Is there any other equivalent (or more or less equivalent) service for free?
Because it seems to me that first they offered a nice service , so that many forums and communities were created (I've seen so many ones on Ning lately!), and then when people have established them and everything seems to go well, they decide the service is no more free :-(.. IMHO it's obvious they did it on purpose, whatever their present declarations are, and they trust most communities will pay rather than migrate elsewhere...
When providers do like that, I usually don't think twice and I leave them, as it sounds like a sort of blackmail to me, but of course if there is no alternative (I have no idea of what else there is that could substitute it) then we could try to setup advertising...
I know that there is also the possibility of setting up some sort of affiliation to Amazon; I don't know exactly how that works, but it seems rather profitable... In practice there would be a link here to Amazon, and for all the books bought on Amazon by people arriving there from that link (and here of course all the members should give their help, using "our" link instead of going directly on Amazon using their bookmarks), a small percentage would be assigned to the site... It's a very small percentage, but in the end it sums up to something relevant; I'm a member of a forum that practically survives on that. It could be an idea, and it doesn't need setting up big advertisements...
I think I agree with Elena and feel like this decision to charge is a little crooked on their part. I would think they are already earning revenue from the ad sales. And once you do sign up and start paying, what's to stop them from continually raising their fee?
As much as I love stitchinfingers, the truth is I don't come here that often. I love this community we have and the people I have met through it, but I don't know that I frequent this site enough to warrant paying a monthly - or whatever - fee.
What about a flikr community? I know a lot of us already have some photos there. Or how about a yahoo group? CQI does very well there, although in my opinion it is not as user-friendly as stitchinfingers here on ning.
I wish I had more knowledge of what was out there and could offer more suggestions.
I love this community and visit it several times a day and have met some wonderful stitchers here and would hate to lose it. However, I agree with Elena and Michelle that they could raise the rates whenever they want.
I do not know much about the internet, but does Google have something similar or what about webs.com? If push comes to shove I do not mind paying my share for a service that I benefit so much from.
Good luck, Sharon and I hope something can be worked out.
Thank you for the heads up Sharon, I've been so busy I haven't checked my messages from .ning lately. I own two .ning groups in addition to be a member of 10 or more other .ning communities. I find this odd that they are doing this since there are ads on each page I visit on every group I belong to or own, are they saying their revenue from those ads are not enough? If so then maybe they should try making the ads relevant to the groups they are advertising on. I've never quite figured out what a viagra ad had to do with stitching!!!
Hi Shawn - yes I agree that you get what you pay for and don't mind paying if I can get adverts to cover the costs. I run three sites for the community - the stitch dictionary, the blog and this one.I don't gain financially from any of them. I cant afford to simply dish out the cash quality or not.
I am looking into other services but I dont think the community will move just like that. Not without a lot of work and frankly I wonder if it is worthwhile.
I have an affiliation to Amazon on my stitch dictionary site - I hate to tell people this but just like click through adverts, stitchers don't buy a heck of a lot of books. If I was to monetise the site it would be one of the things I did along with google adsense.
I will try advertising/amazon etc before closing sown the site.
I am so tempted to simply start a yahoo group and keep it at that - simple old fashioned email list that is fun and uncomplicated
back up means keeping a copy of any photos etc you have here, on your own computer
Pin tangle is separate from Ning so it is OK
Ann a bullitin board still has to hosted and paid for as unfortunately they are not free and take much more time to run. Thanks for the suggestion however
Paula webs.com is a regular website and is not a social software site which Ning is. Thanks for the suggestion however
Ravelry is a business - they are not only a community but also have places where people can sell stuff etc and I dont want a business - I have a busy life as it is - I just want to share stitching
In all probability I will pay for the service, put adverts on the site and cross my fingers that the rates wont climb or Ning go broke but to be honest at the moment I feel a bit glum about it. I am sure lots of creators of Ning networks feel the same - but no use mooching and moaning like a teenager over a reality in life
thanks everyone for your input and we will see what happens and what the rates will be
Oh I nearly forgot - for those that have Ning networks and in the interests of transparency here is the thread on NING Creators
Just a thought, quite a few of the forums are suggesting http://grou.ps/ as a possible free alternative now Ning have pulled up the carpet. Might be worth a a look. It's a rotten shame, and I think a lot of the smaller Ning groups will probably fold up as a result of this, although I do agree with you that moving the community is a mammoth task. I would be happy to pay a sub as Stitchin Fingers has given so much to me, but appreciate that others may not be in that position.