EUROCALL/CALICO SIGs

Language Learning and Teaching with the aid of Technology

Ning's free service is being phased out

So Ning's free service is about to be phased out. At present we don't know how much Ning will charge us to maintain our little community. Further news will be announced on 4 May:

http://creators.ning.com/forum/topics/ning-update-rolling-out-full

Whether we will be able to afford the fees depends on what we will be charged. EUROCALL and CALICO don't have a lot of money to throw around. We are two small professional associations that rely on a lot of goodwill and voluntary work. Let's wait and see...

In order to preserve what we have created so far I have contacted Save My Ning, which will at least keep a backup of all our hard work:

http://www.savemyning.com

This is a salutary lesson for all Web 2.0 enthusiasts. We cannot expect all that is Web 2.0 to be free and to last forever. Everything of value that I have created in the course of my long experience with computers - dating back to 1976 - is backed up at home on my network of three computers and a big external disk drive: articles that I have written, websites that I have created, photographs that I have taken, lists of my favourite websites, etc. Web 2.0 sites come and go. In 2008 I spent hours of my time creating my little 3D world in Lively. It looked good. Six months later Google shut down Lively - but I still have the screenshots.

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Comment by Graham Davies on May 2, 2010 at 4:49am
See Robert O'Dowd's blog thread on this topic in the CMC SIG Ning:
http://cmcsig.ning.com/profiles/blogs/the-end-of-free-nings

If the fee is reasonable then I think we should just pay it. I cannot foresee myself starting afresh with a new environment. I have put hours of work into setting up, contributing to, and monitoring the VW SIG Ning. And there is no guarantee that finding a new home will be a solution. There is a general trend toward charging for Web 2.0 applications now that social networking site developers are beginning to realise that they cannot generate all the funding they need from advertising.

Setting up a website is also a possibility. I manage the ICT4LT website at http://www.ict4lt.org. I pay the annual hosting fee of around US$30 out of my own pocket - it's a lot less than I pay for an evening out at our local pub and it keeps me both busy and entertained. I would be prepared to pay a similar amount out of my own pocket for a Ning. I get enough money back from the consultancy work that I am offered, resulting from people who pick up my name from the ICT4LT site and the VW SIG Ning.

Websites come cheap these days. My daughter, Sian, is a website designer. She reckons that around US$40 per year can buy you a domain name and Web space of around 200MB. OK, you may ask, is that enough? The answer is yes, if you use services such as Flickr and YouTube for storing space-hungry images and movies and just link to them from your website - as I do. And, of course, I keep a backup of the whole of the ICT4LT site on my home network and on a large-capacity external drive - along with all the associated images, blogs, podcasts and movies - so I am unlikely to lose valuable materials that I have created. The ICT4LT blog is handled externally by Blogger: http://ictforlanguageteachers.blogspot.com. The whole of the ICT4LT site thus occupies just 27MB.

Never trust an external source. Remember the fate of Philippe Delcloque's History of CALL website? The whole site disappeared when he failed to renew the domain name. Luckily, however, he had given a copy to other EUROCALL members and he had also backed it up as a PDF file, which can now be found here
http://www.eurocall-languages.org/resources/history_of_call.pdf
and here
http://www.ict4lt.org/en/History_of_CALL.pdf

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