Ning Imports


I'm sure this must have been requested by someone already, but I haven't seen it anywhere so I figured I'd add the request here and now. has produced an export tool along with their switch to being a paid only network and thus many people are leaving ning and looking for other sites to make use of.

I am one! and have, after playing with a few options, decided to use elgg as a ning replacement.

The main issue I have right now is how to transfer the ning data to the elgg site.. I can export a csv list of the users in ning and import into the invite system in elgg.. but that doesn't transfer the many photos, blogs, forum posts and videos (embeds) that are in my ning network.

I have downloaded the data as media files and json files using the ning archiver/export tool but presently have no way to integrate into Elgg.

Does anyone know of a way to do this? Or of anyone who is working on a plugin that supports this?

Thanks a lot


  • Any information concerning Ning imports would be of value here too! I'm about to convince an NGO to switch to Elgg but migrating all data from Ning is key.

    I'd like to know (although this is not a major issue, I think) if there is some support for the custom profile fields that I know exist in both Ning and Elgg (the ones you can add yourself as an admin). Some kind of pairing between these custom fields would be a killer (albeit something of a luxury ;)

  • hey anton,

    the profile_manager plugin in elgg allows for custom fields to be added for each profile..

    i don't think such an import/interface would be difficult to code for an experienced elgg coder; presently though that isn't me.. I do have experience coding interfaces and imports, just not for elgg. 

    I'll be looking at this issue again once I've completed customising and testing my elgg installation.

    I only have 150 members on my ning network so its not a huge issue for me to just send invites to everyone and get them to register that way.. but an import would be helpful none the less.

    n.b. the other issue is that functionality such as images, videos and groups/forums vary from elgg installation to installation to some extent since there are multiple plugins for each kind of feature. I'm not presently 100% sure but I imagine any kind of import app would need to take this into account and either be coded to support the subtleties of each of them or simply be limited to one of each kind.

  • that's great to know jon, thanks. :)

    in case you aren't already aware, the ning archive tool outputs .json files and folders of media such as images/videos.

    the plugins that are most usually used in elgg installations for media are (as far as I know):

    videos - izap_videos

    images - tidypics

    events - event_calendar

    * groups in elgg have discussion forums built in, so those would replace the forums in a ning network.

    ** music files can be uploaded to the 'files' plugin/area in elgg and then played back in profiles using the 'aaudio' and 'zaudio' plugins.



  • ah no.. I only started looking at elgg about 2 months ago.. and don't really even know much about php.. I studied comp science at uni and worked as a developer for a while though, so i can figure it out as i go to some extent.

    i don't think there is any issue to send any message on this subject to anyone.. people here are generally pretty helpful from what I've seen. :)

  • I would be quite curious to get my hands on real live NING exported data to look at how that data can be imported into Elgg with the least manual intervention ;) any takers (givers;) ?

  • @DhrupDeScoop: I am on my way to download the complete archive. If you are interested, I can give it to you.

    Please, let me know and I will e-mail you the link after uploading to 4shared.

  • Ok, glad to hear from you! Just give me a day or two 'cause my site wasn't very small.