Here on Creators, there's been a lot of criticism recently because of the speed of progress related to the deadlines we set for Ning 3.0. We want to let you know that we've been listening to this feedback and want to do better in the future.
When we announced Ning 3.0, we set these ambitious timelines and failed to meet them. We underestimated the time and engineering effort it would take to build out the groups feature in Ning 3.0, a migration process for 2.0 networks who wanted to move to 3.0, and features that are now complete (Messaging, Language Editor) or still on the roadmap (Search, Chat, Events).
You've asked for more transparency, more insight, and more communication, and we want to give it to you.
Aaron updated you last week on the Migration process. We'll continue to post regular updates on the migration process as it develops.
Phil set out a new, improved roadmap. As usual, the roadmap represents our goals and current prioritization and shouldn't be taken as something set in stone.
Along with the roadmap update, we aim to post regular biweekly updates into how things are going. We'll discuss the releases that have come out since the last update (some of which aren't really user-facing), let you know what the team is currently working on, and give you a heads up on what we'll be working on next.
To make it easier to find information about current projects and upcoming releases and to minimize misinformation, we've added a box in the sidebar that will reflect the current project(s) and lead you to the roadmap for more information.
In summation, we set expectations and did not meet those expectations and deadlines. We recognize this, and we apologize for missing the mark. With our plan for increased communication and transparency, you still won't be getting an exact date for when things are happening—and that might be just as frustrating to you if all you want to know is when one particular feature is going to be released. Instead, what you will be getting is a closer look into the progress with better information about what's been released, what's happening right now, and what's up next. We will do our best to improve communication with you here, and to set more realistic expectations.
It was really important for us to get this information out to you before the holiday break started. We hope that this renewed commitment to information and communication will help to ease some of the frustration that many of you are experiencing. When we come back in January, we want to focus on making sure that Creators stays true to its goal as stated in the Community Guidelines - a safe, constructive place to exchange information.
From all of the Ning Advocacy and Support Team, we wish you a very happy holiday for what you have already observed or will be celebrating in the coming weeks and we look forward to seeing your Networks succeed in 2014.
(image courtesy holiday.ning.com)
I think this is a welcome, refreshing, and much more realistic approach. Sure it'll be frustrating, and folks will keep clamoring for exact dates either way... but I think not nearly as frustrating as being left in the dark and being given 'guesstimated' timelines.
Thank you for making this obvious big effort towards better communication and for keeping us customers more in the loop of what's actually happening. :)
Thanks for this, and Happy Holidays TO the Ning Team!
Regarding status of what may be coming, and when, there is one thing I'd Love to see - a sort of Anti-Roadmap of features from Ning 2 or features people are asking for, that are NEVER going to be coming from Ning EVER. :-)
The reason I'd Love a list like that is, then I would know for sure, that if I created that Feature for Ning networks, that I wouldn't have to worry about Ning wiping out the value of my work by providing the exact same thing as part of the normal Ning platform. It would help me, and others like me, to better budget our time and efforts in order to avoid duplication of efforts. And NCs would be provided with a larger pool of apps from developers who would not be discouraged from creating unique apps.
This is really just a Holiday fantasy for me, I'm sure it's not practical, but I wish there were some way a developer could have more definite knowledge of Ning's plans to avoid sinking a lot of time into a project that might become obsolete in the very near future.
Best wishes to all!
Great idea. I would really appreciate this as well and don't think it should be considered impractical for the very reasons you brought up.
In order to make a transition or a move you need to know what you are bringing and what you are leaving. Just try and move without knowing these things and you will not be able to make a commitment with the moving company.
Hi TJ (and Garfield and SP), I'll bring that idea to the team when we're all back in the office and see what we can do!
Thank you Crystal and the Ning team. I do hope you stay to your word on this, as many of us have very unhappy members because we have been kept in the dark. Reading through some of the comments left here, there is not much more to say, except thank you for finally listening to our requests. Merry Christmas, Jim
Personally, I'm hoping the number of features that 2.0 has included that 3.0 will not have ..will be short enough not to even require a list. ;) I can understand that certain very specific custom apps and coded features would naturally require some folks to hire outside assistance to custom create for them. But as Phil of Ning stated so well yesterday: "We want Network Creators old and new to love their network's design and to be able to create those designs easily. NCs shouldn't need to become css experts, or spend hours coding, or need to ask other NCs for help in order to make a design that they're happy with". I'm now tempted to bet that Ning is refocusing on building in excellence as part of the new 3.0 design studio overhaul. :)
I have backed Ning 3.0 for many months now, making excuses to those creators who would want to give up on the project. However I am now very frustrated. Not because of the lack of understanding of what the Creators want but because of a current email from the Ning Staff. The email indicates that the staff except for a couple folks on phones is leaving the project for an extended Holiday through the New Year. This shows me that there is little or no pride or interest in their current project. Should everyone celebrate the American Holiday of Christmas and New Years..the 25th and the 1st? Sure. They are celebrated nationally. But an extended Holiday while those paying for their services have to do double the work because the Ning Staff is not doing theirs!!! It's simply not acceptable. If I must work during the holiday season due to the Ning staff, not working then they can count on me to cease recommending them and I imagine they can expect creators to bomb the internet with their displeasure. At this point I do not wish you all a happy holiday and do not accept your wishes for mine. Am very unhappy and cannot accept any further apologies. Work 24/7 and get the job done.
I'm sure you are frustrated Thomas, but after all, Ning employees are just that...employees, not slaves. Nobody can realistically work 24/7 and everyone deserves a little vacation time or a week off occasionally.
To me this long extended vacation is not in good timing at all. We read an apology message for being months late on design and so on a few days ago. They just had a beta migrate that took place and did not do what they said they would. 1st, all members of a site that I am part of moved during this process. If I remember right, members that had not been active for a certain time would not be migrated. Photos and blogs and stuff did not move. This was 2 days ago and now take off for this long extended break. How are those that participated in this supposed to feel? I sent my ticket to be part of that, but am so glad Ning messed up and I wasn't included.
I would think that to try to make mends with the creators that Ning has let down would be top priority, but that was just how I was brought up. Ning has lost trust with many long time payed Creators. This would be the time to try to earn that trust back.
There I feel a tiny bit better now that I vented.
There's actually a separate team putting together the new platform. I'm not sure if those folks are taking the same lengthy vacation as the rest of Ning Inc.
Maybe you are correct. But it does not change my feelings, any. No one on Ning should be vacationing at this point. IMHO. Thanks for your comment, Patrick.