I enter this as Exhibit A and please let me know where I have possibly have fallen off the dumb truck. If there are several "Free" Ning Networks with over a thousand members why would you eliminate them rather than give them the option to keep their networks running by installing a payment/membership system.
Would I be too harsh in saying the Virtual Gifts system was a poor excuse of a revenue generator for Network Creators? You would put resources into that rather than take the tried and true already reliable Network Creator Ingenuity to naturally grow their network through their own "passion and interests" by allowing them to monetize their network through a simple payment system? Really?
Now given the option, you want to wipe the slate clean as if the only talented, industrious Network Creators are the ones who can afford to pay money now because they already have it? I anticipate that within this time period some Network Creators/ Community Organizer/Leaders will be attempting to marshal the collective resources of their network to help fund whatever cost is down the line.
I consider it, in the words of Spock, quite "illogical" that you would not give them the support to create revenue FOR YOU. It seems to show a bias that the only people who can pay for the value of their Networks are those that already have money.
Please, anyone, tell me what obvious blind spot am I missing that will derail my whole argument here? I mean that truly. Why is it better to only keep the people who can pay from a Network Creator level and not attempt to leverage the ability of a community to finance their own network on a community level? Is the individual with money more powerful than the community with a lot more of it? Worse come to worse those communities who can't put up get shut up. You lose NADA
P.S. - This leaderboard thing everybody and their grandmother has been asking about is pure BS if you introduce it after you get rid of all the free networks. If you can't even implement this now and you have a whole bunch of your customers begging for it how can you with a straight face usher in this new era on this 800 pound effin' Gorilla in the room that you can even put up a freaking leader board. A Leaderboard already working now on Networks using technology you bought. That and facebook connect would be the biggest freaking betrayal on the massive scale for Ning. If those things drop on May 4 I don't even have the words for it.
At least wait a couple of months before you usher out the dregs of free community. Why say it like that? I say it like that because the body isn't even cold and you are advocating alternatives like you were the competition. Like people wanting to make sense of this should just move on along already. You would think it would be in your best interest to tell people that before they commit to moving on they may want to check out what you are offering. The way it's been set up you can't blame people for wanting to look for alternatives you've given them a free 2 week window. It's like freaking disingenuous to prepare to offer something on May 4 but currently start getting communities moved out before you customers even hear what you are offering.
You practice Agile development and don't give any timelines about new features but here is a big freaking timeline "May 4 come check us out and those of you who can't afford to we here are several taxis to get you out of this place." It's like blood in the water now and all the competition is scrambling to pick up your customers before your announcement.
I agree Garfield! This is just completely nuts! And between you and I and Jen, we've probably grown quite a few premium sites through helping the creators... But now we're going to be booted out! (Well maybe not Jen and you, but me at least) I'd like to note here... I was really into promoting Ning, but I've been so frustrated over the past 24 hours that if someone doesn't help with the frustration level here I can't help but take it OUT on Ning. (As in... reverse promotion) Which really sucks because I really liked helping Creators and I enjoyed the comraderie we had... But since this "announcement", I'm feeling pretty *@#chy, and I'm getting that vibe from a lot of previously nice people too. You didn't just ruin this for free members, you've ruined the whole morale of Creators. Yah, maybe eventually it will heal... But it will still not be the same. People will be looking over their shoulder, waiting for the ax to drop. Until this, I had complete faith in you, even when you were looking like you were the dumbest site out there. I defended you to friends who said you were lame, and this is what I get?
I really hope a solution for you emerges. You've been really helpful on here and it would suck if you lost your network(s) in all this. You deserve better. I'm sure there are other people that also do, but I don't know who they are. You have put in a great amount of effort.
Good questions. Ones that I hope they answer in 2 weeks. Parts of this decision make a lot of sense to me. Parts of it really don't. All we can do is wait and see.
I've got a feeling part of this decision may have to do with nt overlapping with Facebook and its free groups and differentiatig Ning as something uniquely different. I could be wrong though...
Thank you Scott. Again, like I said, I loved helping everyone. I've always been a helper, I've even set up my business in such a way that I help... Although I stopped that for Ning, too...
I've said it before, I think that those that are here now, should get at least a 6 month reprieve, to see if they can grow their networks to the premium level (and give Ning a chance to stabilize) and/or be grandfathered in. The fact that they are still allowing new members members to create new networks makes me sick.
