An Update from Ning – April 2010

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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 it’s 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.

No related posts.

542 thoughts on “An Update from Ning – April 2010

  1. E M

    It is disappointing to find that Ning will be charging money for your networks. The biggest asset which makes Ning so popular is because of the free service, making available and usable to many people. I am fully confident in saying that the support for Ning will sharply decrease. Please reconsider.

  2. Omar

    My test network is made up of 1 member (myself), so probably cannot be considered a “network”, but I don’t care for my situation.
    I’m confident that you will take the right decision before August 20th for all the other Ning networkers.
    All the Ning site creators contributed to the success of your company. Should they pay for your success, or would you thank them somehow…?

  3. Rick Sprinkle

    This is a corporate mistake. Why would anyone pay for a service that they can develop themselves with web builder applications available free with most web hosting plans. Those of us in the past used NING not because it was free necessarily but because of its features. If you ned to charge for your service then have two options: money making activities and non-money making activities….it’s just that simply. I for one will not join NING and thank you for your past network support now strong armed.

  4. thin sai

    i’m waiting for make sure. how can i pay and how price is it?
    how can i keep up my ning site?

  5. Ning Not!

    I work for a non-profit which survives on small grants from project to project. I have invested HOURS of my time creating a viable website with Ning, and recently spent many more hours editing, shifting, revising, ridding the site of spam, etc. as well as promoting it during presentations, on all of my brochures and other print materials and powerpoints, in the media, etc. over the past two years.

    Now I find out that my time, which is already stretched way beyond the limit, was spent in vain. My brochures have to be thrown in the garbage. The interviews I did on the radio and on TV promoting the site, are wasted. People who were told they could go to the site to seek the free environmental health information our group offered (on preventing lead exposure to children from soil lead), will find a broken link.

    Many non-profit groups, charitable organizations and other informal networks operate on NO money at all, and depend on exhausted, overburdened volunteers for all of their activities.

    We all invested our time with Ning (AND publicized it, promoted it, helped it “Go Viral”) WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT IT WAS A FREE SERVICE.

    Sure I can get the cheapy version…and lose a number of the services that I spent time PLANNING AND PROMOTING TO MY MEMBERSHIP. Now I have to take the time to inform my board of directors and my membership of the downgrade, and/or spend hours and hours shifting everything over to another site.

    I was told today that my views are “cynical” by a social networking developer, and that $200 a year (for the mid-range) is “blow money.” How disappointing. $200 a year may be chump change to many, but for already overburdened social organizations which already have difficulty making ends meet while trying to save the environment, alleviate poverty or promote social justice, this means one more benefit or bake sale to add to some volunteer’s “to do” list, when they went to Ning thinking they did not have to worry about this. In my case, that $200 would have to come out of my own Human Resources budget – meaning, it comes out of my own pocket

    Call me cynical if you wish but this is a dishonest and deceptive move on Ning’s part. I’ll pay the fee for the cheap version for now, because as Ning knows, I don’t have much of a choice. But I’ll be moving on as soon as I am able to find a few days (when I should be enjoying a weekend off during the summer) to shift everything over to a new site.

  6. Charles Walker

    Very disappointed to see the free option go. A big mistake I feel. For those with sites that do not involve selling or charging for membership and/or services it is a blow. Ning came highly recommended – the same people who directed me to the service are now regretting it.

  7. Xenon Darrow

    WOW! All I can say is I am VERY RELIEVED I didn’t use Ning for my instructional design forums! I have been recommending ning.com to my corporate clients, and while I understand the need to make money, the price jump from fee to ad free is RIDICULOUS.

    This is a lovely product, but you should have given us some warning!!!

  8. Jess

    i cant afford anything like that, since im not making any money anyway i certainly wont be able to pay to communicate with other local artists

  9. Crystal

    this is a sad situation since i took the time and energy to build my site that fit my business needs that we have to dissolve. What is going to happen to all my 200+ followers that are making you famous by visiting my site along with others on a daily to be encouraged and empowered and inspired. They look forward to me making their community better with updates I have been a fan of NING for the last past year and now that I have been quite a pro at it, it has helped me build the structure of my business of over 200 clients. Now your telling me as a deligent user for business information, chatting with like minded individuals I have to pay a service to continue. I can’t afford these prices just to stay connected to a community that once was free, i’m very disappointed, now I have to take the time to inform my 200+ people that I’ll be moving….but where. So me loosing 200 activemembers means nothing to you, that’s what I thought NING was all about “Bringing People Together” i thought I was swrong. On a final note if anyone knows of another site where I can be treated better for free please let me know I’ll be cheking this post only for the next few days.

  10. Angel

    Great. ¬.¬

    I have just had to post a very sad blog about my site closing.
    I got comments from my members explaining that they like how ColourPoint has developed and is glad that the members are so little that people will actually SEE their art.

    I agree with Philippe completely.

    We have made your website what it is, and I don’t think ANYONE of us are prepared to PAY to keep our members happy with the sites we have created and developed.

    I think, same as Philippe, you should charge NEW CUSTOMERS but not us. We have worked hard on what we have created and we are not prepared to watch it all just disappear.

    I AM AGAINST THE NEW PAYING PLANS

  11. ESTELA

    QUISIERA SABER COMO VAMOS A PAGAR,YO NO USO TARJETA DE CREDITO ASI Q PONGAN OTRO SISTEMA,ES UNA PENA Q TENGAMOS Q MIGRAR COMO LO ESTAMOS HACIENDO,SOMO MUJERES Q HICIMOS REDES CRISTIANAS,YA Q SABEMOS Q JESUS ES EL UNICO CAMINO A DIOS,SI HAY ALGUN PLAN ESPECIAL PARA NOSOTRAS AVISEMOS,GRACIAS …………..ESTELA

  12. Akopio

    this is really disgusting and unbelievable. start off a free community platform and the success should go all the participant that help you nuts to do the business. even you sick for getting more $, you should still open the free community platform for public even its a smaller set with less features?? damm bad decision.

  13. Rhyan W

    Once again Ning stabs the people who made it what it is in the backs. First with the porn hounds, who very few were sorry to see leave (nonetheless, they were the ones who gave Ning its initial boost in popularity) and now the free networks. Whose next? I suppose we’ll see in a year or two, if Ning survives this latest betrayal of its members trust.

  14. Madison&Corey

    Me and buddy Corey opted the best way to emancipate ourselves from strangers is to spawn a network of all our own friends. Though, at our age, we aren’t working yet due to the traffic we deal with… you know, homework… >.>

    A free network was an excellent fortuitousness for us to practice our web building skills and obtain friendships AT THE SAME TIME. (omg. no way) I never got an emails concerning this, and I actually found out by a late discussion thread posted from a member of mine. Don’t you think it is rather poor to not let people of Ning to know this elephantine problem! Sorry that word choice was… Irrelephant. Ahahaha. Ok.

    Reading the comments above; people have some really great ideas!! I find the most fair decision would be to allow existing free members, though disable any more.

    I mean come on man! ):
    All the hard work and dedication and you want to fail us? You sound like my chemistry teacher.

  15. Double H

    I think that this unfair, i have friends that really like my website, And they Have to PAY!!!!!! Also I friends that are getting ready to join. And if we don’t pay for it all of are stuff well be destroyed! that is defiantly not fair!!

  16. Johnny

    Ning will eventually be on the news as the next online disaster. Charging for the service???? People will go elsewhere. You think Facebook became the most popular by charging people? I will move my Ning site to another free site.

    Eventually, you will either crash or try to bring back the free service. But that will be too late…people will already move over to another social network…

  17. Sidney

    I just found out about this and I still cannot believe it. I have put so much effort into my site, I’m not making any profit on this and now I have to come out of my pocket to maintain my site.

    Not only that, If I don’t pay for the premium service all videos, and other extras that now all my members enjoy, will go away.

    I guess ETHICS have nothing to do in the way we do business today. 🙁

  18. beerbrandx

    Fee’s ah everyone charging today but only 20GB for 49.95 are you off your rocker? the going price for 20GB a month is about $10.00, also still no control over file size being uploaded as content so 4MB pictures can still get though.

    Gezeeeeeeeee for the new guy on the block you are not going to compete with the big boys until you can give creators here something to work with and control where they need it to try and keep cost’s down.

    Give creators some control to limit file size to 300KB and almost all Networks could survive under the 19.95 plan, without that adjustment networks will find themselves begging for money from members when their small limits are hit on a continuing basis.

  19. Tracee

    I have to agree with everyone that this is a bad idea to implement a fee for the use of Ning. I’m surprised this is the decision made by the CEO b/c there are so many other options on the web for social networking for these groups to move to; which will now be what most of these groups will be doing. Although it might be a hassle at least it will be FREE!

    I think Ning should consider reversing this decision before it’s too late.

  20. Shana

    I have been working on my network for three months now and i kinda up set that…..your takin away the free option….i havent did any promoting for the site yet…but i put in a lot of work and no sleep setting up this network….NOTHING IN THIS WORLD IS FREE!..LOL to good to be ture…but on the other hand i did like the fact the people could see where i bulit my site….so its a 50/50 thang with me….i think its worth it…..but it hurts those who are fundriseing and educational use!

  21. Justin L

    I spent 2 years building this site with 638 high school alumni and now you are gonna take it down? It isn’t easy to get people to stay connected on a site like this and have to pay for somethiing they already received for free. Besides, facebook is free and most of my members are on there. Shame I really liked the format and I had a lot of traffic but I guess you will lose that come July. Hope you reconsider! Justin

  22. Amanda Rivera

    I have several sites that I set up for our registered non-profit company. I think I have eight in total. It is a great way for appraisers across the state of NC to keep up with their local chapter events. I must say I agree with the other members who have asked that you rethink this decision. We do not have a budget for paid website services. Our organization is run by volunteers who donate their time to providing the content and organization for our group. It is going to a really hard sell for me to tell them we will have to pay for this.

    Personally I just think you committed corporate suicide, because if I am thinking of delete, delete, delete, I bet other people are taking their sites down and to other truly FREE services. In truth, I also wonder how happy your advertisers are going to be when you lose 80% of your viable viewers.

  23. Gregory Robertson

    Taking about adding certain new things for different types of networks. I’m sure I do not have the only Christian ning network. Can’t you help us have a decent way to post prayer request with comments for each. Can you provide such a thing. What will be the bandwith and storage with ning plus, and will it hold up over the year? Do we get to keep what we have now, and get a prayer room added. We use a discussion forum now which gets a bit confusing for some. Especially new members. With ning plus we can use our own domain name and have no ads from google? That would be great, because we are a Christian community. I know in the days we live people are not to fond us the Christian community. We need our chat line for the fellowship. Could you send me any assurance at all?We have really enjoyed this site, would be better if we had a better hand in our design but maybe your working on that. God Bless and anything you can tell us would be great !
    Sincerely, Gregory Robertson

  24. Jofy Koickal

    It is very unfortunate . I created two ning networks both are having less members . Both networks are used for Alumni of one school and college and it is non profitable for me . Only thing i wasted so much time for this stupid thing. If you continue this change i forced to delete my ning network. One thing i remined you no other social networking sites are taking cash from the members. There are lot of free social networking sites like orkut ,facebook ,bibio etc this change will helps only the free social networking sites not ning.

  25. Jon Zahaby

    This is a bad corporate decision. If people aren’t going totally crazy over your product when it is free, then it is not the time to start charging for it. I feel like you wasted the time I spent setting up the networks that I would never agree to pay for. As a Lawyer, “Time” is all I have to sell. I already have a website with a personalized domain, blog and email like every other serious business person. Why do professionals need NING? Not because I care about my useless networks, just because I hate to see you fail so miserably — DON’T DO THIS!

  26. Peter Renwick

    I can only echo the sentiments above. A lot of work has gone into creating a web site, that is starting to get of the ground. It looks like we will need to pay £200 a year to get a web site with the same functionality. This is unsustainable and very disappointing.

  27. John Winsted

    Unfortunately, your choice to charge for education-related Nings will result is our district eliminating the use of the Ning. We will be able to find a free alternative and when our budgets are being slashed we will have no alternative. You will loose out because our staff and students will become familiar with another product and will know that as the resource they choose rather than Nings. Bad business decision.

  28. John Talbot

    Please don’t charge for existing educational sites. We have put in a lot of effort to get these running, and signed up many people telling them that there would be a free facility for them.
    If you start to charge – we have no way to fund these free sites and they will simply close.

    I think that it would have been a better business strategy for you to explain up-front that ad-supported sites may not be free forever. That would have saved us all a lot of wasted effort.

    John Talbot MRI Education Co

  29. Skybird14

    I wish I’d recieved an email yesterday about Ning going into Premium content because then I wouldn’t have spent ages setting up a new network.

    What is wrong with allowing those users who created sites on Ning to keep them free (as they were advertised as such when we signed up) and just charging new customers and customers that want premium content?

    If you are going to insist on paying can you please sugest alternative solutions for those who can not afford to pay whatever your rates are.

  30. Sara L Russell

    OK it’s May 4th now. Will you please, please hurry up and tell us what the new charges are? If you delay much longer people will start leaving Ning before they even know whether they can afford to pay or not.

    Please remember the people who create Ning networks are already helping to generate advertising revenue with the ads on their pages. We deserve to know what to expect, and sooner rather than later.

  31. Wayne Powell

    I am looking to move from my current provider, and it is the 4th of May ……………… where is this info??????

  32. Jesse James

    well it’s May 4th were’s the update,
    I think you should keep it free, come on man are you only in this for the money?
    we have friends that I never would have met through ning please consider keeping it free.

  33. Jill Griebe

    I am sorry to hear that you will be eliminating the free service. My school has used this site for two years in order to improve conversations between students and teachers. Unfortunately, we will be unable to continue because it is not in the budget. However, I am extremely disappointed that I was not personally notified from NING that this was all coming to an end. I am curious about how to save the student work that was created. It is now after May 4, still haven’t heard or seen anything about exporting the work. Any suggestions?

  34. Barbara

    I have groups on ning not very active groups so it woulds not be in m,y favor to pay for the groups , there for I will have to move them–not very happy about this –Ning is a wonderful place to have groups but for me I can not afford to keep them and pay.
    I fill I am paying with the advertisements that are on my pages of my groups
    it has been nice why it lasted–Barb

  35. Gabino

    I am afraid I am dissapointed with Ning’s editorial policy. I made a fair point, one that was uncomfortable, about the way this change of policy affects me, and also about the way it has been managed from a communications point of view. It was “”moderated”.

    Another post, one that was plain nonsense, placed in this blog too, got approval. Not only Ning has managed to generate mistrust and make us users look like fools. It seems that it is actively trying to portray users that do not agree with the cange in policy as fools.

  36. Kara Harkins

    Gee, thanks Ning. I run a support site, so absolutely 0 cash flow … it is not a business. Technologically there are plenty of other free solutions out there, but with anyone doing a site move you know you will lose members. We wind up looking inept. Not to mention that the time developing the ning site and members have spent working on profiles is down the tubes and now I need to invest time in doing likewise for a new site when I am already busy with other stuff.

  37. Deborah Richman

    Hi there…

    Waiting with “baited breath” about the specific options. We’ll transition to premium option, but need to gauge the options. Maybe the easiest option will be removing the ads for a set fee.

    Hasta manana,
    Today in Montclair, 94611

  38. Mahesh Kodituwakku

    Please rethink about the decision. Because some of ning network users are live in poor counties (Like me) they can not pay more for hosting.
    —-from Sri Lanka—

  39. Paul Jordan

    Nice notification I got an e-mail from a member of my site saying you were doing away with the free service. I only have 11 members on my site and I have been unemployed for quite a while. I have joined up with other site developers who pointed me in the right direction. I have moved everything over to SPRUZ and I must say I created a much better looking site in just two days and I have doubled my membership already. I hope this Bites you in the a$$ I have bragged about what a great service you HAD!!. I’m grabbing everyone I can from ning to bring them over to SPRUZ. You will regret it some day.

  40. Joanne Bayne

    I agree with others. How come you can’t say from this point on all new sites must pay for the service? Kind of like facebook, when rumor had it that they were gonna start making members pay, thousands and thousands of people stated they would leave and go elseware!!! With the economy the way it is, why make it harder on us…. is it worth loosing your members? Seriously

  41. Jean Venter

    I think charging for services is cool. It is a fine system and I would not mind supporting it as a paid for service.

    As long as Ning will remove all the person profiles from their computers that was generated by the sites that are about to be trashed !!!

    Ning did not show much integrity when it simply grabbed the rights to member lists some time ago, and one hope that the board will this time round show some respect.

    What else will they do with your data before we start seeing legislation to regulate this web 2 sector that seems to increasingly be cashing in on personal information entrusted to them.

  42. Ray Barnes

    Jason;

    Believe me I understand the pressures that arise over the question of monetizing a business. Unfortunately in this case I suspect you are making a mistake, in that you are using the wrong model. Your free ning platform has allowed thousands of “potential” entrepreneurs to build a test bed for their wildest ideas at no cost. If you begin charging for that you will reduce your base to those who already can pay. The rest of us will only migrate to a new test bed and carry on. To my mind what you should be doing is observing who among your experimenters are succeeding and offering enhanced services for a percentage of actual cash flow. For example an advertising pool for those who have the highest number of eyeballs. A cash or barter system similar to paypal for handling transactions for those who are doing business among their membership. And so on. By charging directly for use of your platform you are killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

    At any rate, good luck. No hard feelings. Namaste.

  43. Liliana

    According to Website Outlook, Ning is making quite a spicy amount of money from daily ads revenue. I have yet to see one ad, but since I use adblock maybe firefox is blocking all of them.

    In the other hand, if Ning doesn’t show ads then rather than charging users they should put a banner on top and another one on the bottom, that way they will probably make more money than with a few subscribers. I say few, because out of the subscribers it has only a fraction of them will actually pay.

    There are many websites in the internet offering similar services for free, they wouldn’t charge a penny to anyone (per say), most use other ways to earn money (ads being one of them).

  44. Captain

    I have put hundreds of hours into Ning sites and the one I created.

    Is it too much to ask to have a ball park figure what I would need
    to pay to keep my vital site??

    Istead on May 4th, I am assuming YOU will tell me what it will take to pay to keep
    my site!! HOW much!! We are all begging YOU to know the cost, give us some
    respectful communication.

    Captain

  45. chris wormald

    I have used your free service for over a year now and and from my members and visitors i know aquite a few friends have started their own scrapbooking stores..MY free site doesn’t have a store attached though has a lot of traffic(advertising) I’m sure ning has benefitted from my free site because of the traffic,maybe they should be looking at the bigger picture of who has helped them grow.I only hope i can afford the new fees as it comes from my pocket not my members.I’m all for growth but not by killing off the little man.

  46. freelee love

    Thanks NiNG, You guys have been absolutely great and so generous to have provided such brilliant sites for free. I currently have about 7 NING sites, one I do pay for and I love it. I understand you guys asking for a fee and I am happy to condense my sites into 1 or 2 instead of 7. The fee I currently pay for my site is totally fair for what I receive, you guys rock.

    Lovefreelee

  47. Linda

    Completely dependent on pricing…I will or will not stay with Ning. Too bad. But there are always new places and platforms to explore that are free!! I make NO income from my social networking site…so I have to do what I have to do.

  48. rosie

    A good business decision – as you have a great product.
    Its hard to know what your market size will be as a proportion of current consumers will not be interested in generating income for you – therefore might not be as income generating as you anticipate, although I assume your market research is good, which is why you are reducing staff.
    The management strategies might not hold the company together without change in style, if the poor communication, lack of planning and ignorance of formal change management is indicative.
    My prediction – rocky days ahead, before a change in leadership at the top.

  49. LaSonya Canfield

    Hi Jason
    Although I am saddened by the recent findings regarding the upcoming changes to eliminate the free subscriptions to the NING network creators, I can’t help but reply with a statement of gratitude to GINA, JASON & JOHN for allowing me the opportunity to meet, socialize, and share with the persons I have become acquainted with via my NING network(s). However, I do wish that an email or letter of notification would have been sent to me in regards to the changes. I am using the NING network for free and only because I don’t have a residual income flow at the current time due to medical disorder(s) which leave me unable to work. If I had the money in which to pay for my usage here, then it wouldn’t pose a problem as I am sure with the economy as it is there are many who share these feelings. I have to remain strong in the confidence of knowing that where one door closes GOD opens another and believe that Jehovah Jireh will provide what is needed for us all according to HIS riches in GLORY.
    I do know that I have read a lot of insensitve, insightful, aggressive, and passive comments in reply to these changes that are forthcoming and I beg to differ with some in that “there is no such thing as something for nothing” (the cliche is true no matter how profound).
    I hate to see my site go but I do recognize the reasoning(s) behind the changes when I look with my siritual eyes on the matter. As we are all feeling the effects of the recession in our economy; We must understand (free users) that SOMEBODY has been footing the bill for us and that SOMEBODY has the same bills in which we have at home as well as whatever funding for the up-keep of this Network. I thank GOD for the opportunity to have met and acquainted myself with the time and space allotted me thru this network. I applaud the founder(s) and CEOs of NING network for gifting me the opportunity in which to do so. Please Jason before you eliminate my networks please contact me with any helpful information that I may use to see about my affording the transition.
    Thanks
    LaSonya

  50. BD

    I think this is badly service for those who have Ning account. Both so short notice and no news in time for people to react weather they want to keep their accounts or not.

    No-where does it state how much time people have to decide before it cost, and you must by now already know how much it will cost if you are going through that idea of taking payment for using Ning as a site.

    Also if you are going to be a paysite, one hopes the site options will be just as good as a real site, the chat should be better, and there should be better options – even though there is good options already – but with paying costummer would want more for what they pay for.

    I’m looking forward to see what actions you are going to take and how many will be staying afterwards…

  51. Sara L Russell

    Please will you tell us the basic rate for a Ning network, as soon as possible? Also it would be useful to have an option to pay once a year and then be able to forget about it for the rest of the year. Thank you.

  52. Ibolya Anna

    Sajnálattal olvastam, Hogy a ning fizetőssé kívánja tenni AZ oldalakat! tartózkodás Mellett Érték Vele egyet ilyen esetben a mi közösségünk Menta, where Sok Idósz Izzó találta MEG a kapcsolattartást barátokkal.
    A létszámunk tartózkodás Mellett Nagy tartózkodás Mellett esszük ki a ninget a vagyonából! … Viszont ezek AZ emberek kispénzű nyugdíjasok akik tartózkodás Mellett tudnak ÉS tartózkodás Mellett tartózkodás Mellett fognak fizetni. Méltányoljátok AZ ilyen eseteket hiszen a világban van jótékonykodunk hát Miért nem Tud EGY ning is jótékonyan Pár Apró kis közösséget meghagyni jelenlegi állapotában? .. Tartózkodás Mellett Nagy fogyasztók, korlátozzuk a feltöltéseket AZ oldalakon, Hogy minél kevesebb tárhelyet foglaljunk el, itt inkább AZ Idósz emberek barátkozása a lényeg … Sok AZ egyedülálló akinek ez jelenti AZ életet, Mozgássérültek akik tartózkodás Mellett tudnak kijutni a világba! Gondoljátok MEG mit tesztek? … Kit tesztek tönkre? Köszönjük ha találtok megoldást ezen emberek számára.
    Üdvözlettel: Ibolya Annanhhő

  53. Megahaosguy

    This is probably the worst decision you guys have ever made. You guys do realize this will make people leave the website, right? The worst thing about this is that you guys are doing this on May 4th, which is very sudden. You could at least wait until June. I converted to here from Webs quite awhile ago because this website has a lot more features, but it seems I am going to have to go back to Webs. Hopefully you guys will realize this will lead to the end of this site. You guys better come to your senses and stop this from happening before you get even more rant comments.

  54. Bidhan Nayak

    Not sure if I am to continue with ning anymore coz I can’t afford paying. I am still struggling to get established & in these days it’s impossible for me to pay for a site.
    I thought that ning would let its previous users to continue. I used to think that google ads are strong sources of revenue in presence of heavy traffic but probably that wasn’t enough.
    I used their services for a year and was satisfied.
    Hope them all success in future,
    Regards,
    Bidhan Nayak,
    India.

  55. Mistress_Sybs

    deactivating today… I refuse to pay for a social networking site that lured me in with Free first!

  56. IAN CLIFFORD

    Hmmm. Ning wasnt really free anyway. We had to put up with irrelevant GoogleAds. My ning group chose to pay to remove them, but the point is therefore that the advertising model clearly wasnt paying for itself. Its the advertising model that was at fault, if ning couldnt afford to operate under it.

  57. Alessandro

    We are already taking our steps to migrate. This “update” is not acceptable from people that contributed to promote Ning and let it become what it is today. You could have at least consider the difference between who is doing business and who is doing other things through his social network.
    Really disappointed and strong support for those that don’t agree in the Ning management group.

  58. Boo

    As a site creator it would have been very nice to receive email from Ning about this change instead of receiving a message from a different site I also have social network on. The other social network provided me with great instructions for porting over the content and members from my soon to be no longer free social network to their still free site.

    The site I have on Ning is small, tiny, miniscule. It is not something I can afford to pay for.

    I understand a company needs money to grow. I guess you have just decided to make more money from the 75% of the networks who already pay for your services and leave the rest of us in the dirt.

  59. Thilak

    In Very Short,

    We Still loving Ning.
    After 4th of May 2010 Nothing Special with Ning.
    After 10 weeks from 4th of May 2010 We Hate Ning.

    Beacuse,
    We decorate the Ning and now Ning destroy us.

  60. Abby

    Too Good To Be True! Ning Should stay Free! Everyone Loves That It’s Free, Why Can’t It Stay? All The Costumers Are Gonna Go Away So It’s Not Smart!

  61. Barb

    This is a terrible idea. I am a student teacher at a high school and I am just beginning a unit on Civil Rights for my juniors. I was looking forward to bridging that gap between technology used outside the classroom and technology inside the classroom. I don’t have the resources to continue to use Ning if you start charging. You are depriving students of an amazing opportunity to connect to the subject matter in a way that they wouldn’t have if reading from a textbook.
    I’m sorely disappointed.

  62. SRMoisio

    Yes, NING is an excellent tool but there are also many ways to make profit.

    There are networks with commercial purposes, then there are individuals and groups with non-commercial purposes who couldn’t care less about the enhanced features of the product, they’re just happy to have their own small community with basic features. In my perspective, that makes a whole lot of difference to me. Although money is extremely important in our advanced western societies, it is not and should be not everything.

    Therefore since I don’t agree with this kind of policy, I have already excluded from NING the Network I was creating, and I am going to withdraw from the networks I belong to.

    Wish you all the best

  63. Lauren

    ONE MORE THING. (this time I mean it.)

    If ning wants to make money, why don’t they make products? like NING shirts! I’d buy one. It would also be a massive advertisement to the public. That means more people, right?

    Or NING could make a paypal or something! people could donate, and I’m sure they would if it meant they wouldn’t have to pay a monthly fee or whatever.

  64. Lauren

    Oh yeah, one last thing.
    It’s a sad thing to see that a NING roleplay site that I am an admin of THREE YEARS that (www.vampireknight.ning.com) has 204 members, *THAT SHOWS UP ON THE VERY TOP OF THE FIRST PAGE OF GOOGLE!* has to be moved to another FREE site.

    If this is going to go ahead, please leave the unpaid sites DEAD instead of closing it down. We should be still be able to view what used to be on the site, but we can’t log in or sign up. I think that is fair. Tons of memories belong in that site, it really hurts to see it go.

  65. adriana

    Estimados Creadores de la red Ning comprendo su posición, pero ojala USTEDES comprendan la de la mayoría de los que integramos las Redes, y que o estamos en posición económica de pagarlas, por eso hemos elegido este sitio gratuito.
    A todos nos ha llevado mucho tiempo y dedicación crearlas, pasando muchas horas para beneficios de otros y no propio. Ojala encuentre la forma de seguir dando este servicio gratuito, aunque sea con algunas restricciones.
    Ning nos ha servido a muchos para divulgar y recibir conocimientos, que no podríamos tener si no fuera por medio de estas redes gratuitas.
    También quiero felicitarlos porque realmente es una de las mejores, sino para mí, la mejor red social, creo que todos reconocemos su esfuerzo por crearla y en beneficio de ella a traído a millones de usuarios de esta gran comunidad Ning.
    Gracias y ojala podamos encontrar entre todos la forma de seguir siendo parte de esta comunidad con beneficios para todos.

  66. Sally Bowes

    I am involved in an NGO initiative. We run a Ning site as a forum and way of sharing academic content with Biology teachers in South Africa, many of who have little access to computers and limited Internet access. While I do understand that Ning has to generate income in order to provide the service that they do, I also plead most sincerely that you do not make it out of the South African school price range. I suggest that perhaps a way forward woud be for you to ask each Ning administrator to motivate for a pricing structure and then, within reason, try and accommodate that.

