Ning and porn: Get a life, blogosphere

There’s been a small fuss brewing (not even large enough to be a brouhaha — more of a kerfuffle) around Ning, the social-networking engine run by Netscape founder Marc Andreessen and the lovely and talented Gina Bianchini, and a post about how a large amount of Ning’s traffic goes to social networks based around porn. This was picked up on by Mashable and Valleywag, among others.

Marc has responded in a lengthy post at his blog, and I have to say that I’m glad he did. He takes a refreshingly clear-headed look at the issue, and says several things that I think are worth saying — including the fact that you can’t take as gospel any of the numbers that come from Quantcast or Alexa (especially Alexa) or any of the other traffic measuring firms. Surely we should all know that by now.

His other point is that Ning is content-agnostic — and so it should be. There are social networks based around porn? Big surprise. The Internet is a social network based around porn, for pity’s sake. The reaction from some bloggers has a real high-school tone to it, as though they were reporting Ning to the principal because they caught him looking at a Playboy magazine out behind the portables.

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