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My Honest Assessment of Ning - the Brand, the Technology, the Team, the Future.
Dear Fellow Ning Network Creators,
First let me say, I don't mean to assume that my opinion or assessment holds any weight. However, after multiple private email messages asking what I thought about Ning and the future, I feel it's appropriate to write about this and report my thoughts and findings.
It was mentioned in Thunder X's excellent write-up, here, that I was part of the most recent Ning Summit, and hence why I'm receiving more emails about this. Now after attending the Summit, I can really give an evaluation. ;-)
hmmm, where do I start? Wow, been in this Ning Land thing for a long time now - - seen a little of everything in regards to the platform, the Team, the Branding, you name it. I've experienced a lot of ups and downs with my own branding and company during Ning's growth, changes, and full circle storyline. But, no reason to bore you with that story. It's a good story all-in-all. ;-) And the end result, I like what I see - - a lot!
I've probably been one of the most verbal Network Creators since the beginning of Ning. I've played hard, worked hard, blasted, praised, helped out, and more. I've even made it my primary online business - - all about Ning. I try to maintain some semblance of sanity, but sometimes I can go right over that proverbial edge with the best of them. For the most part, I've maintained my faith in Ning from day one. Overall, it’s always been good in my mind - - frustrating at times, but good. However, with the most recent changes, so many business model changes - - it certainly makes anyone with an interest in all of this, wonder...
I speak specifically about the most recent happenings: a huge percentage of Team Ning going away, changing of the Guards has taken place, the base business model plan has changed (the biggies being: no more freemium and removal of Ning ID), etc... The platform has gone from one end of the spectrum to the other. Now, what do I think about all this? I can't say enough about how good I feel about the "other", and the "now".
Let's talk about "you" and Ning.
After attending the Summit, I can't possibly articulate well enough in writing, the passion, the brilliance, and the planning that appears to go into each and every feature of the Ning platform.
I've been working in Technology for many years, and I know when a Team cares, and when they just collect a paycheck. Trust me when I say to you - - every single member of Team Ning I had the privilege of meeting, observing, and listening-to, are not just collecting. They are contributing to the max. These folks truly care. They care passionately about the brand and the technology behind it.
And oh, guess what? Jason Rosenthal, the relatively new CEO of Ning, is the polar-opposite of what a lot of you would think - - especially since the changing of the Guards seem to come out of left field. Don’t get me wrong. I still have tremendous respect for, and miss Gina’s presence. None of us like change. But, I have definitely gained huge respect for Mr. Jason Rosenthal. He his humble, brilliant, appropriately confident, and completely optimistic when he discusses anything to do with Ning and the future. Jason is “The Man with the big plan“. There is no question, he knows what he’s doing.
I make these next statements hoping that they are the most important things you hear.
Without a doubt, throughout the Summit, the most emphasis (whether the topic was introduced by Ning or a Network Creator) was placed on:
Never did I hear one statement or discussion that didn't completely submerge it's concerns all about Network Creators and the platform.
The Summit opened my eyes in a way that I had only hoped to learn and see. I could go on and on, but I'll stop here. If you ever have one doubt that this Team cares about you and your real needs, don't worry one more second.
Oh and btw, I have not only researched the investors side of this thing, I've researched every team member's credentials that I could find online, the Ning platform technology, and more. ;-)
So, for what it's worth, this is my honest assessment of the Ning brand, the Ning technology, the Ning Team, and the future of Ning - - A++
I also want to mention, I loved meeting fellow NCs. It was great!