  67. Don Odom

    Regardless of the motive or motives behind the decision, this has to be the strangest “roll-out” of an organizational decision that I’ve ever seen

    It seemed designed to create the maximum amount of uncertainty possible among its client base and has the words “disorganized”, “disconnected” and “amateur” stamped all over it.

    That’s my 2¢ worth on this topic which is a good approximation of the organizational “value” of this “roll-out”.

    Don Odom

  68. Mike

    I agree with some of the comments here with regard to the commercialization of NING.

    The current creators and users are responsible as much as the developers are for the current success of NING, so It’s a shame to treat them like outsiders.

    Current creators should be able to remain on the network as per the previous agreement.

    I would also like to echo the comments of No Free Lunch above, which points out the lie in the statement “Nothing else is changing — I remain Chairman, the current management team remains exactly the same, and the Ning service continues unchanged.”

    What a shame really.

  69. john

    Its not the money with me, I do know how it feels though to not have it, so I can relate. What I am worried about is I am brining on a pretty powerfull Social/Entertainment Site and was going to use Ning for my home and run a pretty well funded PR from it, catch with me its funded with my investors, I don’t think this is going to go well with them knowing there is an upset web community brewing. Ning, I have no problems with paying you for any costs needed, I am worried about the publicity on the web and now I have to inform my investors. I am hoping you can help some of these people out. If you want to contact me at my email I left please do so. I need some guidance now and big time help to sign up. Again not the dollars just need some issurance your the right company now. Hope you get this email because I am going to wait to hear from you on what your expectations are going to be for someone like me avoiding bad press from a great company as yourself. Thank you, John P, Owner & President, WCC Treasures LLC

  70. DARKTRION

    Please don’t terminate the ning site free makers
    it’s ok for us to not get that new benefits like mobile browsing features and etc.
    it’s ok for us to give that new features to the site payers. we are happy to the features we are getting to our site for now
    but please don’t terminate our site and keep the free community site making..
    we are happy to the features that we are getting now
    please consider us thanks…

  71. No Free Lunch

    hmmm. Ning is an excellent tool, but, presumably, there are people behind it who need to do things like eat, sleep under a roof, that kind of thing.

    You know, there was a store, once, that opened its doors and gave away its stock. It closed by the end of the day. What beats me is how many stores there are on the Internet giving away the stock over and over again.

    So, income has to come from somewhere. hey, about charging for it?

    The mindset that says Internet=free (as in $0 ) has GOT to change. How many of you NING owners contributed a single cent to NING?

    Presumably, if NING doesn’t bring in any money, then it will close. That would mean no NING for anyone, free users or otherwise.

    I am staggered as to how much is offered for free out here on the web: you do realise it can’t go on? Maybe NING is just the first.

    The only thing I would say is display the prices as soon as possible, so that folk can see what they have to pay.

    Of course, I have to stay anonymous, as I can see, looking at this blog, that not many people agree with me.

  72. Lisa olivera

    So ning is not making enough with their google adds,and charging a arm and leg for a domain name,removing the ning sign,and adds free.
    Thats not enough,that alone is a small fortune .

    I make no money off my site and already pay for the domain each month.
    In this economy no one has more money and you guys want more.
    If ning really implements this I hope it destroys them,as its going to destroy mine and many other websites.

    Leave the old sites alone,charge for new sign ups plz.
    I wish I was a lawyer,this can not be legal or at least should not.

  73. Amy Stokes

    I created a Ning group as a free way for my home-based party plan team to communicate with each other since we are all spread throughout the country. It was a great way to see each other, chat online and share documents.

    I was not notified from you of Ning beginning to phase out the free groups but rather received an email from another Ning network creator telling her network that they would move to a different site once the free groups were eliminated.

    Business is business and I know you’re trying to make even more $ even though you are hiding it behind wanting to offer more to the paying customers. Keeping it business-related of course, you will find that a happy customer will tell at least one friend and an unhappy customer will tell everyone that will listen. Regardless of what your fee structure is, the fact that you had something free and then decided to charge it is like handing someone a gift and then asking for it back. I will not pay for something I’ve been using for free for the past year and yes, I will tell everyone that listens.

  74. Emily

    I’m a teacher who has been using Ning for several months. It has been a tremendous asset to my composition class. However, I’m also in grad school and have *no* extra money. My school is somewhat anti-technology, and they will definitely not help me pay for it. I am extremely disappointed to be losing an educational tool that has proven to be valuable in the classroom. It has really helped bring back the “back and forth” nature of rhetoric that is missing from many composition classrooms. I know that you’ve said you’ll have pricing options that fit everyone, but the only pricing option that works for me is free (or nearly free!). I will look at your prices when you change, but I will most likely go with another option that is not as great as Ning. Please consider making exceptions for teachers! Thank you!

  75. ever

    i dont think you should do that because you are going to lose a lot of ning websites. I really like ning but i dont have the money to pay for it.

  76. Kyle Wood

    I can’t say that I blame Ning for their decision, but I am very curious as to how it might shake out. As an educator, I chose Ning to begin a pretty large network in order to encourage collaboration across our LEA. It now has 1600+ members of the around 2500 teachers in our district. We use it to conduct staff development, house materials from face-to-face staff development and act as a discussion hub for topics from NBCT to Websites for Kindergarten.

    We do pay to remove advertisements, but I am concerned that the rates for even that could go up to the point I cannot justify it. We have paid for the entire year until February, so I hope that our subscription is upheld at that rate until then. It seems only right, as if we had paid a magazine subscription.

    This is all especially suprising since one of the top bits of news Ning shows is an interview on Charlie Rose with their former CEO talking about the business model and success of websites based on ad revenue. That was in March. It is frightening how quickly things change.

  77. Rosalinda

    is very sad that ning is no longer continue with the free services, I have three web here unfortunately I can not pay the web, so i desides to pays one a just want to know what web services Primum choose?

  78. corderg

    I echo many of the previous comments:
    1) I LOVE Ning. It’s the best Web 2.0 tool I have found for education and my teachers love it too!
    2) PLEASE keep it free for educators and non-profits!!! We have no money!
    3) Yes, it’s very short notice, and it would have been nice to receive an email rather than having to find out through the grapevine. 🙁

  79. Tom Bremer

    Boo.

    The whole draw of web2.0 platforms is that computing and networking become ubiquitous.
    I have recently been hired to teach a Master’s level technology course and was planning on ning integration into the curriculum. Unfortunately, no longer.

    I saw Ning as revolutionizing education. It would help teachers reach parents and students in ways that weren’t available before. This comes as a huge shock to me, and I am saddened by this news.

    There had to be a better way.

  80. Sarah

    I JUST started what has so far been a very successful networking site for young museum professionals in the state of NY. I started it because we usually don’t have the money to join formal organizations and needed a place to connect. And as young’uns, we’re very used to social media. It was perfect.

    If you start charging, we’ll have to move. Unless it’s something like $5/month for the basic free service. I could handle that, but it would come out of my own pocket. We are not a registered non-profit, but have the support of many non-profits and do not charge membership fees or accept donations.

    If you take away the free option, you will have a lot of angry and frustrated people on your hands.

    Seriously. I just took the site live last week. If you make me pay more than $5/month for it, I’m leaving and taking my 50-person community with me. I don’t know where I will go, but YMPNY will be shutting down on May 5th unless the price points are ridiculously reasonable, which I doubt will happen.

    I thought Ning was different, that it wanted to offer a free networking service because it cared about creating dialog and small communities. I was clearly wrong. Shame on you, Ning.

  81. J.P.

    Jason,

    I hope you reconsider your decision. I understand why you would want to do this, but I also understand that you have alternatives. If you were building a railroad 200 years ago would you have bulldozed the village or go around it? Think about how you’ll be remembered.

  82. Karen

    Truly disgusted if this is the path taken! Why not keep a free one like it is now…and create better apps for those that want to pay.

  83. Joshua Stevens

    i have an online club that i made a website for. what will it cost me to keep it a ning network and how will i be billed to keep it up and running. my members depend on me for consistancy. i had to move to ning from a networking site that went under about a year ago. i had to start from scratch from where i found out about ning from a friend of mine that made a site for my schools it club.

  84. Jared

    Why no what will happen to all the free users that cant aforde ning thats why i joined ning is becouse the free website i garanteed that ning will die out and become one of the other social sites that are boring and people dont care ning will loose its trafic if it kicks us free users off.

  85. Beth Cornell

    Dear NING leadership,

    I have been working with over 601 technology integration curriculum coaches in our state as part of Classrooms for the Future. I am sorry to hear you are moving to a new paid service. Many of our smaller, tight budgeted school districts will be put in a bind due to your move. I use your service for travel showcases and other needs.

    What i really found wonderful about your application was that educators could search the world and find other educators to share international connections. I am so disappointed by the loss of this service. Please consider reviewing the issue. REMEMBER that teachers are far behind the eight ball on integration of technology with curriculum and their learning curve is very low in quality educational interactivity to help our young people learn the real world.

    Beth Cornell
    Pa Department of Education Mentor
    Classrooms for the Future/21st Century Teaching and Learning
    blcornell@mac.com
    717-576-9070

  86. Anita

    Hello. I wanted ask what will happen with fan sites? i mean i understand many sites earn money using your webisites, but what about fan site? there can’t earn money only give in there… how much do i will need pay for to keep it? because i put very much work in there to make it and keep it new
    Thanks.

  87. Donna Rogers

    I guess I’m going to be the lone dissenting voice in all the anger. I’m a member of a Ning site with an irresponsible creator who has basically deserted 1,750 members. I’ve begged Ning to turn the site over to someone else (ME, preferably), but without success.

    I immediately started searching for a new free platform. The one I found (Spruz) may work for some of you, but I personally HATE it. It isn’t user friendly for fanfiction (which is what I’m into). Spruz is currently adding new stuff daily to keep up with the demands of Ning refugees! So…people are stepping in to fill the vacuum.

    However, that being said, I love Ning’s platform. It’s perfectly suited to writers of fanfiction and I have decided that I will pay the fee. That way, I will have more control over members and their behaviors. People will be less likely to open a site and then desert it a few months later when they get bored with it. You get what you pay for.

    I just wished they would release the fee schedule already so I can launch my site and get people moving!! I’m wondering if they’re going to provide a way to transfer data from one defunct Ning site to a new fee-paying site! We have tons of members horrified at the thought of transferring thousands and thousands of words of their stories to another site! (LOTS of work there, people!!!)

    *sigh* I’m staying with Ning. Sorry to all the complainers, but their platform is unmatched by anyone else out there right now. Especially for MY obsession. Maybe the other free sites will work for other people.

  88. Frank G.

    Oh well, back to Google Groups for us lowly teachers.
    1. Please don’t phase out the free service until the end of the current school year. I use a NING network as a key part of teaching my classes.
    2. Will I have access the the content on the network I created after the change?
    3. So, no love for us the creators that delivered you all these users?
    3. I’m an EdTech consultant & advocate. I regularly recommend the NING as a powerful resource for fellow educators. Your new model MUST be friendly and compassionate to us already under-served in this profession.
    OK, I think you guys are blowing it big time, but…we’ll see what you have to say on the 4th. Choose wisely!

  89. Paula

    Hi! I wondered if the new plans to charge on Ning would affect users of the Networks, like myself? I don’t administer any Networks here, but do enjoy using several. I would have to leave Ning (due to financial circumstances) if it was no longer free, which would be very disappointing. Also, I do wonder why I am still receiving emails, and postings on my “Walls”, from Networks which I have left? They don’t appear on my Ning central homepage list.

    Paula.
    xxx

  90. Mark Hebblewhite

    It’s quite simple; I came onto Ning today to discover more about your offerings to sell the Ning idea to clients. Sold – I am going elsewhere.

  91. PeteVH

    I am the instructor for about 800 K-14 educators per year who take professional development courses on how to use the Internet for education. Ning was going to become the center element for “learning communities” in the next edition of the courses. But with the new fee structure, I will have to find another system to replace Ning. That’s too bad because Ning has so much to offer. “Free” gives my students an opportunity to learn about Ning and what they can do with it. There are many options to finance Ning besides fees. If they want more, then a layered fee structure would be open to them. Now they will not even experience Ning. And, there are too many “free” options to stay with a fee based Ning.

  92. Michelle Sollicito

    I just heard about this from a member of my community!! How come I didnt get some official notice of this from ning?? When will the actual charges come into effect? I hope we get plenty of notice??

  93. Kate

    This page seems to have been created merely to allow network creators to vent their anger and disappointment. Many perfectly valid (and simple to answer) questions have been asked here, but no answers or explanation have been forthcoming from Ning.
    The big question, to my mind, is why Ning didn’t send an email to all NCs, notifying them about the forthcoming changes. I myself only found out by chance, when I visited the “Help Center” page in search of information on a different issue, and saw the announcement that free Nong sites were to be discontinued.
    Whatever about the ethics or the business sense of Ning’s decision, the fact that Ning failed to notify it’s NCs of the impending changes has generated a huge amount of resentment, confusion, anger etc., and has left all NCs – even many premium customers – questioning Ning’s reliability and trustworthiness. After all, how much confidence is it possible to have in a company that loses its co-founder, fires almost half of its workers, and “in the same breath” takes a decision to make radical changes to its business plan – without notifying any of its customers (not even its premium customers)?
    Ning has no problem sending out bills and notifications of payments due etc.
    What appears to have happened is that the decision to change the business plan was made at short notice, with no time to give full consideration to its full implications (it has all the appearances of a last-ditch, desperation measure). But even if this was the case, Ning ought to have sent out an email to all NCs, notifying them of the change of plan. Even after the news had been leaked, a prompt email to all NCs would have averted much of the distrust and bad feeling now being directed at Ning. The impression that has been given – and, as Jack Nicholson’s character says in “As Good As It Gets”: Is there any other way to look at it? – is that Ning holds its own customers in contempt, and couldn’t care less about their concerns.

  94. ElectroPig

    Thanks for the advance notice! It was very much appreciated that I found out about this from an email from not you, but someone else who was representing another company who wants more members.

    I mean, you COULD have BOTHERED to send out an email to let everyone know that you’re essentially DUMPING US. I mean…I’ve got the top spot on Google NOW…it’ll probably takea year before any replacement site gets anywhere near to that…but hey, business is business.

    I just reached 103 members today…so there’ll be another 103 people pissed off that they’ve got to sign into a new site.

    What happens to their personal information? Do you keep that?

    There are a great many questions that I’ve got over 100 people to inform IMMEDIATELY, while I still have the access to do that.

    Thanks again for the advance notice! I’ve got a week to back up an entire site, move it somewhere else, and HOPE that at least SOME of the existing members can be bothered to try again.

    Nothing better than loyalty to those who help to build and promote your network!

    You folks should get into poitics…

  95. Lauren Kurtz

    I personally am disguisted with this announcement. I was turned on to Ning via a college professor who created a Ning network which added so much to our classroom experience. Is he now supposed to pay to be able to use this to organize and connect his classroom? What is even worse is the embarassment I feel for the fact that I raved about Ning and convinced a sports league I am a member of to cancel their other networking site to move to Ning. Now I am going to have to tell them I was wrong about this service and we will have to start all over again.

    I find it hard to believe your company needs this extra money from the small, non-profit networks who use your service simply to connect and organize their small scale establishments. You are making enough money from the 75% of your paying networks. I am speechless. This is just absurd. The beauty of web 2.0 is its accessibilty to everyone which you are diminishing with this decision.

  96. Joyson | Ning Alternatives

    This is the same thing happened in some previous network. We are also using ning for educational purpose and i’m very disappointed hearing about this. BUt, on the other hand we understand that ning badly need money by this time.

  97. Kristen

    The worst thing about this decision? NING creators were not notified before the announcement. I found out about this on another blogging site. Poor, poor business etiquette in my opinion. Had we been notified, perhaps more of us would stick around.

  98. Scott Dunbar

    I have been heavily promoting the ning network since i got on it a month ago. No shit “It is my daily conversation”. I am happy for you to charge me for new services, charge new users or even charge me if i want to start new ning networks or add further aplications which is quite likely if i and my extensive networks get in the habit of using ning. However, if you take back your GIFT of goodies and tell me it was not really a gift after all and i need to pay for them now. Then sure i will be disapointed in our relationship and happy to leave you in your own world of broken agreements and cut throat friends. For the sake of hamanity and our transformative thinking i hope you just have a communications glitch within your fledgling organisation and don’t let this roomer continue.

    Work with the 10’s of thousaands of leaders, movers and shakers of this rapidly evolving techno world that you have managed to attract.

    Empower them with the strength of your word. Surf with the world of honour, trust and fearlessness.

    Attract great people and live a long healthy life.

  99. Shaaron

    oh as well, I have had people completely leave as they feel ning will be charging them next and that the way they do business is not of integrity

  100. Shaaron

    I am disappointed. I realize you are not remotely a spiritual company…I don’t think you need to do this to create income. We have already lost so much in way of communicating with our friends and other networks. If you leave more than 5 messages a day, you get locked out. It seems that you are going backwards and not forwards as you create more greed. The good thing is someone else will create a competing product because of your greed for more.

    a sad site creator

  101. DWalt

    As part of a small group of students based all over the world I cannot see that we will have any choice but to move somewhere else. We might have paid a small one-off set up fee between us when we first set up our network but anything ongoing will be impossible to manage both practically and probably financially. What a shame as it is a brilliant tool!
    I realise costs need to be covered but I’d have thought more imaginative ways might have been found.

  102. Brandy

    I’m highly disappointed with your decision to phase out free networks. As a media developer for a community college, I have taught many, many workshops over the last couple years where I’ve recommended Ning as an instructional tool for both K-12 and higher ed teachers. We’ve developed some wonderful communities in education for both teachers and students. We’ve been able to use Ning to teach students and faculty about social networking both participation and administration/ development of a social network. As our population in education has gotten familiar with Ning, they’ve gone out into the community and recommended the tool for many small businesses and other causes that have purchased premium accounts.

    I hope that the pricing you offer for education will be extremely reasonable. In a time when school districts can’t afford to keep the lights on, justifying an expense for a social networking tool is likely going to be impossible. It’s too bad, Ning has been a great tool for introducing students and faculty to web2.0 and social networking.

  103. char

    you know your going to loose half of your networks and all of the tens of thousands of people on those sites.They probably just go over to other free sites. making people pay will kill your networking site. you know why Facebook, myspace, and twitter are so popular is they are free. you shoud get sponcers,and post them on all the free sites. Its like network tv more people witch the channel that are free ,beacuse there free,but down site commerals. Which payfor the channels programing.You Should Try to keep the free Sites And get sponcers, that people have to see.Not just link banners that they may click on and may buy stuff but ,mandator commerels when they logon. Just a thought sorry for the misspellings

  104. Gonçalo Serras

    Also, If I pay, how can I know you will not double the price in a year, and double it again in the next year?

  105. Bonnie

    I only BEGAN my network in APRIL–2010…I have a small network-under 100 but with 8 very active Groups..lots of music and pics–we even have a cooking group—we migrated from another social network for THIS????

    Signing on in APRIL—wouldn’t it have been a nice thing to say–this is a trial period – you PAY in MAY!!!

  106. Oscar Kjellberg

    Ning has changed its mind and handled it badly. Maybe it’ll turn out all right but as it is we are very disappointed and try to find new alternatives.

  107. Melissa K

    Wow..after the last few days of dealing with more spam than I ever imagined, I stumbled on this little “update” that says the free service will be discontinued soon. So thank you for not being one of those emails or blog posts because I may have actually missed this news. As is, I had to find it on my own…which was out of desperation of trying to stop the spam. Great communication – maybe the actual communication should have gone directly to the “little” people who use the free service? justsayin. Regardless, after much time, frustration, you have made the decision easy to say goodbye. Thank you.

  108. Maria

    To all of the creators of ning websites. It is sad that it has come down to this. One of the oldest drug tricks in the book. “the first time is free, get ’em hooked and now they will continue to pay, a customer for life” I say “we” meaning all of the free site do not, let me repeat DO NOT pay for a service that was offered to us free. It will send the wrong message to every other free sevice we use. My space, Facebook, Twitter, Emails from hotmail to gmail. We already pay for the internet through various providers. That’s enough!! If we let this company do it then the others will follow suit. “We the people” are in charge!!! If we stick together, let it go, go somewhere where it is free, Then Nings bottom line will still be the same. We are letting technology dictate to us. We are the ones using it so we have to dictate. You can make your networks work just by connecting your emails. Thats how you would get messages anyway. It all worked thru you emails. No it wont be as attractive, but the communication will still be there. I hope that ning keeps the already free sites free, but if not in the words of Toni Braxton, Let go!! Its better to have ning once than to never to have ninged at all. A shout out to all those up and coming programmers, I smell opportunity!!!

  109. Keith

    I hope Ning will not be placing us premium paying members at the bottom of the new ‘pricing tier’ no doubt for the extras promised we will be paying more than what we are now, I rather think though that other open source networks and storage such as amazon S3 will come into play more if this does happen as I would imagine most paying NCs do know a lot more about the web and building websites than most NCs on NIng.

    Good Luck Ning, you need to be very clever on this move!

  110. pete the street

    this is a great shame, but I suppose having accepted $120m of investors cash, the needs of this business is the same as any other- profit. Good luck, but I’m off to vavou.com.

  111. Craig

    Forgive the dissenting view but I have never seen a greater exhibition of self-entitlement as the Ning members who have posted on this blog post.

    Not a “thank you” for all the free services they’ve provided. Not a thank you for paying for all the work that went into developing the system.
    Not a thank you for providing the opportunities to build communities.
    Not a thank you for the bandwidth.
    Not a thank you for helping your business, your cause, your interests at no charge.
    Not a thank you for putting off VCs, angels, stockholders, or whomever was footing the millions of dollars to build this system
    Not a thank you for paying for all of it, each month, month after month.

    Instead, users are all furious that the freebies must end, that the magic till that pays for everything has run dry. That Ning finally had charge to survive.

    How people think that Ning is solely responsible for building you a system, maintaining it, innovating and support it at no charge — astounds me.

    I checked and Ning is not a charity nor a non-profit agency; it is an enterprise.

    Depending completely on a free service, and expecting it always to be free was beyond naive. Likewise threatening to “abandon” Ning when one is purely a cost would be hilarous were the irony not completely escaping the posters.

    Ning. beginning to charge for its expensive services, is finally growing up. It’s time now for the groups of self-entitled whiners to do the same.

  112. Jessica

    I also think it’s a shame that you are moving to a ‘paid’ site. As a teacher, I enjoy the ease of which my students and myself use ning.com. We also enjoy how collaborative ning groups and networks can be, while allowing students to have their individual pages.
    I will be looking for a new site to use this summer.

  113. Lynn

    We are using the Ning purely for educational purposes and are disappointed to hear that the free service may not continue.

  114. Gonçalo Serras

    I understand you have to make money but…what about all the investment the members had bringing new members into NING? What will happen to all the hundreds of people that gave lots of hours to make NING great? Please, I don´t want to loose the work of an whole year! Thank you.

  115. carol

    Ning just answered my email to them about grandfathering the free sites (mine is for those wiht chronic pain, I am on fixed income, cant afford to pay for site that is not income generating and never will be) Their reply to send me to this old posting. no new info and i too found this online somewhere, did not gte info directly from Ning about phasing out the free. I started mine after seeing how anouther used heres. Short term gain, maybe for ning with longterm loss. Sad.

  116. George de Gooijer

    I was just about to get interested after seeing an event from the Worldbank, and hearing about you through the KM4DEV community.

    But I suppose this became a very short relationship.

  117. R. Goodrich

    So far the rationale for phasing out free accounts does not make sense. Why are enhanced features for paying customers and a small number of free accounts mutually exclusive? I am a university teacher who uses Ning for several courses with resounding success. Students up to now have had a high opinion of Ning because of the sites’ ease of use. I have no budget for site fees and can’t afford to pay out of pocket (I’m officially below the poverty level even though I teach full time!) Please consider allowing an exemption for education sites. Perhaps limit the number of sites per person even further. A good portion of my summer will be spent rebuilding my sites elsewhere if this wonderful service is discontinued.

  118. Erica

    I am disappointed in this site. I wanted to create a new network, but it seems they are money hungry. These sites should be free(unless people want upgrades, new features). Highly disappointed right now.

  119. Randy

    Our district supported NING too, was just getting on board with telling my staff how to use it….showing parents, students LOVE it…..we have no extra money to throw at this. So basically we’ll look elsewhere now too. LAME.

  120. Rebecca Amy

    AOL did the same thing and look at them now. My whole school district supported the Ning and now we won’t. Bummer.

  121. Marty

    Sorry that you have decided to close all free accounts, BUT….Have transferred everything to Aimoo and find it to be a great place.
    When were you planning to send an email out to all your free subscribers letting them know of your plans to close the free accounts? I just happend to find out about it on another forum i frequent.

    Adios Ning, Hola Aimoo.

  122. Melaniekleine

    Me too.

    I used ony for comunication-members !! I’ve created recently… only for a little group of friends !!

    Please make not your decision !!

    Sorry my english !! ;(((

    (From Portugal)

  123. d

    Charging is wrong a whole lot of people are dropping out. People made ning popular. There are other sites that are still free out there. Make your money off advertising like facebook and twitter.

  124. Lauren

    “The tens of thousands of you”

    Heh, now that this new “offer” you speak of is coming up in May, I wonder how many “thousands” you will have then.

  125. Quique

    At least give us the possibilty to export the users, password and information, so we can move the community to another free service smoothly and without disturbing everyone.

  126. Kirsty Hannah

    I would like to join the outcry to express my disappointment and sadness also in hearing the news.

    It very much changes the spirit of what is happening here, and whilst one can justify their actions in all manner of ways, is a reconsideration possible?

  127. Dana

    Dear mr ning.

    I am annoyed. your diesicion poses a problem for that 25% of people who use your free service. most if not all these people are teenagers whom cannot pay for the new service. If those 25% of people (who out of 2 million users is only realisticly according to my calcuator is 5000 users) cannot pay they will just complain. Oh did I forget to mention that One site no longer has a creator since she passed late last year. Seems to cause a problem for us thanks for spoiling our fun 🙂

  128. Tiffani Howard

    Well its cool. People should understand that in this economy we must all pull our weight! I was always surprised that is was ever free. I want to keep NING and I want it to be better. Just tell me how much it will cost and we will try our best to muster the funds to keep it.

    However if we pay for it then I want it totally customized to display my site insignia and those of my members ONLY. I want the NING logo to disappear-no offense and I want the ads to create your own NING to go in the same direction with the NING logo. If we can do that for a fair price then we can do business.

    Congratulations on going pay per subscription. You guys deserve it. You’ve worked hard to create something really pertinant on the web!

  129. butchoi

    Business wise, I understand the reason but sucks really sucks! how about unemployed? how can we pay your premium services?

  130. Charolette

    I think you should GRANDFATHER IN those of us having a SITE ALREADY SET UP PREVIOUS TO A CERTAIN DATE…..MAY 4TH perhaps…..or those having A SITE SET UP FOR AT LEAST 6 MONTHS PREVIOUS to this “change”……

    That way those of us who have SO MUCH TIME AND EFFORT INTO THEIR SITES….and SO MANY MEMBERS…..dont lose all we have accomplished…..

    AFTER the MAY 4th date….You could THEN begin charging…..for any NEW SITES.

  131. Jeff

    What if I don’t want any premium services? I don’t have any now, so I certainly won’t want any later. You mean to tell me that the way my current site is established will be charged? For just basic services?

    That’s even more ridiculous than I thought.

  132. Arevalo

    Estoy muy trsite por la decision que ah tomado el creador de Ning, la verdad tiene 3 meses que decidi crear un sitio como medio de comunicacion entre gente de mi ciudad.

    Quise Crearlo por las ventajas que Ning nos ofrece, la considero una de las mejores redes que hay en el mundo.

    Pero al saber esto de que se tiene que pagar, si me siento un poco decepcionado, ya que tiene muy poco que empeze con mi red y al dia de hoy, ya cuenta con 900 miembros, esta red servia para muchos y ahora sera dificil seguir conservandola.

    En esta no manejamos ningun tipo de comercio, solo se usa como medio de comunicacion,

    Ning no nos hagan esto porfavor!!!

  133. Armida Stickney

    What’s to stop a young upstart to take all of your “FREE” customers and just charge them $1.00 or even $10.00 a year as life membership who were customers in 2009?

  134. Jeff

    And then I saw the article that Ning has TWO MILLION NETWORKS.

    So help me to understand why you need to start charging your creators and members?

    Oh yeah. I get it.

    Just another way to make an easy buck off those who made your organization what it is.

