First, let me say that I am so disappointed in this decision by Ning. I run a free network, and although small, I've put a lot of heart and time into it. I feel like crying over this.
Anyways, I used to have a site on Webs.com. The reason I left is because they don't support Google indexing, and someone had told me about Ning. Once I changed over to Ning, I was hooked. But now I must find a new platform because I am so poor, I simply cannot afford to pay any premium fees. Even real cheap ones. If I could, then I would already be on another hosting company.
Webs has many features similar to Ning. Forums, blogs, forms (which is something that Ning doesn't currently have), photos, videos, etc. The only drawback for network members, is that Webs' member pages are very small, and can't be customized (kinda like Facebook, but even smaller). I'm afraid my members won't like this. However, Webs has a lot of stuff you can do--including running your own ads on the side bar--and it's easy to create. They have some really nice pre-made themes too.
One big drawback...you can't be indexed by Google. But if you are just running a small, homegrown network where numbers aren't the goal, and members join via word of mouth, or invitations, then Google indexing might not be as important to you. Also, you can place links on Ning networks that you belong to, or just about anywhere on the web.
Spruz just doesn't appeal to me, and I'm looking for a viable alternative FAST! Please give me your input about Webs.com, if you have one.
Thanks, and good luck to everyone...
Ann Marie : )