I love these Nings and have gotten so many great ideas from them.  But there have been major changes and Nings will no longer be free!  Boooooo!  I think they should let those already established be "grandfathered" in.  What are your thoughts?

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So, what's interesting to me about this is that at the moment you start a network, you often aren't sure there are going to be enough people interested enough to make it worthwhile. So what Ning offered was a beautiful bargain: create (and fail) for free, and when something takes off, then pay us. The difference with the AOL CD's was that there was a physical costs to producing those CDs, whereas Craigslist can offer almost all of their services for free because the small part that has a fee (employment ads) pays enough--and all that free keeps you going to Craigslist.

I think the model Ning was using was brilliant. I'm just sorry it didn't pay off enough in the end to keep that big door open to experimentation, and that's what I'm worried we'll lose.
As a solution:
I checked out this service: http://grou.ps/

Very ning-ish with more features. Looks like a good replacement. Looks like the "owner" of this NING can export into this one.

I wonder if ning would consider to continue to offer free service to educational sites if they were contacted directly?

I did try to find a service that hosted free elgg installs but nothing really jumped out. Eduspaces used to, elggspaces.net was supposed to, so not sure on this one.

Google Groups?

Maybe an Elgg could be hosted on a school that would volunteer their server, or NESA-funded service such as the new moodle install?Came across some other posts on other sites related also. Try these solutions.

This doc has a ton of other replacements..
http://docs.google.com/document/edit?id=1OR38ADYxjiSjMGn5M2q_nnerR9...

http://wackwall.com/ looks interesting.
This one has a migration tool: http://blog.grouply.com/ning/

Cheers!
As a solution:
I checked out this service: http://grou.ps/

Very ning-ish with more features. Looks like a good replacement. Looks like the "owner" of this NING can export into this one.

I wonder if ning would consider to continue to offer free service to educational sites if they were contacted directly?

I did try to find a service that hosted free elgg installs but nothing really jumped out. Eduspaces used to, elggspaces.net was supposed to, so not sure on this one.

Google Groups?

Maybe an Elgg could be hosted on a school that would volunteer their server, or NESA-funded service such as the new moodle install?Came across some other posts on other sites related also. Try these solutions.

This doc has a ton of other replacements..
http://docs.google.com/document/edit?id=1OR38ADYxjiSjMGn5M2q_nnerR9...

http://wackwall.com/ looks interesting.
This one has a migration tool: http://blog.grouply.com/ning/

Cheers!
> This one has a migration tool: http://blog.grouply.com/ning/

Apparently this has become a high priority for Grouply. Grouply CEO, Mark Robins, (650) 568-9824, would be very interested in talking to folks from the education community in order to understand and meet the requirements of this LARGE and important sector. Grouply is approachable and responsive in my experience.

Here's a sample site I created with Grouply, although not in the education sector.

Ottawa.FullCircles.org

Eric Snyder
(613) 688 1570
============
I've just explored http://grou.ps/ and constructed a dummy site - it was fairly easy to do. I couldn't seem to find a way to upload documents directly, even as attachments. I tried using Google docs capacity to publish as a web page, which generates URL's for documents. This worked but is time consuming especially if the document imported into google docs requires adjusting. )
Ning in Education Discussion--Recording and Forum Links
We had over 150 people join us in an Elluminate session tonight to discuss the changes taking place at Ning and the impact this will have on educational uses of social networking. It was a tremendous community gathering, and felt enormously productive to me.

Just after the session finished I received an email from John McDonald, the "VP Advocacy" at Ning, asking if we might be able to talk by phone in the next few days, and then later asking if he and others at Ning could have access to the recording. As this was one of our desired outcomes--the ability to present the community feedback to Ning--it allows us to claim at least one early success. :)

Many thanks to those of you who were able to join. It did have the feel of history in the making. While it will take a bit to organize the combination of text, voice, and white-board feedback, when that's done I'll post it here and on http://www.EducationalNetworking.com. It will hopefully serve as a public springboard to further discussions.

Here are some links:

* The full Elluminate recording (audio, chat, whiteboard, etc.)
* Portable audio version
* Chat log
* LearnCentral discussion group for administrators of educational net...
Great result, Steve. Fingers crossed!
I hope the organization decides to allow educators to continue free. To begin charging at a time when schools are already strapped and NEED this resource to communicate is to put another wall in the wave to move from industrial education to 21st Century Education. Grandfather or not, education really is using the NING format to improve and share.,
I must be getting cranky. I haven't read any public support from the education community for the 42% of Ning employees that have been laid off (Really? They were that overstaffed?)

Also, not calling Ning on any of its unsubstantiated logic. This one still makes me laugh:

We will phase out our free service so ... all of our product development capability will be devoted to making paying Network Creators extremely happy.

Really? All that time and thought you were putting in to supporting those free nings was really cramping your style?? :D And you are going to be putting much more effort and resources into those paying nings, with 42% less staff?

Amazing.

I would like to know how much the "average" free ning is costing Ning to host. That would be interesting.

Bottom line, I feel like we have been had. Network creators were used as free labor to promote the ning brand. Now they calculate that they can do without us. Perhaps for pennies, all our efforts are being thrown in the toilet, like it is nothing. There is no sense of responsibility or community. The question doesn't seem to be, can ning make enough... it seems to be more, how much can be milked out of this?

I guess that's business, but it wasn't how ning portrayed itself when I first joined a few years ago.

Ergo, we've been had. I'm betting the ex-employees are feeling this way big-time, especially if they "believed" in the company they worked for.
The official Link isn't working but i found a backdoor link via the creators site:

Pricing Schedule


if you haven't heard the news....they say classrooms and education will get a FREE Mini account for up to 150 people ...i guess they don't count Educational Associations, Professional Development, or Personal Learning Networks....that would be too many - huh?
From the announcement at the Ning Creators Network reporting on the upcoming change that were just posted:

"We’ve also heard from many Network Creators who use Ning in the classroom as an integral part of their curriculum. I am particularly excited to announce that a major education company will be sponsoring Ning Mini Networks for educators in primary and secondary education. Ning will remain free for K-12 educators and their students. We’ll have details on this program soon!"

See the announcement here http://creators.ning.com/forum/topics/ning-update-introducing-ning?...


Hopefully, they will include adult education as well!
I am so happy to see this. We have just begun the process of using the NING to education and communicate with our staff in this small private school. I hope we get a chance to really thank the company providing this for us.

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