My weekend got a lot busier—I have to move Shenandoah Writers Online to a new home.
Unfortunately for SWO, new CEO of Ning.com Jason Rosenthal announced Friday that the company will no longer be hosting groups/communities for free. They didn’t even give any of the administrators any warning at all—no e-mails went out—nothing. Rosenthal simply posted a letter titled “An Update from Ning” on the Ning blog. Classy.
The gist is, Ning is focusing on their “premium” accounts (translation: those who pay monthly fees and get more “goodies”) and junking the rest of us schlubs. I know it makes sense from a business standpoint, but it seems a little shady the way they’ve gone about telling (or not telling) us. Especially since the only reason I even know is because fabulous SWO member Laura Espinosa asked me if I had heard the news!
I’m not sure when they’ll be shutting everything down permanently, but Rosenthal says they are “phasing out” the free service—and that they’ll give us more details about it May 4.
That’s all well and good, but—call me crazy—I just don’t feel all that confident in the fact that Rosenthal and the Nings (new band name) are going to help me and the millions of others like me, who run free groups/communities, transition our content elsewhere.
That said, I want to get on this move immediately so I don’t lose everything that’s currently on SWO. So, yeah—my weekend just got a lot crazier and, like I said, annoying.
The good news: I’ve found a new place for Shenandoah Writers Online, and I think it’s going to work out pretty well. It’s over at Gr.oups. They have vowed never to make it a pay site, so I like them already! :) As well, I think we’ll have most of the same features we had at Ning—and perhaps some stellar new ones. (I’m trying to be optimistic here.) Still playing with it.
This news is particularly upsetting because in the four months since its inception, SWO has become over 40 members strong. Although not everyone actively posts and participates, I’d like to think everyone stops by on occasion—and that they all *might* post/participate at some point. What scares me about this move is that not everyone will come with me. I re-invited current SWO-ers to the new Grou.ps community, and so far, we’re up to 11 members.
I’m extremely proud of how SWO has grown since its December start, and even though it takes time to cultivate a community like this, I believe we are on our way to becoming an even better resource. So, please stick with us?
And if you’re not a member yet but you’d be interested in joining this writing community, please e-mail me.
I’m sorry for this inconvenience, but I’m working swiftly to make this transition as quick and seamless as possible.