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If Ning provides a way to export the content, user identities, conversation threads. And that's a big "if." Then, finding another service that allows the import of that information is the next big issue...
Yup, totally agree, Ben. $120MM, hasta la vista (unless they find a bigger fool or pull off a miracle). Shades of PointCast, in a way...
I think my concern, at least, is less about Ning itself, and more about the communities that have been incubated and grown under their umbrella, and are now being turned out into the cold.
Mitch, no one "controls" a true conversation. From here: http://doc-weblogs.com/2006/07/13#carfisCorollary
"Here's a hypothetical situation. You go to the grocery store, and run into an old friend in the bakery aisle and start getting caught up. Pop quiz: Which one of you is the audience?
Mitch, you buried the lede, my friend. The line in your last 'graf is right there..."no one really controls the relationship, because ultimate control is ending a relationship, and either side can do that." Bezacly.
There is no hierarchy. There is no power gradient. Neither one of you is the "audience." Sure, the roles change back and forth as the conversation flows, but, ultimately, it's a partnership and a collaborative effort and exchange. Sometimes one party may be speaking more, sometimes the other, but at the end of the interaction, the experience that has been shared has been a jointly created one."
you're doing it right. way to jump into the conversation in a timely manner, and back up your assertion with facts. harkens back to the "sifry method" i wrote about in 2005; very well done, sir.
"If you're not willing to act. Don't ask."
Oh, man...there's a tattoo waiting to happen. :-)