Hopefully this will ease your mind on backups. I can't speak directly for Ning; however, I am most certain that Ning has more than just backup databases, yet a full disaster recovery plan. With today's technology, expectations and legalities: there is simply no possible way that this type of plan is not in place at Ning. In fact I have direct experience with losing something as simple as a site theme, yet a very critical issue. Ning Support was able to restore my theme from previous backups and reinstall on my pet site.
On tags, yes, I've noticed this too. I reported this via the Ning Help Desk, here: Ning Help Desk
Here is an excerpt from the answer I received from the Support Desk:
"... your comment about the tags disappearing. ..., and our engineers are currently working on recovering the tags that are missing and to insure that this doesn't happen in the future."
Sorry to hear you've had a bad experience with Ning Help. I've had just the opposite experience, 100%. I hope things get better for you on this, truly.
And, we'll have to agree to disagree. ;-) IMO, Ning is not just concerned about protecting their interest. If they didn't have their customer's best interests at the top of the list, within their product development & implementation plans, they wouldn't have several million networks.
Honestly, I appreciate your concerns and thoughts. On the flip side of this thought process, I've been in Software Development Management for 20+ years. I've managed mega multi-million dollar projects (Wall Street to Silicon Valley), and am familiar with industry trends, standards, and keep up with "select" capital corporate investments/funding - - I sincerely disagree with you. But, if I knew it all, we probably wouldn't be having this conversation. I'd be off in my Villa on the French Riviera, with my feet kicked up. LOL! I'm always open to learning from others and new ideas.
Like we've already agreed, we have to agree to disagree, for now. ;-)
LOL = Laughing Out Loud.. Use it lightly, and not in every post where a fellow network creator is crying for help because of an issue that may be costing them money. We're here to support each other, and yes, if you're here to help, be serious and don't LOL at them.