I've decided to pay the $20 monthly fee to continue this network. I'll send a letter to the members to let them know of that decision. It came down to the fact that it was too involved to migrate the members to a new platform and I didn't want to break it all up considering the amount of talent and personality it has.
I had until August 20th to decide and the Ning Plus will kick in tomorrow. I'm also putting up a donation link to PayPal to help with the cost. Depending on the generosity of the members we could go Ning Pro, start to buy content, or buy advertising to get potential employers into the site.
There will be changes now that it is a premium site. My goal was always to get employers and people wanting to hire writers to seek out talent on the site. That has not been done to the extent that I had envisioned. But, there's no question that the "networks" are the hot item in the hiring game. The trouble is hiring is not exactly a hot item. That will be the central focus for the next few months.
Through the rest of August you'll see some changes. If you have anything in mind or want to make a comment please feel free to do so, either at this discussion or to me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org
Like others I wasn't exactly thrilled by Ning doing this but it makes sense. If you pay something it makes it that much more valuable, that much more important to pay attention to it and make it work for the money being paid.
I look forward to the future of Sunoasis Writers Network!