Yesterday I received an email from Ning’s CEO Jason Rosenthal announcing the “exciting new developments in Ning” (which include the phasing out of free Ning) which will be rolled out in July. The mid-range price plan Ning-plus at $19.95 per month works out cheaper than the current offerings. The equivalent of the current Free Ning (Ning mini) will now cost $2.95 per month, is limited to 150 members and no groups, but will allow you to have no or your own advertising. There will be a free-to-educators-Ning but that is limited to K-12 (primary and secondary school) usage and will be supported by sponsorship from an unnamed educational software supplier.
Some migration tools are promised for those network creators who, like me I guess, will not or cannot pay to continue to run a network once the 30 days from July deadline arrives. For initial comments, Steve Hargadon of Classroom 2.0 has a well reasoned response to the announcement from the educational network user’s perspective and ReadWriteWeb (thanks Helen!) has also posted a comment on the free-for-education proposal. I am sure there are more reactions; I haven’t had much time this week to dip into the news stream, but do keep me posted via the comments!