    I get it.

  135. Armida Stickney

    As a non-profit organization incorporated in the State of Florida, CHA is very concerned that, it will not be able to meet its legal requirements under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedures (FRCP) that went into effect on December 1, 2006.

    FRCR mandates, as you very well know, that all organizations–subject to potential involvement in the U.S. Federal court system–be prepared for electronic discovery. We have relied on the NING platform to know where our date is, how to retrieve it, and how to meet data requests. This capability will be LOST if we are not able to afford in this taxable year to pay for full services.

    Moreover, we are in the midst of applying for tax-exempt status and won’t be able to meet the web-site requirement.

    This is a hardship being bestowed upon us and others. Please consider grandfathering non-profit organizations that are involved in the social welfare of a country and community.

    Thank you for considering this e-message.

  136. Jeff

    This is completely ridiculous. I was part of a free site years ago (not Ning) and then they started charging, so I left. Do I have to do this again?? I created a new Ning site in March of this year, which is really taking off, and now you pull this. Thanks!!!

    Why destroy a good thing when you’ve already got something great????

    Pathetic.

  137. mark schmitt

    It is interesting that users we not notified via email of these recent changes to move to the dark side and start charging. How long ago was it decided that this was the way you were going? How many people signed up thinking free when you knew it was certain that you would be changing the pricing structure?

    Yes, we know in the fine print that nobody reads you could change at anytime. I guess some advice for anyone that decides to stay is to re-read everything before you pay for anything.

    I wonder how notifications of policy changes will be made in the future. The way this was handled has to be a huge PR nightmare. I am not too sure that your reputation for transparency, feedback, and customer service can ever be repaired.

    Good luck on that one.

  138. Crystal

    This is such a shame. I just presented a well received presentation at TESOL International in March 2010 about all the great things educators can do with Ning. I have been using Ning for just about 4 semesters, but now I have to find a new FREE, fun, easy to use network. I really wish Ning would wait until mid-June or even July before cutting the FREE and basic network option. Ning better be prepared to lose all their educators to another networking service.

  139. Anthony

    Poor move. This is truly disappointing. Offering the basic service for free was what made Ning such a beautiful and empowering place to begin with. It gave everyday people the chance to network and connect in meaningful ways without someone making cash from it. True colours?

  140. Fábio Cabrini

    Hello,

    I want to leave my position as an educator. This
    platform is something that revolutionized the way we interact
    with students. I use the platform in two institutions
    k12 education and university and the students really like …
    The problem is that here in Brazil many of the institutions
    they are using and I include myself in this group are
    character and care free. I was very sad
    From the moment he knew he would have to pay for
    utilize the services of Ning, believing in the model and
    the discourse of the creators of Ning. I agree with most
    the participants of this forum and believe that institutions
    nonprofit educational or could continue to
    enjoy getting free platform to the extent
    needs premium services. I leave here my
    suggestion! If the position is maintained many of the new CEO
    users leave the platform.

  141. Annie

    Deceptive business practices! Your failure to note this impending change on the page where new customers register new communities or at any point while they create their communities is dishonest and it blatantly shows your disregard for your customers. I just created a not-for-profit community and recently joined a new NFP community, but cannot in good conscience solicit new members, invest more time in improving my ning site nor attempt to encourage people affiliated with the site I joined to pay for your (lack of) services (until after the 4th), since it is entirely possible you will cancel our accounts immediately. You have destroyed consumer trust.

    However, you have given me an idea for creating a new type of internet venture and focus for my frustration with internet business practices and I intended to give you all the credit you deserve for that inspiration.

  142. Amber

    This is completely shocking news. I am the founder of a currently non-profit photography club. We just started in December and I spend alot of my free time working to add new features and our club site better. I am very frustrated that I had to learn about the ending of the free sites from the web-host of my business website! Why hasn’t ning sent emails to the owners? I really wish you would change your mind about this…it’s a bad business decision that in the long run will cost you more money than you’d gain. Just start charging anyone after May 4th and let those that are ACTIVE free users keep their accounts and close down the rest of the unused ones to save money. Give your fans and users a chance…dont just phase us out…there are so many communities that deserve to have an online presence that can’t afford a paying one…I promised my members we would remain free as long as possible and I hate to have to start charging a fee less than 6 months into the club’s debut! You guys are going to lose alot of fans if you continue with this decision. The smarter thing to do would have been to ask opinions first not give ultimatums!

  143. Himagain

    People,
    Let’s be serious. NOBODY is out there borrowing money (Venture Capital) to run a charity.
    (Altho most charity “starters” seem to do very well personally).
    Ning is yesterday.
    It started late in the outfield.
    NEVER had a chance of making money.
    It rode on a single reputation – worth 90cents the day after it was won, a long, long time ago.

    The commercial version will go down too.
    What kind of nut/amateur CEO is going to trust an out-fit like this one?

    A PR disaster!
    Not even clever enough to use a “grandfather” clause to save what little is left?

    PEOPLE: There are literally dozens of these startups all over the Net – better still start on yourself – for a hundred bucks or so…..

  144. Dwayne

    From reading the comments to this post, it looks like the ratio of those AGAINST your decision is roughly equivalent to the ning creators bringing in the most revenue (3 to 1). Badly timed decision that creates a short-term fix if you ask me.

  145. wadja

    I am all sad as i comment on this post, nt cos i can’t pay for my ning network bt cos of the creators out there who cannot afford to pay for theirs.

    I started out using ning on a small scale level and i can remember hw sweet it was to be creating sites @ random with such elegant features.

    Optionally though it would be wise if Ning could come out with a scheme that’d nt only bill new creators bt also shift the load balance evenly.

    Maybe they could simply allow only one free network per creator or otherwise…

    Well it was nice using NING and farewell to those who can’t/won’t remain on NING.

    For me it’s a tedious take though > Paying for almost 9 Ning network with more than 7thousand followers each and nt counting the upcoming ones.

    Well – GoodLuck to us all….

    And i hope NING changes it’s mind bout this.

  146. Molly

    Just great. You post this and don’t go back to answer any questions. I moved my MSN group over to NING last year and lost members doing it. Trying like heck to keep the ones I had left intact, this comes up. I will leave and not look back, trust me. Good riddance.

  147. nikue

    Nos já pagamos no brasil a internet e tinha-mos aqui no ning.com um pouco de alegria ,porque não dizer no mundo inteiro e agora descubro que vai ser cobrado vou ter que dizer adeus ao site .
    E isto com tristeza .
    Pois não com seguirei pagar por mais este,serviço .

  148. Eddie (thompseg)

    I have to say that I am quite upset by this move. We have spent an entire year trying to teach educators how to improve their instruction through the Ning sites available online. We even had our own building blog to train teachers in this process. What will happen to the old information from these free accounts? Will they be deleted if new subscriptions are not created? Oh well… back to the drawing board again. Poor business practice to allow free accounts only to change the agreement in midstream. I could see adding additional features to the sites and charging for those but not to completely change the process for those already on board.

  149. Anne Williams

    This is a really low move and you have just rather unstrategically trashed your previously good reputation. You have encouraged people to develop complex sites which has taken up a lot of time and energy, as well as creating irreplaceable archives of site content. We are using it for college course sites, so please do us the courtesy of giving us enough notice to phase our sites out and find an alternative. For us that means until the end of the academic year. It would also be useful to give us a way of downloading the site content.

  150. J Mader

    I find it interesting that Ning had 167 employees and downsized to 98 all the while recieving millions of dollars in Series d funding, etc.

    What are they doing with all that cash?

    How much do the remaining 98 employees make per year?

    http://techcrunch.com/2010/04/15/nings-bubble-bursts-no-more-free-networks-cuts-40-of-staff/

    Here, Gina Bianchini explains a few things…

    “Ning is not looking to raise any money, after raising $60 million last April at a $500 million valuation. “Our investors are very happy with us,” Bianchini says.”

    “12,000 social networks paying an average $55 per month on pro features is about $660,000 per month, or $7.9 million per year.

    At the current monthly pageview rate, Ning might make another $1.5 million in ad revenue annually from Google. Let’s assume that the 12,000 pro networks have paid to remove ads from their Ning networks, and that they are about 6% of Ning’s monthly pageviews. That’s 94% of 2.7 billion March pageviews, or about 2.5 billion pageviews, to serve ads on. Let’s assume that Ning gets a $0.05 effective CPM, or cost per 1,000 pageviews, for its Google ads. That’s another $125,000 per month, or $1.5 million per year.

    That’s about $9.4 million run-rate. Will increase with growth; could be much lower if people really aren’t paying $55 per month on pro features.”

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/ning-blowing-the-doors-off-2009-4#ixzz0m3Rnl800

    Seriously….how much money is enough?

  151. Margarita Merkert

    Acabo de leer la información que dice que en un futuro van a cobrar por esta prestación de red social. Por lo tanto solicito mi baja a la misma, ya que como jubilada, no me puedo dar el lujo de pagar este tipo de extras.
    Les quedo muy agradecida a la espera del aviso pos vuestra parte de que ya he sido dada de baja.
    Sin otro particular los saludo atentamente.
    Margarita Merkert

  152. sad

    Sad to see this how this entire announcement has been handled. It seems that the lack of consideration has also been used in the abrupt decision to now start charging for a product which was heavily promoted as FREE. We can all complain, which we have, but here are some possible options, maybe…

    1.We understand business and the need to make money, but your customers are priceless.
    How about all the free accounts which you have your Google ads, doesn’t that account for anything of value?
    2. How about all the advertising we FREE accounts create for you? I know folks who never heard of Ning and joined a free network and went on to create their own and signed up for your premium services.
    3. How about provide other competitive ad-ons and charge a small fee for them. We all want to be competitive, we all want to have user friendly apps which will help promote what we are doing…
    4. Why in the world are you cutting your staff?! These folks can generate big bucks for Ning. How about charge all free accounts a nominal $3 for help support… If a free account needs help, only then we’d pay the service fee to get help on whatever we need help for. This way you are not imposing a mandatory charge on everyone. This way, I choose to pay for help or wait til the issue gets fixed!
    5. How about only start charging **new members** and appreciate and honor the ones who are already here and helped you build what you have today!?

    Just as you posted a while ago some of the reasons we creators lose members, I now remind you of the same… Do not decide to charge YOUR EXISTING MEMBERS when you lured so many of us in with your free service. I think the way this was announced and the way this was decided is not very professional and not very business savvy.

    Wish you well…

  153. steve

    Well i have heard that the lowest premium rate will be $10 a month for support only, which means you will pay $120 a year, and still run ning ads and still cant use your own domain. If thats what you call entry level, I dont, i call it a rip off. Im paying $49 a year for another community premium, with blogs, forum,video. photos and so on, with no ads and i can use my own URL too. (webs.com if you think im making that up)
    If the above entry level of $10 with ads and you still cant use your own URL, I call that greedy, support only, is worth $5 a months at most.

  154. J Cannon

    Thank you Ning!! for listening to us!! By the way, I am part of the 75%…I felt I was paying for something that wasn’t giving me an option to make money back.

    It only makes perfect business sense that if someone is going to invest upwards of $50 a month…Ning should have given them an opportunity to charge for various things on the site.

    We had to try to become very creative…and not many were able to pull it off.

    I am now happy that I won’t have to spend countless hours and $1000’s of dollars to try to create my own Social Network from scratch and migrate information.

    By the way….Jason…you are the kind of person we want as a member on our site.

    Jennifer Cannon
    CEO
    BusinessIIBusiness
    “The Social network for CEO’s, Entrepreneurs & Business Investors”

  155. Daryan

    This is very disheartening as this service may be free for us but you are gaining advertising from us on the free service. Also, you notice is very short!! You expect us to just come up with money all of a sudden or find another free site in such a short period of time. I am deeply upset and saddened by your decision as you are still making money even on us freebies!

  156. CURTIS CARTER

    I have been paying premium services on and off. I hope you guys will offer a service where this monthly fee can be paid on a yearly or 5 year at a time plan to avoid the monthly fees hitting the card on file.This will be very helpful to alot of creators who dont have time worrying about this.I think Ning is doing an excellent job in bringing people’s dreams to reality.If possible please reply to this suggestion on my inbox as well.
    Thanks.

  157. Muhammad

    Very disappointing news. We’ve just started a new and the first of its kind social network for Language teachers around the world and it’s frustrating now we have to move elsewhere.

  158. Cary Snyder

    I’ve created a number of Ning websites in the interest of ‘community education’ and other civic-minded social networks. Nearly all of them will likely end up closing down if Ning starts charging for its previous free websites.

    Perhaps NING doesn’t realize how difficult a challenge it is to gain the trust of skeptical and less computer savvy communities who could benefit from greater Web 2.O participation; Getting rid of FREE Ning sites will not only give NING a black-eye from starting something to gain popularity then changing the rules BUT also make it harder to regain the trust of community educators worldwide. Their focus on K-12 classrooms seems to be very short-sighted.

    Questions from NINGS survey ignores community education:
    “How many Ning Networks have you ever created for classroom or educational use? This can include any Ning Networks for your students, for teachers, or others in an educational institution (Please answer only for Ning Networks for students or teachers in primary or secondary educational institutions, not colleges, universities or vocational schools) to share information, collaborate on teaching methods, or other educational use.”

    Ning was a perfect platform for expanding Web 2.O participation of mostly skeptical civic-minded groups and broader-based “Community Education” uses. I’ll hold out before making a final call on this surprise change in Ning’s TOS and/or business model, but for now it sure looks like a major step back for those who struggle to increase PARTICIPATION and GAIN TRUST from the very large and often skeptical group of community educators and civic organizations.

    2 weeks notice followed by a 10-week transition period may be a disservice to all?

  159. Andrew

    I’m a recent addition to the ning family and I understand their is no such thing as a free lunch but you mention that currently 75% of ning sites are financially viable and are paying their way.

    Perhaps a fair way to introduce fees is to have a rent free period of 18 or 24 months to give current and new members the opportunity to gradually introduce the concept of user pays.

    I think it would receive far greater acceptance and be a lot more profitable in the long term.

  160. Bob Bello

    Yes, Ning was the best place to self-build social networks and community publications! There’s no equal substitute to it on the net, so far, except Grou.ps which offers 10GN free space, but is extremely slow and with much lesser design freedom, etc. And now that Ning’s free service is gone, lost of nonprofit communities will have to sell their webspace, which will chase lost of their members who would logically think that we’ve become for-profit. Can’t you please do some exceptions for non-profit orgs? Not that $9.95 a month is a lot to ask for your great-and-fast platform, but still, non-profit means non-profit and we can’t ask or members to pay membership fees now. If you can answer me, I’ll appreciate that a lot!

  161. Susan Dupre

    I have to say this is disappointing. I guess it is the way of the world though, huh. It all boils down to money. In stead of helping out the little guy, let go for the big market where the big bucks – never giving the little guy a chance to even get there. I have no idea who is in charge of marketing or this “brilliant” idea, but you should definitely take a second look at what they are doing for your company. This is “not” the best way to get a good name for yourself in the industry.

  162. Barbara Lombardi

    I think it is unrealistic to expect that these services can remain free of charge. Everything costs; and it sounds like they have some solid plans for the future in marketing and social networking growth. Good luck.

  163. Timothy Donovan

    I would just like to thank you for allowing me to have one of those free sites, my web sites birthday will be in May, one year.
    Well it has been fun and i do thank you.
    Timothy.

  164. Michelle Witte

    Unfortunately, you have made a very unwise move in *announcing* that you will be charging, then not giving any indication of how much the charges will be.

    First, you’ve driven away potential customers who were or are investigating using your service because of the uncertainty surrounding the possibility of using the service.

    Second, you’ve driven away current users of your service who are unable to pay a lot, including some of the most needful people like those who run charities, schools, and organizations for impoverished and underserved communities.

    Third, you’ve damaged your reputation with online communities and alienated your userbase, who have been your biggest supporters and advertisers. With a mistake as fatal as this one, I’m not sure your company will fully recover its former prestige.

    I sincerely hope you consider all of the possible implications of this move before you let your desire for wealth overcome your better judgment. There are numerous ways to increase income without alienating a big chunk of your customers, such as requiring payment for everything but the most basic service. That way those unable to pay for use will still have something they can use, but those who wish to grow their structures can pay for the added service.

    The large lash back you are now seeing will, I’m hoping, cause you enough pause to consider these things carefully. This could be the move that negates your entire operation.

  165. Tina

    I am just devasted that thsi decision ash been made. I use ning networks extesively in my classroom and will never be able to afford premium services for my purposes.
    I am also a member of a small social network which is like a family and it is not viable to pay for siuch a site – what are we supposed to do – chafrge our member??
    vert sad to have the rug pulled out this way.

  166. KARKAS Records

    I have several networks on here. Granted, they are all free. Some of them are new, so not much can be said. I do know that 90% of the people on mine, past and present, never knew what Ning was. Having to bust my ass for about a year an a half to get to where I am now and now be given this awful news, really upsets me.

    I really like the platform. I thought it was nice the way it was: register and create for free, upgrade for a fee. While, 10 GBs of storage is nice, it is isn’t needed. I can make due with 5 GB. Same for bandwidth, I don’t need 100 GBs, maybe 20 GB at most. (not to mention, the fact that you don’t offer a discount if i was to buy an additional 100 GB of Storage and 1000 GB of bandwidth). Give me 5 GB storage and 20 GB bandwidth for free and I will stay.

    If you think to yourselves what can Ning change to make it better for more people, what you are doing is defeating the purpose, you will see it.

    And yes, I heard this from another source as well. This also upsets me.

  167. Ben Pasley

    I feel like you set the trap, I took the bait, you waited until quite a number of others did as well, and now you have think you have got us for Vegas Web-Money Time! Wow, that hurts in my little web heart. It looks like quite a few faithfuls may bail on May 4th, I sure hope you are considering the repercussions and something shakes out of this decision process that those of us who love NING, and have moved our web worlds here, are going to be able to live with! Good luck and bless your thinkers!

  168. CzaR

    No comments… Was just starting out with creating a music network with some friends and things like this happens on every good network i’ve been to.. Big Disappointment

  169. Deb

    Is it worth losing 1/4 of your customer base and their networks by phasing out your free service, which, by the way, is how you were able to attract millions and build your brand in the process. This is, at best, a short-sighted solution.

  170. Senastian

    Obviously you should still allow us to continue our free domains. It sounds like you’re trying to make improvements for the paying customers. So you simply leave free domains as is and allow continued use. If you force us to pay you will be adversely affecting our social studies class network and hurt our right to an education please consider allowing the continued use of free domains.

  171. Alfred Ray

    Obviously, if you make this decision, the educational world will be hit the hardest, based upon several factors. Do not be surprised if the collaborative efforts among educators become about which basket to place our eggs in.

  172. Hunniedust

    P.S.

    One thing I am sorry is that your intents were, what I precieve to have been leaked out prematurely. Those of you who have not done some research before you comment, if you did a little you will find that company reps have made it clear that it is not going to be an overnight thing. I think there is a lot of over reaction causing a panic. Yet still may have been a good thing for ning to here all this. I will be patient an wait to see what is done.

  173. Bob Bowser

    As a member of many PAID Ning sites and creator of one free site so far with plans for more (helping other small groups), I can assure you that there will be a mass migration of paid sites moving to another provider if you proceed as planned in shutting down the free sites.
    The organizations that I belong to have spent lots of money putting up thier sites on Ning to get their information out and MANY of those members like myself have created smaller sites that are linked to the paid sites.
    To eliminate the free sites will eliminate a lot of traffic from the paid sites, so I imagine there will be no reason for the paid sites to remain with Ning.
    Thank you for making this decision for us.
    Do you have a suggestion for a NEW provider when we leave Ning?
    Any input would be appreciated.

  174. Hunniedust

    I belong to a lot of sites, I have small site that is just kinda taking it’s time as I learn more. I do feel that the 75% primium accts you have would not be there with out the free accounts. I am not so worried for my site I would be sad if I had to loose it or if reasonable would pay, however I think other sites have worked very hard to create there sites, whilst at the same tiime promoting ning for that I think you should show your gratitude and grandfather in the existing sites. I think the best site I have seen is my friends he really has done an outstanding job even gone as fare as to have a faded pic in the reply boxes. I have not read all the comments here but read a lot of them an there were a lot of people saying the same thing that I would say, to offset the grandfathered in free ning (they will always be free advertisement for you) you could come up with premium ning ID package that would give individuals an option to pay a little like $2.00 – $3.00 a month or less per quartlery an so on to have maybe special priveliges. I do have some good ideas lol. Anyway ty for reading my post.

  175. Carlos García Saura

    I think this is the end of Ning, i WONT recommend it anymore. ever. even if it costs 3$ a year. this is not the way. free users = less functions but SOME KIND OF SERVICE. If a company needs those extra functions, then its OK they can pay.
    goodbye for ever

  176. Lorie

    This is very disappointing. I have a family site for family to connect to each other. I have 2 local nonprofit groups who barely stay afloat financially. I have other oragnizations connected to the ning network. Not to mention the 100’s of dollars i have spent on advertising my groups with yardsigns and business cards. Now I have to decide whether to pay for several ning sites or pay to redo all of my advertising that has been done and already passed out. This just seems unethical to me and I understand that you have the right to do this but the idea of customer service should come into to play at some point. It is getting harder and harder to find good customer service but I suppose I will continue that search and if I have to pay for a service I will most likely pay for a service from a company who has good customer service. I hope you change your mind for current customers.

  177. Ken

    This is JUST GREAT….not. ThankYouVets.org is a start up veterans grass roots support non-profit, and only recently did I create this ning site. What I thought would be helpful will now turn out to be “egg on the face of me, our Armed Forces Veterans, and ultimately Ning. In typical fashion, big business is trying to lock out the little guy. I hope that they reconsider especially for the “micro, non-profits” who are simply tryingto make a differnce in our communities.
    Since I have No programing knowledge, am unemployeed so I though I could make a differnce with our veterans, and have no money to pay a website developer, this really hurts. ThankYouVets.org is the domaoin I have owned and trying to organize, I just don’t know what to do now.
    If anyone wants to help injured veterans through ThankYouVets.org and can build websites, help would be great.

  178. Adolfo

    This is indeed bad news. I have 2 small websites on the Ning platform. We are a non-profit Rescue organization with volunteers spread out over 7 western U.S. states. The website has become an important tool for communicating and sharing information within our network of volunteers. Since we are a not-for-profit any extra expenses may not be possible. Our volunteers already give time and money to help our efforts.
    I sincerely hope you reconsider or rethink you strategy. As an administrator is very disappointing to hear about this from other sources instead of directly from Ning. Also, beginning to phase out your free services with 2 weeks notice and without a pricing structure is simply not enough time to make a decision.

  179. Betz Smythe

    This proves there is nothing free in life. When money enters the picture, it always expands to include another way to increase the profits. Again nothing is free. Someone has to pay. Taking from one to give to another never works.

  180. Jim N Carolyn Barber

    Praise God!..NING has been really good to us. It has helped us in many ways. I admit I hate to see the free service go. When you live on a limited income it is hard to pay for empty services but I do understand. You have to do what you got to do.. If we can’t pay for the services, can you help us find other networks to put our pages on…NING was our way to uplift Jesus and help & encourage people on the internet…We do wish you the best in the future….God bless you all..

  181. T. Ericson

    I am sorry to hear about your decision to become so exclusive as to eliminate public access.
    But I applaud your tenacity.
    The method used to achieve the status you seek was not well thought out however, and will lead to a certain loss of clientel, most especially those who have used ning as a resource for a long time including but not exclusively myself.

    There are many easily used services that offer the same web parameters as ning.
    I wish you all the luck in the future and seperate myself from your company.
    Thanks for the time.

  182. TedWillis

    Well it was nice while it lasted. Should have known it was too good to be true. I thought with the advertising from ning on the site would help in keeping the site free. I don’t check in too often with the “help” section on ning , but I am glad I did this time because there was no warning that this would happen. Well, hopefully, you will reconsider phasing out the free part of ning because I will miss reconnecting with old friends that you have allowed through this site. Alot of us don’t have the money to be paying with the economy the way it is. It would be good PR if you continued things the way they are. Thanks! Ted

  183. Stephanie W.

    I came to Ning because it was free and interesting. It was introduced to me by one group and then I introduced it to my friends who all live in separate countries around the globe. We keep in touch through your wonderful web service and such things like this wouldn’t be possible for us anymore once you decide to charge groups and/or members. With this ‘smart business move’ you’ll be alienating both ‘professional’ and unprofessional users who are here because they like the streamlined and uncomplicated service that you offer. Not only have you made a very out of the blue and unreasonable change for the whole of the site, but you also have created a situation in which you will specifically and deliberately shed yourselves of all the non-paying users who utilize this web server. Over 75% of your users might be paying, but did they always pay for service? You have personally guaranteed that those who haven’t transferred over to that system never really will. You’re going to lose at least 20% of the free-users off your site. That’s almost a fourth of your user population.

    I hope that when you made this decision you took a very serious look at how you intend to draw in more customers in the future. Offering a free trial of all your services for a short period of time like this will simply bring in those who could use it for a school or related network situation. Is this all you want for traffic on your website? People who would rather not enjoy the use of your services because they are forced to log in and work instead of healthy thriving communities of fun, games, and personal passions. You’re dumping the change-makers, the activity-creators, and the think-tanks because of the ‘necessity’ of payment, when all you’d need to do is separate your ‘free users’ from your ‘paid users’. What happened to product differentiation? What happened to creative problem solving? If this is the best you can come up with, then you need to bring in someone with some extra ‘outside the box’ abilities because this is honestly going to drop your site traffic rather badly and the hit you will take, in this kind of market, could cause financial issues in the future.

    If you never bring in new users, and like all companies eventually you’ll be forced to change into new technologies and other related needs, then the ‘new traffic’ will eventually go to other places that will offer free service to those who for their own reasons see no reason or have no ability to pay for it. Places that offer services like customizable html profiles, more creative layouts, actual space to post items such as music or videos that are longer than a few minutes, etc. While I understand that the talent to create this kind of thing takes both time and money, I also wouldn’t expect a free account to have more than the basic options.

    What I see here isn’t a company who’s attempting to make ends meet, or who’s trying to ‘make the best decision for their consumers’. I see a company who’s only doing what they can to improve their service the EASIEST way possible without having to pay too much for their end of the bargain. This specifically is why I would be glad to walk away from this kind of company. Success isn’t hard, but if you follow the heart of the company, then it’s worth it. Happy Customers, from all walks of life, are the heart of any successful company in the service sector of business. Thus, the real question becomes, what’s at the heart of Ning? Because it’s obviously not the free customers.

  184. Anna

    That really is a shame. You’re memberships are low already and many of the ning sites I’m on are already shuting down. Face book is really kicking your guys’ collective ass because of their Zynga interactive games which really blow your games out of the water. I have loved the ning sites and what they have to offer. Ours is a music site that I refer to as a on line magazine of sorts because you can thumb through articles and such. Except for the business’, no one will want to have to pay to be on there. You simply don’t offer enough to keep the public interest. Oh well, nothing lasts forever. Sorry you feel the need to commit suicide. Wish I could do something to make you feel better.

    Regards,
    Anna

  185. Luis Balaguer

    Daré inmediatamente de baja la página para el contacto de Antiguos alumnos del Colegio San Miguel Arcangel de Burjassot (Valencia-Spain), en el caso de tener que pagar, ya que es una página sin ánimo de lucro, dirigida a estos antiguos alumnos (entre ellos yo), para poder tener un contacto rápido y directo y mantener o recuperar la relación mantenida años atrás.
    Un saludo.
    Luis.

  186. Gemma

    Really heartbroken to hear ning is now going to be charging for all it’s services. I have used ning for many different university projects (marketing) to demonstrate how a potential website for a company could look and I really don’t know what I would have done without it. You’ll be taking away a lot of opportunities for students and other individuals starting out in the business world.

    Not only that but me and my family use it to keep in touch and post blogs as we live so far apart. It has been a wonderful way to keep in touch with my elderly grandparents who live in Spain. They don’t like using more popular sites like facebook for obvious reasons. Going to really miss using ning, I’ve recommended it to everyone because of it’s advantage of being a free networking site, it’s going to loose a lot of interest now.

    It really is a shame!

  187. Singomat

    I was wondering how you survive with offering free services with only displaying few public ads. So I totally support your decision to make it premium service and rather focusing on quality than quantity. But there must also be a plan and prices for different profiles, from small non-profit to proffesional profit oriented organisations.

    People have to learn noone works for free.

