Published On: February 26, 2008
You may not have heard of it before… but we have a hunch that pretty soon, everyone is going to know what a NING is.
Well, sit right back and you’ll hear a tale about pirates, publishing and a high seas online adventure…
Near the beginning of February, a group of Pirate Monks approached JLB WORKS and asked for our help in creating an online community, where hundreds of members from across the country could convene, meet each other, share their lives, fellowship and schedule their meetings accordingly. It had to be an interactive, dynamic site that combined the convenience of an online forum, the thrills of video and the bare necessity of blogging.
The catch? Team JLB had to develop the site within two and a half weeks.
As the Pirate Monks explained, their Captain (a fine scalawag named Nate Larkin) had just published his first book, Samson and the Pirate Monks, with Thomas Nelson. National magazine, Christianity Today, was set to release a feature story on Larkin and his merry band, The Samson Society, at the beginning of March.
That meant Team JLB had to produce a graphic design, code the design with CSS and XHTML markups and then convert that design into a viable, functional site predicated on interactivity and supported by a dynamic database configuration. All within an 18-day window.
After scouring the Web for possibilities, our team chose an up-and-coming social network platform called Ning (which was co-founded by Marc Andreessen). Using the Ning as our launching pad, we implemented a layout based on our graphic design, and we utilized Ning functionality to add an array of components, including an Events section, a Members section, individual Member Logins and unique page control, a Blog, a general Forum and the ability to stream Videos. All in all, it’s a pretty nifty configuration.
And though we had to virtually memorize (or at least know very well) the more than 1,000 lines of Ning design/programming code, for Team JLB, the project was well worth it. Now, hundreds of men are able to connect seamlessly with each other from across the nation, within a matter of seconds.
Of course, we had other reasons. After all, nobody likes a grumpy pirate…