My name is Mark Greenfield and I am the owner and manager of the uwebd social network on Ning.
Ning has recently increased their prices substantially and I need to make a decision about the future of this site. I have not actively managed or promoted this site for the past several years, other than approving new members and monitoring content. I am willing to put the time and effort into revitalizing and improving this site if there is sufficient interest in the community.
Please use the comments section on the post to share your thoughts. I will need to make a decision soon. The price increase for Ning goes into effect October 1.
Thank you Mark, this has been an invaluable resource - particularly for seeing how our cohorts at other institutions approach the problems we all face.
But, as many people have said today, I haven't visited in a while. I think that's likely because we are already inundated with unrelated social media distractions, and barely have time enough to focus on our work. I just don't have time/energy to look for updates in yet one more spot. That said, I like the idea of seeing updates cross my facebook feed, with a historical repository somewhere (perhaps Slack) to search, when I need.
Your efforts have been much appreciated & I look forward to seeing the next evolution.
I wouldn't feel obligated to stick with Ning if the cost is a burden. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Slack are all satisfactory options in my opinion. Slack is a great option for more instant communication, and you'll probably find a lot of teams already using it for their own internal communication. Sadly, I didn't realize UWEBD was already on Slack until today.
I would be very sorry to see this resource go. I am just a one person shop at my college and feel quite a alone as far as anyone understanding the complexity of what I do. It's a wonderful thing to see people facing the same challenges I face and to learn from them. I have this page actually as my home page when I start the browser just in case there is something new. Unfortunately as you've highlighted many forums are disappearing since Facebook took over but it really isn't the same experience. I like the idea of linked because it's really grown in the last year and is geared towards professionals. I would prefer to just stay with this site but I am sad there does seem to be less activity.
Thanks for your comments so far. I few people here and off-line have said they would like to have this site continue. This is definitely an option. I am confident that I could find another sponsor given that I have been contacted a number of times over the years. The main question is if this site still provides value, and if there is anything that can or should be done to improve the value.
I was a recent addition and did not find too much activity here that I could leverage but LinkedIn does seem to be the logical destination. Perhaps there is interest here and you can crowd source the migration. Migrating the content could be a real pain, I imagine, but I personally could see some "mutual benefit" to learning something about LinkedIn's API for such things, though learning anything about Ning probably not profitable at this point.
I want to chime in along with the others in thanking you for being a leader in our niche group! I appreciate your effort. I lean toward LinkedIn.
Hi Mark, in line with many others who have posted, first a big thank you for providing this resource for so many years. I was a keen reader of it and occasional poster a good few years ago. And I loved my Website Hero mug until I dropped it and had to deprecate it.
It would be good to keep this community going, and inject some new life into it by moving it to another platform. But it would need to be one where people already visit. Uwebd feels like a club I used to visit frequently, but I moved house and don't pass by this way any more.
I've been involved in Slack groups before and they worked well for smaller, very focused groups but became tedious scrolling through endless threads looking for information. My preference would be Facebook. Or at a push LinkedIn, but I'm rarely there and only really on it because I feel that I ought to be, rather than because I find the platform useful.
This is the first time I have been here in a long time. Selfishly, I would hope that you would be able to continue the site, but I understand realities. As I re-acquaint myself, I'm seeing a lot of value in what you have tirelessly built. However, the dominance and prevalence of social media may be the most efficient way to move forward.
What are all of your social media platforms? Thanks and good luck.
I would support using LinkedIn for this group (and have confirmed that I am a member over there). Generally I follow highered topics/people on twitter, but long-range/complicated discussions are impossible on that platform. A combo of twitter/linkedin might work.
Thanks for all you have done with this group. It was a huge asset when I came back to highered and I hope we can keep functioning to help everyone keep evolving.
I would like to join the chorus of thanks and gratitude to you for providing this resource for so long. I fully understand the issue with keeping this site up and would vote for LinkedIn...
University of Trinidad and Tobago
Yes, I agree. I think LinkedIn is a good option for community.
UWEBD was my favourite resource when I was working at a University IT Department.
I was browsing UWEBD groups and forum and discovering what developers was doing at other universities abroad. Being in a community, which consist of members who have similar titles & dealing with similar problems was a good opportunity for me.
I saw your mail and felt sad.
I suggest you setting up an campaign for sustainable crowdfunding on www.patreon.com. This money can be used for any paid platform, migration or maybe advertising.
Thanks for your effords and Thank you all, folks, for your contributions.
ex-University Web Developer