  188. anne

    i am also unhappy bout the changes here. i have almost 700 members in our webiste now non profit so will also take my webiste somewhere else . ive been with ning for a while now so would agree it would be better to make the new customers pay from may but in the meantime alot o the older customers which have made ning so big are going to suffer from it . not a good idea as i think you will loose alot more custom than u hope to ever gain

  189. Drak

    The site I belong to and am also an administrator of a site that has so much information and the people find ways to make it interesting each time they visit. We have all taught one another and have learned something in friendship and in knowledge! What of those of us who find the sites you are closing due to “Greed” (my own opinion) as a place of learning and reference when the source is needed? Just like this world we live in Nothing is Free anymore and men still push aside the little man or in this case the smaller sites so that “Progress” may take place. Once you throw aside those members of Ning who search not only the sites they belong to but other sites in this network I am sure a drop in visits to other site drops as well. Also I would like to point out that a bit extra time on this would have been nice to know ahead of time.

  190. Ross-Barry Barcock

    The very-first invitation I received, to join a “Ning” network, I realized this ‘site was very good. Since then I have joined 8-‘sites, two of them being mine, with a third in the pipeline.
    I estimate there would be over 1000-pages on these eight ‘sites. So, imagine how many ‘sites there are and how many pages there are. They must number in the hundreds-of-thousands.
    What you guys have to be careful of, is that you don’t cut-off your nose, to spite your face. I have received two invitations already, from ‘site administrators, who have crossed-over. How many will follow suite, I don’t know.Remember what happened, when the guys at “Facebook” tried charging for their ‘site? Try not to let the same happen to you.
    I am going to hang-in and see what you come-up with. Like cost, how to pay e.t.c.

  191. Ace Talkingwolf

    You are fools. Greedy blood sucking fools. I was shocked to hear this outrage at first, but then to read that it’s was not a hoax. I promoted you to everyone I know, I am very disappointed.

  192. Toomuch

    I was glad to find out that due to the wording in the original TOS is that what Ning is doing is actually illegal, they “Could” be leaving themselves open to a lawsuit.
    I doubt this post will appear on the forum for very long.
    However many people have built networks only to suddenly have them pulled from beneath them, I did not get a notification and only learnt from a member this was happening, Ning also is not supporting moving of data at this point, you can extract your member data but you will be starting a whole new site with no data on it, that’s kinda sucky too, at least if ning is going to kick out thousands of networks it should at least offer the option to move your members data over to the new site.

  193. Jesus Sánchez

    Hablo por las comunidades en español. Lamentable decisión, en corto plazo para tomar acciones preventivas o definir cursos de acción.

  194. Jane

    I have many Ning sites. I have brought many to your network. Some paid some not. I teach design… i have had all of my students do Ning sites. I have used it myself to assist clients in seeing work in adding to my own larger website… I think this is WRONG. I have paid for some features… but to be free, then take it away is wrong. How could you possibly do this. Take away the support if you must… but take the sites away after they are developed. Are you crazy!!! We all invested in you and this is how you say thanks! After all of the good things and promotion I and others have given you? Wow. The old switcheroo. Guess you can’t trust anyone.

    You are about to have some extremely unhappy people who were very loyal to you and helped you develop your business. Now you get greedy? This is how you say thanks?

  195. R. Baldwin

    This will cause many to decide to no longer use NING. You may loose more customers than you did keeping it that. I can understand if you want to give people more options if they want more NING space pages that they would have to pay. Why not include also an advertising section where people can pay advertising. I am a member of over 45 groups. Most of them great. I understand change but I think this was pretty unfair to many who have put much hard work to build their sites. Some having no income looking at this a way to build income and now this. I really think this was a bad business move to just cut everyone away from no longer have access to the site unless they have to pay up. Shame.

  196. Infogurushop

    I am wondering as the new CEO of NING are you “listening” attentively to all of the above? These are the people who make NING and I get the impression you have your own agenda and pricing policies and you intend on implementing them no matter what. Actually, you sound like Facebook and I really think sadly NING is going to lose big time. Charging is fine, but getting the price right is crucial. Most people online that build up Facebook, Twitter and NING etc sacrifice allot to do so. They are virtually working for the GIANTS for free. So please get it right. Keep your prices as low as possible because I have TWO networks on NING I work on daily. And most professionals have several other websites so if you price hike you will lose customers – and remember even for Facebook there is no loyalty online if the price or service is out.

  197. Azri'el Collier

    well,,,I see that this is another slam against the non-profit ministry sites that is running rampent with all of the free sites. I can easily see that more than half of your members will leave and you will not make the money you thought you would. Rather than use advertizing banners that pay for the site running as other sites have, you chose to have lured in many and now will try to make them pay after having first told folks that it will ALWAYS be a free site. Well,,,I am not surprized. after all,,,this is the internet,,right??? A place where honor and honesty takes a back seat if given a seat at all. I am very sorry that you have chosen to do this,,,it makes you just another in a long list of folks who say one thing and then say another later and have many so called legitimate exucesses for doing so. And I kind of doubt this will be published and will be shocked if it is. Otherwise I have copied it and will pass it on to as many as I can.

  198. westieland

    We are a small devoted group of dog owners who came to Ning because we were unable to pay…We all love your format and would hate to leave…where do we stand in this pricing thing? we are not big like some of the payers
    Can I have some clarification
    Thank you
    Sheils x

  199. michelle

    i would like to know how much you are planning on charging us, as i have just started with a support site for survivors of domestic violence and abuse, and dont wanna let my members down by not being able to afford to keep it going, i am unemployed at the moment and dont have a lot of money.

  200. Danny

    This is why free services hosted on a vendor’s website are less desirable than free software that can be hosted anywhere. Shame on Ning.

  201. Olga

    The news was al in the air, as a teacher with two ning communities that just started growing and “working” as intended I am very unhappy, and so will be “my” students. As they are all teachers starting their own e-learning initiatives, ning will be losing more than my two websites. It is really a shame that we’ll have to go for something else. Bye ning.

  202. el bib

    extremely dissapointed that the free service is ending,i have 285 members on my site,its a living breathing community ,also linked to many other ning sites.ive put plenty work into my site last 2 years.i have time as i am currently unemployed.i have also brought many people to ning.being unemployed i certainly cant afford to pay.crazy move,you will be killing off many worldwide online communities ,destroying the whole essence of what ning was about,i can only see a decrease in traffic.maybe better to leave the existing sites free and introduce charge for new creators after the deadline,also not a policy i agree with but then im just trying to save my ass.dont do it,catastrophic idea

  203. Dipl.-Ing. Andreas Beranek

    Finally a good strategic decision from Ning. For almost two years I’ve been waiting (and paying) for Ning to come back to its white label roots. Free is great but it doesn’t work long-term. For that same reason I hope that your new set of features includes the option to charge membership fees. If it does not you will see significant exodus of your paying, premium members. I don’t have to tell you what that would mean for Ning.

  204. Marc

    Well, we are considering charging our members micropayments. I hope there is a Ning App for this so we can then pay you guys. Otherwise, we’ll have to go elsewhere.

    We figure, with 150 members @ $6 per six months, that’s $150 we can pay you per month for your services.

    Are there Ning Apps out there that can do this? Make it easier for us…

  205. Lani Simon

    I really love my site that I spent almost…maybe 5 months working on and it’s finally starting to be a fun website! I really don’t want it to be deleted. What can I do to stop that from happening on May 4th?

  206. Karmen

    I agree…it feels like bait & switch. It feels like Ning is not trust worthy. Today it’s deleting free groups & charging for groups…then tomorrow it’s what? More fees? After awhile only large organizations or big business will be able to use things like Ning. Meet Up did the same thing…first it was free & then it was $25 a month. I left Meet up. Maybe it’s time to leave Ning too.

  207. kevin m

    so sad. selling out for commercial purposes. you will surely regret the decision. love and light.

  208. Rev Edward Livingston

    As a small non-profit religious org. we are very disappointed to hear of the new charges. We left Yahoo groups because of rumors they where going to start charging and a friend suggested ning , Now those same friends are starting to suggest alternatives. Advertise all you want on my group just dont charge us directly we can not afford it. All 501 c 3 are not huge money making machines some just do good in the world. maybe you could donate so many free sites to Non-profit and accept it as a donation to a non profit for your business. I do believe you can make corporate donations and claim them on your federal taxes. Sounds like a Win Win for all my small group included. I look forward to writing a receipt to NING.com for there taxable donation to my Church if you should care to let us stay.

  209. Leandro Salvador

    In Brazil about three years ago, the Blogger.com.br service was bought by Globo.com, a brazilian cross media group (in some countries this kind of cross it’s proihibited). Suddenly, from a day to another, they closed the free service and bye bye! This kind of thing can happens everywhere, anytime. It’s just the old and good capitalism: every man for himself! The Network Creators at Ning.com in 2010, like the Blog Creators at Blogger.com.br in 2007, made the businness be famous and used by thousands of people and, suddenly, the rules changed during the game… Thanks a lot Ning Managers: it’s a great opportunity to the free software community to spread out and to enhance a mature and powerful Open Source Social Networking Platform, lige Elgg.org. I hope you, Ning Owners, don’t be unfaithful with we, Network Creators, and release some script to migrate Ning to Elgg. Good luck with your paid business, and thanks for the rock (shake): since now, my energy and time will migrate exclusively to collaborate with Free Software projects, lige Elgg.

  210. stephanie

    This is wrong, I created this site so I can stay in touch with those who roleplay. Didn’t you forget we are in a recession and some of us can’t afford to buy a site. You need to think about those people, not the ones who has the money to make a site. Think about all those people you are going to lose. What you are doing is going to hurt, no matter what.

  211. Rio

    I was ready to make the move from a SMF forum to a Ning. It’s gonna depend on pricing now, but more than likely, I’ll not make the move.

  212. Brad McFadden

    I actually had a pay site for several years because I my ministry did not want ads at all. The sight was run strictly on donations from its users. This news is definitely short sighted and egregious. I do not feel that you appreciate your users either for the free service or the paying customers. I have removed my pay service and I am in the process of moving my members to free option that I will host myself. I hope this works out for you but I must voice my disappointment.

  213. Matt Woor

    This is the death knoll for NING. Your services are simply not specific and niche enough to warrant charging for the limited services you provide. Other organisations will step into the void you leave and will result in a far wider far more dynamic networks. Meantime once again an organisation fails to place the real value upon those of us who have helped develop the product you now wish to charge us for. I have created multiple networks (including 1 which is a premium account) and I’m afraid as I will not be able to maintain ALL of them on NING, I will have to consider moving ALL of them (Premium included) into networks where I can support them all.

    Sad day for NING, I would start clearing your desks now if I were you…

  214. Sonia La Rosa

    Our Ning is only for educational purposes without anykind of profit. We are teachers and students and we found very helpfull to use this free platform for seriuos sharing of cultural and educational subjects out and beyond of the university timetible with our students. We have no money for payng this service, because our university does not pay this kind of service, and we are working as volunterees using the ning. We wish you change this idea and that you will find another way to make money. Thank you very much.

  215. Rebecca

    Were the 75% of paying customers at least given the curteousy of an email stating these changes? Or were they treated like the rest of the non-paying folk and left to find out via rumours through outside sources?

  216. Ashary

    My website is a premium service subscriber. I hope that in the upcoming new pricing structure, Ning could consider giving subscribers the option to pay on a yearly basis. As it is now, we are forced to pay on a monthly basis.

  217. Nestus venter

    Hi, just to add my 2 cents. I think you guys are making a mistake. People love your website and they are talking about it. That talking is advertising. The path you are following is shutting down the talking. Already blogs are talking about alternatives to Ning. Before your announcement no one knew there were alternatives to Ning. And for the first time people are negative about Ning. They don’t trust you as they used to. (And teachers are educating kids. Do you want kids to be familiar with you when they are grown-ups?)

    Perhaps you should put a time-frame on the free services. Make it free for a year and a half. It gives people time to prepare for paying and it gives time to separate long-term from short-term users.

    thanks

  218. Charlotte Shepherd

    So what happens to the members of the various groups? Will we be charged as well? Sad day to see social media capitalize on greed.

  219. Greg

    We are a volunteer surf lifesaving association. I had started to develop our ning site for the members of the Club so we can communicate better, share information / techniques etc.
    We have no money and have to fund raise to pay for equipment.
    I was also today going to add a commercial ning network for an event I am running in my business when I glanced at the notice and could not beleive it. I wont support a commercial site now in principle and as a stand against the free and good your sites do for many communities who cannot pay.

    Look at what your customers are telling you – or you will definitely require lifesaving Ning.

    I know your founders must have originally had admirable intentions and am sorry it is going to end like this.

  220. mbuck

    He’s not reading these comments. But I’ll vent anyway.

    This is a horrible decision…feels like a ‘bait and switch’ move. Just as Ning gets acclaim as a valuable and mainstreamed technological tool for schools, it goes commercial, just as Wetpaint did a few years back. Unless the fees are in the $20 per year range, this will drive away a lot of customers. I wonder about the pre-existing networks….how will they survive?

    BAD decision for the users. Certainly good for the pockets of the designers, for what its worth. 🙁

  221. Renee

    How nice of you to let us know. In fact I found out by a fellow ning users letting me know. Many of us use this site not only to benefit you but benefit others for a cause. I am very disappointed in your communitcation, so you are saying we should pay even thought the poor communication?

  222. Leah

    Too bad. I use this site as a way to raise money for the womens grant program. I will not be paying for service as that would divert more donations away from the program for admin costs. I am disappointed but not surprised that Ning is charging a fee, I know most of the groups I use will be closing.

  223. Tori

    Well, there goes my current group and the one I was planning to make. And, come to think of it, two or three of my friend’s groups. Could someone at least tell us where, if anywhere, we can move to?

  224. Danielle Spencer

    No worries!! A company will come along with a BETTER format that is FREE. Where there is a need, people rush in to fill it. In the mean time, you can find me on Farmville!!

  225. Chris Casey

    Let me just add my voice to those that are upset with this decision. I feel this is just a different spin on the old “bait and switch” method of business. A method that has been deemed illegal in many cases and unethical in all.
    I have two Ning networks that are used as non-profit avenues of communication between group members spread throughout the world. I created these networks under the impression that they would remain free, unless our content began eating up bandwidth, and so on.
    As I am currently unemployed, and certainly do not make any money from my Ning networks, to be suddenly hit with this news is worse than a slap in the face.
    It is as if you are saying: “Hey, buddy! You don’t make us any real money so we don’t need you!”.
    I am extremely disappointed by this obviously mercenary decision from a company that I had expected much better from.

  226. Wild Rose

    This is idiotic. We heped build this site,m’kay? So why dont you just ask who can pay and who can’t? Kay thanks bye.

  227. Karmen

    We have a small group of 17 people. I’m guessing that this will end our group all together. Yes, it’s business. At the same time, folks don’t have a lot of extra money to spend. I’ve put in countless hours on developing my little group & it is frustrating & hurtful to know that it will all be deleted unless between the 17 of us we can pay for it.

  228. Laura

    I use Ning for educational purpose. My students are learning to use social networks to study, to change information, homeworks. I can pay a site. Please, don´t close educational sites.
    aulaqueseextiende.ning.com is a web site to work with my students, I can pay for it with the money I earn at school.

  229. Pisedh

    I am student and new Ning user in Cambodia. I just started to use Ning yesterday. I found Ning is interesting for my class and me . Hope Ning will be opened free for us.

  230. Laura Oppenheimer

    Hi all,

    We do not have any plans to require members to pay for access to Ning Networks.

    Thanks!
    -Laura

  231. Joe Green

    E-mail me and let me know what it going to cost for us to keep our Tea Party Group websites on Ning.
    We have no choice but to pay. There is no other service that we can go to that fits our model.

  232. Lorenzo Cassa

    In responding to your blog, I find your business decision of enhancing the features and services to paying Ning customers a bit disturbing. First, what do the free service customers have to do with the enhancements? The killer services you want to deliver to the paying customers will only benefit those that want improved services and that’s fine, but to extend the costs to the free service customers that only want to interact with others from around the world I think is repressing. And to initiate this “effective killer service” with the state of the economy in a downward tailspin is not only cowardly but stupid. You need to focus on staying in business instead of going out of business. If your tens of thousands of paying customers that represent over 75% of your traffic, (that’s a lot of moola) are giving you ideas to deliver such a “killer service” like new API’s, a new mobile experience, advertising and revenue opportunities, etc,, why not make them pay for those amenities or add-ons? So you are willing to take the chance of letting the 25% of the free service customers walk out the door to another service? If the projected increase in revenue by passing the hat to the non paying customers fails, a price increase is in the wind for your paying customers for the shortfall in adding those new services, correct? But then again, this is an all too common trend these days, BusinessWeek is full of them. But I compliment you that you would offer a migration path to the free service customers to another service, now that is what I call generosity.

  233. clifford

    what i have to pay is not like if this site make me money i would pay if my Ning site make me money and not just Ning

  234. Chad

    “Please don’t phase out the free sites until the end of the school year (last week in June). I am a teacher and Ning is a vital component of my classroom technology. I am very sad that I will be losing it as there is NO money anywhere in my school budget. Free sites like Ning are vital to instilling 21st century skills into K-12 classrooms and although I completely understand your rationale and do not fault you for it, I have a feeling that due to drastic budget cuts across the board in every school district in the country, many educators will be forced to go elsewhere. Thank you for the service you did provide.”

    This was stated in a previous comment and I could not have said it better myself. I do have one question. It only costs the creator who makes the network, right? It would not cost people that sign up for the network, would it? If so, there is no way I can have students pay to join my website.

  235. Silvia

    I am truly disappointed with this decision and with the way NING is managing the “conversation” or lack thereof. It only shows contempt and clear disregard for people’s voices unless they come in the form of green dollars.

    If 300 plus posting do not get an answer from Jason – the message is clear. His mind is made up and it is really sad that someone that claims and makes money from “interactive” sites and social media does not have the decency or the business acumen to understand what this means to the company. JASON, it is only appropriate to respond when asked a question. oh Well… this is not the case.

    Many thanks from all the NGOs that thanks to your decision will not be able to do their work and will find themselves cut off…

  236. Chris

    Teacher excited about ning, want to know pricing ASAP so I can decide what to prepare for next year.

  237. Gry Ek

    Is this a sound decision? I am just starting to use ning and it serves my purpose so well that I was just about to update my account and become a paying customer. I started out trying it for free. If the service had been pay-only I would never have tried it out in the first place. So why not make it available for non-profit basic sites, thereby recruiting many paying customers I´m sure.

  238. Radhika

    Yep, dumb move Ning! I have loved your free products and advocated them to many people. Now not only do I look silly, but so does Ning! Smells like a corporation going for the dollar signs rather than a great reputation…

    I have been running two Ning sites for non-profit community groups, including a Transition Town Initiative and a Permaculture group. We will have to move to Google/Yahoo groups, or maybe Facebook.

    So Goodbye Ning! … unless of course you change you’re mind 😉

    Email us 300+ people asking you to keep it free, when you make the right decision come May 4th…

    Cheers,
    Radhika

  239. Susan

    WHY!!! I thought this site was another great move forward to freedom of information and access to all throughout the online community, giving power back to the user… To offer this and then swipe it from under peoples feet is a rather underhand way to conduct business in a time when “it’s all about sharing” !! not good

  240. Professor Merryman

    Wow. Shot yourself in the foot on that one. Hope you can stop the bleeding cause its a spurtin’

    I’ll take the exporter and my data to go please.

    137 members outta here. See ya cypris.ning.

  241. Stefano W. Pasquini

    I think you should definitely reconsider this. I am sure you thought out the pros and cons of your decision, but since your service will no longer be free you are bound to disappear. Youtube, Gmail and Facebook would disappear if they were to charge for their service, and you must be aware that you are only a platform. It is we, the users, who provide contents. Some facebook pages and youtube channels are so popular that the providers SHOULD be paying the users, and not the other way round.
    In comparison to facebook you had many more open options, but I am sure you will just be replaced by some other company who would offer a similar service.
    You should just add some advertising space on the free pages, and keep charging the premium users. After all I would never try a new platform if I knew that my content would be erased if I don’t pay.

  242. Jon Clarke

    I’m quite amazed that Ning and it’s directors have not tried other types of advertising opportunities on the site to garner the revenues they require or even better still not built or bought in an automated targeted ads solution like Facebook has.

    As Head of Digital at a major UK media agency our clients are constantly amazed and pleased with their Facebook advertising due to the profile targeting offered, low costs and even choice of groups to pursue. All this is entirely possible on Ning and with its size I am so surprised that no Ad Sales department exists or third parties enlisted to create these revenues. I am sure there are plenty of excellent sales contractors on both sides of the Atlantic who woudl jump at the opportunity. I know plenty who can do this job for you.

    I am sure every FREE Ning site owner has no problem with advertising on its site, we all know that you have servers and staff to afford, but just using Google Adwords/Network is just not good enough, which is plain to see by the draconian measure you wish to take over removing the free option for new and passionate web users.

    Ning remember you have a Community, encourage and ask what it can do for you, not tell it what it will do for you instead, you will be sitting on your own otherwise, all friends and trust lost.

    So be brave, reverse your decision, sit down and find workable alternatives and work on offering ad-services that even your community can buy into and use and you might find 1) Revenues increasing 2) More members 3) Less complaints over SPAM as advertisers have a workable ad solution instead of spamming sites automatically.

    If you need help, feel free to ask

  243. Cara

    I am concerned about this phasing out of the free service. We are a small support group with only 28 members. We have struggles to survive the closure of the MSN groups and thought we had finally found a home where we can grow. We have tried other networks and none of the interfaces worked for us.

    Since finding Ning the group has started growing again and people are feeling comfortable. I am not sure we will be able to survive another move and not sure that having to pay fees will be an option.

    I feel really sad and deflated that after finding a place the offered so much if feels like we are losing a safe haven again.

  244. Yuri Ivanovich Orlovsky

    Is this simple capitalist money grab. you are not considering the thousands of free-paying Ning users like myself. This is non-sense, you just killed off a large portion of your fan-base.

    Your social networking will be dead in months! lets see this “75%” simply dissolve away

    Bad mistake Tovarich, very bad mistake!

  245. Jorge Raúl

    Your service is excellent, but this is the worst excuse and business practice I have ever seen to tell anyone or pay or will

    Facebook, MySpace and others has a lot of network traffic units. If they could not maintain a level of traffic in this category or unpaid registration sites, or even should have started your service, with an excuse as ridiculous as the increase in traffic

    In my opinion, is a deplorable desicion, and beyond any clean business ethics

  246. Lise

    I’m hurt. The site I have become a member of has enriched my students’ experiences and improved me as a teacher. This will be a great loss to me, my colleagues, and teachers literally around the globe. This would not only affect them, but the students as well.

    I hope you can reconsider this for education sites. Please, don’t take away the difference you’re making!

  247. Valor

    now we see, how easy is to get corrupted by money hahahaha

    ning solve my blog forum community problems of my website, and now this,, wellllllll what can we do?¡??

    i.ve read most of comments and the worst case is all the people who really need this tool, well me too!! 😛

  248. Sam Bruzzese

    It’s unfortunate my site has 300 members and perfect platform for university course as it typifies state of the art web 2 technology. By trying to charge for things you will simply force us to move elsewhere.
    Sam

  249. Lucie

    It disappoints me greatly. I put many hours to create this network. I trusted Ning. Everything was so friendly. Most members of my network can not afford the service charges. Think carefully before you make a big mistake.

    :-((

  250. freed

    Well well, or better: not well. A few weeks ago, I became flooded on my Ning page with unsolicited advertising for Candian pharmacy, it took me a while to find out how to avert this. How is it possible? I never invited anyone yet. Regretfully, I had to change the open character of my Ning, when I got increasingly unwanted member applications (forename only) who all posted said spam. 180 in a few days! Some suspicious characters are now even writing to my mail address and try to sign in.
    – If you go on with an unsensitive policy of shutting down the free Ning’s, then at least I am glad to have waited for promoting my site – it would be very unprofessional to force visitors to move. By the way, my Ning shows Google avertising in the right column, from which nobody but you Mr. Jason Rosenthal profit, right?

  251. Cynthia

    I am from Bichon Lovers and have been meeting new people on this humble site call Bichon Lovers. All the parents there are pet lovers and we share, exchange ideas, give advise to each other concerning our dogs and making many parents happy.

    We have worked real hard to invite friends from other site to join Bichon Lovers and have managed to have members, and suddenly this news comes in and said you are going to charge us. It is very depressing because we know we will definitely leave this site. Looking at ning.com,we have contribute to bring traffic to your site and you are earning all the google adsense you put on our site so why do you still want to charge us.

    I like to appeal to you to re consider this and be a philanthropist and not charge us.

    Regards.

  252. Denise

    Bye Bye Ning, hello Facebook “group” – 200 in my new Facebook group already. easy transition. I don’t think we’ll be seeing ning in the future as a web 2.0 player. dumb move.

  253. Tassel Daley

    Would you be kind to allow the Ning sites that are Non-profits to remain free. This would be one great way to give back to the society.
    Thanks.

  254. Carol O

    I am very disappointed to hear of this news. We have a nice little site here at Bichon Lovers. Sadly if you take away the free sites, we will probably no longer be there. This little site has come up from only one person starting the site and many of her friends joining. I am very very disappointed that you take money over everything else. we will see who your 75% is once the free sites are gone.

  255. Matt

    I know you have every right to do this, but I will likely take the three public sites for courses and have to move to a new platform that is ad-supported (not free). The pay model might be the right one, or perhaps your free sites cannibalize the paying customers, but I’m sure I’m one of many who simply can’t pay for hosting a course site.

    Thanks for all the years, best of luck, see you later.

    Matt

  256. Leonie Fedel

    I am very disappointed with Ning’s lack of communication with Network Creators over this major change. I just happened to find out about the April 16 notification on this blog by chance today while attending a session on using Ning networks for education at the TCC 2010 online conference. The presenter had to preface his whole presentation saying he would be singing Ning’s praises if it wasn’t for the plan to remove free (with adverts) networks on Ning announced less than a week ago!

    It is not the paying for service per se that I object to, rather Ning feeling it can make such a substantial change to its terms of service for networks already in existence (and its not the first time Ning has done this either, go back a year or so, when Ning wanted to invite members of closed premium networks to join the umbrella Ning network – a plan met with similar huge uproer from the network creators…)

    I am the network creator of three networks, that are setup initially as white-label premium ones for blended learning courses, but then after the face2face component of the course is over, we hand network ownership over to one of the alums to run as a free network. Just my luck that the latest of the three networks was launched on April 14, just two days beofre Ning’s blog post! Might have planned this one differently and used a platform other than Ning, had I been aware of the impending changes. Now I’ll have to find a different exist plan, since my organization cannot afford to continue premium support indefinitely.

    Will Ning please confirm that May 4 is only the start of the phasing plan, and not a pay now or be deleted drop-dead deadline.

    Also will Ning confirm that for networks that do decide to pay up, the migration tools will be there for the foreseeable future, for any network that needs to move to another platform if after a time they realize they don’e have budget to keep paying forever. Many of us non-profits are grant funded, and the grant may have seed money for premuim networks for a while, but after the grant ends, nothing…

  257. Getulio

    I’m a teacher. Can I use NING in free mode to discuss some topics with the students and other teachers??? Please.

  258. Chris Mest

    Sounds like a drug dealer, “The first one is free”. Now that everybody is hooked, you start to charge them. Can you say “Bait and Switch”?

  259. nanya

    it is ALL about MONEY, Always, isn’t it NING? First pull them in, then squeeze them dry of any little dollars they have… Shame on You!

  260. Luke Shockley

    This is a very bad move on ning’s part. When you decide to make a MAJOR DECISION like this one. You are obligated to and should notify all of those it affects. Too many people that run ning sites cant afford to run sites that cost money per month to use like bigdaddy and other url sites that allow you to create sites but at the cost of $9.95 a month or higher. Me and a friend ran a ning site for almost 6 months before we had to shut it down for reasons I will not state. We were gonna bring it back this SUMMER. But with the May 4th, 2010 date this is not possible. like everyone else has said you will lose thousands of customers or w.e you want to call them.

  261. Anne Grimma

    I am so disappointed that we will have to move, again. The work that goes into migrating and setting up a new site is incredible. For small social groups who have no income a free service is necessary. We do not generate any money, we have no income to pay a bill for a meeting place. After MSN went money hungry, Ning was chosen because it was free and very user friendly. I am so disappointed that you are so money hungry! MSN’s closing caused the demise of many groups. Your closing will cause the demise of many more.

  262. Paulo Marco

    I work a lot to bring people to NING, and now I am feeling bad cause it will be not possible to us to pay for this. It is not fair! As a ning creator I was not thinking on have the responsability to ask the members or anyone else for money to pay.
    It is a very, very bad way to do the things! The new CEO of NING is making a wrong decision. There are other ways to get money, improve the pay comunitties, but not cancel the free ones.

