Elf Clan Social Network

We've been looking for a replacement for the now defunct Grouply blogsite.  Unfortunately it appears most blogsites on the net take one of two forms:

1. Intended for professional use and therefore... expensive.

2. Amateurish and buggy beyond belief and not worthy of attention.

There's not much I've found in between.  Therefore I've had to consider what our group needs and what's available in the way of a group-oriented blogsite.  I came up with two options:

1. Individual blogsites are easy to find.  I could set up a Wayfinder blogsite which I could use to keep in touch with the group... but while that would keep folks informed, it leaves out everyone else when it came to blogging.

2. We could return to Ning and live with its limitations.

I've decided for the time being, to go with the second option.



There are two rather heavy limitations with Ning:

1. We can only have 150 members.

2. There is no events listing.

Yes, that's sad.  But on the other hand, Ning only costs $20 a year.  So, how can we work around those limitations?



We will set up a blog page for events.  New events will be listed in the comments section.  Anyone wanting to keep track of Elf Clan events can check out that page for the latest information.



Anyone can read the Elf Clan Ning site.  The only ones who really have to join are those who plan to blog or comment on a regular basis. 

Those who in the past have blogged or commented on a regular basis will be allowed membership.  We will also allow our region owners membership, as they need to be appraised of group activities automatically.  Other Elf Clan members can simply log in to Ning once a day to check for new group information.

I am going to be going through our membership listing today and removing any names I don't recognize as regularly participated in blogging and / or commenting.  That should bring our current maxed-out membership list down considerably.  From that point on I will add members who contact me in-world with the stated intent to be an active participant on this site.  

If your name is removed, please don't take offense.  It's not personal, it just means we must limit Ning membership to active Elf Clan bloggers.  Anyone who plans to blog or comment regularly is welcome to apply for membership.  I'll sign people up on an "intern" basis.  If they participate, their name will be left as a member of this site.  If they don't, they'll be removed and room freed for someone who plans to be active.

This doesn't mean you have to be active to enjoy the site.  It means you don't need to be a member if you don't plan on blogging or commenting; the site is available to read to anyone, member or not.

I hope this decision proves beneficial for our members until / if we can find a more suitable site.  One thing we want to avoid is another experience like Grouply... a company that shuts down without notice and destroys hundreds of blogs.  Fortunately we have been able to retrieve all posts from the Grouply site, but that doesn't fix the fact those posts are no longer online.  We wish to avoid that kind of unprofessional experience again.

Ning is within our budget.  Unfortunately their "step up" fee is fairly expensive ($24.95 a month... or $300 a year).  That's quite a chunk for a non-profit, recreation-oriented group with no membership fee.  So we'll have to stick for now to the $20 a year plan and live with the limitations.  At least our members can remain informed of group activities.  We don't have to blog to exist (group notecards serve us fairly well).  This is a luxury, so we'll deal with whatever limitations Ning has and use it for what limited benefit we can gain from it.  At least Ning as a company is stable-- which after our experience with Grouply, is the most important thing.

-- Wayfinder

Views: 137

Comment by Wayfinder Wishbringer on March 21, 2012 at 9:31pm

I've managed to pare our membership list from 150 to 48 people.  I'm still getting re-acquainted with the Ning blogsite, so let me know if something isn't set right (such as if you're a member but can't post a blog or make a comment).  It will take me a bit to get used to how Ning is managed again. : )


Again, if you're not a member or if you've been removed and you believe you'll be regularly active, just drop me a line in Inworldz and I'll consider your application. I'm sorry we have to limit memberships, but at least we have a blogsite again. : )

Comment by Cinnamon Raymaker on March 21, 2012 at 10:23pm

I'm so happy to see this active again :) Was feeling a little lost not being able to see and respond to people's blogs and even have a try at writing something myself again :) Thanks Wayfinder :)

Comment by Zekeen Phoenix on March 22, 2012 at 1:03am

Been wondering when a group page would be up again after the left one dropped since I jumped out of IZ. Now I can secretly see what you all are up to.

Comment by Koni Lanzius on March 22, 2012 at 7:35am

YAY! Can we post pictures again?

:D Koni

Comment by Wayfinder Wishbringer on March 22, 2012 at 10:08am

Unfortunately no. I actually had to remove photos as an option. Ning is limiting us to 1gig space.  They really don't offer plans that cater to customer needs; it's obvious they're aiming toward businesses.  Their plans jump from $2.95 a month and 1 gig to $24.95 a month and 10 gigs (with nothing in between).  Kinda sad, imo.

Comment by Kylinn Leimes on March 22, 2012 at 2:24pm

re: photos - were you able to save any of the ones we used to have?  Also, we can use the Flickr page (http://www.flickr.com/groups/elfclan/) for new pics.

re: Events. We could also set up a Google calendar to list Events. That way folks could import the EC calendar into their Google/compatible calendars and see the listings automatically.

Comment by Wayfinder Wishbringer on March 22, 2012 at 2:29pm

Yes, all the photos are still here.  I just had to shut down access because I couldn't find a "stop posting new photos" function (I guess they like us to reach maximum space). ; )

You're right, Google Calendar would work for our events.  It's just the concept of setting up yet-another-website that is the problem.  We already have a blogsite (here). Zauber is setting up and managing a new photo site on DeviantArt.  A third website... bleh.   It makes a bit more sense perhaps to have an events page here... or just use the Inworldz Events listing.  Further thoughts are most welcome, especially from the otter. :D

Comment by Kylinn Leimes on March 22, 2012 at 2:30pm

Oh also - do we have any copies of the posts from the Grouply site? I'm think esp. of the post about the last Elf-Ork War, which was a classic.

Comment by Wayfinder Wishbringer on March 22, 2012 at 2:36pm

Yes, we have the whole thing... in a 7mb file (gah).  That is one long file... and none of it is dated, alphabetized, cataloged or formatted.  I'm sure I can find that file if I search.  And search.  And search. ;D

Comment by Hecatya Idimmu on March 22, 2012 at 2:45pm

I am soooo happpy:) I like the most this site.  

Also i am intrested on the blogs information from Grouply.  They were very useful. 

Bisous h.


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