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Open Message to Transitioners Re: Ning New Pricing Policies

Open message to Transitioners,

You've heard by now that Ning is upgrading its website offerings. Starting in July will charge $20, $200, or $500 per year depending on the level of service each of our Transition sites elects.  Read about available pricing plans.

Here is my advice for making these changes a victory for our hundreds of Transition sites, large, small and international.
  • Rebrand http://transitionus.ning.com to be an international Transition site -- better thought of as "Transition US!" (as in "we," "our," and "all of us" rather than "United States".  The site already serves an international membership.  
  • Smaller Transition Sites  Less complex websites that have grown more slowly and are not able to raise $200 to maintain their individual sites are encouraged to move their members into a GROUP on http://transitionus.ning.com  This option essentially guarantees that small, local sites would continue to be free, since the $200 annual charge would be borne by the mother site. The mother site currently has 142 groups from around the world -- http://transitionus.ning.com/groups -- each group having its own identity, member roster, administrators, discussions, comments, RSS feeds and email broadcasts.  In addition, each group demonstrates its clear affiliation with the 2,150+ members already active on the mother site.
  • Larger Transition Sites  Larger localities (such as Colorado, Arizona Homegrown, District of Columbia, Midwest Permaculture, Minnesota, California, Wellfed Neighbor, Ohio, Texas, Vermont, Whatcom, HyperLocavore Yardsharing, New Zealand, Community Exchange, Oooby, Intersect and many more) are encouraged to find 4 donors willing to split the $200 annual fee for NING PLUS. Four donors, $50 each and the site preserves its assets as they are today for a full year -- [drumroll!] with the elimination of obnoxious ads and Ning promotions.

Feel free below to REPLY to this discussion.

Les Squires
Transition Ning Social Network
Skype Address:  LSquiresSkype
+1 303 926 5159


HOW TO REGISTER LOCAL SITES ON THE TRANSITION US SOCIAL NETWORK

  • Check the list to see if your state, country, locality is already on the list.  Use Search to facilitate this task.
  • If not on the list, add it to the list. We will review and confirm your addition is not a duplicate.  We will meet you at door to make sure everything is working perfectly.
  • If it is already on the list already, start inviting your members to sign up on the new venue. A few personal calls to your best acquaintances are also in order.  
  • Modify sample letter below drafted by Albert Johnston of Haiti and ask your Admin to send a broadcast message to current members explaining the changes and inviting them to participate in the new venue.  
  • Copy & paste information your group considers essential from your original site to the new venue. Remember that your original site will cease operation in about two months.

SAMPLE LETTER EXPLAINING CHANGES TO YOUR MEMBERS
Drafted by Albert Johnson, Transition Haiti



Creating a Pattern for Abundance

A message to all members of Transition Haiti

Please don't respond directly to this broadcast message.

The Transition Haiti Group is moving to the Transition United States social networking website.

In July the Ning Network will begin requiring a small fee to continue individual Ning websites.

To improve the effectiveness of the Transition US website it has been suggested that it be named the Transition International site for the project.

I am in agreement with this and I hope all you will take the time to become members of the Transition Haiti Group  currently listed under Transistion US.

[[[Paste here the address you are issued after setting up your new group on Transition US Social Network.]]]

If you have any questions please contact me via my personal email account.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@gmail.com

Or visit me at Facebook


Tags: TUSOHtbd, ning, ning charge, ning pricing

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Replies to This Discussion

Les, this sounds like a reasonable way forward. I also want to point out another medium-term option.

A new open-source (i.e. no license charge) project called Transition Drupal has begun that will be a "transition website in a box." Ning is fine as far as it goes but has none of the features that transition communities will require in the future (ride sharing tools, community garden planning, bartering systems, etc.).

Version 1.0 is aiming to replicate (most of) the features of Ning. Version 2.0 is when the snazzy other features begin to be rolled out. But even version 1.0 will have a site structure more suited to a transition community.

This should not alter anyone's plan to follow Les's advice...I wish Transition Drupal were ready now but it's not so communities need to plan for a solution that carries them for another year.

