Ning Conference Call Highlights:
What Got My Attention On the Ning Conference Call? The Plus Plan
I'm not sure if any of you chose to join one of the phone conferences Ning offered in the past couple of days. I attended the last one on Thursday May 6, 2010, before the final call on Friday (Spanish call).
I have to tell you, on behalf of a lot of fellow Network Creators and friends, I was pleasantly surprised with what all I heard. Even for the Plus Plan, the power and features will be so much more than currently offered. With the exception of uploading Videos, Music and branded players, the Plus is like all of the premium services put together, plus a whole lot more, and all for $19.95 per month. This is actually a good deal less than premium networks pay today, for the same features - - again, except the music and video uploads. But the most critical point to keep in mind, there are a host of additional features you will gain from the Plus, that no one has today. Read more, below.
There were a lot of exciting topics touched-on in the conference call. And, for current premium customers it's almost a no-brainer. I have been a premium subscriber since day one, and will remain a premium. However, my main reason for joining the call was to learn and share any information I thought would be helpful to fellow Network Creators; especially for those of you who are currently free Ning Networks, and are struggling with making a decision. Some of you know your next move, and that's great. For those who aren't sure, and are considering the Plus Plan, here are a few tidbits I retained from the call.
Plus Plan Highlights:
Since the biggest loss is uploading videos and music, I will cover that first. In regards to Video, my understanding is: if you choose to go with the Plus instead of the Pro, any videos you currently have on your site will remain accessible in the same manner they are today. However, you or members will not be able to upload any more in the future. But, here's the thing. You can upload/host your videos somewhere like YouTube and add the embedded code to your Ning Network, in pretty much any text box from the home page to profile pages. And, I believe you will still be able to upload Videos with the "+Add Video" feature. My guess is: you just won't see an upload button, but a text box for embedded code.
For music, you can use a similar method formusic uploads, by utilizing embedded music players. There are several free music players available online - - and you can use the embedded code for those players on your Ning Network. I know for sites where video and music uploads are critical, this adds an extra step. However, if these two media formats are that critical to a site, you probably should figure out how to upgrade to the Pro Plan.
This is how I see it, if I were trying to make a decision. If I could not go to the Pro Plan, and I could live with video and music embeds, the Plus Plan is awesome. This is why.
- Unlimited Members
- All the features premium Networks enjoy today, with that one exception of no uploads on video and music.
- Removal of all Ning Branding. Now you can promote your brand completely.
- Ad-free - - you can run your own Ads, even if just Google Adsense. You can sell whatever you want - - I suppose as long as it's not illegal or something in the porn arena.
- Your site will no longer carry the Ning brand/name. When a new member signs-up, they will see your name, your brand.
- And this simply ROCKS! Sign-in with Facebook, Twitter or other authentication services
- You will have the option of using your own domain name.
- You will have new features like special text boxes for the header/footer.
- Small yet very powerful new features like: being able to choose the home page - - what your members and visitors will see first.
- Member Stats
- 25 Text Boxes and 25 RSS Feeds
- Feature controls like: Hide invite, share, Facebook or Twitter links, turn off private messaging, and strengthen member verification.
Here's another topic that of course got my attention - - optional premium Memberships:
I can't remember if this was available for Plus and Pro. If any other attendee knows, please let us knowand I will move it up to the bulleted items for the Plus Plan.
You will be able to choose whether or not you want to charge members formembership, and the way I heard it: you should be able to choose areas of your Social Network, and enable a membership fee for that specific area. It wasn't clear on when this level of membership fees would be available, and I may have misunderstood how this will work. Time will tell. I do believe however, the basic "membership fee" feature will be available soon. Additionally, the Ning platform will process the payments for you, via PayPal.
There was definitely more covered in the call, and especially with the unique questions/answers asked by fellow Ning Network Creators. For example: a fellow Network Creator asked if Ning would raise their rates. The Ning Team was very quick to answer, "We have no plans to raise the rates." You had to be there. It was very convincing. But, time will tell.
I have covered the main points I caught. If anyone else reading this blog attended a call, and you want to add more, or correct anything I've stated, please do. :-)
Hoping everyone is able to make the absolute best decision.