43 posts categorized "Internet"

Want to Join in World IPv6 Day? Here's How To Set Up Your Home Office With IPv6

Worldipv6day 2Tomorrow, June 8, 2011, is "World IPv6 Day" and Google, Facebook, Yahoo and hundreds of other sites are preparing to enable IPv6 on their main websites. For 24 hours, the main websites of those organizations will be accessible over both IPv4 and IPv6, rather than requiring a separate domain name like "ipv6.google.com" or "www.v6.facebook.com".

The day will be a day to test out how well various websites work using IPv6... and what experiences users have in connecting over IPv6.

Would you like to join in the testing and experimentation?

To do so, you need to have IPv6 connectivity, naturally. You can go to either of these sites to see if you currently have IPv6 connectivity:

If you do have IPv6 connectivity, then you are all set to participate and will have no problem connecting to sites using IPv6.

If you do not, but would like to join in the experiment, here are two articles I wrote about how you can easily configure a home network to use IPv6 using the free service available at Tunnelbroker.net:

I also have other information available on an IPv6 Resource Page I put together (the page does have a slant toward telecommunications because that's the business I'm in... but some of the tutorials are equally applicable to people outside of telecom).

Direct participation in using IPv6 on World IPv6 Day is entirely optional, of course, although everyone will be part of the experiment of the big sites adding IPv6 support. You don't have to do anything and hopefully everything will "just work" for you on the Internet and Web tomorrow.

For those of you who would like to play, though, hopefully these links are enough to get you started...

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Want to Track the Chaos and Disruption in Media? Use Mediagazer, the Techmeme for media

Want to keep up with the ongoing disruption in the media business? Want to understand how business models are fundamentally changing? Want to learn about the newest tools that are appearing? Want to just stay up on the latest changes?

For years now, I've been using Techmeme.com to stay up on the changes in the tech world, but only recently have I really started to use Techmeme's sister site, Mediagazer:


Like Techmeme, Mediagazer uses a combination of automated tools and human editing to curate the best stories - and the follow-on stories - in one place.


It's a well-done site that helps communicators keep up with the changes that are going on all around us in the media industry. Mediagazer's feed is of course also available on Twitter.

Well worth a look if you haven't seen it...

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The Facebook/Burson-Marsteller Debacle, Google - and the World War For (Our) Information

“There’s a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it’s not about who’s got the most bullets. It’s about who controls the information. What we see and hear, how we work, what we think… it’s all about the information!”
- Cosmo in “Sneakers” (1992)

I could only reflect on this quote as the news exploded last week that Facebook had hired PR firm Burson-Marsteller to spread negative stories about Google, and then continued in almost Keystone Kops-fashion with both Facebook and B-M competing to see who could throw the other under the bus the fastest... complete with silly aspects like Burson-Marsteller deleting posts from their Facebook page (they have stopped doing that, as is obvious from their page now).

In the midst of all this there was the predictable outrage from so many in the PR / communications industry, with statements about clear violations of ethics and so much more. Neville Hobson provides a solid summary over on his blog along with some recommendations for B-M.

My only real thought through it all was...

is anyone REALLY surprised?

If anything, my surprise was only that the Burson-Marsteller employees were amateur enough that they got caught!

The War

The reality is that the quote that Ben Kingsley's character Cosmo said to his friend Martin (Robert Redford) almost 20 years ago is if anything only MORE true today.

There's a war out there.

A war for our eyeballs.

A war for our attention.

A war for our dollars.

... and we're not talking petty cash... we're talking billions of dollars.. maybe trillions.

Take a look at what you do every day. Take a look at the tools you use. Where's your email? Where's your blog hosted? Where do post status updates and connect with friends? Where do you post your photos? What do you use to write documents? What do you use to find your way from one place to another?

Odds are that for almost all of you reading this, the answer is...

the Cloud.


Somewhere... on someone's servers... on someone's service.

Even for documents... Google Apps, now Microsoft's Office 365, and more and more and more...

We are evolving into the Cloud.

And therein lies the war.

The war is about who controls the information... it's about "what we see and hear, how we work, what we think".

It's about who actually runs the "cloud"... who controls the servers where the data actually resides. It's about who owns the plumbing down underneath.

It's also about who controls how we access the "cloud"... who controls the tools we use... the interfaces we use... the services we use... even the bandwidth we use...

