• 05.01.08

Virtuous Circles

A graphic representation of Ning’s “double viral loop” maps the patterns of invitations sent and accepted by new members across its networks

In some Ning nets, the creator invited the majority of the members. When subsequent users bring in new members of their own, new clusters form to reflect the viral chain.


Each white dot represents one member of a specific social network on Ning. Each starburst defines the extent and pattern of that member’s invitations to new users to networks across the platform.

This viral effect means each Ning member is equal to two new users, compounded daily. That’s how Ning has grown from 60,000 networks last June to 230,000 today.

About the author

Adam L. Penenberg is a journalism professor at New York University and author of several books.