Hi all,

It has come to my attention that starting in July NING networks will start phasing out free networks, forcing us to pay or close down Location19. I am discussed with the way that this is happening. NING is not giving us a choice.

Considering that I am relocating to Seattle at the end of June, I am unable to pay the fees that would be required to have the site continue. It is a fairly sizable fee structure for the size of network we have created, consisting of at least $19.95 month for a basic service. For what we have come to expect in terms of features, they would require 49.99 at month!

At this time I am researching alternatives, but I'm sure they would require us to all rejoin, which is very inconvenient and in my eyes unacceptable. I will keep you all up to date as more I get more information about the NING transition. Below is a link to what I was provided.

http://about.ning.com/announcement/?xg_source=announcement_bar

-Shawn

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Shawn -

I think we don't necessarily need all the features of the premium account ($50/mo). Although it would be nice, it's just not worth that much.

The $20/mo plan would do pretty much everything we need. I should think this is something that the 19thWCA would support.

For the time being, how about requesting a $10 donation from all the location19 members, with the idea in mind of raising the $200 necessary for one year. That would give us a year to figure it all out.

Unfortunately this is a pattern with free stuff. They start you out & get you hooked, then suddenly it's not free anymore. Standard web marketing ploy.

No way should we expect you to carry the burden financially. This is for all of us.

Georgia
I agree that the $20 per month 'option' might be sufficient for this site and would be willing to donate some $$ to keep it going if there are enough others who would support it.
I have a ning network i've created for a group i work with and will need to make similar decisions as to how to continue supporting that site.
I also agree that the 19WCA could be a good 'sponsor' of this site - i recall reading/hearing that the 19WCA website is going to be updated at some point..... perhaps the 2 sites could link to one another???
Perhaps the solution may be to have all from Location19 join the 19th Ward Yahoo Group, and think about ways to incorporate some of the features of Location19 into the Yahoo Group. Those would include the separate groups, for special interests, and maybe a calendar, etc. This is too important to have it eliminated, but I don't think their charges are justified in staying with it as it exists. Unless someone wants to take it over and make it a commercial enterprise.

I don't realistically see that happening right now, but who knows? Meantime, we certainly need to think about solutions, as I certainly don't want to see this go away. It is a valuable resource for neighborhood building.
I've had problems with the yahoo group - unable to access it any more or to delete myself from the mailings. also the tone of the postings are so negative on it that I would not return to that group. I support the request for $10 per person (if able) donations in care of 19th Ward Community Association to support this.
There have been recent discussions concerning this topic, and at the moment, it is felt it would be best to keep Location19 separate from the 19th Ward Community Association. Under investigation:
How much maintenence is involved in running the site (time and knowledge,)
What should a subscription cost (roughly $4 or less per year if all subscribed,)
How would finances be handled, and
Who will be volunteer administrator(s).

There is universal sentiment about keeping the site going. Marian Boutet will be talking with Shawn and all will hear more in the near future. While nobody needs to respond now, we will need an estimate of about how many would be willing to subscribe to enable this forum to continue. It is very valuable for informing and uniting the neigborhood.
I have no problem considering the $600 a year fee (what Shawn thought we would need) and spreading it out over our many members. I think $10/year could cover the costs. IT is still a small fee per person to keep this poweful networking going....It is worth every penny to me to keep us in touch, talking and planning and doing....I agree with some others that any switch that requires members to register again or is a drastic change in format will lose many/most? folks.

A small group of interested folk should sit down with Shawn and explore the most rational solution. I would be willing. I wouldn't rule out an association with the 19th WCA if they would consider it and equally important keep up the site. I also like the idea if we can get enough of our 150+ members to donate a fee that we might have a little extra to pay someone a stipend to be the coordinator of the site....
Ning sites are relatively easy to manage..... They require a bit of oversight but it's easier than managing a regular webpage. With all of the tech people we have in the neighborhood, I imagine that there is someone who would be willing and able to do this..... Do any of our local schools have computer classes? Perhaps a teacher and interested student might take on this project??
In terms of the fees for the sctual site, 600 per year is the most this would cost. The middle tier plan is considerably less and would probably be sufficient. We missed an opportunity to apply for one of the small neighborhood development grants but I wonder if there might be a small pocket of $ we could tap to keep this going.
I agree that this site is far more user friendly and more useful than the yahoo group and it offers considerably more functionality.
If we need to personally donate $ for this I am willing to contribute.
Regarding affiliating this site with the 19th Ward Community Association, it's my opinion that it would be a mistake to do so. As the moderator of the 19th Ward Yahoo! Group, which has no affiliation with the 19WCA, it's been challenging at times to decide whether or not to intervene with the content of some of the postings. If I had also to consider whether content would be in conflict with the 19WCA's policies, I would probably not agree to moderate the group.

If Location19 were to become affiliated with the the 19WCA, it would have to be monitored and managed by that organization. Aside from the logistical considerations, it would expose Location19 to a degree of control that the members would probably not welcome.

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