It's a world war...

It's THE war that will define our future... and whether that future will be in the hands of closed, proprietary "walled gardens" controlled by a few corporations - or whether we will have a more open Internet where we all have more choice and control.

Oh, yes, and it's a war for BILLIONS of dollars...

In That Context...

The other reality is that this Burson-Marsteller "kerfuffle" between Facebook and Google is only a minor skirmish in the larger war.

The battles are playing out all around us... online with Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Twitter, Microsoft and everyone else who would like to be in that game... in the mobile sphere with Apple, Google (Android), Microsoft and everyone else... in the underlying plumbing with the telco/mobile carriers (AT&T, Verizon, a zillion others), the cable providers (Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, a zillion others), the other ISPs, the other wireless providers, Google, and everyone else...

... and in so many other facets of our lives. Pick an area... and there's a battle going on as part of this larger war.

In that context, the fact that Facebook engaged a company like Burson-Marsteller to spread rumors and stir up negative publicity against an opponent is not at all surprising.

For many engaged in this war, they live by a simple premise:

The ends justify the means.

And with that world-view, such quaint views as "ethics" don't matter. All that matters is...


By any means.

Was what Burson-Marsteller and Facebook did sleazy and unethical by the standards most of us hold?


Will Burson-Marsteller's actions once again hurt those of us who take pride in the PR / communications industry and would like it to be viewed more positively?


Will those of us who do abide by a code of ethics in our PR / communications efforts once again have to endure having our reputation tarnished by those who don't?


Will will see more of these kind of sleazy actions, perhaps not from Burson-Marsteller but from other firms?


... but odds are that others will look to cover their tracks more and not get caught.

There's a war out there, my friends, a world war...

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On the Joy of a Disconnected Weekend...

I spent almost all of the weekend offline... and it was a beautiful thing.

In fact, I need to remind myself to do it more often.

Now, part of my unplugging was by necessity. My wife and I went to a cousin's wedding Saturday evening down near Rhode Island and so had a combination of 3 hours driving and 6 hours at the wedding. Prior to that we had family arriving to watch our kids while we were away. While I did do a Facebook Places check-in from the country club where the event was held, I was otherwise offline for the most part (and was obviously not online while driving).

Here's what my weekend content creation turned out to be:

  • 2 tweets
  • 3 photos posted to Facebook
  • 1 sharing of a link on Facebook
  • 1 Facebook check-in (at the wedding)
  • 1 FourSquare check-in (at the city dump ;-)
  • 0 blog posts, videos, or anything else

That was it. (Well, I answered a couple of email messages, too.)

And yes, the 0 blog posts means that I really blew my "365 days of blog posts" goal for 2011 - but I'd already missed that goal back on March 5. I've become okay with that. So far in 2011 this will be my 310th blog post... and we've only had 122 days in the year... so even with missing 3 days I'm averaging 2.5 blog posts per day.

Instead of being online as much as I usually am, I had two wonderful evenings with my wife (one of which involved the wedding and seeing extended family), a great lunch with my parents who I don't get to see all that often, some good conversations with folks in our community and a great day outside with my family working in our yard and just enjoying the beautiful weather.

I've been working online now for over 25 years... starting back in the "online services" and BBS's that pre-dated the Internet back in mid-1980s... and then moving into BITNET and very early Internet... and on and on...

Being online is at this point in time part and parcel of who I am... I can't really think of NOT being online on a daily basis. It's just "what I do".

But every now and then it is good for the soul to step awayyy for the keyboard for a block of time and just revel in everything else around us that is NOT online. It's healthy and rejuvenating... and gives one perspective.

Sure, by being offline, I missed the killing of Osama Bin Laden and the President's speech last night... but in the grand scheme of things, did it really matter that I learned about the news 10 hours later when I woke up and went online this morning? (And in truth, I learned about it from my wife who checked Facebook before I did this morning!)

We who live so much of our lives online DO need to remember to unplug and disconnect ourselves now and then. It's a huge challenge for many folks... myself included. But I do believe we'll be better for it.

How about you? When was the last time you disconnected for more than a couple of hours?

Image credit: nige_mar on Flickr

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KISSmetrics' Great Infographic on The Evolution of Web Design from 1990's to Today

Mashable.com today published a great infographic that was created by KISSmetrics on "The Evolution of Web Design".

