In the midst of the Ning Storm, What’s Your Next Move? We would love to hear from you.

On April 15, 2010, the new CEO (Jason Rosenthal) of Ning Social Networks made a fairly shocking announcement: Ning will start "phasing out free Ning Networks". ...more

In the past 2 years, Ning has become one of the Industry leaders in Social Community platforms - - enabling just about anyone to create a free Social Network of their own - - with members and a full featured Online Community.

This has been a devastating blow for a lot of small networks who can't possibly see their way clear, to pay a monthly service fee. And some of this is not just affordability to a lot of Network Creators who own free sites, but accountability and principle - - doing the right thing. Many of the free sites have been built-up over years, with more passion than one can possibly imagine. There are free sites on just about any topic imaginable - - sites like: family sites, school sports, art, environmental, church, support sites, educational sites, sites for: pets, helping find abducted children, memorial, and tons of grass-roots type causes and non-profit sites. So, it has been a shocking experience for many. And, it's not over yet.

On the other side of the coin, simply stated: for most Ning Network Owners already paying for premium services, this is a relief and great news.  Especially in regards to adding more value to their Networks - - the New Ning will possibly mean a true white label, less cross-breeding, and a chance to present Social Networks as their "own", as a real independent business, instead of "just another Ning". There are a lot of Advertisers that will not buy Ad Space from Ning Networks. It's just a fact. But, that should change too.

A lot has happened since the first announcement. For one, following the 2nd announcement on April 16, 2010 - - the much awaited Premium Package/Plans were announced on May 4, 2010. ...more

There have been tons of heated discussions going on, here on the Directory, Ning's Creator site, Spruz sites like the new Ning Refugees, and discussions taking place all over the Internet from TechCrunch to the Times. There has been a lot of screaming, loss of sleep, and even petitions. News headlines have been hopping with news about Ning, both positive and negative. Ning Competitors have been working overtime, making platform plans, changes, press releases etc...trying to offer the free Ning Networks a new home for those who can't stay on Ning.

Network Creators of free Ning Networks have been scrambling, trying to figure out what's next. So, what happens to networks whose owners don’t want to pay, can't pay, or don’t qualify for the educational sponsorship (announced with plans)?...more The Network Owners of these free Ning sites are in the process of trying to figure out an exit plan, looking for alternative platforms, and all within thirty days of the new plans’ arrival in July. Ning CEO, Jason Rosenthal makes promises of a “clear migration path...”  But no one knows yet, what will actually be available for export. And most importantly, how will the exported data/content be utilized on other platforms?

What is your next move?
  • Will you stay with Ning and upgrade to premium?
  • Will you move to another platform?
  • Are you still trying to make a decision?
  • Will you delete your Ning Network, and hope to forget the whole experience?

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More and more i'm considering deleting my network, as bad as that will be because i took great care in creating it. But will not be bullied or made to pay for services i have no need for just to continue the "privilige" of remaining on ning to line greedy corporate pockets. This is truly a sad state of affairs.
I fully empathise...once again the corporate fat cats profit...but every dog has its day.
I think this is sad to hear you left due to fellow Network Creators. I'm sorry to hear this.

I like what you've done on your new Spruz site, very cool. Keep up the good work.

Since you're a designer, and even if you weren't ;-) - - we would love to hear some Spruz tips in the Spruz Group here:

Take care and keep us posted.
i hope you at least migrated your network rather than ask your members to start all over again:
I'd be interested to know what happens to our existing links if we stay and convert to a personal domain. Will links from a new Ning site still be no-follow...
Excellent question, and one I have been complaining about for some time. Only time will tell. But my guess is: premium sites will soon have the option of instituting follow or no-follow.
But, just my thoughts.
I know a lot of people will disagree, but this has turned out to be a very good thing for me and my network. I was already a Premium member, so my fees are actually going DOWN and my level of service is going UP!

I definitely plan to keep my food network, on the Ning platform. Additionally, I welcome any other food site owners to migrate over to, and to bring your recipes, cooking videos, food photos, and members with you. We'll take good care of you, I promise.
You're always so nice and thoughtful. I don't think any Owner of a free Ning would wish you anything but well, or get upset for you speaking the truth. It's the premium Ning Network Owners, who are condescending that makes it tough.
Still love your site,
Very astute. Let's hope it all works out in the end.
Just for the record, I wanted to add - - a lot of owners that own free networks have been ruthless, too. It goes both ways. I do wish at the least, fellow NCs would play nice, together. But, that's life I suppose. We can't all agree, right? :-)
Hi Jen, I still try to make a decision. First I have to clear up if NING allows to add songs by an URL included in their NING Plus packet or not. I am premium user since 2008 - but the way how NING announced an announcement to announce what we shall pay in July and they don't offer now a solution is totally crazy and do not help me to trust their company. And sure I had more confidence in Gina than In Mr. Rosenthal - it is just my emotion if I remember how he had deleted the first Network Creators Network and launched Ning Creators on Getsatisfaction via a phone call confernence. If a company breakes with their terms and values and threat their main customers in this way how shall or can I trust Ning that they will accept our aims in future. Now they changed their prices. What will they do in future? Will they do it once again if they see that can do everything with us Network Creators. Thanks!

I will migrate with one of my networks maybe to buddypress or spruz or - maybe NING will close it. I don't know what I will do with overtones - I am looking for a server based solution with dolphin or drupal. I believe that you have the skills to help with that maybe? I have to check out what I have to pay for a server - and first: If I will be the only one who collect and save the money to pay for it - or if some of my members support me. If I will be the only one - yes: then I will say: NING - thanks a lot for 3 days and makes this cut. I have no interest and fun to continue this passion anymore and hope to forget the whole experience and my members will forget this whole experience too.
Hi Jens,
I would definitely hate to see someone with your passion and talents, forget the whole experience. I do hope you figure out the best plan for the future of overtones. If I can be of assistance on a hosted package, let me know. If I can't do it, I will know someone who can.
Best to you as always,



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