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An Update from Ning Posted by Jason Rosenthal on April 16, 2010 – 3:13 pm

Hi Everyone,

As many of you know, we made a decision yesterday to focus 100% of the company on enhancing the features and services we offer to paying Ning Creators. The tens of thousands of you who already use our paid service represent over 75% of our traffic, and we’ve heard repeatedly from you ways that we can deliver a killer service to help make your Ning Network more effective. Some examples of things we are working on that you’ve asked for include new APIs, a new mobile experience and new advertising and revenue opportunities.

As part of this change, we’ll be phasing out our free service. On May 4, 2010, we will share with you all of the details of our new offering, including features and price points, through a series of blog posts, emails, and conference calls. We recognize that there are many active Ning Networks for teachers, small non-profits, and individuals and its our
goal to have a set of product and pricing options that will make sense for all of them. For Ning Creators using our free service who choose to move to another service, we will offer a migration path and time to make that change. We will still continue to allow free trials and test networks on the Ning Platform.

We look forward to talking to you further on May 4th.

I've been teetering on the brink of going for pay as we go with ning anyway, and trying to pull in advertising to pay for it, (as No Depression does) so this might be the incentive I need to make the jump, No depression seem to be happily forging on with Ning. I don't think I want to even consider starting again on an other network, though I am looking into that.

This is a community and I want to make this decision based on the community feeling.

Personally I feel we have enough people releasing albums, touring and picking up gigs on the Hub and reading about it FSR to raise enough funds to keep it all flying here on ning, and personally Ide love to see our own adverts here instead of Google advents.

Ive opened this form on the subject we have time so lets all discuss.

Rob Ellen

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As much as I can understand the needs to finance such enevours and concentrate on main point - I will not continue when there are cost involved. As today the community is too small to have enough advantage on a business level (maybe one day it has) but until then ...
Hi Rob - without a dedicated web hosting service you will always be at the mercy of free services such a Ning. You could take a look at Wordpress free blog or similar.

Hey Rob,

What about a small anual fee for your the site in US...?

I sent ya a rekkid last week! OK, thanks for listening and posting Motorcycle Dream


Well, how much are we talking to keep our ning network up? If it's a reasonable amount then it's not such
a big deal. We do have almost a thousand folks on here....I think don't we? I might do some advertising for
the new cd depending on how much it is.

I hope that things are able to continue.
All depends on the finances I reckon, How much would it cost to use the pay service?
Hello Rob,

I am no expert on these things, so cannot offer any ideas insofar as an alternative to Ning might be concerned. But I really do like and value the Hub enormously, so while advertising could be a way to raise funds, I also would not be averse to having to pay a modest subscription of some sort, if needs be.
This is a great pity! I have several websites on SEVEN different Ning Networks! I've had no gigs or benefits at all from 6 of them, (the one exception being the Artistic Freedom Collective) but one can always live in hope! lol. In contrast, I have had many many contacts and consequently several gigs and a few album sales from Myspace and I find Facebook very handy for marketing/advertising.
I have however helped quite a few people get gigs, publicity, etc from Ning networks. On this House Concert Network alone, I've arranged gigs for Markus Koehurst, Emaline Delapaix, Emil Brynge and John Francis, so I know they benefit some people!
This is simply another money making scam from the big networks and if everyone goes along with it then there will NEVER be any more Free Networks!! If however, there is some solidarity and people leave these paying networks in huge droves, then there will ALWAYS be another Free Network waiting to hoover them up, as the advertising revenues are worth it to them. That way, we can ensure the Networks all realise, the attraction is the fact that it's free, NOT the rather risky and dubious 'benefits' offered!
The one bright opportunity I see in this latest development is that I won't be wasting my time keeping up with far too many sites, which have not done me any good whatsoever anyway!! I look forward to the freedom of that when I give up ALL my Ning sites and as long as tens of thousands of others feel the same, I'll see you all on the next free network.
Maria : )
I think we need to find out what the costs are. I know you can 'monetise' a blog but I don't have much experience of this kind of thing.

I think Maria's nailed it, really. There is an issue of principle here, as well as the plain fact that, as she points out, resolutely sticking to free networks will ensure there ARE free networks to use. As an example, look at how Hotmail and Gmail go from strength to strength, while most of the whizzier late 90s / early 2000s paid-for webmail services are no more!
Thanks for the responses, its all food for thought, what ever happens I'll resist charging directly for this service and this site, like the dude, The Hub will remain! and will remain free, I think asking for donations on house concert principles is very much still my vision for recompenses for the work I put in, after all my my work is volunteered too, and audiences volinteer money to the artists and hosts, there is a synergy in all of that I would like to see work as a cycle of mutual benifit.

However I can't afford to put in more work than I'm doing, so moving really does worry me, and it would be a shame to loose momentum for this community in any way, just as its really starting to make a differnce.

I do like the ning set up and have found it a very powerfull and helpfull promotional tool, I know in this age of free music, free information, and free community access this may not the concenssus but maybe ning deserves to be paid for the service?

I'm assuming they are changing their buisness plan due to the general advertising downturn and might disapear if this doesn't work for them! I wouldn't like that, they have said they are adding more features, so that may benifit us all, I'll report back on all of that as and when I know more.

Please keep your thoughts coming.
Hey Rob,

I'm happy to stick with the group either way. A modest membership fee, or an occassional paid ad would work for me.

I'm with those who want to stick with a "free"service. I'm not sure however how many of these would be able to have the same visual style and features you are getting with ning. I'm also aware that it takes time and effort to maintain a site like this. Surely there must be some folk here (or who we could contact/coerce (in a friendly fashion))to help manage any migration. With the blossoming of media/commercial music courses in colleges etc. it might be useful to see if someone could take it on as a project. I can talk to folk in Stow College to see if this is a possibility.

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