  263. Paulo Marco

    This is really a wrong way to act!
    You can not allow new free networks, but make the free ones that already have been created be payd is not fair! It will break all the credibility that have been built.
    The magic of the NING was the credibility, don´t put it away!

    Paulo Marco from Brazilian Environmental Social Movements

  264. Sal

    Sorry to hear that, but it sound like I will have stick with Facebook or Myspace. I will not pay for something that I can get for free. Good luck!!

  265. John Clifton

    Thank goodness I didn’t start up a website for the schools in my community on Ning. Good luck on getting people to pay. Maybe you and the New York Times will pull it off. CompuServe didn’t.

  266. TMN-T

    This is total nonsense, Ning is perfect the way it is and I have made many friends. If you take away Free Ning your taking away my Second Family

  267. Mickey

    You really think all of those paid sites have always been paid sites? Without the option to start off free many people will overlook you. Who wants to buy a car they can’t test-drive?

    Also, an email would’ve been nice, instead finding out from freaking-out members of my community. But honestly I’ve started expecting this kind of thing from you guys!

    At this point I’ll be glad to move my community somewhere else.

  268. Cira Munhoz

    prestação de serJason, Todos Fomos pegos de surpresa. Tenho uma ning Pagina Teor de Espiritualista, Há poucos dias recebi de questionário UM voce e Tenho Certeza de Que voce o Mandou A TODOS OS Criadores de ning.
    Já temos UM Serviço muito bom ning Sendo Gratuito. Acredito Ao que pagarmos Teremos Melhor ainda prestação de serviços pela rede. Seria possivel voce me enviar os custos antes de 04-05? como a pagina não gera renda, preciso fazer um orçamento.

  269. Julie Gasper

    Frankly I feel this is no better then what MSN did to those of us groups which are free and just gathering places for people of common interests.
    Poo Poo on you for just being ruled by greed following the almighty dollar. The short length of time allowed for people to locate a new FREE service place to form a group is absolutely NOT long enough. this based on the fact that many times only one or two individuals is or will be responsible for moving all the information they may already have stored in the Ning group they assumed would be safe.
    I think it is poor business on your part to have ever offered free forums if you had every intention of yanking the rug out from under others in the future without first giving them that info way back when MSN dumped their group forums.
    I am sure you would have seen a lot more groups then taking to pro-boards and group-box if that would have been known to us scrambling to find a new free forum back when MSN dumped everyone and the groups without a care.
    JMHO RenegadeSpiritCat
    Julie Gasper admin of Renegade Riders

  270. Steven Beggs

    When I heard this I thought it was a web prank. So I consulted ning.com and there it was.

    We use Ning for our community group that is working to re-occupy and revitalize the parks in our neghborhood in São Paulo, Brazil. All our work in volunteer. We already have 305 members and hoped to reach 1.000 by the end of the year. Please do NOT stat charging us. We will probably loose quite a few members in the trasition to a new free service and will have to time and energy into the trasition.

  271. Katie

    I’m really disappointed to hear that you are going to make everyone pay to use Ning. This is especially disappointing since I use Ning in my classroom. Since it has been a free service it has been easy for my low income students to use the blog without a problem. Due to the new developments I am so sad that I am going to have to stop using this wonderful teaching tool in my classroom. My students really enjoy blogging and it now puts a hold on an education device that was serving a huge purpose in my classroom.

    I think it would be great if you could allow free services for education!

  272. Melissa

    What Would Google Do?
    Likely not make the same move NING just did. Cutting out educators who need a free platform makes no sense. They are exposing your product to new users everyday. Dumb move, NING!

  273. Timothy C. Phillips

    Hmm…looking at other sites that have done this since the beginnings of the Internet as we know it, back in the early 1990s, this is the death knell of the community here on Ning. Just look at Geocities, Tripod, and myriad others who sought to gather a community and then go commercial. What resulted is that those communities are no more. You might as well go over to Aol.com or Yahoo and rebuild your groups there. I’ve already got a paid-for website, Ning. No thanks.

  274. 4WardEver UK

    This is crushing news for us as no doubt it is also for the many people that have left comments here.
    We run two sites on the Ning network, and although we are not a registered charity our purpose is charitable and we have no grant or generated income of any sort.

    We use these sites to offer families affected by serious miscarriages of justice to share and organise, and this has been instrumental in growing participation and mutual support. Quite frankly if we have to move to another network many of those people would be lost without the support they receive.

    This does feel very ill thought out with very little notice to users who may want to capture member details and other content to move to some alternative provider.

    When Facebook and others tried to do this they realised it would be a foolish move as many of their users would simply be unable or unwilling to pay.

    We hope that Ning reconsiders this sudden move!!

  275. Lilja

    i’ll tell you something aboat that new idea of yours IT SUCKS!! now fanimetube has to close becouse none of us can aford to pay and a lot of other networks too!!!! why would you make us pay? its just a stupid idea, we want ning to be free. and i’ll tell you another thing WE do NOT look forward to may 4. i’ve made many friends here on ning and now….. you make them disapear?!!! it’s not fair :C

  276. DesireG

    Ning has been a great service and it is disappointing that I may not be able to afford being apart of it. It’s hard to make any real decisions when I have no idea what you will be charging. If it is more expensive than let’s say Godaddy or DeviantArt than i will have to go. Peace.

  277. Tom

    Hey Ning,

    Just wait til 75%+ of your traffic stops coming to your website. Payment-required services on the web don’t work because we’ll just go elsewhere, and those companies will pick up extra traffic, new ideas, and put you out of business. Just look at all the old subscriber models: AOL, Compuserve, etc. Where are they today? Meanwhile, who’s on top? Google. All free. Search is free, Chrome is free, applications are free. Did you hear that? Free, free, free.

    Meanwhile, your site, which is mostly used in the education world — already strapped for cash — is expected to pay? Good luck staying afloat. Most will just go to Moodle or another free open-source CMS or other service.

    Prepare to join the .com busts of the late 90s.

  278. Norma Bauer

    I guess a lot of people will be leaving ning ! i’ll have to go script shopping what a shame because i think ning will now go under; did they not make enough from google?

  279. Norma Bauer

    How very disappointing ! I’ve just barely started building my community ; just to have it all go under i’m very disapointed

  280. maria alcantara

    PLEASE be shure that we all realy know your next step, our tatting grouo has been using your platform during a time and we have meme
    bers that don,´know to much fron computer using, so, we will required TIME, first to make the dessicion of paying you, if costs are not out of our possibilitues, and in the other hand, if we go, be sure that ALL can make the change easyly and effectivlly….I hope you can provide us with the necessary information in time.
    That you make the best for all!
    Regards,
    Maria Alcantara. Mexico

  281. Gary Moehring

    If you Start to charge members that already have sites up and promoting them …. I’m Out.

  282. musheer

    this decision sock me.it is very difficult for me be on net due to financial reason .this decision give me tension .first you show path and then you broke that pat…lastly it is very sad news for me …finally it depens on you for any decission.daily i encourage many to join ning network.in future we can no do this very saddd

  283. Linn

    As a professor in higher ed, I add my disappointment to the voices of other educators. This semester was the first time I added a social networking component to my course. As a complete novice, Ning was the only network site I would consider because it was straightforward and easy to use without looking like an amateur production. I hope that you continue to provide free access to educators; and if you don’t, that at least we can keep these sites open until the end of June. And if not that, then as much warning as possible–we are the ones that have to bring out students down gently after months of their blogging, commenting and sharing news.

  284. John

    I too am curious, as a teacher using Ning – will my students suddenly have to pay to use the site, or will I be charged the fee?

    The sooner Ning makes this information public, the better. Candor is key here, folks.

  285. Nancy Lee

    I think this is very unfair to us, not everybody can afford to pay, unless we start charging our members a monthly fee and I doubt if they would like that. Please come up with another solution and if you can’t what features are we going to have that is worth us paying?

  286. Mzantsi

    Yes, this has come out of the blue. I wouldn’t have created a network if I know that this would happen. We won’t be able to pay. We’ve been ninged.

  287. Handyman Dave

    I am new to the community. I have started my own Home Improvement answer site for free to my clients. There is no way my clients will join most of the time if I tell them they will need to pay for the service. There must be an alternative for ning. If you chose to charge, I will need to find an alternative for my site. I know that I am not one of your larger sites, but some day I could be. I do believe there is a better way for you to acquire funds. I am convinced you will lose a large number of your clients. The vast majority of them are likely here because of the way you have run things at ning. I don’t know what the answer is for you, but I am asking that ning not automatically charge their curent members. I have been in business for over 15 years and I would advise you to consider other alternatives.

    Thanks

    Dave

  288. Wilson A. Souza

    Na sequencia evolutiva do Ser, é preciso mudanças, nas quais buscamos os melhores caminhos a seguir. Tenho um Blog neste site, e através dele, criamos uma rede de Amigos (as), na Divulgação da Doutrina Espirita, colaborando para um Mundo melhor. Assim posto, aguardo as novas mudanças a serem implantadas, na certeza de poder continuar com o meu trabalho, e aos demais do grupo “ESPIRITA ONLINE”. Muita Luz e Paz – Obrigado.

  289. Vinod Kumar Mishra

    Dear Sir,

    Kindly let me know the details regarding deleting of free services and also let me know the prices per/year if we want to continue with the ning along with the existing features which i am using. How i can migrate to other network like if i want to migrate on facebook along with our members.

  290. Renilde De Wit

    Read the note. One remark and two questions.

    1) Why weren’t we informed by mail? My target group, social media marketers, knew this before us.
    2) I’d like to know price points (by mail) before May since I need to decide on the future (which would be developing our own community based on Drupal)
    3) If price points get higher: details about additional revenues please. We don’t generate revenues now because we want to inform but if the possibilities don’t fit the rise of the price points, this is an important point of consideration. And no, we’re not interested in PPC, affiliate marketing or other things. If you provide opportunities such as including leaderboards etc., we can talk.

    Please communicate with your members sooners, especially those that have been paying all the time (yes, there is no such thing as a free lunch).

  291. Donna Rogers

    I am a member of a Ning site that has over 1700 members! We’re a fanfiction site for authors to post their original stories and receive feedback from readers. We also enjoy socializing with others who share our same likes and hobbies. The chat has enabled us to make many friends from far and wide that we normally would not have.

    Everyone is in a state of panic on our site, wondering what’s going to happen to their favorite authors, their friends, etc. Please please please publish your fee schedule as soon as possible so we can begin to make decisions about what to do and keep our friends on the site informed!

    I hate that this is happening and all of you who are thinking of migrating to another free service, I can warn you that they’re not as easy to use as Ning. I have found them not suitable for roleplaying and fanfiction! Ning is much more user friendly, which makes the decision on their part that much more frustrating!!

  292. Bishwa

    Thank you Ning team. We salute for this decision which is liked by many of the commentators – see in this page, because you need to keep your company earning and earning, no matter either the lucky poors again die of Information gap. Poor people of the world, countries with marginalized economy are not worth for rich ones. How can you forget your ample social service shutting off the service offered to poor. You have already said 75% is purchased service. We salute the big and kind heart of Ning team which can not provide social service , or in other words which is ignorant to kill all the dependents. We have already surrendered to you and why don’t you protect us. Protect us, protect our information, protect the minorities, and help for the poor, and we will salute your great, generous and bold heart. Other wise we became like ” in the hands of very clever business team” Hope you ll review the decision to continue the previous free services and again never will think of killing the poor. We owe you. Please protect us, we have surrendered…..

  293. vivek mishra

    What a poor decision. It is not good decision to make ning network better. it will harm ning network. All free social networks will close by this decision. and all thing is not possible to move so the free networks are certainly close. i only just hope tthat prices will be relatively reasonable.

  294. MaRiKa

    First our loved network gets bought by another company. So we loose all the friends, connections and content without warnings..
    Now A member of my network had to tell me what’s going on.
    Why didn’t I get an EMAIL AS A CREATOR?
    Seriously this doesn’t give us much time to sort anything, because the page i created belongs to me and also to my beautiful members. And setting up a paypal account just to get donations is ridiculous as we are RPG non-profit community mostly with students, which means they rather spend time in here with us instead of going out and doing excessive stuff, that just likes to hang around and escape from everyday stress. All the friendships and connections you are about to remove……This is very VERY dissapointing and i regret we decided to find a refugee at NING.com as we have to go and migrate elsewhere with everything we created so far…

  295. Anitha

    When Ning goes Paid, Some technocrat among us will come with a better option to sweep out and change over

    Waiting for the new wave

  296. Tiffany Kristen

    I think this is absolutely horrible and I plan on protesting this to the fullest. Leave the money making websites as they are and leave the non profits alone. My mother, and friends are all members of The Caring bridge and this was a network created for the sole purpose of helping others, as was The Karma Container- yet to launch…..and now to charge these people who have cancer, and are going through some of the toughest battles of their lives a fee to get that positivity they gain from logging on everyday to see who has sent them messages of hope and prayer. I assure you these networks don’t have ANY concern for your advertising ideas which are similar to other networks. Why is it conforming seems to be the way of our society, “follow the all mighty buck” right? You say it’s something WE want……and your ruse is clever however based on the feedback so far that I’ve read I don’t forsee there being a problem in protesting this matter. What if we all just decided to cancel……what kind of money would you make then?? In the end it is your cross to bear. Take away something inspiring and motivational for so many and try to put a price on it. Your company SHOULD BE ASHAMED!

  297. Steven Bammel

    This is fabulous news!

    Please take the money and invest it to create something that keeps getting better and does it faster…

    Your serious network creators are ready to pay for this. The rest? Well, who needs them?

  298. Margo S

    I don’t understand–just because you do work for free, why should Ning? Is there something I’m not getting?

    Good luck, Ning. Lots of complaining, but I do want to see you survive and will be paying.

  299. Anon :P

    I Understand… BUT That Doesnt Mean That I Like It.
    Your Going To Loose ALOT Of Creators Of Ning Sites. Whatever Happened To The SOCiAL ASPECT.

  300. Tracy

    This is a total bummer. If you must do this, please be a help and redirect me to some sites that offer these services for free. This will save me the research time that I did the first time around and will enable me to provide members of my ning group a smoother transition to wherever it is that we will be heading to. If it’s one thing I hate to do, it’s waste my time and the time of others.

  301. Sarah

    Wow. Just, wow. I agree with most of the above comments completely. I’m thirteen, run my fansite with over 450 members with 5 other girls as co-administrators, and now we have to pay? Don’t think so. We’re already investigating alternatives to Ning, and so far they all suck. We all joined and created websites under the understanding that the process would be FREE, would ALWAYS be free, and people could join and use the network for FREE. There was absolutely nothing saying that you had any right to either make us pay or delete our sites. Most people on Ning who use the free service make absolutely no money off of it. I know that everyone on my site, a fansite for a book series, would die if they had to pay. The admins on my site and I do it all solely for compassion for all our members, and it’s been an awesome experience for us. I’ve met girls from all over the world, Australia, Brazil, UK, Russia, China, even Scandinavia. It’s been a great social and educational experience that I would’ve never had if it weren’t for Ning, and now I have to pay for all this? And honestly, how many of the free users do you think will actually pay for it. I’m considering it, only because I’ve put in almost a year of work and time to get my site to where it is now, and I don’t intend on throwing it away. If the prices are somewhat reasonable, I might end up giving you my money. But you obviously aren’t looking at your member statistics very well. A good percentage of the site creators and members of Ning are probably either people who have some reason to stay home, making social networking the best option to talk to people, non-profit organizations, which, hello, are NON-profit, and probably a bunch of kids like me, who’s parents probably don’t care about our sites much less want to spend money on them. Yeah, so this will show the “serious” creators. Who are you, who is anyone, to define “serious creators”? I for one know I’m completely serious about my website. I’ve worked my butt off since July of last year, I’ve let my grades drop, to work on my site. I love my site, and all the girls on it are awesome. From what I can tell, “serious creator” means that you’ve got the cash to pay for your site, whether you care about it or not in Ning and many others’ definition. I can tell you that about 95% of Ning users are completely serious about their sites, but aren’t serious about wanting to take money from people. It’s unethical to just pull our rights from us like this. Like I already said, we signed up with an agreement that the service would be free. A few people have said to make new users pay, because they’d be signing under the new agreement to pay. Anyway, if I end up transferring instead of paying, I’ll be watching to see just how well this business plan turns out.

  302. CmdrAleon

    My Network Ashtar Galactic Command is also devoted to Cosmic education on a Universal scale.
    I’ve meditated on this alot since reading Nings proposed changes.
    Please leave the Ning Social Networks not here to make money alone.
    Those that want to make alot of money as a more commercial Ning go for it.
    Let the 25% be Free.
    If you need to add more ads to offset cost to the Free sites then do it .
    So we can stay free to share information and educate others .
    You should ask us what we want before you do it.
    If you end up migrating Ning sites to another Social Network for those who cannot pay to stay .
    Will those sites be the same layout as Ning or not?
    I truly hope Ning is listening to us.
    Without us there is no Ning .

  303. Biplab Pal

    I think this is a good move but if Ning is serious about their business, let me suggest a few rational.

    1. I am using this service for a movie promotion network and I need video which should be better than 480p quality given in Youtube. Or else nobody will sign up with our SN in Ning-because Youtube is already offering quite better quality video. You should allow 1000MB video [ which is also the cap of Youtube] and Quality should be 720p or better. Or else, there is no reason to pay Ning. Besides better quality video means more storage and therefore more business for Ning. Just imagine, in our language, at least 50 movies are produced in an year and taking care of all the video promotions, I need at least 200 GB storage a year-this would also be good for Ning. But I will get none if video quality is just as good as Youtube.

    2. Also why audio file means music? Why not make it a generic “Audio” ? Bulk of our audio is not music but interviews!

  304. Eli Vieira

    My network is completely dedicated to education. It has original texts about science that cannot be found anywhere else in the web in Portuguese.

    Ning is not satisfied with the time I spent to get content published in my website, and visits summoned to see the google ads in that section that cannot be moved.

    Ning wants money. After one year and a half of gaining content and visits from my work.

    Is it just me who thinks this is unfair and unethical?

    Old networks exempt from fees should have the right to stay on this situation, if Ning wants to make all people pay, make all new people pay, for they would know better the new policy of Ning.

    I feel betrayed when I do an educational work for free, spend my time on it, and suddenly I have to give not only content and volume of visitors but also money.

  305. Kate

    As with most educators I am disappointed by your decision. My school district, as with most, will not pay for such a subscription so I will be forced to abandon my online classroom collaboration tool when you phase us out. I repeat the request of many educators above when I ask that you keep your free sites open until the end of June. Thank you.

  306. Sara

    Several of the admins on my site and I have been making some test sites with other services, and none compare to Ning. It’s nearly impossible to carbon-copy our site because of how much time we’ve spent on it and the limited features with other platforms. At the moment, we are considering paying to keep the site. But just to clarify, you ARE going to give us price estimates before deleting our websites, right? Because we seriously need to know if we can afford to keep the site going or not, or if we do need to put the time and energy into creating a new site, transferring the design and all the important media and posts, and then contacting the members and making sure any that wish to stay on transfer to the new site. Having to transfer the site won’t just be hard for the administrators, it’ll be difficult for the members to adjust as well. I just hope that prices will be relatively reasonable.

  307. CC

    This is ridiculous and unfair business practices. I understand wanting to increase your profit margin; however; its unfair to charge those who came under the free agreement; a fee for the ning usage. A valid way to do this is to charge those who came in after the new policy. I have been on ning’s free services for over a year and have built a great community. The bottom line is ning is being very unethical to those who have been here under the old agreement which had nothing in its policy about charging later on. Alot of the ning sites Im a member of is now sending out emails saying ggoodbye to a community of people who use their sites often; this is bogus.

  308. Pamela

    I honestly think this is awful.

    I run a site with my partner that has 1000+ members, with no income whatsoever.
    We run our network out of compassion for our members, not to make money. Money is all it seems to come down to these days. Its honestly ashame.

    Me and my partner are both around 14 years old, so unfortunately, none of us even posses a debt card, and our parents think that us doing this is all fine and well, but to pay? They dont feel its worth it.

    Is that our fault? No, not at all. So why do we have to suffer for something out of control. Why is it that the younger you are these days, the emphasis on money is stressed more? Why cant we just run our community and all be kids (for those kids who run a ning site). Anyway, I guess we’ll just have to move (again), for the 3rd time.

    Thanks Ning,
    Thanks a WHOLE lot.

  309. M. Conner

    I am surprised that as a creator of a ning site that I was not informed of the changes. I totally understand the decision even if it means I will lose my site for now. I think a lot of people have taken full advantage of the Ning Network to promote their business’s or affiliate offers. Time for accountability. It is too bad for the non profit groups, and others that are really helping others but I do understand the decision. I love using the ning network and the ease with which we can create our sites and our members can mingle and meet others. I hope the costs are not too high. I will be back to re-create a new site!

  310. Rachelle

    This big business idea is terrible. Ning, you were on a roll toward being the size of Facebook. Now, you have brought about total chaos and no possible way to become a large social network. Most of your Christian sites will be gone for sure. I know it’s about the money and big bucks and push away the little guy. I don’t see how you figure that 75% traffic is going to increase. It’s all about business and this was the worst decision you have made.

  311. Alli

    I am so sorry to hear that ning is going to premium services only. We are a Role Playing site that offers people a safe place to go. Although I understand that most site owners do this for business, we do it for fun but more than that we do it for our love of roleplaying. This is a stupid idea.

  312. Tassel Daley

    What can I say? I have created several ning sites for the benefit of many.

    I have spent many hours developing and building these sites.

    I sure will miss al the friends I made from my ning sites.

    Time will tell.

  313. Alex

    It’s about damn time you focus on Premium Network Creators (The ones who built Ning) and get rid of the free stuff… You were never going to be another Facebook or Myspace!

    Can you say WHITE LABEL???

  314. Ken

    Looks like I better start migrating elsewhere. Was nice while it lasted. Who wants to bet that not only will they charge a fee for use but they will still hit us over the head to use a domain name with Ning?

  315. Flonne

    well i agree this is a stupid idea you will lose so many people if u go through with this u should just leave our free networks alone isnt 75% of traffic good enough for them?

  316. Channing Ashbaugh

    I think it is unfair for ning to charge people for joining a social networking group

  317. Alyssa

    I am so sorry to hear that ning is going to premium services only. We are a Role Playing site that offers people a safe place to go. Although I understand that most site owners do this for business, we do it for fun but more than that we do it for our love of twilight. We have been forced to Spruz which is fine but it does not offer what ning does. I have recommended ning to so many businesses to ning that has indeed paied for services. I will not try to get them to switch because I do still love what ning has to offer but I am also disappointed that ning has made this move. We may do this for fun but it is more than a game for us, some of us have nothing else to do as we are to sick . I know of a twilight role play site that has went premium some time back but started small with just a few members, I was considering the same but am re thinking my choice because even though the new site is growing and may have one day gone to a premium service there is no way that it could have possibly started if not for the service that ning offered, I will most likely stop going to the sites that I shop from on ning because like so many in the ning community I am loyal to the network that I am on so I suppose Spruz Premium site owners will begin getting my money. I am sorry it has to be this way but I think that ning will see that the decision they have made is not going to work in thier favor. I just hope that all the ones under 18 that find safe communities with ning when thier sites are no longer open they can find a safe place to go without the predators that stalk on the web now, ning offered this with thier easy membership management. Although disappointed I thank ning for the time that I had on it and hope one day after they lose so much business they have to revert to offering a free site again that I have not fallen in love with this other service and am able to feel I can return.

  318. Ra

    I completely understand the move to a subscription model for all Ning sites however without a mechanism for Network Admins to offer our members to subscribe to our site for a small fee then I’m afraid many Ning sites (paid/free) will cease to exist.

    Will Ning make available a tool so we can offer members to subscribe to our site for a set fee which we set?

  319. Toff

    This is an excellent example of why you should always plan long term for any site you build. If the site isn’t yours, then someone can always pull the rug out from underneath you. WordPressMU (opensource software) seems to be able to handle everything Ning can and more (like the membership fees that someone mentioned earlier).

    If you really want something to stay around, you have to do it yourself.

  320. Margy Rydzynski

    I run a social networking site for small and micro-business in the Boston area. Ning is a well-designed platform and I will stay here, assuming the rates that will be charged are affordable. Like a lot of people, I’m disappointed that this announcement was made the way it was. It would be nice to offer a free – or very low-cost – option with limited features. I host a number of other sites on Ning and will be dumping them.

    I can understand the need for a money-making model. At the same time, I don’t think this was handled at all well. Ning, you might want to have a heart-to-heart with your own management, to examine your internal communications. Actions have consequences. Better communication and more transparency (isn’t that what social networking is all about?) would have paved the road more effectively for this difficult but necessary move.

    I’m happy to participate in this transition, if you’d like the input of a business community manager who’s also struggle to monetize her site. Perhaps we can help each other?

    Margy Rydzynski, Community Manager
    Arlington Entrepreneurs

  321. Sherry

    I agree with one response I read that said to have people who create a network after May 4th pay. I do not think you should be charging us free members who signed up prior. That would be unethical in my opinion. How can you offer something for free without mention of a fee in the future and then take that away. I am not happy at all.

    I no realize you need to cover your expenses. Going forward totally makes sense that you charge but don’t take it out on the ones who signed on with the free agreement. That is just not right!

    You are going to create quite a uproar I believe.

  322. MAXINE P. SOSO

    This whole idea of now charging after all this time is totally ridiculous, and just plain disrespectful. All of the creators, and everyone who’ve signed up, have made Ning as big as it is today. Actually, you might just loose out all together, because although Ning is HUGE; it’s not the only sheriff in town. There are still many free networking sites out there, and you just may loose everyone; and send them all to other free sites to conduct their business. Have you thought about that? You may have dollar signs on your eyeballs, but that vision may not come to light. I know you don’t personally know all of your Ning creators, and customers; therefore you have no reason to cater to their needs. But you seriously need to reconsider this move, or Ning just may become a thing of the past. Think about that!

  323. nick

    am not pleased at all.i own wallpaper,plus layout centre all in one.with thousands layouts for ning networks.3,000 members on it.i get word that all free ning networks are getting closed down.where do we all surpose to go.even many millions free sites upon ning.that would down grade ning company compleatly.ning was number one site in building networks.but if lucky by end of may 4th ,your network most prob be 3rd on list networking on building sites.

  324. Jason

    This is a bad decision.

    I teach one class at a University in Texas and we use Ning for our class website. It has been a great resource for us and offers superior flexibility and ease-of-use to the WebCT system offered by the school. The university won’t reimburse me if I have to pay for Ning, so we’ll have to find another platform to use. I know I am not alone in that regard.

    I think that NEW accounts could be monetized, but leave the educational accounts alone.

    Jason
    Dallas, TX

  325. Aly

    As a creator of two networks, I strongly disagree with this. Perhaps you should keep the networks free and keep an option to upgrade for a charge. I can guarantee people will take advantage of this. However, you will lose more customers than you can understand if you charge for the use of the site itself in entirety. I do not have the money to “upgrade permanently.” This does not make any sense whatsoever.
    I’m extremely disappointed in Ning. I would be pleased if more networking sites were as nicely-oriented and had the layout and options that Ning does, but it is true that Ning is an individual in that department. Suffice it to say that I will be gone, my network with me, if the “price points” go for the entire site rather than an optional upgrade.

  326. Terry Druery

    I am out of here. My networks was for a group of teachers. None of us make any money out of it so we won’t pay. Goodbye

  327. Tatiana

    This is very hard for me right now. Cause I have owned my Site for a year and a Month. I’ve Worked my Hardest at it. Trying to Get people I knew from other places That were wiccan And like minded. To One Place. Many of us Have no Money and can Not Pay for what you want from us. I do not want to Ask My 135 members For Money so We can Keep Our HOME. And That is what Is Has Become OUR HOME! We do Not Pay out or Sell things on the site. What we do is teach each other what we know. And Now To even think about Losing our Home Is Bad enough. I’ve worked hard over this Year to Make the Site Pleaseable for my members. I am Learning Disable and So on. And Try sooo Hard to make things right for my members. This is Very Saddening for me. Almost to teh Point were I just want to brake down and Cry. I do my own Backgrounds. for my Homepage. And Soo Much it’s not Funny. I Put a Lot of Time into this Site. To Lose it know I don’t Know what to Do. I feel Lost.

  328. Rachel Baldwin

    I am not pleased with this. I believe that the network should stay free and if others want to upgrade for better usage that should be a charge.

  329. Chief Don Spirit Wolf Greene

    We love our site and I as creator am very tech-limited, I can barely accomplish anything at all really. May we switch to a pay/month plan and keep the site and name we have?
    And How much will that cost me/us?
    We really enjoy the site we have with Ning and honestly I am too tech-limited to jump into trying to go somewhere else and recreate the site and group we have worked so hard on in my opinion.
    I have not received any sort of U[pdate or post or message from Ning.
    so can anyone please tell me how to just Pay to maintain our wonderful site of 156 members and growing slowly each month?