For those of us who have been working with the web from its earliest days, it's a great trip down memory lane. I remember learning of "the World-Wide Web" back in 1991 or so when all you could do was telnet into info.cern.ch. I had written and was teaching an "Introduction to the Internet" class for large companies in the Boston area... and had a section at the end about "new topics" that included a brief mention of this world-wide web thing :-) Shortly, thereafter, of course, I was rapidly developing courseware in how to create HTML pages and helping people learn how to set up websites.

We've come a l..o..n..g.. way from hand-coding all our pages using an editor like "vi" or Notepad...

Kudos to the KISSmetrics team for coming up with the cool infographic. The full graphic is huge... but worth checking out.


P.S. Kudos to the KISSmetrics folks for also providing a "Facts and Stats to Tweet" area below the infographic, complete with links to tweet out those stats. A well-done example of making it easy for people to tell the story you want and get people coming back to your site... ;-)


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My FIR Report for March 14, 2011 - Japan Quake, Doc Searls and Al Jazeera

fir_100x100.gifMy report into this week's For Immediate Release podcast #590 turned out to be a very focused report. Last Thursday when I was thinking about what to record on Friday, I had planned to talk about the sheer brilliance of Apple's iPad2 launch timing... about how they are "masters of creating spectacle". However, other events created a far greater spectacle which swept away any focus people may have had on the newest gadget coming out of Cupertino.

I know my attention on Friday was not focused on any reports of iPad 2 lines or online scarcity but instead focused on all the insane and surreal news coming out of Japan with the combination of the earthquake and tsunami and all the resulting devastation. Given the super-high density of mobile phones in Japan, it was perhaps too be expected that this disaster would be uploaded.... videos.... photos... tweets... updates of all sorts...

My FIR report focused on that aspect of the event... and also Doc Searls great post: "Earthquake turns TV networks into print" about how the Internet is changing coverage of events, particularly when some media like Al Jazeera are using live streaming so well while other TV networks are not (or cannot due to contracts). I have much more to say on that topic... but in the meantime I encourage you all to read Doc's post. Or... listen to my report inside of this week's FIR ;-)

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Google Wave to rise from the ashes in open source form?


Ever since the announced demise of Google Wave, I think we've all been wondering what would be next and how much of the code Google would make available. Today, they've taken a step in that direction with this post:

Wave open source next steps: "Wave in a Box"

In the post, they say that they will make available as open source:

  • an application bundle including a server and web client supporting real-time collaboration using the same structured conversations as the Google Wave system
  • a fast and fully-featured wave panel in the web client with complete support for threaded conversations
  • a persistent wave store and search implementation for the server (building on contributed patches to implement a MongoDB store)
  • refinements to the client-server protocols
  • gadget, robot and data API support
  • support for importing wave data from wave.google.com
  • the ability to federate across other Wave in a Box instances, with some additional configuration

If they follow through on all this, it should be quite a good offering.  As they note:

This project will not have the full functionality of Google Wave as you know it today. However, we intend to give developers and enterprising users an opportunity to run wave servers and host waves on their own hardware.

After Google announced Wave back at that famous Google I/O presentation, I've been intrigued by it (and written about it) but what has most intrigued me is the possibility to move collaboration to a "distributed and decentralized" model in a way similar to email and web servers.  Distributed and decentralized is, after all, "The Internet Way", as I wrote about at great length in the past.

Let's see what happens... and I, for one, will definitely be watching http://www.waveprotocol.org/ to see what they make available.

What do you think?  Can Wave re-emerge as something useful?

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The final day of Diaspora's funding drive - will they hit $200,000?

diaspora-june1.jpgToday, June 1, is the final day of Diaspora's funding drive over on Kickstarter. I love the exquisite irony of the graphic I've included on the right side of this post... "This product will only be funded if at least $10,000 is pledged by Tuesday Jun 1, 11:59pm EDT." .... given that the four guys are closing in on $200K in pledges!

As I wrote about before, the promise of Diaspora is an exciting one for advocates of the "open Internet". There are many challenges that they face in building a distributed, decentralized social network. There are some aspects of privacy and security that can be easier in a centralized model... but for our own long-term future, it's great to have some folks out there looking at this issue.

