I'm glad I stumbled upon the article today. I am teaching a professional development course next week about Social Media and I was planning using Ning as one of my cornerstone pieces. It looks like I have to go back to the drawing board for that one.
Ever since learning about Ning from the NCTE conference I attended last year, I've used it in my own classrooms and have promoted it with other teachers. I'm actively looking for something to replace it. Here's one link I found:
Let us not forget that many existing Ning sites which are great resources for educators are not going anywhere. They will remain and continue to provide information and collaboration.They should not be left out of professional development. They will remain an integral part of many Personal Learning Networks for a long time to come.
Starting next week, I will be teaching a professional development course for educators through my district's teachers' center. Part of my plan was to have them sign up to this Ning and begin their own PLN. I was also going to demonstrate how I use Ning to run a virtual classroom for my AP Literature course. Part of what I had hoped to do was to show these teachers real ways others use Ning in their own classrooms, not just for professional development, but for work with students beyond the four walls of the classroom. While I'd be willing to pay for my own if the price is reasonable (simply because the site is user friendly, in my opinion), I'm not sure if other teachers would want to do the same. I signed up for Groupsite.com and I'm currently working with that to see how it goes. One of the goals of my class is to have teachers create a prototype of their own virtual classroom by the time our work together is over.
Tom, although I am a member here I would be interested in sponsoring the group if it would be helpful. I know it's early in the process so you don't have to let me know right away. Just keep in mind that I may be a good resource when you indeed get closer to making any changes. -Jay