Ning to close down free networks

Ning is a platform that allows people to easily create their own social networks or groups. I myself am part of many networks there, one of the prominent ones being for cyclists around India. Though the signing up is a lil problem cause I have to sign in everytime to comment or read discussions.

Recently they have announced they will be ending their free service which is quite sad. Must be a shock for quite a few people! Some time back there were similar ideas about Facebook that they might start charging. I think it wouldn't be a good idea at all cause

- Adoption
There are newer areas that are still slowly adopting the network who will now bypass it and look elsewhere.

- Elitism
Many people would get out of the network leaving it for 'elites'. This however could be a good thing, as it would ensure ingenuity of the members. Even if there were blatant marketeers there, then they would be only the high end ones :P

Here is an article on BlogHer that has a list of other sites that can be used instead of Ning to create groups or social networks. What do you think about Ning turning into a paid service?

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