Ning announced earlier this year that all free services will cease to exist because the concept of freemium was simply not feasible. For many this was long overdue because ‘there is no such thing as free lunch’. ‘Free is never free’.
It was later announced that new options and pricing plans would be announced on 20th of July. Jason Rosenthal the newly appointed CEO of Ning assured all that new pricing plans would suit everyone. The new pricing plans for Ning networks can be found here. As educators you have the option of paying $20 a year for a 1GB storage, 10GB of bandwidth, a limit of 150 members and only 2 Ning apps with no option of video, music and chat. This is a brief break down of eduction edition of Ning options.
I have been using Ning to teach and have been an advocate of Ning for the past 2 years or so. These options for educators are a disappointment. With a limit of 150 members, I would have to open a different Ning network for each year that I teach and the total cost could turn up to well over $100. With the limit of storage and bandwidth does not leave the option of greater usage especially if these networks are the focal point for students and teachers.
Most web 2.0 apps now have a free option for educators and it was disappointing that Ning did not follow. I understand Ning is a business model and needs to make money but this move has lost some loyal Ning fans in education. I am one of them.
There is no doubt that Ning is a fantastic service as a product. It’s easy to use, has great features, and very easy to navigate and control but as a long term user I feel let down with the new options.
I had to get this off my chest and has been irritating me ever since ‘freemium’ was canceled by Ning. In the coming weeks I will be looking at Ning alternatives.