I suppose this is not the place for this, but I simply need to get it out to someone 'in the know'.
In late March of this year, the creator of minds-eye.ning.com passed away quite suddenly, orphaning the site close to 600 of us call home for our artistic expression. Administrators pleaded with the 'powers that be' to allow the site members to pay or take the site over. The request was declined because none of us are Ralph Piccolo, may he rest in peace. I understand the legalities but I guess I was just hoping that some rare and historical event might transpire in which we can lay aside the letter of the law for the spirit of it. Ning has done nothing wrong according to the law and their own rules and so I am not angry, nor am I going to fling mud in any way. The impending closer of ME is still, none-the-less, extremely saddening as the members of our site relive Ralph's untimely death all over again.
Is there any hope? Likely not I suppose. I hope I offend no one, as offense is not my intent. I am simply taking a last and desperate stab at getting someone to allow us all to keep the lights on at ME.
As I so often would say in closing to "Bad Boy Ralphy"... "say goodnight Gracey."
Just open another Ning site and post in the forums and blogs that a new site is opening. There are only 600 members so it should be easy to message them all.
I agree with Tyler ~ and it would be a tribute to Ralph to continue what he started.
Thank you so much for your reply.
Messaging isn't the agony in this; losing all the work that is put into the site so far, is. We all have years worth of blog posts and group posts we'll have to move and start rebuilding. Plus, Ralphy has built a really nice site for us! It's just hard to let it go.
They promised us long ago that they were going to make transfer of ownership quick and easy for us; or provide some way that we can "will" our network to another party if we die of a sudden heart attack or something. I've yet to see it.
I am not a legal expert, but if the ownership is actually willed, Ning should be able to transfer it. I would assume a certain amount of paperwork and legal footwork for that to happen. In the absence of a will, I think a legal heir should be able to claim ownership.
Overall, I doubt if it could be "quick and easy" though.
It wasn't willed, from what I understand. His family situation was/is a little complicated (divorce situation - many of you know how that rolls). From what I understand, communication with his ex-wife and/or daughter have been unsuccessful do to lack of contact info. That's why the plea to Ning.
Thank you for your comments!!
I’m very sorry to hear about your community's loss. This is definitely a tough situation (for so many reasons), so we have a strict policy on how to handle it. Thank you for understanding this.
Just so you understand where we're coming from, the difficulty lies in determining who should be the new Ning Creator -- Ralph's spouse/partner, child, parent, sibling, friend, colleague or one his administrators? If an administrator, which one? Alternatively, is it supposed to go to a specific individual that he may have identified in a will? Whatever the case, we certainly aren't in a position to make this call. If Ralph didn't have a will, I believe the state he lived in has a defined way to allocate his property or assets. We certainly don't want to interfere with this.
If your or another administrator would like to pay the subscription fees so that minds-eye.ning.com can continue running while you decide how to best proceed, we can help you with this if you submit a support ticket. Otherwise, I recommend trying to get in touch with Ralph's immediate family to see what can be done. If someone can get control of his email address or Ning account, transferring a network from one account to another is a simple process that you can initiate by filling out this form.
I passed your answer along to one of the administrators who donated a random amount of money and it apparently was enough because we can post again!! Thanks so much for your advice. We also are in the process of pursuing what to do legally as far as contacting relatives and heirs blah blah blah.
Thanks so much!!
Oh wow! Bad Boy Ralphy passed??? Aw man! I'm sorry to hear this. My condolences (albeit, belated) to you and all those who knew and loved him.
I sincerely hope you heed Jenny's counsel, it is the best possible resolution at this point.
Yeah, he passed really suddenly - no one got to say good bye. It was pretty devastating to a good number of folks on the site. Thanks for your condolences. I took Jenny's counsel and we're running with it.
Good to hear Shai! I wish all of you the very best.
This is not legal advice, only general information, and certainly no attorney-client relationship is formed by it - I can't come close to knowing near enough to even begin to act as your attorney, so here's a thought worth everything you paid for it:
If I were the personal representative of a deceased person who had a Ning site, or the heir, I would contact Ning and expect them to allow me access to the site (after providing them with proper information, of course) just like any other property.
Even in a "complicated" family situation, somebody is entitled to take possession of the decedant's property. You might try looking for that person.
Just a thought (not advice!).