Happy to be your friend. Thanks for inviting me. I remember meeting you in person only once when you happened to visit Olcott while I was the librarian. It's been 3 years since I retired, but I still go back and help out in the library...
You just never know. I have to admit, I like the familiar feel of Ning.
Tomorrow, you, Katinka, Susan and I can take a much more critical look at this and decide what we want to include.
BTW, you're an admin on this site now. It seems that the 1st step is to get word out to the "400" and see what happens. To generate a large community, we'll have to think about what other groups we want to attract to us and how best to drive users to our site, especially using Facebook. The "holy grail" in Social Networking is to create the "virtuous circle" where the volume of people joining goes into a positive feedback loop. One feature I look at using fairly often is the "Feature" function, to highlight specific people or things taking place.