This just in!! Ning’s Bubble Bursts: No More Free Networks, Cuts 40% Of Staff.
Basically, if you have a group set up on Ning, you’ll be asked to upgrade to some varying level of premium service, or move it elsewhere (although I tried setting up a new group and it let me do it so they haven’t shut that down yet).
Here’s a good post listing alternatives: 5 Places To Take Your Ning Network.
However, it will be no surprise to you that if you are considering moving your groups, we highly recommend Groupsite.com as a really fantastic social network platform. They have the best usability of any collaboration platform we have played with, by a mile, and of course they house YAP so we’ve been tight with Groupsites’ CIO Shaun Callahan and CEO Clarence Wooten for ages – which means that every time we have requested usability improvements for our YAPstar users, they listened and made adjustments for us. They are awesome, involved members of the association community.
A few more association peeps on Groupsites:
ASCA Scene (American School Counselors)
NEA Priority Schools Campaign (just one of many NEA groupsites)
Association Network Exchange (led by our very own Peggy Hoffman)
NACE National (National Association of Catering Executives)
Regardless of whether you jump ship or start paying fees (or decide to take it in house and go white label), the big lesson here is that it’s crucial to be nimble. We’ve found that if your community is engaged, and active, and happy, and love you, they will follow if you need to move to a different platform. When YAP outgrew Facebook, and we moved it to Groupsites, everyone came along with us. It’s not about the technology, it’s about the people.
Change is the only constant. Heraclitus said this in the 5th Century BC, and it’s never been more true. Gotta roll with it!