Here's something that might interest some of our readers. Try Ning! It's one of these so-called "web 2.0" services that is all about social networking. The key difference with Ning is that you can actually create your own social applications. I first found out about this thanks to Michael Arrington over at TechCrunch who has an extensive review here and a video demo here.
I first tried this yesterday and was, well, sort of impressed. You can post the usual stuff like blogs, videos and images. But, more interestingly, there is a forum section as well. I created a test site yesterday and this is the outcome. Not bad!
The only thing I hate about Ning are those stupid ads on the right side bar. I can't seem to get rid of them. They're nearly as bad as those ads that have suddenly plagued the Australian Chess Club Forum (which, by the way, is now pretty much dead).
And if anyone out there is a budding blogger, here's another service that I recently discovered. Vox. The layouts appear to be more extensive than the Blogger service (this one I'm using now) plus easier to manage.