An Update from Ning

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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.

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627 thoughts on “An Update from Ning

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. David

    THIS IS SO DISGUSTING TO ME. YOU HAVE FOREVER LOST MY BUSINESS. I WILL BE DELETING MY NING SITE. I WORKED SO HARD ON MY SITE, NOW YOU FORCE PEOPLE TO NOT EVEN HAVE A SMALL NETWORK? I HAVE ABOUT 50 PEOPLE ON MY SITE. THEY ALL HAVE TO LEAVE TOO? I SEE CHARGING PEOPLE IF THEY HAVE 500 OR MORE MEMBERS BUT THIS IS SO PATHETIC.

    DON’T WORRY I’LL DELETE MY NING, YOU WON’T HEAR FROM ME, MY MEMBERS OR ANY POTENTIAL FUTURE FRIEND OF MINE EITHER.

    YOU GAVE ME NO WARNING, NO EMAIL. NOTHING. YOU WANT PEOPLE TO DISH OUT MONEY AND PAY YOU FOR A SMALL SITE THEN YOU BETTER START TREATING PEOPLE RIGHT.

  5. 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. 🙁

  6. 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…

  7. 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!!

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  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. Nay

    Good Morning

    I’m interested in continuing with my social network, but I confess, I have some doubts.
    My social network is http://sai-te.ning.com, I am interested in joining the plan plus, I would like to know what day I can migrate to this plan, as it could make the payment because I’m a bit lost here . There are many details, but the difference in language sometimes impedes the practice of decisions.
    There is support in NING in Portuguese where I can get my questions?

    Thank you for listening

    Nayra

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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!!!

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Eric Suesz

    The prices will change in July, and we have a number of places where you can read all about it, including our update page and our official announcement page. There’s also an extensive collection of FAQs located here. We’ll contact you before then, but I think you will be able to quickly see the difference between the plans on the pricing page. Hope this helps!

  20. 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.

  21. 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…?

  22. 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.

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