See the project announcement below and if anyone would like to join the project please do! It's a community project that will only come to life when members of the community build it.

http://www.transitionnetwork.org/news/2010-05-05/announcing-transit...

André
Les - I think what you have proposed is an excellent solution to keep costs low and minimize migration. Thanks for all your work on the sites.
Hi Les, great proactive thinking! Just went to the groups page. Suggest a top menu button for Local Group Pages or something like, then at the top of that page, an alphabetical index at the top like on travel sites so we can click on a letter for a city and have it jump to the part of that page with that letter and that city?

Also, it will be great when we're ready to have as part of Transition value provided to members, different kinds of coaching on how to get these groups structured and strong financially so that more of them are able to have their own websites and to begin offering transition content to their constituents locally! Looking forward to exploring how to bring that through!

Keep up the great work everyone!
best,

David Rose
Unified Field Bank
www.unifiedfieldbank.com
Hi David,

You touch on an important point and this is the work that Transition US (www.transitionus.org) is doing in it's role as the national hub. It just so happens we hosted a webinar this morning on the subject of Fundraising (a recording can be found on our website).

Looking forward to your joining us at an upcoming event.

Best,

Carl Shuller
Transition US
I find social networking sites such as ning and facebook bewildering, frustrating, and extremely time consuming to stay current with. Why not go back to the tried and true forums where things stay where they've been put and where you don't have the artifice that people you've never met are your "friends"?
I don't know if going back is even possible but the whole "friends" thing is nonsense. Our entire language is weird in many ways - when "taking out" means killing someone. Clearly our language has not kept pace with life as we know it. Clearer distinctions on the word "friend" is certainly in order.
It is true social networking can be very time consuming.
My friends here and in other online communities are people in two categories: those I know on the ground and some (not all, because it would be too time-consuming!) who have participated in some way that I both understood and appreciated as aligned. In effect, it's a unique, evolving and nameless group. I like that I can send all of them one message at once, which I have done two or three times without receiving any complaints.

I'd miss the (irritating, nonsensical) feature if it were removed. I doubt I'm alone. Since you can just ignore it, I hope you're content to have spoken.
Hi Stan. Transition US (not to be confused with this Ning social network) has set up a listserv to meet this need. A mechanism to reach out to your peers to gain insight and support via an email list. This may be what you are looking for, maybe not. Enjoy. Carl
I'm glad we all have the same information and a proposal, as a splintering appeared to have potential.

I like the notion of a distinct platform for in-place communities in transition. We've created parts of one, emphasizing locally-owned businesses and consciousness-raising vis a vis local community wealth. The same community benefits from this one, too.
Les, this is good. I think Andre' may have a point in that eventually we'll need to be even more flexible. I am rather tech limited so I would not be a good candidate but I would like a transitionUS person to be part of the drupal project and to keep us posted.

But back to this -- I like the idea that each site can poll it's members to decide what to do. You present a good option for larger sites (4 donors and NO ADS!). I hope hyperlocavore will take that option.

gini
Dear Les,
Thanks for the update. It's tough being a non-techi in today's world. Are you saying if "we" do Option 1, rebranding, we don't have to do anything? I vote for that option. If that's not what you meant, can you say more. Further, would Option 2, "smaller transition sites" be grouped automatically or do I have to do something or tell someone to do something? Sorry to add to your workload...I'm just not a techi!! Brenda Cartwright, Hancock County Towns in Transition, Ellsworth, Maine
Local sites (including states, cities, countries) would need to do one thing -- go to http://transitionus.ning.com/groups and make sure they are included as a GROUP. If your site is NOT found on this list, somebody in your group would need to go to http://transitionus.ning.com/groups/group/new and add it. That group would then be responsible for setting up their new group as a place where they do Transition business -- e.g., inviting members to the new group and transferring their content.

Larger groups which want to preserve extensive memberships and content, and who wish to continue normally, would be responsible for paying $200 directly to Ning for the annual charge.

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