The New Ning: What to Expect Next Week
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We’re less than a week away from offering our three new plans. July 20th. That’s next Tuesday. We’ve been tying up loose ends and preparing for what promises to be a very busy first week of the “new” Ning.

To help everyone get prepared, we’ve been blanketing the Creators Network with information about the plans and answering as many questions as possible. We want everyone to feel like they have plenty of time and all the information they need to make the best decision for their members.

Our goal is to be available to our customers, and we’ve been trying out another way to be available: email and phone support for folks who simply want advice about which plan they should choose. A few weeks ago, we set up a dedicated land line in our office precisely for this purpose. This isn’t a sales line or a help line. People ring us up, we pick up the phone, and we give them our honest opinion about which plan they should choose.

The phone is on the desk right next to mine, and I’ve had a lot of memorable calls in the past few weeks. I’ve spoken to a very chipper dude in Denmark (the world’s happiest country, it turns out); I’ve joked with an Aussie who actually bid me “G’day” after our call; I’ve shot the breeze with a self-described good old boy from Florida who runs a hugely successful fantasy Nascar site; I’ve brainstormed with a Nashville-based gospel singer about her video options; and I’ve gabbed about the steady, decade-long rise of distance-based learning with a Canadian e-learning enthusiast — I was thrilled to hear her utter “eh” between sentences. I even spoke to a super-nice lady in the middle of America who runs a Ning Network about sea glass. I had no idea people collected sea glass. I definitely didn’t know there are not one, not two, not three Ning Networks devoted to sea glass — but at least four! (I joined her Ning Network!)

In short, I’ve learned a lot about how diverse everyone’s needs are. I’ve also learned that a lot of people have many of the same questions. I want to pass along some of the questions I’ve heard the most in case it helps anyone who is still unclear about the big changes coming next week.

The Questions I’ve Heard the Most

Q: How do I pay? Do you take credit cards? Can I pay by check?

Great questions. You’ll be able to purchase a plan starting July 20th (next Tuesday!). We will accept credit cards and PayPal. If you pay yearly, you will have a few additional options for payment.

Q: Can I pay now?

I like your enthusiasm! We will be rolling out the new plans throughout the day on July 20th. It will be a gradual rollout, and your Ning Network will be migrated behind the scenes to the new system.

Q: How will I know when it’s my turn to choose a plan? Will you contact me?

Yes! We’ll send you an email next Tuesday as soon as you’re able to purchase a new plan. We’ll provide instructions and a link in an announcement bar in your Ning Network’s interface, which only you will see when you’re signed in as the Network Creator.

Q: I heard some educators would be getting free Ning Networks. What happened to that deal?

Here it is. We announced our partnership with Pearson a few weeks back. You can apply right now if you haven’t already.

Q: Will my network disappear on July 20th if I don’t purchase a plan?

No! You’ll have a 30 days to choose a plan. So you’ll have until August 20th to decide.

I’ve had some interesting conversations with folks from around the world, and nearly every single person I’ve spoken with so far has plans to make the switch on the first day. If you can’t join us going forward, or if you’re worried about losing any data, make a backup today. (There’s no danger of your data being lost, but a number of people have asked about how to make a backup, so I want to include that information as well.) We know that your network is very important to you, and we want to do our best to help, no matter what you decide.

Still more questions? We have a great set of FAQs about the changes that will hopefully answer any other questions you might have. Or, come join me on Creators. We have a lot of dedicated people who share their expertise and advice — including some serious sea glass fans!