I wish the Diaspora team all the best with their work and will certainly be watching and looking at how I can help. Already, their concepts and ideas have increased the discussion about what we want the "social networking" part of the Internet to look like. They may not succeed... but if not they will certainly help us all in their trying. And in the best case, we'll have a new service to use that will let us have a bit more control.

Will they hit $200,000 in pledges today? 14 hours left... it doesn't matter, really... they've already received way more than they ever expected!

P.S. And yes, in full disclosure I should state that I am one of those 6000+ backers.

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Will Diaspora give us an "open Facebook"?

diasporateam.jpgTiming is everything.

Back on April 24th, four NYU students (pictured: Raphael, Ilya, Daniel and Maxwell), set themselves up on a site called Kickstarter with the goal of raising $10,000 so that they could devote themselves to working full-time through the summer on their idea for Diaspora, "the privacy aware, personally controlled, do-it-all distributed open source social network". Two of them were graduating, the other two had potential internships... but all they really wanted to do was code.

Three days later they had passed $2500 and were going to start some PR and outreach to relevant blogs.

What they couldn't have necessarily known was that Facebook would choose this time to anger and alienate so many people with their privacy changes...


Their one little idea for a project happened to hit the tech world's radar at just the right time... and landed them with write-ups in tech sites like ReadWriteWeb: Diaspora Project: Building the Anti-Facebook. Business insider discussed "Here's The Privacy Line That Facebook Just Crossed..." and talked about challenges that Diaspora would have. Many other sites mentioned the project and developers tweeted about it.

Then came more mainstream coverage... the Chronicle of Higher Education... then a Huffington Post article... then a New York Times article, both online and in print: Four Nerds and a Cry to Arms Against Facebook... and then even more of the tech media world went crazy... a sampling:

And many, many, many, many more...

diaspora funding-1.jpgTech superstar Leo Laporte deleted his Facebook account on his This Week in Google podcast and promoted Diaspora on the show - and went on to donate $100 to the project. Twitter was filled with comments and links about Diaspora... Very ironically, multiple Facebook pages are up - one by a fan and one by the team... the buzz was all over the tech space...

The end result is that the four guys FAR exceeded their goal... as of this morning they had 4774 backers pledging $174,334! The amount will undoubtedly be more by the time you read this article.

The team has been admittedly overwhelmed and written about how their "situation has changed a little".

You think?


Well... given that it's just an idea that the guys are planning to work on, we don't exactly know yet... but the ideas they describe are that of a "distributed, decentralized social network" that is much more in line with the "open internet" architecture. ReadWriteWeb had a nice explanation:

So what is Diaspora anyway? Instead of being a singular portal like Facebook, Diaspora is a distributed network where separate computers connect to each other directly, without going through a central server of some sort.

Once set up, the network could aggregate your information - including your Facebook profile, if you wanted. It could also import things like tweets, RSS feeds, photos, etc., similar to how the social aggregator FriendFeed does. A planned plugin framework could extend these possibilities even further.

Your computer, called a "seed" in the Diaspora setup, could even integrate the connected services in new ways. For example, a photo uploaded to Flickr could automatically be turned into a Twitter post using the caption and link.

When you "friend" another user, you're actually "friending" that seed, technically speaking. There's not a centralized server managing those friend connections as there is with Facebook - it's just two computers talking to each other. Friends can then share their information, content, media and anything else with each other, privately using GPG encryption.

It's about eliminating Single Points of Failure (SPOFs)... it's about putting you in control.

Just as you can choose to operate your own email server or your own web server... or you can choose to use someone's hosted email or web server... the idea would be that you could run your own "social network" server - or use someone else's hosted social network.

It's not necessarily a new idea... it's what the great folks at Status.Net are trying to do with an open source micro-blogging platform (I wrote earlier about why it matters) so that we can have a "distributed, decentralized Twitter"... and then with the follow-on "OStatus" effort (which the Diaspora guys reference in their latest post)...

The move toward more open communication is going on in other areas, too... it's what has been going on in the world of XMPP for years to bring about distributed, decentralized instant messaging (IM)... it's what the federation aspect of Google Wave could potentially bring us...


In my mind, a key challenge the Diaspora team will need to address is:

How do I find someone in the Diaspora network?

