If you, like millions of people, know anything about social networks, then you probably know ‘Ning’. Ning is a platform that in their own words;
“is the leading online platform for the world’s organizers, activists and influencers to create their own social network. Design a custom social experience in under 30 seconds giving you the power to mobilize, organize and inspire.”
Quite a wonderful quote… for someone who was seeking the mobilizing, organizing and inspiring. Me. Which is why I chose to use Ning to enable me to start a writer’s community for women, almost a year and a half ago. This followed my attempt to start a writer’s group in the real world, the inaugural meeting at which I was the only attendee. So, I thought, perhaps my draw ought to be wider… and I went world wide with the web and launched… Pink Ink Workshop! Ning made lots of sense to me, allowed me to design a great site with some excellent applications to add exactly what my members might need. Primarily it was about writing women connecting… and we did.
Pink Ink Workshop drew women writers from past connections I had and the ripple effect of my friends telling their friends and so on and so on (just like the Breck Shampoo Commercial circa 1970’s), and resulted in a small but committed group of writers from Canada, UK, Australia and the US. There were a handful of very active members… and I enjoyed the ability we had to inform and encourage one another, critique each others work, and connect in a world that can be quite isolating to writer types.
All this is coming to an abrupt end… and until today I’ve been OK with that. Just as I was OK when I married my husband and was discommunicated from my church… I knew it was coming, therefore I accepted it. And I recognize that it’s not all about me and my needs and my choices… there are greater powers at work. And I know that as one door closes a window opens and so on.
I received a notification a couple of months ago announcing that ‘Ning’ is no longer going to support their non-paying communities, I thought, Oh well, I guess that’s it then. I knew I couldn’t afford to carry the costs of paying to continue Pink Ink, and I also knew that I couldn’t expect the membership to do that either. So, I took the punch and decided that it was probably time for me to move on and do something else… recognize that Pink Ink Workshop has been a wonderful experience, and that it is over. (yes, I could have moved to another provider, and put more blood, sweat and tears into designing another network… like some of my virtual acquaintances have chosen to do. But, I’m tired… and I’m not really willing to do that… AGAIN!!!) I’m OK it, really I am, I thought.
Until today. I was just cruising around Pink Ink Workshop, and looking at the photos of all the women, and reading and re-reading their words and their thoughts, and considering all that they’ve come to mean to one another… and to me. Long distance relationships really can become strong, virtual or real. These women have spoken words of life into me… have seen some struggles and some triumphs and have seen my writing take flight. They know me as a writer. This is what Pink Ink Workshop’s intended to do, and it did, until now;
A community of writing women, engaging, developing and refining our craft, and inspiring one other to use our voices with boldness.
And, once again, I find myself in a place where the community that I desire and enjoyed is being taken away… notwithstanding that we have all promised to keep in touch through emails and other social networks that we might join together. It just won’t be the same.
So, thanks Ning. Thanks a lot! I can’t imagine how money could be the only thing necessary to make your business viable… at least not just the money of small players like me. Facebook seems to be able to make a fortune without charging me anything. Facebook revenues reached $500 million in 2009, up from $300 million in 2008, according to Fortune editor David Kirkpatrick. And their revenues come from advertising… and that’s not a secret or earth shattering knowledge… is it? Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-does-facebook-make-money-2010-5#ixzz0tyvMCIZf
If I could a place to write a frustrated letter to, or someone who cared to hear about this (aside from you my poor reader friend), then I’d be all about giving ‘Ning’ a piece of my mind. After announcing their non-support, Ning wanted me (as a network creator) to fill out a feedback survey… but I’m not going to. I’m too ticked at them. And I’m just going to having to accept the inevitable, that on July 20th, community as Pink Ink Workshop knew it, will end.
To all of you PIW Inksters… keep on tagging the world with your words!!! NOTHING is lost. ALL is for a purpose.
Moving on, and I miss you already,
‘Sol Deo Gloria‘