  330. Amy

    I am very disappointed by this news. I just hope the pricing structure is something my tiny public school can afford. As teacher and technology coordinator, I have spent a lot of time this year setting up our network and using it with my students and the greater school community. I’ve always gotten the impression that Ning supported its school users; I hope you continue to think of how classrooms are using your service as you move forward with this plan. I am not looking forward to finding another free social networking service and migrating to that if it turns out we can’t afford to keep our Ning networks. I, like another commenter, am also disappointed I had to hear about this through word of mouth, and not directly from Ning. I’m anxious to see what details come forth.

  331. Angria

    Thanks for the info. But a shame to lose so many people who visit and use your sites. I guess there will only be more Facebook and Google pages.

    I guess it was felt that many people wold begin to pay for premium services. Most of the subscribers are not making money from their sites, just social networking.
    I hope that your decision works well for you.

  332. DavidC

    I would gladly pay for my small-group Ning site if it weren’t so expensive (relatively, for us).

    I wouldn’t mind a smaller, simpler interface and platform for a much smaller fee.

    But if the price is out of my group’s ability to pay, we will move to another platform.

  333. corey h.

    Ning has been transformative in how we use social networking with our small, rural high school. I can’t begin to guess the number of hours that teachers and students have put in to making Ning applications work (and work well) for our school.

    We will never get that time back, and the resources lost to next year’s students (models, etc.) will sting. Instead of being able to build using Ning, we will have to go elsewhere. The advantage of Ning was that it allowed us to operate a protected, closed social network. That’s really important in an educational environment. But our financial limitations make it impossible to pay for the service, so…

  334. Emma Lee

    This may signal the first in many free services having to re-evaluate their business models. I’m stunned at how many people don’t seem to realize that ‘free’ has a cost to someone. Why should Ning bear the cost of your internet group? Because it does good deeds? Do you think the Red Cross gets free office space?

    I’ll happily pay for Ning accounts. I’m sorry, though, for those who can’t, and for the Ning employees who lost their jobs. If people insist on more free stuff, hey, maybe more people can lose their jobs. Hey, wouldn’t that be great? Wake up, freeloaders.

  335. Shelly

    why don’t you get advertisers like on facebook and such, look how big facebok has become, sure it might drive people crazy seeing logo’s but you can make money and keep the site free.

  336. Joan Van Tassel

    Mr. Rosenthal, I think this is a poor decision, handled badly.

    I will capture my ning sites and move them elsewhere. I can no longer recommend Ning for educational use — although I know of two educators I sent to Ning who upgraded to the premium service to avoid ads in an educational environment.

    I won’t recommend you any longer because I consider this move a violation of your agreement with the users who co-created a successful service with you. Apparently you consider this decision a one-sided affair, which means you refuse to acknowledge the social nature of your enterprise.

    You may get by with this specific decision. However, the disdainful attitude is sure to engender continuing negative responses towards the company. I will not be surprised to read of Ning’s demise in a couple of years.

    Good luck, because I think you are going to need it in view of your lack of business/social sense.

    Joan VT

  337. DJ Seaniemo

    Like many others I can understandf prfits to make sure you can keep up with competition but for the many people that was giving NING the exsposure as their primary website location this decision was so not cool. And with the way folks are losing business and jobs the last thing they are looking for is one more bill to add to the many bills they are barely able to pay.

    I think you should rethink this decision and involve your many patrons

  338. nckid4u

    What a shame. I hope the distain for this move does not go viral and really hurt ning. I personally will never visit another site with the name ning in the address, but most people will probably continue. I hate that I put hours upon hours into my ning and now I will have to let it go…

  339. Gerry

    This does not make good business sense, never mind the serious customer perception issue it creates.
    The incremental cost of a small ning network (to ning) is very, very close to $0. This is exactly where the “free” business model is at its most powerful.
    If Ning cannot build on this business model to generate enough revenues, they are not running an internet business worth its salt. It is up to Ning to UPSELL me on services that actually have value, and just pulling the free option out from under us is not the right strategy.
    On the good side, this may well open the market up to some more talented internet entrepreneurs who can now get easy access to thousands of small networks with a well thought out “free” business model.

  340. Carol

    I opened the website for women in pain awareness for support for those in chronic pain.
    I am disabled by my pain. I cannot afford to pay for a site, especially when the site is solely for support, not to raise money or sell a product. This seems luike bait and switch.
    I really apprecaited that there was this platform where one could give support to pthers. I am sorry you have decided to change this in the middle of the road. Maybe at the least you could ‘grandfather’ those of us who set up the site before you decided to change the rules. Thank you

  341. Jon Clarke

    I run several paid for and free Ning websites. I have to admit that your business decision, unless you are in total financial straights, is not just disappointing and wrong, but the inept way it is being handled, the short amount of time and awful communication of your decisions will bring down Ning and certainly not sure up your revenues.

    You will be lucky to recruit new members who will TRUST your future business practices. Why would anyone want to put all their eggs in your basket and then see it all destroyed at the whim of the CEO.

    You might think you know business, you obviously don’t get social media.

    You have delivered negatives, when you could have inspired and brought passionate Ning advocates together to maintain the revenues of the core which enables everyone to produce such stunning and helpful sites for millions of people.

  342. m0k3d

    why haven’t you posted this out in the open on your homepage @ ning.com? …as we speak I bet there are still people creating and investing their time in what they probably think are free sites!!! or are you guys just in the business of wasting peoples time now? I can honestly say that you all are NOT handling this the right way! the short notice… the lack of info on the homepage… what are you thinking?

  343. bluedragon

    if you go to paid you will be losing lots of supporters im one of them social networking should be free and charging is wrong but thats your chhoice in ruining the ning site hope it works for u but i wont pay for social networking good luck

  344. Craig Zelizer

    Dear Ning and Colleagues

    I have been running social networking sites for over a decade and previously had two IT companies develop customized sites for a previous nonprofit network. Both times the expenses was quite high, the functionality was very limited and in the end the sites imploded.

    I am a huge fan of Ning and have been paying for the premium features since I launched the Peace and Collaborative Development Network, http://internationalpeaceandconflict.org several years ago.

    I do this site completely as a volunteer (although make a minimum amount from Google Ads to help with costs), and do realize Ning has to make money to survive and am willing to keep supporting reasonable costs.

    However, I do not understand why Ning has to get rid of the free network feature since there are Ads on all sites and my assumption when someone doesn’t sign up to sponsor their own Ads, Ning is making money off clicks on these networks.

    It is also a bit shocking that Ning is laying off so many staff at once. Is this going to contradict the desired new improved service? One of the great things about Ning to date, has been that they are very responsive to problems (and you can communicate directly with support) and they are also soliciting new ideas from Ning Fans.

    Is shutting down the free networks going to turn off many Ning fans and reduce the allure of Ning?

    Also I am hoping that in the pricing models that come out that Ning does keep premium support affordable for smaller networks or volunteer ones like mine. Although we got a lot of traffic this is not a commercial venture, just an effort to make the world a better place and there are many similar networks run on Ning.

    There is also the question is Ning in financially trouble at all or is this just an effort to ramp up revenue and review their core mission? Since the company is privately held, their financial info is not public (perhaps they are thinking about going public)? I do hope staff who are being let go will receive very strong compensation packages.

    This also raises the question what is Ning’s Corporate social responsibility policy in terms of staffing, environment, etc?

    Also, my intention is to stay with Ning and I have helped to promote Ning to many other colleagues in the nonprofit and educational sectors who have launched at least 10 other networks with many members. I hope that I can continue to be an advocate for Ning in the Future.

    An additional concern that I have now, is what is the financial future of Ning? And also will Ning create a system allowing us to backup our content so we have this safe in case there any issues. I know you indicate we can do this if network creators want to leave Ning, but I hope to stay. I would feel better though knowing there is someway to export at least core parts of content on the network (apart from the member list).

    I do have to say as someone who is involved in social entrepreneurship, that the process by which this decision and information is being distributed by Ning is very poor. I don’t understand even if you had to make these changes, why you would leave the entire Ning community in some distress without providing clear information on the new procedures.

    I would hope as you release your new plans that you provide an adequate explanation of the way these decisions were made and from a business/marketing and maintaining good pr for Ning that has not been a positive experience.

  345. Linda L Porter

    http://sites.google.com/site/sistersshepherding/
    As I understand the downsize of America, people and companies are looking for every opportunity to make financial gain and unfortunately it mostly off of the back of the poor or nonprofits. As I have read the comments of a few, I do concur that I pray that your mindset is changed about requiring a fee from non-profits and small business venues. As my site is for used for outreach purposes and no monetary offerings are required or taken, I asked that you reconsider. If you do choose to “stick to your guns” I do pray it will be a VERY LOW FEE that all can afford out of pocket. I hate to lose this service as I was recently lead to it. You have been a blessing to me and I do pray the service may continue.

  346. Grant

    The sooner we know the details of what this means the better. We are a business that needs to make decisions and we have provided word of mouth marketing recommendations for Ning for years. I cannot provide a recommendation for something that is changing, uncertain and that I do not understand. Guess I can wait until May 4 to see if your platform makes sense in the future.

  347. Jarvis

    Wow… I know you guys have a business to run here, but if 75% of your users are for profit already then how is it the 25% are dragging you down financially?

    Bad move Ning, bad move…

    *runs off to find a petition to sign to ask the Ning to rethink this move*

  348. Shelly

    I am very frustrated with this “announcement.” I am gearing up to launch our new ning network mid May and just read about the updates. I have spent months and hundreds of hours creating this network and now after the fact I am going to have to pay to use it? You need to rethink your decision for nonprofits – who by the way are also feeling the crunch of the economy and struggling to exist. I joined Ning because it was free, if I wanted to pay to use a platform, I would have.

    More information now would be helpful, what are the breaks non-profits are going to get? When do we have to pay? Details now, before we all do more work on our sites would be appreciated.

  349. Ross Hair

    This is a bad decision.

    We run over 50 social network sites / groups / fanpages on Ning, Facebook and Linked In. In total we have over 400,000 members.

    Ning is the most difficult to grow. It isn’t viral and requires much more work than Facebook and Linked In.

    What we do use Ning for is to develop new sites and the we upgrade them to the paid package. It just isn’t worth putting in so much time and effort if we’re not sure that the sites will work.

    The short point of this long post is that Ning will fail without the combined effort and energy of all the network creators. Chasing them away now will be the end on Ning.

    Ning should grandfather all existing networks.

  350. Gabe Warner

    I understand that times are tough for everyone, but to eliminate this WONDERFUL free service is bordering on criminal. I use your service to extend my classroom beyond its walls and I and the students who participate LOVE the capability for learning it gives them. I AM URGING YOU TO RECONSIDER. If you won’t or can’t offer the service free anymore, please offer a teacher price that teachers can afford. We don’t make much but I’d be willing to pay $30 or so. I just can’t afford more. UHHHHHHH. This is frustrating. Thanks for hearing me.

  351. susan

    I’m concerned about the prospect of losing our student network. But, pleased to find that you may make special considerations for users in the field of education—I do hope you will! Our student network has been a growing success since we started it at the beginning of our school year.

    However, it cannot be funded by the users (my students)–it has nothing to do with how passionate I am or how passionate my students are. It is neither appropriate, nor reasonable for me to ask or expect my students to pay for this service.

    $120/year (year after year indefinitely) is way too much in my opinion. [sigh]

  352. Nellie Deutsch

    I would like to remind all the free Ning users that what made Ning was the fact that it was free. It will only be a matter of time before Ning is history.

  353. Larry Knowles

    To Whom it May Concern;
    I really enjoy being on the NING network,
    but when it goes to a pay site I like a lot of others that are here will have to find other ouitlets to go to. Ning needs to consider this move again I am not that great financially so when the change happens I will be gone………
    Thanks for listening
    Larry Knowles

  354. jeannebp

    This is hugely disappointing to me. I teach graduate classes for teachers with my Ning and have encouraged individual teachers to start a Ning with their classes. I see you will announce on May 4th what the pricing structure will be but when will it take effect? Will we be able to finish the school year? I know that most of the people I have introduced this to will not be able to pay for the service.

  355. OB

    I for one am really happy about this!!!! Even though my community is not for profit I am still a paying NC (3 services domain redirect, go add free, remove ning links) and if this means I will get faster support and better features in the future then I can’t wait!!!!!!

    Thanks !!!

  356. Mike Webb

    This is perhaps the worst decision I’ve encountered on the part of an organization, who, while being entirely within its rights to end its free services, has built its business on offering, promoting, and,ultimately, making a big deal out of its gratis service. In the education realm, I’ve been to numerous conferences touting the versatility of Ning and its many uses for education. I’ve created multiple networks connecting hundreds of educators in my region and promoted Ning to colleagues as a tool for students and teachers alike. All of this will immediately end, as I will not promote an organization prone to this type of desicion-making, not to mention there are plenty of other options out there. I guess Facebook got it right from the beginning.

  357. Bruno Leal

    The financial problems are understandable. However, Ning took the worst solution of all. I have more than twenty thousand teachers and students in my social network. I’m pretty worried. I do not trust most on Ning. I’ll just continue using the service if the price falls below $ 10 a month. I hope you know how to choose the best option.

    Bruno Leal (from Brasil, Rio de Janeiro)

  358. Howard case

    Do they realize how much buissness there going to loose? My group is small, very small in terms of others size but come on, do you really want to put that many people out on the street???

  359. Bert Watson

    Wow. I was about to set up two major nonprofit NING sites for leaders in Africa. NING has provided a great service for groups that are not profit driven and I will be sad to see this end. Unfortunately, it seems you did not consult your client base about possible options and ideas before making this rather radical decision. We respect your right to make a profit, but my heart goes out to all those people who set up complex sites in good faith and are now being shafted. Many will see it as a breach of trust. I hope your new pricing structure is considerate of those who put you on the map. As for our two networks, we will just have to wait until May.

  360. Julianna

    we just found you a short while ago as a source to have our own little “starving writers” website. We are closed to the public for our own little group. I wish you had included the fact that the site would be short-lived before we put so much time and effort into using it. I hope there is a way you can reconsider your stand for those of us you are not using the site for any type of business or money-making venture… or at least offer options of other safe/credible places for us to access. I understand your business growth and wish you well… just please consider a ‘good faith’ option less traumatic to users like us, as you pursue your own goals… in a way that doesn’t destroy ours.

  361. Franz Nahrada

    Did we ever account for what enormous value we destroyed in this world by making money?

    My only hope is that a deeper yearning for structured and stable community based economy of mutual support will raise out of this turmoil.Never before in history have community and cooperation had stronger tools. Thanky to NING to be part of the waqy. We just have to overcome some confusion and disorder.

    In the concrete case, the move was very unfortunate. The way could contiue….I hope like many others that you will take the time to reflect on the cultures of the diverse networks and the many roles money plays in them. But you need to make a very strong statement very soon to undo the damage you have done to NINGs reputation. Nobody critisizes you for the necessity to cover costs. There would have been many smart ways to arrange that in dialogue or even mass consulting. Its not too late. Ask the users for solutions! Unless the whole thing is not your interest and you simply want to raise the commercial value before selling the whole service to an investor who simply looks for returns, there should be consideration of the vast majority of the voices above.

  362. Simple Suggestion

    Here’s a couple of suggestions:

    – Create a lower pricing tier for K-12 and other “socially responsible” networks (nonprofits, religious groups, etc.), perhaps subject to some sort of proof of nonprofit status.
    – Give regular paying customers a certain number of “social credits” that they can use to “support” other networks (perhaps only the ones in the “socially responsible” tier). If a network can drum up enough of these “support” credits from the paid networks owned by its user base, then they can potentially get by without having to pay anything. It’s a win-win because it gives the “free networks” a stake in promoting Ning.

  363. Sash

    Although I do understand why you’ve made this choice, I don’t understand why none of us were contacted. I am the creator of several ning sites and I first heard of this through rumors on a third party site. Even then, I expected one of your regular emails on this matter. Instead, I find it on a blog that I just happened to look at today? NOT ACCEPTABLE.

    I will say that I will consider staying if the pricing is ok for my non-profit chapter and I see a bit more transparency from you. One of the reasons I choose ning in the first place is that it appeared to be much more transparent and user-centered than Facebook. But, that will certainly be the only ning I consider transferring over to subscription. All the others will be moved elsewhere.

  364. Boston

    Hi, Jason

    We are in a recession and I understand that companies and individuals around the globe are trying to figure out how to navigate this downturn. I don’t begrudge Ning for restrategizing if the free level was becoming a major drag on your bottomline. Many are considering this a cliched “bait and switch” tactic but I know that things are never that simple and even moreso that nothing is ever FREE.

    I’m not sure who the people were that were laid off by Ning but I certainly hope it was your public relations/marketing department. This could have been a very simple scenario but between 1)the leak to tech sites, 2)the negilgence in not make site creators aware that this was coming immediately after the leak 3)the vague information about what costs are coming and 4)the confusion around what is actually going to happen on May 4th. I assume that on that date you’re going to be presenting us with all of the facts that will allow us to make an informed future about our future with Ning but it isn’t clear at all in the brief. I can understand why some are afraid that on May 4th they’ll try to sign in and a deposit slot is going to be installed on the page. It’s amazing to see so much good will go down the train because of lack of clear communication.

    I am among those who was actually considering moving to a premium level anyway before this fiasco so this doesn’t feel like an emotional tsunami. Grandfathering established free users and continuing to run ads on their sites while charging any new customers. Somehow eliminating sites that are seldom used(as I’m sure there are many from my communications with laissez faire admins that I know). Keeping the basic rate fees as low as possible by allowing sites to eliminate certain features i.e. chat(very seldom used by community members). All of these are potential responses to the issue I would think. I can’t say, however, I feel very confident in what’s to come after the events of the last couple of days. Still and all I hope that you guys are going to make this right for everyone as best you can. It would be a shame to witness a mass migration knocks Ning out of a game that it helped to develop.

    Regards,

    B

  365. Dixie Redmond

    Hi, Ning –

    I’ve enjoyed using your product, but truthfully I will be closing down a couple groups I started and trying to combine them into one. It is only fair that you let present users know what the price points will be so that we can make informed decisions. If we are going to be paying a flat fee for a group’s existence what will the fee be? Will their still be other charges on top of that? I have a lot of decisions to make and content to move and these are based on the price points.

    Dixie

  366. Jackie

    what about us who has had the free service? do we keep them or you going to delete our networks?
    this is very sad to hear times are hard and alot of ppl can’t afford to pay for things like this
    I just hope the ppl who has had a free ning network site can keep there network

  367. C. Jason Smith, Ph.D (CUNY).

    I have a group of 20 professors who use Ning to connect their classes together. All of the students also use Ning, which makes them potential “premium services” customers in the future. That is over 500 future Ning users per semester. Where, exactly, are you planning on getting your “premium” customers without the free service?

  368. Moira

    A little surprised ning creators weren’t emailed about this in the first place. As a not for profit using ning to build and support our efforts I hope your business model will manage to keep prices very low for groups like us.

  369. Rod

    Hi Ning,

    Though I am not an active Ning member, but i am sad that ning is choosing this path. I have always wanted to build a community using ning and I thought your current price structure is good enough. But if you choose to phrase out free option once and for all, then you are making a big mistake.

    The only benefit I see in this move is where most ‘big’ networks have no choice but to upgrade in order to keep the community going. But the disadvantage of it is that you are also phrasing out 80% of small community, forcing them to leave Ning and restart their community somewhere else.

    Not only that, you are also leaving a very bad taste to those members and your future prospects. As a web 2.0 company, you should know better what the consequences it will have.

    True, you may be making some instant cash in the short term but in the long run, you will be back to where you are again…trying to squeeze dime out of us.

    I would ure you to reconsider this option and think of other ways to generate cash…..for example selling virtual goods?

  370. Daphne

    I realize that as owners of the website, you folks have ultimate call on how you run your business. I have been honored to use your service and have had very little complaint about it (except the bugs in the chat need to be worked out).

    With that said, and with all due respect, I believe Ning is making a big mistake here by removing their free service. Indeed, times are tough, and I can see that any business is gonna look for ways to cut costs. However, have you considered that perhaps what you have accomplished here with the free service goes much further than simply “creative marketing?” That your contribution to the global community has helped people find like-minded people across the globe, despite their income? Especially in times like these, that is what is needed imho.

    I don’t feel stratifying people based on income will help matters much in society, with the way things are. I have seen many websites with free services, not unlike this one, do the same thing in regards to cutting off free service, and to be honest, imho they did it more tactfully and with a much longer grace period. I can think of none offhand that lasted very long after they did.

  371. Shoshana

    My sites are non-profit educational groups.

    I do hope that the pricing when it comes in will be sensible and take account of the different type of groups.

    I love the Ning format and have recommended it widely, but this change has been announced in such an astonishingly unprofessional way!

    A lot of users I think will no longer be able to recommend Ning. That’s got to be bad for business.

  372. lowrider69

    hi can someone tell me how long will we have to say goodbye to all our friends on our sites?? i’am a disabled person and unable to work to pay for my ning site ning though i would if i could.

    real shame as i just hit a nearly 1000 members 🙁

    NIng Dont do it lots of people use your sites for raiseing money for charities we have a run going on in next few weeks that will have to be canceled 🙁

  373. Gregory David

    Hello,
    I feel cheated when I hear the terms of the contracts are changed, unilateraly. And moreover, retrospectively.
    As I read in a previous post, we made Ning popular, made our members created new networks, that sometimes generate income for you.
    It would be a shame to cut the free access to an already existing network. It is not fair.

    Regards,

    Gregory David
    Mouvement Colibris
    France

  374. KathyArlene

    I came to Ning with a social group – teebeedee.ning.com and created a simple site for my extended family to visit and share… many are on limited budgets (as I am) and live at long distances from each other…. they were actually just becoming comfortable here and now it seems I’ll have to find another “home” or give the idea up as many of them may not want to “start over”.

    I’m of the same mind as many others…. it would have been better for to charge new site builders after May 4.

    Many people have invested time and energy here, as well as increasing the “ning presence” online – but I believe you may see a major exodus on May 4th. The results of which may be more harmful for your bottom line than you have considered.

  375. jack

    I am a NING network creator with a membership of over 2,000 and also a web designer. My network is not for profit (not an officially registered nonprofit) with the goal of bringing people together around green issues, supporting transition to a sustainable culture. NING has been a great empowerment tool for people who want to organize for causes like mine. I have advertised for NING via word of mouth to many, many people and have helped people start their own networks (most of them for good causes). Many of those people whom I told about NING no doubt have told many others. I spread the word because NING was such a great people empowerment tool–empowering those with little funds but with noble missions. Basically, you have got a lot of free advertising out of me and such people because of what you offered. Basically, even though I haven’t been paying for your network, I’ve been working for you spreading the word for a couple of years. This is what I don’t get: NING must get huge quantities of people spreading the word because the service is free and empowers small groups and organizing. This is a viral phenomenon, and is probably why NING became so popular. Those 25% people are constantly virally advertising for YOU. I don’t think you have truly calculated what you will be loosing in regards to the viral effect of the free model.

    SO, you will be loosing what I imagine as TONS of free advertising–people like me who rave about NING all of the time spreading the word because of what it is–as well as all of the people who don’t have the money but are organizing for good causes.

    As a part time web designer, I also will no longer be recommending NING to clients because most can’t afford the extra cost to pay for a network to see if it grows to become a valuable part of their organization. You see, having a network is experimental and new for most, so having it be free gives organizations and individuals the opportunity to see if it proves valuable over time. Many of them also simply can’t afford another bill.

    As to my network. You’ll be loosing me and my 2,000 plus members. I am a student and a part-time web designer living on a shoestring budget. I can’t pay for my network.

    ALSO, I will have to break the news to the documentary film company that recently set up a network for sexually abused men, nice. As well as the network that I help set up to support returning veterans, nice. These people are working hard for good and don’t have money.

    This is a sad day for the virtual world and for democracy. Yes, democracy. NING was a powerful tool for low income people to organize for positive change (without having to be an official nonprofit, which isn’t possible for most). I view this decision as directly dis-empowering low income people who are working for change (and who were advertising for you for free).

    I hope you rethink this one.

  376. Kate

    The posters who are so eager to remind everyone that it costs money to run servers, pay workers, hire lawyers, pay the power bill, etc., and that “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” are missing the point.
    The Sultans of Ning were well aware of this when they invited people to set up and develop communities on FREE Ning websites. True, they did not guarantee that this service would be free forever; however, it is understood by all that community-building takes time and involves a lot of work and commitment, and creates relationships (and, in the case of some charity websites, dependencies) that cannot be instantly dismantled without causing a great deal of damage. It is IMPLICIT in the offer of a free community website that there will be no short-term disruption to this service. How many Ning creators would have created and worked to build their online communities if Ning had made it clear that this free service was liable to be discontinued with just a few weeks’ (or even a few months’) notice? Very few, I suspect.
    Ning offered free community websites in the full knowledge that this would involve long-term commitment on the part of the people who accepted this offer. No-one, after all, would create and give their time to develop a community website if they thought for one minute that they would only be able to run it for a few weeks, or a few months, or even a few years. So, again, Ning’s (apparent) commitment to the continuation of its free service was implicit. Or, to put it more simply, Ning led its free network creators to believe that this service would never be abruptly terminated.

  377. andrew fenty

    “we’ll be phasing out our free service” can someone explain what free services are you talking about and can you list them for us to understand better

  378. pipit

    This is a very narrow minded decision on Ning’s part in my opinion.
    I have built my site shuttertime up over the last year with the help of my members,we have a very active site and for it to be closed at such short notice is devasting.
    I think the way we are being treated is appalling after all we have helped to build your business.
    Free sites should remain free for those that already have an established site on Ning just start charging your new members.
    Please reconsider this decision you have made.

  379. May Loyd

    I just need to know how much it will cost– to keep your network. I understand and the fee is okay. But when will you post the fees.. I need to know so we can keep going ..
    May

  380. Kate

    I was thinking about upgrading one of my sites to premium to up my video loading anyways- it would be nice if you would not wait until the last minute to post your new service fees. I have had to do the video transfer thing far more times than I can count and am sick of it. I would like to know if you will provide for a fee the ability to transfer loaded videos and photos from one network to another? I would be happy to pay for a single premium site to replace my 3 free ones.

  381. Tammy L Sexton

    I am a member of many Ning groups and was very disappointed to hear about this. Here are a couple of questions that come to mind:

    1) Will a monthly fee be reasonable enough that I can still maintain my membership in several Ning groups?

    2) Will you consider an option of non-fee based memberships that limit a members ability to do certain things?

    3) Would you also consider that fee based memberships receive an unlimited membership that doesn’t limit what they can do?

    4) When will you actually announce the fee structure and how this will work?

    I for one am unemployed and look for sites that offer free or greatly reduced fee structures for memberships that I am interested in. You may also want to consider that what you are doing is, IMO, going to reduce your membership levels as other people in this low income economy will not be able to afford the fees you may be proposing.

    Finally, this just seems like a really unthoughtful and overall bad idea.

  382. Carmen James

    I have several social networks that mean alot to me. And i don’t think that it is fair to start charging. Every time there is something that is used to help someone, the next thing you know people bring money into the picture. I feel that this cuts out those of us who can’t afford our own sites or rentals. I wish that you guys would reconsider charging and making lose what we are attempting to build. You have one of the best social networks that I have ran across. It is more user friendly as well. It is a shame that money means more than the personal gratification. And the sad part is that you guys are giving out short notice. I had to hear it from someone else. Didn’t even receive an email or notification from anyone. Glad I found out or I would have been shut down and didn’t even know. Right now I am so speachless in about this whole matter.

  383. BeachLocal

    Ning, I think you should charge for your services. For those that want something free, gimme a break. Try building something like Ning has and just give it away. Pay up or shut up. Keep pushing out great features Ning (and how about a repeating calendar feature?).

  384. t3chg1rl

    I came on ning originally to make a private social network for myself and my friends, to keep track of people who were away at school. We used the free option. I liked how it worked, so I started a public social network that is a paid site with the premium options, as well. But due to your handling of this and since I won’t be able to keep my free site, I’ll be moving that and my paid site as well.

  385. Kim Kahl

    I was notified that the ning websites will soon be charging us for usage…unfortunately, that will mean I will no longer be able to use the Wolfdogs Need Homes site to find homes for homeless wolfdogs….I am a Realtor and have made no income for over a year….I have many rescues in my care and every cent I have goes to care for them….it is unfortunate that you are unable to offer a no cost option to rescues and non profits…..but I guess in this world, it is just all about money….and the have nots are just left out….I am very sorry that this is to happen because I have found several good homes for homeless dogs through the site I am a member of and having these internet opportunities are crucial to find homes for animals who need them. many blessings and good luck in your pursuit of $$$…I am sure there are many who have some who will continue on with you but unfortunately, I will be unable to.