In the centralized world of Facebook, I can do a search and with the right search terms easily find and get connected to some long-lost friend. Likewise, I can search in Twitter... or for another example, in Skype. All of these services have a centralized database.

Simple. Easy.

Contrast that to the distributed, decentralized world of the Web... or email... or Jabber/XMPP IM... you have to either know someone's URL or address... or you have to look it up in a search engine like Google.

It's not as easy as with a centralized service.

I've admittedly sent someone a message on Facebook purely because I didn't know their "best" email address and didn't have time to look it up anywhere. I knew that Facebook would provide that linkage - and I was already connected.

Somehow the Diaspora team needs to solve the directory challenge... not sure how, but I wish them the best with it and hope they do.


Good question... First it sounds like the team needs to grapple with the overwhelming interest and sort out the best way forward.

Second, their going to have to grapple with the enormous expectations now being placed on them!

Third, we all who are watching are going to have to realize and understand that any project like this doesn't just appear overnight... that the first iterations will probably need some work... that it won't slice bread and do a zillion other things on the first day, etc., etc., etc.

Fourth, Facebook may very well make moves to change its privacy policies or make things better in some ways ... and perhaps do just enough to calm people down and cool the fervor for an alternative.

Fifth, the reality is that with 400 million people on Facebook, with more signing up each day, there is an enormous inertia against any kind of change. The other reality is that many, many of those "regular" Facebook users don't realized the importance of these issues and may just not care...

As an advocate for a more open internet, I certainly hope these guys succeed in building out some type of open, distributed, decentralized network... they're off to a great start with $174K committed and perhaps more importantly a list of ~5,000 supporters passionate enough to give $$$... I'll certainly watch the project and help in any way I can...

And if nothing else, they have already raised more awareness around why this is important...

Kudos to them for what they've done... best wishes to them for what sounds like will be a VERY busy summer for them... and I'm looking forward to seeing what they are able to do...

P.S. And yes, in full disclosure, I pledged $10.. it may or may not work out in the end... but I applaud their creativity and initiative... and I'd love to see it happen!

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Ning's Phase-Out of Free Services - Smart Business Move? Or Utter Betrayal?

ning.jpgMuch has been made in the social media part of the blogosphere about Ning's recent decision to end their free services. In a post to their Ning Creators Forum titled "NING UPDATE: PHASING OUT FREE SERVICES", the company posted an email from their CEO that said most importantly this:
So, we are going to change our strategy to devote 100% of our resources to building the winning product to capture this big opportunity. We will phase out our free service. Existing free networks will have the opportunity to either convert to paying for premium services, or transition off of Ning.

The post outlined why they need to make the move - and disclosed the fact that they were laying off 69 people.

Some 700 comments later, they closed off comments to the post. The comments seemed to be a great number of very upset users of the free Ning service mixed in with a few folks defending Ning along with Ning employees who seemed to be trying to be genuinely helpful.

The comments across the blogosphere and Twittersphere raged quite strongly. ReadWriteWeb had a post listing alternatives, as did Mashable. TechCrunch reported on sites "welcoming Ning refugees".

While the news sites may have reported it matter-of-factly, many other sites were full of passion. Many nonprofits and educational institutions wrote about how the were going to have to find some other home because they couldn't afford fees. My friend Shel Holtz wrote a blistering post called "Ning reneges on its core promise, shatters customer trust", which included this line:

But the word that keeps repeating in my mind is “betrayal.”

Strong stuff.

Betrayal? Or sound business decision? I understand the arguments on both sides.


If you go back in time, Ning was launched with great fanfare in October 2005, a new startup by Marc Andresson of Netscape fame. Per the RWW article I just linked to, Ning's FAQ (now gone) was:

"Our goal with Ning is to see what happens when you open things up and make it easy to create, share, and discover new social apps."

I remember the launch... many of us tried it out. I think I even created a Ning network... although I can't find any email or evidence that I really did. I know I joined a couple. The idea was cool... now anyone can create their own social network!

Over the years Ning raised over $120 million from investors and at one point was valued at over a half billion dollars. Mashable reported one year ago that there were over 1,000,000 networks created on Ning. Ning was one of the early supporters of OpenSocial and rolled out "Ning Apps" to Ning's 1.5 million networks at that time. I know of many folks in the social media/marketing space who recommended Ning as a platform for people to build communities. I did to several groups. I was even considering using Ning as a platform for a community around my upcoming book like Steve Garfield did for his Get Seen book. (I opted for a blog and a Facebook page instead.)


