Can I see a show of hands?
I have a friend and fellow NC who made the seemingly irreversible mistake of comping his entire member database for lifetime on his network paywall. Long story short, he initially intended to set his paywall as a donation wall, did not thoroughly read the instructions (especially the part about Ning's inability to remove or change the paywall after it had been set). Now after deciding months later that he wants to go paid access on his private network, he discovered that a network wide paywall was no longer a possibility.
So i created a brilliant workaround. Its not the end all be all and it will never be a replacement for a full network paywall, but it gets the job done with minimal slippage through the cracks(email me if you'd like to learn about it)...for security reasons I will not explain the details here or point to the network. Just know, it's not my network.
While talking to Ning support via phone, I was told that there was no possible workaround. I showed them my impressive hack and proceeded to inquire about possible timelines for this problem with the inability to remove or replace a paywall might get some attention from engineers. I knew this was not on the official roadmap, but was given a response of "around November of this year". As november approaches I am starting to wonder if any attention will be given to this issue. Much to my friend's disappointment, he did not receive the same information regarding November as I did when he called, so he is freaking out and considering leaving Ning. I am trying to sway this decision, but I need to know 2 things:
Are there any plans for Ning to give NCs the ability to remove/change/reinstall/destroy/replace a network wide paywall and if so when?
How many other NCs out there made a similar mistake as my buddy and thus ruined their paywall?
I find it difficult to swallow that the paywall for networks was not perfected before it was released for use. I personally wish I had an answer for my friend who is hoping to soon begin to profit from his hard work. I believe it is a simple alignment of priorities. Ning starts charging, giving NCs the ability to make money from their networks. people experiment with things only to find out that they get one chance to do it right. Ning, this type of thing needs to be fixed pronto! I'm not bitter...just concerned and confused.
My hand is raised unfortunately ...
damn just typed a whole lot without looking and didnt realize my keyboard was turned off lol
here we go again shorter version i hope
he didnt screw up the payway]\ll he just screwed up himself and its simple recovery heres what i would do
turn on the paywall donation system say request 3 dollars every 3 months (what i use ) this will request donations from new members but not existing
post a message about the new feature explaining that you comped members for life ..make it sound intentional like you didnt want existing long time members bothered with it..but heres the next thing
cread-te a donate now pafe with a paypal donate button
tell existing members thwy are still able ..and encouraged to use the donate now button whenever they want to help out but they will see no requests from the system every 3 months
problem solved u get donations from everyone who wants to donate but only new joins get the periodic requests
eventualy newmembers will outnumber old anyways
hmm...very thoughtful reply and i appreciate ya eagle... i'll pass this over to my friend and see if he wants to give it a whirl...thanks for the suggestion homey
its just what id do in that situation
i have both a donate oaywall and button some members cant afford it whebthe paywall requests bu they really want to support the site so make a donation 1/2 way thru the period gives more fredom while still reminding them
still too many members think its mandatory so dont rejoin thinking they now have to pay even thugh i wrote in all caps its optionakl..lol
the systems only as perfect as the person who uses it
u got to read tyhe details
First of all, nothing is irreversible unless data has been lost. It just takes time and money, which I suspect is the problem here. Ning can't afford to be fixing our mistakes.
However, I would have thought Ning should have seen the writing on the wall here. People make mistakes, even those that are very familiar with a system, but especially those that are not, which is all of us when implementing anything new on our networks.
Stuffing this up has a HUGE consequence and, while there is a responsibility on the NC to do the research, there is also one on the provider, Ning, to provide a product fit for the purpose, as it is paid for.
So if he made a mistake in comping the database for life that maybe should be changeable. But if he did it with intention of changing that later then that is a whole different case.
If you comp them on purpose I would have expected that you shoudn't be changing that. You have told your members they are free for life. Is your word not good. The philosophy that I will comp them for now and maybe change that later seems a little lacking in trust and credibility.
Aren't you breaking a promise then. Not like a free site, there is not usually a promise (unless you make it) for it to always be free, so charging at a later time is acceptable.
Comping for life is a promise. Change your paywall for new members, but keep your promise to existing members.
If I remember correctly, when you create the pay-wall a pop-up window appears asking if you want to comp all existing members. You physically have to select Ok for it to proceed.
and select a term
i selected 3 or 6 months i cant remember