  386. Otto Rapp

    I feel very strongly that you guys are shooting yourself in the foot!
    Where did your premium customers come from in the first place, if not from the free start-up little networks that outgrew their bandwidth and storage space when they became successful and their memberships expanded. This, in the not too distant future, will be the case with my own network. At that point in time, it was planned already to add extra bandwidth.
    But if you get rid of the free service, you won’t have the start-ups that eventually expand enough to become premium customers! Was it not enough to get the google ad revenue from all these little networks? I concede, it is not much, but the potential of these small networks to start up and grow into premium revenue networks will have the rug pulled out from under them.
    I would hope that sanity will prevail, and short term gain from slash and cut will be abandoned for a more progressive view of long term opportunities and building of an ever growing customer base, instead of what promises to be a stagnating enterprise gasping for breath.
    Interestingly enough, I’ve seen sites go exactly in the opposite direction, making more of their services free as a basic service in order to atract a customer base to which innovative and atractive premium services can be offered.

  387. Nicoletta

    This is such a pity for many of our teachers! Is there no way to continue a free service for existing clients who already have active Nings? There will be some teachers who will have to discontinue their active Nings mid-way through their teaching. This is such a shame, and a very short timeframe (though I realise May is just the release of pricing plans). Very, very sad…

  388. catherine

    Wow, I must say I am really disappointed with this decision. I manage two sites on Ning, one free and one paid. What a bait and switch move to say the sites are free and then when we all get good and deep in Ning, start charging. Nice way to treat your loyal customers!!

    And as others have said, you couldn’t even bother to tell the site managers directly? We all had to find out about it third-hand? And now, several days later, STILL no official email or any info from Ning.

    I’m really disappointed in this company.

  389. Rodney Campbell

    “We recognize that there are many active Ning Networks for teachers, small non-profits”

    Having recognized that fact you should continue the free Ning network service for these particular purposes as a gesture of good will.

    The remainder of the free networks should remain free for a period of 90 days after you have announced your new pricing structure.

    Any new networks established after your date in May would be established accepting your new price structure.

  390. Wanderingbear

    Instead of Killing the Free option make it ad based like most free services. You could put the ad right at the top. I would really hate to loose this service for my website. But Im not makeing any money off from any of this and can not afford to pay for it.

  391. sherri

    i love my site and i guess everything depends on the prices… we shall see .. i know there are other sites offering ning people great deals.. so hopefully ning will realize this and make it possible for us to stay

  392. FT

    Hello to everyone!

    I am posting on behalf of all those who live in the developing countries (where they live for less than one dollar per day!)

    It does not mean I have no money, but I can say to those who say “free lunch is over” thank you for creating “digital divide”! Please enjoy your own free lunch and feed your puppies while people out there live for less than one dollar per day!

    Millions of thanks!

    FT

  393. Sara

    Other than the OBVIOUS disappointment in this decision, it’s only fair for you to tell us what kind of prices we’re looking at before you shut us all down. So I’m assuming that we have a bit longer than May 14 before our sites are FORCEFULLY DELETED, correct? I already have my admins working on transferring to another platform, but if the price range is reasonable we might not have to. It’s far from being fair to, after everyone using Ning worked their butts off on their sites, tell us about having to pay now, and on such short notice. If you had given us a few months, enough to try other services and let our members try them and see if it would be worth it paying for Ning or just swapping platforms, maybe people wouldn’t be so mad. But less than a month for everything? No. I for one know that if I were the sole authority on my site I wouldn’t be able to do it, and I imagine that it’s the case for many people who run their sites without other admins. Really a poor decision.

  394. madskilleddancer

    I also think it is truly a shame that ning is choosing this path. There are a lot of fansites and such that were created using ning– Fansites that have really grown. A lot of the people using the sites are teens. We’ve used them to “meet” people from all over the country and the world. We’ve posted stories for other people our age to read and critique and it would be an extremely difficult and extrenuating process to move everything to other, less convenient, less userfriendly sites. On behalf of the people on Blogforwriters.ning.com I beg you to reconsider this choice.

  395. Leigh Griffith

    So nice to hear this from a third party instead of directly from Ning – not! We are a small chapter of the International Society of Folk Harpers and Craftsmen (the only chapter in Maine) and we are very much a non profit. I told some of our members about this deplorable move yesterday at a workshop and the consensus is that there is no way we can afford anything but a free website. There are a lot of miles between members here and it is nice to have a way to keep in touch. Granted, we are not a high-traffic site, but it still helps to get info on workshops, concerts and gatherings to our members. I guess it is back to emailing everyone periodically and forwarding the emails between members (what a pain!). I do not spend my time creating websites and the quick (relatively) and easy set up here has been a godsend for someone like me who just wants to keep folks informed.

    It would have been a little less of a shock if I hadn’t heard about this third hand! That is just plain underhanded!

  396. Dave Hamlett

    I hear alot of disappointed people and I cannot blame them. As mentioned before, you should maintain the current free sites and after May 4th, start charging. Why anger all of your free site holders? What happens to them? They leave angry and start posting on FB or other social networks what Ning has done to them. Is this a risk you can afford to do? Hopefully, you will rethink this issue and come up with a more amidable solution.

  397. Megg

    Being a member of a local group coming together in a closed group to defend our region from an unwelcome intrusion of a high speed car rally, thru rural residential and a bio-diverse environmental hotspot., I have concerns about all the valuable information we have accumulated on our Ning site.

    Can you tell me how we can move it somewhere, where it can be accessed in the same kind of way, ie. a closed group.

    I love the way it can be referenced, to find things.
    At the moment we are not so active, but as the next rally is maybe still being planned for 2011 (?), we may still need all the info stored there, to continue our campaign against it.

    Some more info re costs and where and how ‘migration’ works would be greatly appreciated.

    Many of the group are not very computer literate and it has been a wonderful tool for a diverse and very spread out rural community to come together, despite the tyranny of distance.
    We achieved so much being able to interact together in a closed Ning site. I hope you can make exceptions to Non-Profit Community Groups and Educational Groups, using Ning.

    Thank you for being there in our need.
    Meggan ( for NRG — No Rally Group)

  398. E S

    I came expecting to see people whining about not getting free service, and I was not disappointed. Sigh. (I do not work for Ning.)

    The free model is not sustainable for most smaller businesses. It costs money (I know, it’s shocking, isn’t it?) to run servers, hire people, hire lawyers, pay the power bill, etc.

    I am an educator with no budget. But, I do not expect private enterprise to foot the bill for the state/local government’s failure to fund educational technology. In fact, the availability of ‘free’ services in some way does a disservice to educators. It allows the chimera that technology is free, and therefore, school districts, universities, etc. have no responsibility to supply their own solutions, or to pay fairly in the marketplace for outsourcing.

    I am sorry that Ning has to go to a paid model. But, as an advisory board member to the NY Times, I can say I also advised them to go to a paid model for their online content. Good reportage costs money. So does a good online environment.

    Free lunch is over folks. Maybe angelfire or whoever is offering up some peanut butter sammiches, but suck it up and think about a world that does not owe you free technology. Or free anything. Get the money from those who owe it–state/local government, users, advertisers, whoever. But the world does not owe you free Ning.

  399. PayingNC

    Nothing in Life is free. Especially forever.. If you are serious about your network or Hobby invest in yourself.. If you don’t who will ?

  400. Vivian Zabel

    I’m very disappointed that now my small company will have to find a new venue and find a way to set the new private site up. I think you may be disappointed too, when the backlash hits.

    Why didn’t you notify owners of ning sites? Finding it accidentally isn’t good for your business either.

    Now, to find another way to put our site together elsewhere. I am taking myself from every ning site of which I’m a member.

  401. Olaf Clausing

    This is a bad news, I started working on a Ning site with premium features. Now I have to stop it because of unclear payment options. The 4th of May? I need the Information right now, i have a time schedule. I will start looking for an other option/company right now! Sorry.

  402. Charlay

    This is awful..I would strongly and kindly suggest that you do not do this RETROSPECTIVELY as we are the ones who made Ning what it is, but start charging FOR NEW CUSTOMERS, this would be fair.

  403. Sara

    I have to say that I completely hate this. I’ve worked up to over 400 members in the last few months of my site, and I have absolutely no budget to pay for it. The reason I originally chose Ning for the site’s platform was because it worked like a lot of others, just for free. I think one of the main reasons anyone chose Ning was because it was free. Not looking forward to having my website having to be closed down due to this decision, and I don’t want to have to transfer all the information onto a free forum host or something of the sort.

  404. Anarela

    This is the same thing that happened with adult networks. We were supposed to have all of our stuff migrated over, but it took so long and was so difficult that many of us just said forget it!!

    I think that ning should honor the free services for those who already have it, and start charging new customers.

  405. Anthony

    Will still be a free or significantly reduced version for education purposes? We use a network for University students, it would be a shame to lose all student work and contributions because of this change.

    Can you provide details on how this might effect non-profits and education Ning sites? I urge you to place special consideration towards the future of our and other non-profit and education Ning communities who have little or no funding to continue with your services.

  406. Kinderstuth

    I have a small collaborative network for educational purposes for less than twenty people. In the almost end of school year, while preparing the finals, this decision contradicts my discussions with my colleagues and mainly my students.
    Finally it does not matter, there are many free solutions competing. The names are already circulating on twitter. Such a mishap has occurred before and some publishers have deeply regretted their turnaround strategy. I do not promote Ning anymore. Wait and see …

    J’ai un tout petit réseau collaboratif à des fins pédagogiques pour moins d’une vingtaine de personnes. En cette presque fin d’année scolaire, alors que se préparent les épreuves finales, cette décision contrarie mes échanges avec mes collègues et mes étudiants.
    Au final ce n’est pas grave, il existe de nombreuses solutions gratuites concurrentes. Les noms circulent déjà sur twitter. Pareille déconvenue s’est déjà produite auparavant et certains éditeurs ont regretté vivement leur revirement stratégique. Attendons de voir…

  407. RhetTbull

    So long Ning. It’s been nice knowing you. Most of your small networks can’t afford more than a few dollars a month. I won’t pay a single dime if you show your obnoxious ads on even the entry-level paid networks. Ads are fine for free service but not if I’m paying. I’ll start looking elsewhere for my social networks. Fortunately, Mashable has a good guide to Ning alternatives.

  408. Sarah

    Hi my name is Sarah and I run a network for Dyslexic kids and Teenagers.

    I am at this time trying to pool together the funds I need to pay for my network to stay. But my BIG BIG queston is, are you planning on deleting all non-paying networks on may 4th? Or will we have some more time after that? I keep heraing that it will be 5 dollers a munth. Is this true? I may be abol to pool that… But since I am a nonprofit network I would like to see if you can lower that more for me.

    I am sercily scared out of my wits after seeing this… Someone pleas help me!

  409. Carolyn Williams

    PLEASE do not shut down the teachers site. It is something that is helping teachers so much. We are teaching THE FUTURE. Please don’t close us down!!

  410. Donna Rogers

    We’re a fanfiction site, with hundreds of stories and reader comments posted. Authors are going to lose readers who follow their stories. The exodus of both writers AND readers is going to be huge.

  411. zinnia

    It would really be a much more professional approach, in my opinion, if you would just present us with the fees and give us all enough time to digest and plan our next move. Making us wait is really poor planning, as if we need to brace ourselves for the unveiling. It fosters a sense of mistrust that I think you can avoid if you just lay it out for us. Many of us run businesses and we need to know the bottom line: how much is it going to cost us?
    Thank you,
    Zinnia Galliher

  412. Mhyst

    I won’t pay… I’d rather migrate to free webhosting.
    With this change, you’ll get not only migration to other places… but also, people who is looking for hosting to open a new site won’t open it on Ning. That’s simple.

    Our community is an RPG group. We don’t make money with it… we won’t pay for this.
    Good luck

  413. Olderwoman

    I have used your free services for my OlderWomanGroup since last May 2009…We have formed alot of great friendships through this group and for sure dont want to lose my 165+ members. I do believe that any NING groups that have been formed before May 2010 should be grandfathered in…any groups formed after the May 2010 date should pay for your services…thats just good business ethics…to ask those who are already using your services to now start paying is in bad taste…Please reconsider for the benifit of all of us who are using your FREE services. Thank You

  414. Vance Stevens

    Hi dear Ning people,

    I am one of many educators who relished and believed in Ning as one of the best ways forward for communities of practice and distributed learning networks of educators who sought to transform the learning experience first with one another and then, or in some cases, simultaneously with our students. I recommended Ning as a place to go to find excellent Ning sites such as Steve Hargadon’s Classroom 2.0 and our own Multiliteracies Ning which we used as a base for that topic in the last two renditions of that course.

    What gave these sites their critical mass was the network of other altruistic, like-minded people who were coming together in these Nings, among other spaces online. Ning offered one of the best sets of affordances online for this kind of grouping. We have learned a lot over the years from the Ning interface, the way for example that it invited blogs posts and the way these supplanted forums in keeping conversations going.

    I’m impressed that 75% of Ning’s traffic was commercial; but that was a network my colleagues and I did not participate in. Whatever our niche was, it is clear now that it will have to move it elsewhere. This is our loss but it is also Ning’s loss. The network I surmise was an asset that Ning’s new management has not accurately calculated in its balance sheet. This network of dedicated, satisfied, and interactive users was built over several years of good will between the host and those who took advantage of its services, and it appears that the host has not respected the value of this user base and is casting it adrift.

    I would suggest that Ning should try to mitigate this loss by sustaining for free its users who gravitated here and in a sense squatted, not as pariahs in this neighborhood, but as an important part of its very fabric.

    It remains to be seen what will become of Ning when this user base migrates elsewhere. The users in this situation are impassioned about what they do, and they will carry on as the did before Ning appeared and in the next substrate that supports them. Ning will not be the same, it will become a network of commercial users, of little interest to educators leveraging Web 2.0 for the benefit of teachers and students. The network will have moved elsewhere, there will be no reason for educators to remain here, even to pay for hosting. The network that nurtured our interest will have moved on, as it gravitated to Ning due to its clear advantages some years ago.

    This is a real disappointment. I’m sure we wish Ning well, but I feel there is a lot we can learn from one another, that Ning would benefit from sustaining its free communities, and that everyone would feel better by having done the right thing.

    IMHO,

    Vance Stevens

  415. Emily

    Hi,

    I am not too involved in a lot of everything that goes on around Ning but I do come around sometimes. I am very disappointed that Ning is ending their free services. I have a small, 53 member website that is for writers to post their stories and fanfics and I would hate to lose it. I might be able to stay with Ning if the prices for my network aren’t too high. I hope that I will be able to stay with Ning because it works best for what I do with my website and it lets me interact with my members, and some websites don’t let you do that.

  416. Suzanne Mallabone

    I run not for profit, charitable self help websites through ning. I have helped a lot of disabled people in the 2 years I have been using ning.

    I am deeply concerned about the new pricing structures and the ramifications for our sites.

    We do not have funding and all the work I have done is purely to help others and it has begun to make a difference internationally.

    I do not see that websites with charitable aims should be included in these pricing structures. Even the most cut-throat of companies encourage and advocate charitable work and do not charge organisations with charitable aims. I question the business ethics of this decision.

    Suzanne

  417. jarielynn

    I am very disappointed in thses actions. Myself and many friends of mine visit our sites daily. There are other ways to make money, without having to delete active sites. Did you think about advertising? Many other sites do this. I guess, as usual, it comes down to the mighty dollar. Too bad… I like your site and I know your traffic will be greatly decreased now.

  418. Suzanne Mallabone

    I am deeply concerned about these changes. I run 3 not for profit sites that help people with disabilities. We do not have funding. I have invested a lot of time in helping people through my sites. I am very anxious that if I am charged for this service then my sites will no longer be viable.

    I think that it makes little business-sense charging organisations with charitable aims. It is more than a little distasteful.

    Suzanne Mallabone

    Dyslexic Support

  419. John

    you will lose most of your traffic if you think you should make people pay…We are the ones that make your $$ for you…and now you want us to pay…greedy money grab is what it is! Its sad to see such a wonderful thing turn to greed. so sad!

  420. Marco De Veglia

    Any free Internet service can disappear from one day to the other. Ning is no exception. They hoped that they could make it with the ads + the premium services and they didn’t. Or maybe they hoped to get critical mass and get bought from a big guy and it didn’t happen.

    The new CEO does what he is supposed to do: work out a plan to make money out of this thing. It’s not easy, because Ning is just one of the platform and while probably the best, it’s still not the only one and you can always switch to a Facebook group and get most of the things you get from Ning for free (and the added advantage of enormous potential traffic).

    Frankly I cannot simpatize with all the people with free network whining they cannot pay. If they cannot pay, it means it’s just a hobby. Even if it’s a no-profit group, if it’s NOT a hobby you have to find out how to get some money to fund it. In short, if your group is not even making the money to pay for the Ning monthly fees, maybe it’s not adding enough value to the world to justify its presence.

    Personally I have a small free group of people who are happy to interact on the Ning and talk about the topic of “making money online in Italy”. This change in the Ning policy is a good wake up call: I have been thinking for a long time what to do about this group: devoting more effort in order to monetize, let it die or move it to Facebook.

    Now I know. I will ask the group members if they want to pay a monthly fee to be in the group and get more services. If they say yes, I have a business and move to Ning paid services. If they say no, then I say “ok goodbye, see you on the Facebook group” and I know I DON’T have a business (it’s still a nice hobby).

    It’s very simple: if this is a business then you shall make some money (even not for profit) and you can pay for the paid service. If it’s not a business, it’s a hobby then why on earth Ning shall spend its money for your hobby? I don’t see why.

    Having said that… Ning shall understand it’s a business too. At least 3 things are missing and mandatory in my opinion:

    1) A membership fee system (SocialGo has it) so you can manage subscriptions (today you have to do it manually and it’s ridiculous)

    2) A selective content management service so you show things to free and to paying members (today impossible)

    3) An autoresponder system OR easy integration with Aweber or Getrsponse (now there is only the toy broadcast tool)

    There are ways to make money with groups and memberships. However, today Ning, with all the bells and twistles, hasn’t the building blocks for that. It better add them fast or it will become just an expensive toy for people who want to “have a community” (not a great business model)

    Marco

  421. Maggie

    I agree with KB. I will not be paying for my website. You are going to lose thousnads of members. I am enjoying owning sunset, but it will be closed do to this. If you charge entrance to websites very few are going to join if any. I highly dought you will be pleased with the out-come.

  422. Carys

    I have a very small group set up for our local over 50’s club. Some members are over 80! Changing to another service will only confuse them as they are just about getting used to Ning. We are a registered charity and I hope you will have a special rate for us otherwise we will have to migrate ..the concept of the internet being free for all is gradually diminishing.

  423. Hailey

    ‘The tens of thousands of you who already use our paid service represent over 75% of our traffic’ – so why are you forcing everyone to pay? If you’re thinking of adding new features then why not make them optional and charge for them?

    I don’t think it’s fair on the sites created by teenagers who use it to socialise.

  424. mamez

    I have been using Ning in state (non-fee paying) education in Argentina with amazing results for over a year, and I’m truly sorry to think all the students’ work will go to waste.

    While I appreciate many small companies have been profiting from Ning’s free services, which is unfair, it should also be borne in mind that Ning has provided an excellent solution to the nonprofit and educational community.

    Can we urge Ning management to reconsider their decision and offer at least a restricted service to this sector of their users? A petition is being signed to that effect at http://education.change.org/petitions/view/keep_ning_free_for_nonprofit_and_educational_use

  425. Tom

    Hi Jason,

    As a community college instructor here in California, my ning network I created this Spring has been an amazing asset to 4 sections of a class I teach, and really has enhanced the learning experience for my students. Thanks for providing such a great service and I look forward to an affordable solution for us teachers 🙂

    Tom

  426. Marie

    I don’t think its fair that you have the creaters pay i mean there is a lot of people who will liave this site and say im done due to the fee i mean the networks should be free who would want to pay gosh know how m,uch in oreder to keep their site up and running

  427. Sharon Ann Wikoff

    Dear Jason,

    I just heard about these changes and am concerned too! Your service has been amazing! I created a ning site to go along with my radio program. It’s been a wonderful addition to the show. I’m in the process of combining my teaching background and skills as a small business owner to create a new program to create new jobs for many individuals. YOUR NING SITE has been a huge part of the way I’m invisioning this work. A charging service would certainly impact this work. As creative entrepreneurs, I hope that you and the others you are working with…are able to find a creative way to bring in the necessary funding you need and at the same time maintain this amazing free service for those such as myself, attempting to make a difference on the planet! I’m a senior and the social network scene wasn’t easy for me to get into! However, YOUR sites have been amazing. And I’ve been on several ning sites and have enjoyed them all! I was so surprised and delighted at the amazing way I connected with like-minded people by intuitively clicking on various pictures of other members as they circulated at the top of the site! I’m not that outgoing, but that service was fantastic!!! Wishing you the best as you make these difficult decisions. Sincerely, Sharon

  428. alberto cidraes

    I can only say, I am extremely disappointed. A longtime fan and user of Ning I’ve created several successful communities with you. For that I invested a lot of time and energy, appreciating Ning’s functionality and good design scheme. I understand the need for financial sustainability of any venture but cannot help feeling that the rug was pulled from under my feet. All my communities are non-profit and having to support their cost is not an option for my limited funds. An alternative would be for Ning to be more demanding and strict on the actual use, traffic and content of free communities rather than obliterating us altogether. Naturally you would have to scrutinize creators on a case by case basis.
    I apologize for saying it, but the sense of betrayal is unavoidable.

    Best regards

    Alberto Cidraes

  429. Denise

    I am very disappointed in the turn Ning is taking. As a member of a Ning education group I spent countless hours of my own “unpaid” time sharing, learning and collaborating with other educators through Ning. Now this is going to come at a price, which is very sad! Teachers already spend way too much of their own money out of their generous pockets for their students and classrooms. It certainly is an insult for Ning to be looking to gain monetary profit from teachers in this manner.

  430. JB

    Hey, this news almost stopped my heart! I am truly scared now. I absolutely LOVE ning and have many people to this site to be members and to start their own networks. I have a few sites through ning and have worked extremely hard on them and have been trying to build my members up. Now, with the price tag attached I am not sure If I will be able to afford to keep one, little own a few of them going. Even if we seek out help from our members, I just don’t see members paying us or making donations to us. Even if members chip in it would only be a handful and would probably not cover the costs. I wouldn’t mind it it was dirt cheap but I don’t know…Is there going to be any ways we can make a turn around and get sponsored ads or something to help out with costs?

  431. Laure

    I have used the 2nd grade ring since it’s inception and the previous spot it got booted from. I think there should always be a free option with limited features. An ability to share teacher ideas and resources is imperative to our educational system. I do not get paid enough to join webrings but without them, I wouldn’t be able to share and receive ideas that work in the classroom. Especially those of us who work in private catholic/religious schools. If our students returned to public education, it would over burden the public system. We are important to public education! If you have a paid option already with extra features and abilities, how are the free rings taking away from that? Please do not get rid of the free option!!!

  432. Solarfizzykins

    Some of us as Mental Health activists and promoters of good information had agreed to have uploaded docs on a NING account (into discussions) and we would have paid $30 per year for that as it was building capacity slowly and selectively and it was great to link across and have easy stored access .. I don’t think we wanted much more than that but it was convenient and now that is under threat sadly. It has been difficult to know how to negotiate prices with you but I guess its been forced now .

    I think some of the other prices that NING advertised were too steep for us but I do realise they included many other functionalities on the platforms that NING generously offered – but we would not have used anyway

    Our offer is to pay you $30 a year for the right to have docs uploaded on LINk-Watch (our account) and downloaded by our audiences which are not great in number but do help others in the mental health community . Some of us are paying for flickr accounts and we are uploading more MB on there than we are here and for only $24 per year .. I feel its fair to compare but in doing so I think NING have tried to create some free use for some time and that has been of real value – keep that value and good will in mind – preserve as much as you can of it and phase in reasonable prices for packages but don’t sting us all too badly because you’ll find many of us are disabled at the free end of the use-community ..

    Kind Regards all

    Solar.

  433. Casey

    This is catastrophic!

    Do sincerely hope that the package that you are rolling out for teachers and institutions who are seriously using ning to benefit teaching and learning STILL HAS THAT FREE OPTION ATTACHED!

    A pity in fact if it is not…..

  434. Keri

    I really don’t want to start having to pay for ning, ning has become a big part of my life.

  435. Julia

    “Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment will not appear until it has been approved. We look forward to hearing from you and encourage your comments, critiques, questions, and suggestions. We ask that you stay on topic, respect other people’s opinions, and avoid profanity and offensive statements. For questions specific to your Ning Network, please drop us a note in the Ning Help Center.”

    what is this mean if u dont accept our critique?

    i disagree with u to delete the non-premium ning website….. we’ve join u because we know ning from many free ning… they help u… many peoples from AO n NNC are waiting for u to not delete it… i speaking like this because i dissapointed about ur work…..hiks…we’ll be very sad if u really2 do that but u are, right?….

    can u just think it a little more? please dont… or i and my friends maybe will live u and make the ning lost the members…. please dont…. i love ning….n u will delete it… ive join more that 60 non-premium ning networks… and they are nice,,,n we know each other from there…..

    …Sign…

    Ur very DISSAPOINTED member
    (sorry if i make some mistake in the words)

  436. Clive Moore

    In support of Alex’s comments

    “For that same reason I hope that your new set of features includes the option to charge membership fees. If it does not you will see significant exodus of your paying, premium members. I don’t have to tell you what that would mean for Ning.”

    I have been running a 450+ free members site for the past year, the site is GROWING, buit there has never been ANY PROVISION to make any charge to members… except via a PayPal Donations box, there isn’t even anyway of differentiating membership between non-users and frequent-users, even after asking time and time again for such a facility so as to be able to provide a premium service to members who require it.

    Yes I have enjoyed the benefits of a free site, but at what cost NOW! I am making advanced warnings to my membership that there will need to be a membership charge – BUT HOW? As NING has never provided any tools to monitor membership or to promote membership users. Whereas with moderation there are loads of features/ levels of promotion routes. Its always seemed that quantitive membership generation was the focus, not qualitive!

    IF you are going to charge us for PREMIUM SERVICES, what real facilities are you going to GIVE US to charge for our own services?

    FINALLY a word of warning, out of a 471 members in a one year period I have attracted dontions from only 4.6% of the membership. That totalled only $250

    Now as a micro model, if applied on a macro basis, what results would you expect for NING?
    OK you retain your revenue streams, but the acorns that grow into mighty OAKS you will loss out on, as they move to your competitors – seems an inverse strategy.

    Sorry, forgot you as a company was once a acorn, that grew into a mighty oak, then sold its self!!!!Perhaps you are now applying your own strategy model again… I trust you will be successful, but at what COST – annoucing that you are cutting 80 staff and then apply charges – Umm? seems a bit odd, cut costs, then charge more to your users??? What are we going to expect???

    perhaps you may consider the many acorns that you will be lossing. Perhaps you have now created 80 odd acorns that will quickly grow… and become competitors! Now thats an interesting thought.

    Anyway – regards to your strategy, yes agree but at what costs, and what will be provided with to make our work easier. Sorry to say, I cannot afford to self finace the site, so therefore I need to ofset costs, therefore I will lose membership – all seems self defeating.

    I hope your strategy also provides uis with the tools to also attract revenue streams to help us, make NING work.

    FINALLY – as a United Kingdom Creator – when are you going to provide a service for the UK, where we can use Shopping carts etc that help us raise GB Pounds, as we cant use $

    perhaps that would be a BIG help.

    Clive Moore
    ELGRAND.ning.com

  437. Charolette

    I have been trying to figure out how much an individual premium site costs NOW and cant seem to figure that out…..it looks like $10 a month and IF that is the price…..NING can forget about me doing that…..it will be sad to lose my sites….but….I cannot afford that with 3 established sites !!!

    Charolette

  438. Serenity

    Like they said above. I think it’s a bad move on Ning to be rid of the free sites. A lot of us spend a lot of time putting our sites together. Now your going to just take them away. You know how money is now. Most people can’t afford food much less to pay for a service where most members hardly ever log back on. So why would I want to pay for a service when the traffic is little to none? As a graphic designer student, I guess I will have to start up my own social network and offer free services. So people can continue to chat or whatever it is they do on their sites. For what we used to be able to do here.

