Monday, April 19, 2010

Ning's Premium Migration and the demise of SL Ning Steamland forums...


For those who may not be familiar with the Ning networks, it is a free forum used to by groups of like-minded individuals to develop and enhance communities of shared topics… such as Steampunk.  Alas, as with many other things in difficult economic times, aside from staff cuts, the Nings are changing to a "Premium" model (aka - no more free ride, you'll have to pay up to use it).

While understandable, it is unfortunate, as SL has a good number of networks which used the Ning to enhance their community.   Many of these Steamland entities will go to the wayside, unfortunately, and will be lost to the proverbial "Sands of Time".

http://blog.ning.com/2010/04/an-update-from-ning.html


Screenshot of a Ning page - this one for an educational entity

However, two influential players who use the Ning networks will likely transition to the Premium status.  First, the ever-growing Steampunk Empire is going strong, and Mr. Aloysius and Mr. Hephzibah have stated they will be ensure the "Empire stays strong" (aka, it will remain after the Premium migration).  Additionally, Dieselpunks.org (a Premium site already, to my estimation) will also stand fast, allowing its excellent reporting on both Steampunk and Dieselpunk to remain intact.

Additionally, one of my own favorite sites, the Art of Manliness, also intends to remain vibrant, so consider paying it a visit as well - plenty of interesting insights gentleman-lyness topics!

Many of the SL Steamland locations, such as New Babbage, Steelhead, Neo-Victoira, New Champagne Rooms, Armada, New Toulouse, and others, will lose their Nings.  New Babbage is currently under discussion on the next step, and further details will ideally emerge soon.

http://newbabbage.ning.com/forum/topics/ooc-ning-going-to-premium-only
http://newbabbage.ning.com/forum/topics/what-do-you-want-in-your-new

Not sure as to how long it will be until the plug is finally pulled - I've heard three months or so, but the Ning management says they will provide further information come May 4th on what will happen and on the Premium status.  However, as a heads up, if you do have anything on a Ning you have posted and wish to save… make it a point of retrieving it asap!

(A few aformentioned Ning sites are listed below)...
http://newbabbage.ning.com/
http://steampunk.ning.com/
http://www.dieselpunks.org/
http://community.artofmanliness.com/

4 comments:

Terrence L. Rathbone said...

Sorry to hear...Ning will probably fail as a result of this. You can't offer a service based on a free model and not expect your usership to drop by 80%. Then what?
Oh Well...glad I never bothered creating a Ning network now.

Thursday said...

The Armada ning is in a holding pattern until we hear an official plan of action from Ning.com. Right now, it looks like we will continue to be at Armada.ning.com after the changes, but we will continue to develop LiveArmada.com as well.

Dr. Rafael Fabre said...

@ Mr. Rathbone - Sadly, the great meltdown of '08 has plagued the virtual worlds, so your procrastination paid off! Kudos!

@ Mr. Thursday - Saw the site and I must say it is quite well done! I look forward to seeing it grow in the future days!

asil.karu said...

While the loss of the free hosting is a concern, please know that NeoVictoria will continue to have a community portal. I'm undecided as to whether we'll stay with NING (and pay the monthly fee) or migrate to an open-source platform (like WackWall). Still pondering the possibilities.
~ Asil, Owner of NeoVictoria and resident mechanical