I'm getting increasingly frustrated, but unless I just delete my account I can't really get away from it because my email notifier keeps popping up. I am about to hit my threshold for the amount of stress I can take in a 24-48 hour period before I just explode.
Yeah, some sort of stay of execution or grandfathering in make sense to me.
If I may say so, unplug for the weekend. We aren't going to be getting any substantial updates, and being here is just gonna be tough on you. Go outside with your husband and talk about anything other than Ning.
I'm so sorry to hear you're unhappy Janettee. You're seriously one of the greats. Unfollow these conversations for a bit. I hate to think of you being stressed out. I hope you'll consider at least sticking around to hear the details unfold a bit.
Thank you for your commisseration Eric, as well as your kind words. I did finally unfollow the main conversation, and then I went to bed. I plan to stick around... at least until I find out what's going on... but I think all of us will still be pretty upset until we know more information. 2 weeks is really a ridiculous amount of time to wait for answers.
I think a LOT Of my issue was that:
1. I went to bed around 11am Wednesday (the 14th) and woke up around, oh... 7pm? Wednesday night... I then was awake from THEN until around 11pm yesterday, following this issue (so 52 hours, around 40 of which were spent stressed out about this issue), when I passed out. I didn't wake up today until almost 3pm.
2. I have almost literally been spending 12-18 hours a day on Ning.
3. My husband and I have been fighting about my time spent on Ning, but since I'm unemployed I've been on here more than ever since I had an idea of how to make money on Ning.
4. I had planned to work on my Ning as much as possible getting this plan ready to go, then get a job and pay for premium services.
5. I felt very unappreciated and unwanted due to all the comments about free members being freeloaders, especially in light of all my help given to both free users AND PREMIUM MEMBERS.
6. I suffer from depression and last night was having severe blood pressure issues, as well.
Yeah but you see that is the tricky part. I am going beyond the phasing out of free networks. I am asking why are you not trying to make it easier for you and Network Creators to generate even more revenue? Did you just give up after virtual gifts? Did you just focus on flashier ads? Did twitter and Facebook integration not go as well as you had planned? Obviously Phil knows something and whatever he was taking about hasn't been revealed yet. Should it only benefit paying network creators? Are you going to make easier for them to collect funds from them members or are you just going to milk individual Network Creators one by one while also getting rid of most of them?
It's like, I am exaggerating of course, cutting off the fin and throwing the carcass back into the water.
Maybe they see the free networks as a failed experiment they were really were hoping would work. Maybe they were hoping to get bought out before profitability became an issue, and now that they know that isn't happening they are restructuring accordingly. Maybe they are just trying to generate a bunch of traffic on here over a 72 hour period.
I'm pretty sure whatever the answer is, it looks good on paper. Ning screws things up though, so hopefully this isn't one of those things.
I disagree wih the carcass metaphor though because the percentages are so far off. It's more like a burning down a part of a field so that more can be planted there.
"Our Premium Ning Networks like Friends or Enemies, Linkin Park, Shred or Die, Pickens Plan, and tens of thousands of others both drive 75% of our monthly US traffic, and those Network Creators need and will pay for many more services and features from us." - Jason Rosenthal
You've got 2 million networks and he is talking about tens of thousands of networks. It's like he is doing Splashcast 2.0/Fan page thingy. I am fine with letting go of the carcass analogy but it seems to indicate to me that there a lot more free networks than paid ones. I have to laugh when he says "Those Network Creators need and will pay for many more services and features from us." Its not like there has been a drought on feature releases. Features like virtual gifts?, email photos by twitter that you have to use a workaround for for custom domains?, Flagging content with no notification options to the Network creator?
There is an expressions "You can't get there from here" and also "the kind of thinking that got us into this situation is not the kind of thinking that will be able to get us out of it"
Set up a payment system and a Leaderboard and give the people what they want once and see what happens. The worst that could happen is you make a little more money your weren't going to make anyway.
The PL team can't put a freaking footer on their site because of character limits on their analytic box. This is first grade stuff. Does he really have to wait till May 4? What does that say about being able to deliver the unexpected if you can even give a guy an access to his footer and have hims not be able to recommend Ning Support he PAYS for currently by his own admission. Well the PL Team have a new type of money on May 4? You just cut staff by 40%.