    Disappointed Member…

  439. Lynne Sanders-Braithwaite

    P.S. WHY cease providing the minimal free services when they only go to 25% of your people ? In what possible way is it harming you at NING ? That 25% will NOT translate into a 100% move to PAID ! Yrs Lynne.

  440. Charolette

    Okay….I have several sites on NING. Are we going to have to pay for EACH one of them? If so….I will have to LEAVE NING. It is very upsetting to hear I have put so much work into my sites and NOW NING is going to charge or I will lose them. This hardly seems fair for those of us who have put so much work into the sites and have so many members already built up.

    Also, if there are HUGE changes….I may not even be able to figure out how to even manage or work on my sites….I have always liked knowing what I was doing on them as opposed to some that are much more difficult.

    ALSO….I DO NOT do any business online as far as paying for ANYTHING. I dont do that because of identity theft, hackers, ect and dont want to make a habit of that now. Can we pay the fee by money order IF we decide to keep the NING service?

    As an individual with sites that do NOT promote any goods or services that I make money off of….I sincerely hope the fees for these sites IS NOT EXPENSIVE. I live on limited income and cannot afford huge fees .

    Again…..its really upsetting that you have all of us with sites that are set up exactly as we want them complete with many members and NOW you are changing the “game plan”…..LOTS of work has went into these sites. Its like you have us “on the hook” so to speak……and that really does stink.

    Charolette

  441. Kathie M Thomas

    I hope that all network creators will be advised via email. I don’t often come here to read the blog but obviously need to be aware of what’s happening. As you do have the facility to broadcast email members I look forward to hearing via email what’s happening so I can make informed decisions for the several networks I’ve created here. Some of those won’t be suitable to take to a paid membership format so I’ll have to decide what to do.

  442. Thiago Santos de Moraes

    Jason, I just need a good price for a small religious community of a third world country and a way to pay via bank deposit.

  443. Gianni Marconato

    This is a very terrible news. Our network (800 + members) is about making Italian school works. Network members are teachers and their work within the network is generousi and voluntary-based. During our network life time, we have developed a high feeling of belongigness to a community and the idea to kill this experience made we all very very sad. We all are desperate at the idea of loosing all our works, discussions, ideas, personal relationship.
    We don’t know if we will have enought money to pay for maintaning our network live. you cannot germinate hopes and than kill them just for money
    Gianni

  444. James Valerio

    As an elementary teacher I just found out about the Ning Network last summer. I have learned so much from other teachers on the Second Grade Teacher site. I am saddened to see that you are going to start charging for usage. As a teacher, we spend a lot of our own money for our students and our classrooms. We are one of the few professions where we spend our hard earned money on our job. Offering this site for free helps us out. Can’t you make an exception for teachers and non-profits where we can use the site for free? All of the other NING users will have their corporations pay for the site. My school district won’t pay during these hard economic times with all the cuts in Education. Please rethink this. Thanks!

  445. Martha

    I am just someone that wanted to start a network for vintage sellers on etsy! I was thrilled to have found this as it was like a one stop shop for information for the group. I also created one for my group at Church. I am sad to know that it will be changing as it is just one more thing I have to do now. I am sure my groups will not want to pay and I don’t have the funds to float it!
    I understand you have to do what you have to do…but basic is great for me… I don’t need the fancy schmancy stuff!
    boo hoo.

  446. Craig

    I don’t understand why you wouldn’t phase it out. Allow existing (and active) free sites to continue until they become inactive and simply stop offering the free service to new users. I started my ning network about five months ago and put a lot of effort into it. This will leave a bad taste in the mouths of many people.

  447. Steve

    While I respect NING’s decision to change course l do hope they realize the extent of use their social media by NGOS and non-profit groups. Im NING will be fair in perhaps letting these sites have acquired rights of staying on NINg for free which in no way can get in the way of for profit groups. Certain features (like paid memberships) can be activated or de-activated by the network owners.

  448. Suzan Tiemroth-Zavala

    I would like to say how disappointed I am in your decision. I have just begun to use Ning. I am an ESL teacher (English as a Second Language) at a California Community College. We serve immigrants who, as you know, are a disenfranchised group. In California, we are in a severe budget crisis, our salaries will be frozen this year, and paying for NIng will be a real hardship. I have just set up two Ning networks for my students and was so pleased to see how excited they were to use the site, set up their pages, and use English for doing it all. How very sad that you have decided that we are not worth it. I am sure you have your reasons, but teachers in the United States are really not well-paid nor respected. We work hard, make very little money compared to the corporate world, and we are always just getting by. Every time we have a new way to reach our students, especially now with technology, someone decides to make us pay for it. I hope you will consider making a more reasonable fee for educational use. The best social networking sites now cost and I am so sorry to lose another one.

  449. L.

    Okay-this blog has got the fans/members of My Manilow Network, in a COMPLETE uproar – WE, NEED, to know if, we as fans, HAVE to start paying through YOU, just to be ABLE to stay ON as members on THAT Network. Yes we all know our memberships fees are due for the BMIFC($10.00)-WE NEED to know if, we DON’T pay this $4.95 business, will we not be able to access our accounts to be on My Manilow Network. Please, feel free to post a blog on this Network-the members are getting out of CONTROL BECAUSE of YOUR post.
    We, are, ALL, confused-BIG time.

  450. Eric Suesz

    Hey, Omar! Don’t worry. We’ll let you know all about the details here and on Creators and via email communication. As Jason said, we’ll explain the process of migrating if you want to and plenty of time. But, stay tuned. I really hope you end up liking what we have to offer. I think a number of folks will, although to be sure some will want to take a different direction. Thanks!

    E

  451. Nolin

    This is the best Ning news in a long time! Looking forward to the increased focus on features and functionality for paid-service networks!

  452. Cookie

    How much per month would we have to pay at minimum?
    I’m still a little confused about that.

  453. Jean Lussier

    Unfortunately all the members of our ning network are considering leaving. You have a great platform but since the blog is community driven , no one want to assume the cost by them self.

  454. coffeeandtea

    Hello Jason:

    Ning has been extremely useful and important for my middle school and junior college students. I have three active Ning accounts for students, and the Ning has transformed how I structure and deliver curriculum. I really hope that your comment “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.” results in feasible options for those of us in public education. <<<<<<<< There is very little money that most educators can spend to purchase a Ning account(s).

    Thank you,

    coffeeandtea

  455. Hunter Brianna Garcia

    You guys can’t do this, so many people depend on this free site. Personally, my friends, and I have Ning accounts for Roleplaying, and Ning is the best place for it. Please, we beg of you to rethink what you are doing. If we have to pay, which I doubt any of us will, we will have nowhere to go. Most of us live in different states, so it makes comuncating difficult. Please, don’t do this.

    Sincerly, the owner of Cullenists,

    Hunter Brianna Garcia

  456. UNI

    If I understand correctly my ning free site will no longer be free after May. So I must now make a move toward shuttting down my space?

  457. Dietmar Stefitz

    So, if I can see it right, until 4th of May nothing will be closed, and tehreafter we can move to a paid service?

    Let’s hope it will not be too expensive, as we are jsut starting our club.

  458. Rhonda

    Our Second Grade Teachers group is extremely upset at this new change. We worked very hard to create our network after moving from MSN groups. We feel we are constantly being shufffled. In today’s economy, we hope your pricing for teacher and education groups will be extremely fair. The valuable friendships and sharing of materials from all over the country has allowed the 2nd Grade group to be one of the closest informal informational groups I have ever been a part of. We love the format of Ning and have been able to refer many people for many reasons but the first thing we are asked about the site, “Is it free?” We do have many members who will leave, will not be able to get many new members to join if it is paid, so hope you will release information very soon about the actual pricing.

  459. Lisa Olive

    This news is saddening. I don’t make any money on my site, therefore I pay everything out of my own pocket. I set part of my site up with you because it was free, which is what I wanted for my members and I know a few of them opened up sites with you because of it. I will not ask them to pay a price to be a member, as this tends to lose members. I guess when you start the pricing thing I’ll have to change over to another site, unfortunately. In the meantime, I’ll start a new search for a free site and notify my members that have a site with you that they may want to as well. I do hope you lose a lot of members because of this move. I will be fair though and see what your prices will be.

  460. Jeffrey J Kingman

    Jason,

    It’s an understandable move. I truly appreciate the value proposition of Ning.com both as a user and a SoMe service providor.

    It will be interesting to see what your pricing structure works out too. I’m also the Exec Chef for a startup restaurant (with limited capital available) and two weeks ago had created a closed social network via Ning for the crew and suppliers of the restaurant. As a business with no existant revenue until we open and the steep financial challenge of becoming sustainable in the first few years, I am now hesitant to consider Ning as the option for this particular activity. I will say that I am very intrigued by how such a closed community could become a strong communicational/training element for the restaurant. What also intrigues me with this is that there are 945,000 such restaurant operations in the USA and I am pretty certain we would be one of the very first handful of independents to have created such a vehicle.

    I look forward to seeing what you roll out. Please feel free to contact me directly if you wish.

    Jeff

  461. Crowley

    So, what you’re saying is that you’re going to start charging us?

    You’re not being completely clear…but you seem to be basically saying, “Yeah, you’re going to have to pay from now on.”

    Which I’d have to criticize you on…

  462. Alex

    Finally a good strategic decision from Ning. For almost two years I’ve been waiting (and paying) for Ning to come back to its white label roots. Free is great but it doesn’t work long-term. For that same reason I hope that your new set of features includes the option to charge membership fees. If it does not you will see significant exodus of your paying, premium members. I don’t have to tell you what that would mean for Ning.

  463. Moonjay

    YOU CANNOT DO THIS.
    You will lose many members, Because too many of us have no money.
    I own my site and Moniter my Little cousins.
    So many users cant do this, Youll lose so many members.

  464. Carla-Rae

    There will be many viable ning site who will not be able to exist if you begin charging people to use your service.
    The one greatest feature of ning has been the no charge service…I am sure you will lose a lot of traffic once you go this route…

  465. Kate Miranda

    I think it was unfortunate that a number of us first heard of this via a UK Guardian article that circulated before there was any information here. People with non-profit, arts and educational networks here were panicked that their sites were going to suddenly disappear.

  466. MsSassy

    Does this mean just the creator will pay and not the members or the members pay also?..Thank you…

  467. Woody13

    Looks like nobody wants to talk to you, Jason !

    I am trying to Upgrade with PayPal with no luck… please give us time to use mothers credit card because We have lots of Friends and Members !

    There are no other sites that match Nings, sure we all want to stay. Do what you gotta do, brother.
    In the End none of this will matter, which is coming soon…

    Woody

  468. j macdonald

    I use this website everyday ( sometimes I am on several times a day) and I am still in the dark as to what your plans mean for ME!!
    This website is a lifeline for me and for many many others and I cannot imagine what will become of us if you shut us down
    I would appreciate a reply as soon as possible please and I notice that the 4th May has been bandied about.

    yours
    J macdonald

  469. Chad

    This is truly a sad day. We are a very small group and hope the $60.00 a year offering is one of the paid offerings.

  470. K B

    I know that I’m a member on 12+ ning sites…all (or most) of them are free sites. I’ve been getting emails that the sites are moving.

    I think that this is a terrible idea on Ning’s part. They’re going to lose thousands of members to other free networking sites.

    I had even been toying with the idea of starting a page but am glad, now, that I hadn’t taken the time to do it.

    Signed,

    A disappointed member

    PS I see that there are -0- comments…I wonder if it’s a “true” -0- or that admin isn’t publishing people’s feelings and opinions on the matter. Hmmm……

  471. Michelle R. Yisrael

    Please, please consider the teachers when setting your prices. I am concerned that funds for education are being cut constantly. Some teachers are losing jobs. Others are working as waiters and waitress and working in factories to make ends meet. Budgets are being cut nationwide, ning has been a valuable tool for educators. Now this free service is also being taken away.

  472. Mary Hricko

    As one of the educators who has championed the use of Ning for teaching, learning, and research, I must admit that I am concerned to learn of the changes regarding the loss of the free services. For the past few years, I have migrated all of my online courses into this platform and have encouraged many others to use this tool as a venue to promote innovative strategies for education.

    While many of us will still continue to subscribe to Ning, it is my fear of what we will lose when those of my colleagues who do not have the financial resources to maintain their sites close down their networks forever. And while, the Ning team has graciously offered to help and suppport migration, the truth is, that it will not be the same. Many people, in fact, may still be unaware of this announcement. Please make certain to send additional reminders, particularly to those educators that have made Ning a classroom for their students.

    There is a great richness in some of these sites and it saddens me that we will lose such them as well as some of the deep intellectual partnerships that have grown out of having the opportunity to share open content through the Ning platfrom. As a realist, I do respect the Ning team’s decision, and I will continue to maintain my networks, but as an idealist, I am deeply saddened.

    I wish the team well in their work on this transition.

  473. Domino

    Hi! I think me and my students who are using the free service of ning will be sad to hear this. We cant afford paying for websites because my students were poor so do I…

    What can we do…

  474. Rita LaVerdure

    I am so sorry to hear that you may discontinue these websites, I am thinking you are funded by advertisers, Which I am positive I frequent with all the art supplies I purchase. Sad day, as I personally cannot afford another dollar out of pocket. 🙁 Rita LaVerdure.

  475. joe

    i guess all good things must come to an end …… thanks and i guess soo long and i will mostlikely will be signing off as my company makes no money and my readers and fans are not willing to put up cash for the site

  476. Sara L Russell

    …P.S. I would be happy to run extra adverts if it meant I could afford to run my two Ning networks easily.

  477. Omar Mora

    Yes, please. Let us know the price scheme.
    If you will announce this price scheme in May 4th, When are you suppossed to phased out the Free-Service?

  478. Sara L Russell

    Hi Jason,

    Will people with two or more networks be able to have a discount for running their networks? Also, will it be possible to pay a yearly lump sum rather than monthly? I am worried that monthly payments could work out as expensive as running a mobile phone.

    Also I wondered is it possible to benefit from reduced fees by running adds in one of the sidebars on the pages?

    Thanks,

    Best regards,

    Sara.

  479. Peter Matthews

    This step is understandable, but Ning needs to allow experimentation and familiarization over considerable periods of time (at least one year), in the free trial services.

    It would also be good to allow test networks to run for very long or indefinite periods, for a minimal one-off cost, when the number of members is limited to say a working group of up to 10 collaborators who wish to develop a site in private, before making it public.

    Network Creators also need to get feedback from members and visitors in order to assess whether the system is going to work for them, and whether it is going to be worthwhile paying for a long-term service, or a full-cost service.

    Network creators often have busy lives, and so do their potential members. This means that development of a new network to the point that it is fully-featured, functional, and active, can be very slow… despite the speed with which the initial network can be set up.

    The geese that lay the golden eggs for Ning may need to time to get comfortable in their nests, before those eggs appear! And the geese are all different, with different nesting requirements…

    Best regards, Peter (Admin., The Research Cooperative)

  480. John Fisher

    Jason

    I am sorry to hear about you decision to phase out and shut down all of the free forums. I have 2 forums here one on general politics and the other for PhD Students of Walden University in Criminology. I know you think 10 dollars a month is not a lot of money, but it is for me. In order to give you 20 dollars a month to keep my networks going I would have to cut from my charitable contributions and I will not do that so I am sad to announce that I will continue to use my forums and continue discussions until May 4 when you shut them down.

    Thank you very much for allowing me to maintain these forums on your network for as long as you have. May 4th will be a sad day indeed.

  481. Armida

    Your current message is being interpreted that all NING platforms will be affected by your proposed changes, that all free services will end in favor of paid subscriptions.

    Please clarify.

    Many of us are not only administrators but also members of many other NING networks. Economic times will cause many to go drop off, leaving your potential market dry.

    Thank you for considering this concern for clarification.

  482. Fabricio Zuardi

    I am pretty sure this was a very difficult decision, but I am glad you had the guts to do it. The previous obsession with growth, growth, growth-at-all-costs made me nervous at times, I must admit.

    Having a plan and focusing on sustainability and profit might actually be a better call and good for everyone in the end, closer to the reality rules that everyone else away from coupa café lives by.

    I think the service Ning offers is the best out there and totally worth the price, but it has potential to be even better and I am curious to see the next improvements, specially the ones focused on empowering network creators and app developers, giving them more control and helping them to also make money with their projects if they want.

    My sincerely wishes of the best lucky for everyone that stayed for this new step and my thanks for the awesome job the ones that got lefted of the company yesterday did over the past years.

  483. Tad Staley

    Hey Ning,

    I understand the need to make money, so don’t begrudge you this apparently necessary move. It’s interesting and disappointing that the Google Ads don’t bring in enough revenue to cover the cost of the free networks.

    My request is that you provide a suite of offerings that begin with a low price point. I’m satisfied paying $4.95/month to have my own URL on a Ning network. The $24.95/month to go ad-free is steep: I accept the price on one network, but not on another one I manage. Anything above that price point is probably the dominion of organizations with serious funding, but you’ll also encounter new forms of competition in that realm.

    A fee-only can also force network administrators like me to consider investing time to port the network to open source platforms like Drupal. I’ve created a few of these as well – at about 10x the effort of creating a Ning network, but they are free and one does have more control.

    I’m sure this was a tough decision, and it will result in a perilous set of pricing/functionality decisions to navigate the waters between high-end offerings, the many free/easy offerings like Google Sites and free/difficult platforms like Drupal.

    One obvious suggestion: pricing based on size of community. It’s likely that the small communities have fewer resources to invest in the online community. As an example, I’m paying $4.95 + $24.95 for a community of 250 (and growing), but only paying $4.95 for a community of 50.

    Good luck with the analysis. I’d like to stay with Ning, but am attuned to the alternatives if the pricing doesn’t match the value.

    Cheers,
    Tad

  484. Aiko Fujiwara

    I disagree …
    because with Ning Network, I can have lots of friends who like anime.
    and I’ve just made a Ning Network, but you have to announce this.
    I do not agree …
    I wish you would cancel this statement
    thank you, beg you to consider once again

  485. Ryan Rish

    Jason,

    I’m using a free NING site to manage the online content of a course I am teaching at Ohio State University. I moved to the NING because it was a better workspace for collaborative groups within my class than our own course management system.

    My question is when the free option will be phased out? My hope is that we can keep the site as is until the end of the quarter (beginning of June). Depending on how many free NING sites are being used for teaching, you may want to consider school calendars when phasing out the free option.

    Thanks,
    Ryan Rish

  486. Josué

    Hi, when you tell us that you will offer “we will offer a migration path and time to make that change.”, do you mean that we will be able to take all the scripts, database, contents, members, etc…?

  487. Abigail Thomas

    This is extremely disappointing. Why have we not received an email about this decision? I only heard a rumour through another ning site I use and came here expecting it was just a nasty rumour to find it is actually TRUE!!!! To find out in this way is appalling and very unprofessional – and to discover its true is even more upsetting. I suggest you send an email to all ning users if you want to be seen as being ‘transparent’.

  488. Frazer

    I agree with Ning on this.
    Some of you may not, but ah well.
    The thing I’d like to see next is that because we will be paying fully for our networks.
    Our domains to be mapped over everything. Including the storage servers.

    api.ning.com << Acceptable? I think not.

    Lets see how well Ning Continues to go under new CEO-ship.

  489. Dick Glasgow

    This news comes as a surprise!

    Like, I’m sure, thousands of other Ning site creators, I have spent a great deal of time setting up my Ning sites, which are now supported by over 1,000 members, so I trust all Ning site creators will be kept well informed about these developments?

    I understand that many people turn their Ning sites into business ventures, but I’m also sure that many, many more people invest a great deal of time & effort into creating sites which simply promote an interest in a whole variety of worthwhile interests of a musical & artistic nature.

    I would like to think that there will still be a place for altruism in Ning, once the Network has been restructured.

    Yours sincerely
    Dick Glasgow

  490. Roy Simmons

    But cant we be told what the entry level price will be? why wait till may-just give us a clue!!! as a new user, just started getting into it I just want to know whether to start afresh. I would be ok with up to $10.00 a month while building my network, which is content heavy (lots of user photos, 2k from less than 200 users in 2 months) I could have a largish network in a year, what should I do?

  491. Argent009

    I can understand that you are in this to make money and will not balk at the idea of paying a nominal fee for the use of the Ning services if that fee is not exorbitant. However the current pricing structure is absurd. The amounts charged for such simple things as pointing our own domain to our Ning site are ridiculous. I hope you don’t put yourselves out of business by continuing down that path and charging your users off of the platform. In the end I do feel that this move is going to destroy Ning and wish you would reconsider what you’re doing. LOWERING the prices you currently charge for premium features might entice more people to actually pay and generate more actual income. There are no alternative sites for what it is we do (video blogging) that offer the services that Ning does, so we’re more or less stuck staying with Ning or going back to the hell hole that is YouTube (And many of us would rather abandon the whole idea of vlogging than do that) so you have really put many of us in a terrible situation.

  492. Mark Avey

    Hoorah! At last, official word directly from Ning! Took you long enough, didn’t it? This is the first notification of any news on this subject I’ve read without having to go look for it.

    I love Ning – as a service. I’ll be keeping the site I already pay premium services for (assuming the new Premium costs aren’t stupidly high) and ditching the ones I currently use as free services, but this whole situation has been handled very badly. Surely we, as members (75% of us paying members, according to your data), should have been the first to know (after the staff affected by the lay-offs, obviously). We shouldn’t have to find out by reading TechCrunch, or blog posts from other companies saying “Come join us now Ning are ditching their free service”. Appalling and not a sign of things to come, I hope.

    Mark

  493. Jack Bremer

    This seems like a real shame – if your paid customers are bringing 75% of traffic then the free ones are only 25%, but nevertheless may well become paid networks in the future.

    Jason, I’m sure that you will have studied your stats and business model extensively before making this decision and I hope this isn’t a knee-jerk reaction now you’re CEO?

    Of the two networks I have helped setup, one now pays to remove the ads and the other is considering it, but I don’t understand the need to force them to pay? Surely the “freemium” model works, and you have seen people start out small and end up paying for all your extras?

    Why not say that from a certain date no more free networks can be set up, but existing free customers can stay?

    The various Ning networks I am a member of are already actively considering other options, soliciting help from the community to build new sites and migrate to other solutions. These people are your marketers, evangelists who promote the awesome Ning solution to many people who end up having paid networks.

  494. Amit

    Jason, the intentions are right , just try to make the execution as smooth as possible. I am a Premium NC myself , and to be honest even I am nervous & anxious to know the details… Hope , whatever you decide is in the in the best interests of NING and its NCs…

  495. Moses

    Look forward to the possibility of new revenue concepts…….being able to easily monetize, and track it… would be a welcome addition.

  496. Joel

    I hope you choose well, Mr. Rosenthal. I’ve heavily invested my classroom with your business and have over one hundred students who have come to know Ning as being synonymous with collaboration, networking, sharing, and deep and authentic learning. There is more at stake here than short term profit margins.

    Goodluck and Godspeed.

  497. Krissy

    Wow, you haven’t given us much time to get donations from our community and find out if we want to continue on. Also, a member read about this on a blog and posted about it. Why did I not get an email from Ning before the announcements? I had no idea about this. That doesn’t make me feel valued by Ning at all.

  498. Carmen

    One of the reasons that attracted me to Ning was the free services and the different options I had if I wanted to one day upgrade my website. I am a little disappointed that I now don’t have that option. Many websites like Myspace have had to add advertisement to be able to maintain their site. I am sure that if they start to charge the regular folks that they would not have the success that they have today. I hope that Ning premium plan could be more affordable for those that use this network for fun and not for business.

  499. J. Jarvis

    Please don’t phase out the free sites until the end of the school year (last week in June). I am a teacher and Ning is a vital component of my classroom technology. I am very sad that I will be losing it as there is NO money anywhere in my school budget. Free sites like Ning are vital to instilling 21st century skills into K-12 classrooms and although I completely understand your rationale and do not fault you for it, I have a feeling that due to drastic budget cuts across the board in every school district in the country, many educators will be forced to go elsewhere. Thank you for the service you did provide, you will be missed.

  500. Moonwillow

    I have informed all my members of these changes and let them know that I will be closing the site down by May 4th.
    As the site was created purely for like-minded people to come together and a sharing of information…and not for making money or profit in any way I find myself in the sad position of having to close down what has been an enjoyable and learning experience for many….

  501. Mariana

    Why are you taking out to all free members our beloved ning community?
    It’s so sad and cruel because I’ve worked a lot to make my site beautiful.
    I hope you can change your mind and keep free membership.
    Thank you

  502. David

    I should have known better. So many of these web 2.0 sites offer these amazing services only to monetize things in the future…as if it wasn’t the plan all along. In retail it’s called bait and switch. Oh well. I can’t blame you, it’s a business after all, but the site I’ve set up is actively used by a large community for non-profit purposes. I moved it from Moodle a free open source alternative…after many arguments…I’ll have to tuck my tail between my legs and apologize to the list owners. They were right. There’s no way I can charge for membership, and I’m not willing to foot the bill…so much time invested…but this comment will get deleted anyways right? Along with the hundreds of thousands of other advocates of Ning I’m kicked to the curb.

  503. Craig Cameron

    A very short-sighted decision in my opinion. Allowing a free initial service with a migration path to the paid service seems the model that has given you ‘75%’ of your traffic. By closing down free sites you may get a small increase in traffic and revenue but in the long term commitment to ning I think it will not serve you well.

    In addition, sites like my own which cater for chronic disease are not there to make money. They are there for the good of many people around the world. The information I provide has been key in helping countless people enjoy a better life. Some of my members would have died had it not been for the information I have posted and, via the site, getting personal access to myself.

    I already devote a lot of time to my site for the benefit of both my members and also my non-members. What you are now asking me to do is also denote money to yourselves for the privilege of helping others.

    I would ask you to reconsider your position on ‘free’ sites and consider a wider picture than just your bottom line.

    Regards,

    Craig Cameron

  504. Minister Vannie Griffin

    Dear Jason,
    It is my understanding that all free sites will be phased out. Is May 4, 2010 the actual deadline date?
    I have two (2) sites of a religious and relevant nature and don’t want to lose them, so I would be very interested in pricing for them. Your consideration in this matter will be greatly appreciated.

  505. cheryl capozzoli

    Wow, I must say that this is one of the worst moves that you could make for the Ning company. As an avid Education Advocate and Web 2.0 user and training consultant, I will not be able to recommend Ning for any further educational use. There are many companies who offer free platforms with many tools and resources such as yours. This decision will effect many education institutions and will have a detrimental impact on educators and students who are using your service. With the lack of educational funding, teachers and schools will not be able to afford more costly services. There are many who we be negatively impacted including your company as you move forward. Please reconsider your decision to charge K-12 educators to use your tool. We have used this so well to build learning opportunities outside of the brick and mortar classroom walls.

  506. J Mose

    I’d just decided to start writing some articles on Ning, but I can see that the fee requirement will exclude many readers, so it’s off to another world, and believe me, there are plenty of free options out there in the world wide web.

    So, instead of a new beginNING, it’s just, goodbye….

  507. Adrian Cepero

    Very dissapointing. We had just started promoting Ning in our district and were planning it on using it for various projects with students. Unfortunately, our district lost $80 million in funding and this will no longer be a viable solution. Edmodo here we come.

  508. Naomi Fountain

    Business wise, I understand the reason but sucks for me as I’ve just moved all my info to my Ning site. I run a new charity organisation with NO income whatsoever and all costs are covered by my benefits as I am unemployed. Will Ning offer a super discount rate for charities?

  509. GDC

    Hi Jason,
    we know each other from a few conferences. I must say I am not at all happy about this move. To have people pay for Ning whom already have it free and then have them pay for it doesn’t work. It would much better serve the participants to have anyone who signs up after May 4th to have to pay for Ning itself.

    GDC

  510. Ed Hubbard

    Okay, we will see. I am anxious to see what is planned. Uncertainty is the most damaging emotion on the web.

  511. Philippe

    This is very poor commercial judgement indeed. We, creators of NING sites, have developed your business (and it goes both way, happy relationship, thank you) and developed an audience who themselves create Ning sites that SOMTIMES are making you money. I say sometime as the Social Media Network is not ALWAYS an environment where people make money. I would strongly and kindly suggest that you do not do this RETROSPECTIVELY as we are the ones who made Ning what it is, but start charging FOR NEW CUSTOMERS, this would be fair (I wonder where this notion of fairness comes in the corporate world?)

    Recent from Twitter:
    Dear @ning forcing ALL your communities to pay up or shut down is a really sucky way to do business. please find another way. thanks. (from artsdigitalera – Australia Council for the Arts, 1,361 followers)

  512. Will Fly

    The network I run is small – just 60 members. What sort of charges can I anticipate when the free service stops? Some indication would be useful.

Comments are closed.