Who is this Bernard person??  Anyway, he identified himself as associated with Ning in some development way. I don't know exactly who he is, but he is starting to be very vocal all over the forum, answering questions and addressing concerns.  I saw this today.  He jumped into a very vocal thread protesting against the Ning/Glam branding.  Here is his initial response:

Hi Anthony

Thanks for pointing me to this obviously hugely emotional and for some important issue.

Here is the way I personally see it. 

a) We have made this change to all new networks created with Ning 2.0 in the summer last  year. By integrating this into the TOS we just wanted to be more transparent. 

b) this is very important from a Glam media standpoint as this logo is what allows us to aggregate the overall platform audience with official measurements from Comscore and others. We have many plans over the next quarters to bring you a series of OPT-IN programs including new innovative and valuable ways to monetize your sites and audiences. and having this badging is unfortunately a pre-requisite for all sites if we want to be able to market it to the buyers community (the brands)

c) For 100% clarity at the risk of repeating myself - this TOS only applies to 3.0 customers so not you directly until/unless you become a 3.0 customer.

d) In the spirit of trying to be more customer-sensitive, we are thinking/discussing ways that would mitigate the problem in the short term for all. Options on the table include:

-   making available smaller size and different colors for the logo so that it's hardly noticeable

-  turning it into a proper affiliate type deal where at least you'd get some direct value out of it. 

- charging extra for some who are really desperate to have nothing

the proper long term solution which we are striving for is to make Ning such a compelling brand that you'll want to display and promote it everywhere.

So until then, I am only asking that you give us the time to discuss further and together in a reasonable/friendly/business normal manner with the mutual objective that before the summer we have jointly come up with a win/win outcome here.

thank you for hearing me.

- bernard

PS - I hope you enjoyed the video... and btw, our branding there refers to your branding on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc...  for those of you who have big social presence on these channels. 

He has added other comments after this one.  If you want to view them, here is the perma link to the above response and the rest follow it.

Discussion: Ning. Your Brand. Your Members. Your Control

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Diane,

Bernard is responsible for all operations for Ning. Here's how he explained his position with the Company:

While I am not the CEO of Ning (we don't have one) I am responsible for the Ning business.

Both Samir Arora - Glam Media CEO and myself are very aware of all your posts. I've personally  read more than half the posts and comments since Monday morning and I also read and sometimes help out on Twitter/Facebook etc.

I just think it's strange that HE is making this comment about the branding issue instead of a Team Green person with that little admin label on their profile pic. LOL So this is considered an official response from Ning?

Yeah, he's official. He just hasn't added the green emblem to his profile page. =) Actually, it's pretty cool that he jumped right in. Most corps would not do this. Time will tell, where this will go.

Thanks for adding the discussion.

Best,

Jen

Here is his LinkedIn profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/bernardd

Here's another long but worthwhile response from Bernard about Ning Pricing:

http://creators.ning.com/forum/topics/ning-3-0-pricing?commentId=42...

At the end, he mentions his full name and title:

-Bernard Desarnauts, SVP Social Products & GM Ning

Basically, his post says Ning was losing money on their biggest Ning communities.  He mentions their bill to Akamai each month.  I did not know that Ning uses Akamai as their platform.  Read more about Akamai here: http://www.akamai.com/html/about/index.html

What I find amazing? If Ning would simply offer a normal FTP hosted area with a cap on disk space, their Akamai bill would go down in huge numbers. The way it is now, any image uploaded to Ning never goes away as long as the Network where it was uploaded, exists. It's just madness.

I second that. Came across this discussion kind of by accident. So Ning is essentially saying without their logo on all networks and social sites of community powered platforms, their going bankrupt? I'm actually surprised. There are services out there that allow people to get paid for certain number of platform visits from different traffic avenues, with their single sign on api and ip status, they should be able to rig something up to take care of that issue. Network creators are responsible for Ning and its bills as a part of our service? Funny, when Ning had free networks going on using a hell of a lot more bandwidth useage than now, it would seem when it was free they would be facing more bill cuts out of their budget. Add Glam media on top of it, sorry, mode media, sorry, I don't buy it for a second! Yes Glam isn't as rich as say Apple or Microsoft, but it should be able to lend a hand to a parent company, they own Ning, they bought it, and they should be involved with the problems they paid for. Now Ning has just proven me right, they failed to keep the promise of completing Ning 3.0 as promised a year and some months ago, and now with creators a kind of abandoned mess and things the way they are, I'm determined to just keep on swaying the way I always have. I decided to make a silent protest, I'm going to stay with Ning 2.0 until the last second if I can get away with it. It is my platform of choice despite its flaws and as long as Ning can keep the lights on, I will two.

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