ning is a great improvement over other social networks because it can be focused to a certain interest that the members of the group have in common. Members can share ideas, videos, and pictures that are of interest. I have experimented with twitter and facebook this summer and have not found them to be particularly beneficial in a professional manner. Facebook is fine for keeping up with what friends and colleagues have been up to over the summer, but I don't see that I will pay much attention to it once school starts. The Texas School Librarian Ning has a lot to offer on a professional level for a specific group of people - even though there are a lot of us.
The other aspect of a Ning that stands out is the ease starting your own Ning. A Ning could be used for collaboration among students in a class. Just saying that makes me realize that a Ning is somewhat similar to other things we have explored, like a wiki, it can be a place to collaborate and share ideas among professionals.There are so many ways we can be in a social community on the internet that it is getting overwhelming. I feel the need to limit my interests here to keep it manageable.