What should we do as Ning is no longer available for free?

Dear Members,

You might have noticed that Ning will no longer be providing free Ning network. See details here. As this Community has been set up on a free network basis, we would not be able to continue with the running of this Network without any further financial support. What should we do when Ning is formally closing down this free Ning likely by May 2010?

If some of you would like to continue using Ning with a premium service, then we need to get the financial support from sponsors on this Ning. I am unsure if such switching to a sponsored Ning would be beneficial to our Community as there are risks involved: (1) a loss of control over the Network as the sponsors might have conditions over how the Community needs to be run, (2) what happens if the sponsors withdraw from the financing of the Community at any time in the future, (3) what happens if the premium services provided could not meet the needs and expectations of the members, and (4) what happens if there is a requirement of payment for retaining or continuing membership with the Community.

My view is that our Network(s) need to be provided to all members for free – that means free of any entry and continuing membership charge, and that under no circumstances would members be required to pay for participating in any events, sessions or discussion offered by the Network(s).

There are many options for us as a Community to move on, and to continue our sharing and discussion using other networks. Here are a few options for us to consider:

(a) posterous

(b) webs

(c) pbworks

(d) wordpress

 (e) blogspot

 (f) edublogs

(g) facebook

(h) any other options (please state them)

We have already got this pbworks set up, so please consider joining it if you haven’t done so. Please state your option(s), and suggestions on the features that you would like to include within a particular network.

Should we retain our Community title: ConnectivismEducationLearning?

Would all members please share your views in this forum so we could make a Community decision on what we should do? I hope the decision we are going to make could satisfy all your needs and expectations.

Once we have made a decision, I would need to export the information from this Ning to the New Network.


11 thoughts on “What should we do as Ning is no longer available for free?

  1. Hi John, happy to respond there too, was wondering if it might be a possible to find links with the cck2009 one that Nellie set up too, because that is in a similar position – depending on what members want but…just thinking off top of head – I will post a link to this blogpost around that community and see too?

  2. Hi Nicola,

    Yes, please feel free to comment, post this blogpost around communities, and go ahead to explore what members want. I have already posted it onto my Facebook and Twitter community network.

    I think we all know what’s in the best interests for each of us, and so, this is the best time to consider a Community approach in tackling such challenges.

    This could also be a golden opportunity for us to discuss our future – our vision and networking options, to grow and develop our networks so that each of us could exercise full control over them, like personal blogs, and could contribute, share and discuss both as members of communities and networks.

    Isn’t that the spirit of networking?
    We want interactivity (connectivity), autonomy, diversity and openness (as mentioned by Stephen Downes), and we want it to be free in our networks!

    Thanks Nicola for your great sharing.

  3. Thanks for the info, John, and for looking for solutions.

    I´ve been reading quite a lot about this lately to know more about its implications for community building and the concepts of free and trust on the Internet. Indian network creator Gaurav Mishra talks about “fiasco” and mentions other options like Buddypress and Kickapps that we might consider. He also says that there’s no easy option to transition the networks to another service, I guess that is something to keep in mind too.

    Here´s the post, which is quite an interesting read that links to other posts on the same issue.


    Thanks again, John!

  4. Thanks Jenkins for your great question.
    There are merits to both approaches. I tend to go for a Community and network decision, but would equally be glad if a new solution simply emerge. We could even have a few networks created by some of us, if that is what people want.


  5. Stay on Ning. Nothing else comes close. It will cost U.S. $120/year for the entire network. Divide this cost by your membership and install a payment button.

    If you want to really be extravagant, have the ads removed. That costs U.S. $300/year and you will have the right column for something useful. This is the cost for the network, not for each member.

  6. Hi John,
    I am sorry to hear this. I have no suggestions at this time. Looks like you have a good list of options though. Will you keep me posted on what you decide to do?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s