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Ning’s Bubble Bursts: No More Free Networks

     
2:58 am on Apr 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Ning’s Bubble Bursts: No More Free Networks, Cuts 40% Of Staff [techcrunch.com]

It has just announced that it is killing off its free product, forcing existing free networks to either make the change to premium accounts or migrate their networks elsewhere. Rosenthal has also just announced that the company has cut nearly 70 people — over 40% of its staff.
12:57 pm on Apr 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Hmmm. Reminds me of the F*****company web site and forum during the dot-com boom, which detailed over the years how "free" is not a biz model. BTW, the FC web site is no more either, while WW keeps on keeping on...
5:14 pm on Apr 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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>"free" is not a biz model

Unless you have very deep pockets. ;)
5:22 pm on Apr 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Yogi Berra probably would probably say something like "'Free' is a good business model, as long as you're charging for it."
5:55 pm on Apr 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I'm surprised. Bandwidth is so cheap. It should be possible to cut some costs, halve the local staff, do some outsourcing to India and make money out of it. Ning had become so synonymous with free social networks that they seemed to grow without any effort. Shutting down the free service seems a bit extreme.
8:21 pm on Apr 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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seriously, you don't need 170 people to run a social network. you don't even need 110 like they are now. such sites are profitably run with a handful of people. well, myspace had reportedly over 1000 at their peak. what a massive overhead. bubble all over again.
8:47 pm on Apr 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Sad news for everyone..

However, users can just install free social networking code BuddyPress (from WordPress) on a low cost hosting server.
4:53 am on Apr 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Rosenthal, that pretty much explains everything right there.

The original meaning would have been a person who saw the value in giving something away for free.

The corrupted version...well, people like Icahn and Murdoch are all you need to think about in comparison.

If you know you know, and if you don't then you really don't.

- John
5:51 am on Apr 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

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you don't need 170 people to run a social network

Old fashioned businessman think more power means more people working. I.e.: to have more sales you just need to have a bigger sales team.

Wikipedia only has 32 people in its staff.
9:36 pm on Apr 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Wikipedia only has 32 people in its staff.


and thousands of volunteers. which then makes their staff more than thousand.
12:52 am on Apr 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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only if you count the volunteers to the staff. question: are they paid for their efforts?

social network participants who submit user generated content to a platform and create tools and applications are no staff anyway.

so you gotta stick to those people to economically run a social network. small staff and let the users and developers do the work. some call it exploitation, others call it efficiency.
10:15 am on Apr 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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This could be the best thing to happen to the non-profit sector in a while. Maybe they'll stop using Ning and we'll be free of its "no disabled, no blind, no low-end mobile phones" approach at last.
12:34 am on Apr 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Facebook is still free... why can't Ning be? :/
 

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