Any time you make changes to an interface, that people have gotten
accustomed to working with, there are always those for and against. But,
calling it a "Dashboard" is comical, and certainly typical of what
appears to be Ning's best efforts. We, creators will get used to it,
again, and manage to work around Ning, again.
That said, we consider this to be the last straw, as it were, and we are
now making plans to leave Ning. We patiently waited, as everyone did,
for these plans to take effect, with, at least to us, an understanding
that Ning would provide the tools we needed to monetize our sites
without having to resort to the analytics and scripts. Even reopening
WebDav would have been invaluable ... they didn't. Giving us more, of
what we've already learned how to work without, doesn't help us, it
merely appeases those who don't understand that this has become too
one-sided a deal.
I know there are those that insist that what Ning provides in terms of a
server, support and inherent programming, would cost far more if we
were to do it elsewhere. And I was inclined to agree with them, before.
But, if in fact your site is intended as a business, and you hope to
make some money with it, then cost v. return on investment is the
analysis you need to make. We've done it, and while it will definitely
cost us twofold what Ning costs us, we will gain so much more
flexibility and potential, that Ning's shortcomings are impossible to
There is another point to be made, while I'm on a rant, and for many a
creator's sake I hope I'm wrong, but ...
The "free" membership was a basis for new sites into the Ning community.
It is a program that seems to be tried and true and much of an internet
standard. How far and how much you get for free is of course determined
by each platform, but it garners a steady flow of new blood. That's now
The "paid" membership version that has now been implemented is only
sustainable if those paying are given the tools they need to make the
paid membership viable and profitable. If not, the premium members will
steadily become disgruntled and eventually leave. This is already
So the math becomes simple. Without a steady flow of new sites, which
one hopes to convert into premium sites, and with premium sites
dwindling, assuming the cost of the platform remains constant, the cost
per site must start to rise, or the value of the platform will start to
decline. Either way, it doesn't bode well for the platform's longevity.
So we're going to leave now, since we see it as inevitable. I hope I'm