I came across a great new service, similar to Ning. It allows you to create your own microblog. Basically, it’s a “build your own” Twitter. ShoutEm allows you build a public or private microblog network, that you can connect to your Facebook account, a Ning site, or even Twitter. Now you have 140 characters to craft your own community. And, of course, it’s free.
This would be a great tool for groups focused on one topic. Check it out and let me know what you think!