It now seems rather clear that something was broken with the business model. $120 million dollars and 1.5 million networks later... they chopped 40% of the staff and dropped the free service that brought them so much attention and undoubtedly investment.

It sounds like from a company perspective they had little choice. As a recent Mashable post said (my emphasis added):

We’re not sure how pricing will change over the next few weeks, but what we do know is that the dotcom-era free-for-all of apps, services and content for end users is not-so-gradually coming to a halt. In the light of economic reality, nothing is free. Someone — be it an advertiser, an administrator, an investor or an entrepreneur — is footing the bill for every one and zero that’s electronically transmitted across this great Internet of ours. And at some point, most of those folks expect to see a return on their investment.

"And at some point, most of those folks expect to see a return on their investment."... indeed. And $120 million of investment is a lot to seek a return on. I can understand that they didn't have many great choices... and were undoubtedly running out of time.


On the other hand, I completely understand the anger, sadness, frustration and passion of all of those who built communities on Ning. Ning offered a great service ... all you had to do was bear with seeing the ads that were displayed. In return you had powerful tools to build your own community.

You put your trust in Ning that they would provide this service for free - and now Ning has betrayed that trust.

I don't envy all the nonprofits, schools, churches and other groups that used Ning as their community and built their communication infrastructure around that site. Sure, there are alternatives, but switching is a pain... you ideally want to move some or all of your content... and you have to bring all your users over with you... It is a lot of work.

It's easy to say, as I've seen many commenters do, that "you get what you pay for"... and to chastise users of Ning's free service to be so naive to think that it would be around for the long term. But why not? That was the promise made by the company. Build your community here and we'll make it easy for you to maintain and grow - and so many networks did prosper there.


As Shel wrote in his post, I have this issue with "single points of failure" (SPOFs). I've written at great length about how Twitter and Facebook violate "The Internet Way" of distributed and decentralized services. I would add Ning to that list as well. It is a centralized service under the control of a single company... and a startup company at that.

The problem in relying on a single company/service/platform is that if you are locked in to that company/service/platform, you have a single point-of-failure.

They die... you die.

Compare the Ning situation to, say, garden-variety web hosting providers. You can get web hosting pretty much anywhere for an inexpensive amount of money. Upload your HTML files, point your domain there... ta da... your website is up and running.

Don't like the web hosting provider? Or have too many service problems? Or have the web hosting provider fail as a business? No problem... sign up with another web hosting provider... upload your HTML files (you do have a backup, right?)... point your domain there... and ta da... you're back in action. You have many, many, many choices for web hosting providers... it's all distributed and decentralized.


With a web hosting provider... or even an email provider... there is a fundamental feature:


If you don't like the provider, you can move. You aren't locked in. Sure, it may be a pile of work... and moving your domain may be a hassle if you didn't retain control of it... but it's relatively straightforward to move. Even if you use PHP or other scripting languages, odds are that you can move your web site to another provider, because...

Web sites are portable as they are based on open standards.

Usually... unless, of course, the web hosting provider found some way to make your administration "simpler" and subsequently lock you in to their services.

When using Ning, though, you sacrifice that control and portability in the name of simplicity. It's easy and simple (and free!) to set up a Ning community. It can be a lot harder to set up your own software on your own server - and it will probably cost you something. The same can be said of Facebook and using a Facebook Page or Group... or using any of the many other services out there that let you build communities.


Sadly, hundreds of thousands of actual users (perhaps millions) are learning about control and portability in a bitter and harsh lesson. They will soon learn about what pricing Ning will be offering... and they will have to make their choices. Pay some fee... move their community... or simply shut it down. I already know that one of the ones I am a member of will be moving. I expect many others will move as well.

I can only hope... and that is what it is - "hope"... that as Ning community administrators look at alternatives, they will ask those providers the tough questions, like:

  • How do I know you will be around in a while?
  • How can I trust you not to screw me like Ning just did?
  • What is your business model?
  • How easy is it for me to move my community OFF of your platform if I choose to do so?

And so on...

As for Ning, I wish them luck... I somehow think they're going to need it.

UPDATE: John Cass has an excellent post tracking many good posts involved in the conversation about Ning's changes.

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