Nice Paper Toys

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It looks like Ning will no longer offer free networks. 

http://techcrunch.com/2010/04/15/nings-bubble-bursts-no-more-free-n...

Will this have an effect on NPT?

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Since Brian owns the domain name, he can "URL forward" or do an "A Name Redirect" to any place on the net, and it's free with the $9/year domain (from godaddy.com). I would also guess that NING is not going to end any of the original accounts... or do you guys know that they are? Usually when a site succeeds and can charge for their service, they don't delete the folk that made them successful from the very start. I'm betting the whole thing is grandfathered in, unless they have a bad business model, which means they will ultimately fail regardless... One can not simultaneously succeed and trample on the potential customers... if they cancel the free accounts, guess what the buzz about NING will be...
It seems they will usher in the 3 paid plans then have a 30 day period for users with the free sites to either sign up or be deleted.
hmmmmm, I hate moving.....
I know, was just getting comfy and warm here. I used to be on zealot but moved to here care of methuup and i used to be on facebook but i hate going on there as there is a hell of a lot of rubbish getting dumped on my page! we've got a great community here and it would be a shame to lose it!
Hi gang, so sorry I have not chimed in sooner, I have been extremely busy and not very active here as of late. Working on the monster book, freelancing, and personal life have all been keeping from from little else.

However, I am very aware of the new Ning pricing structure, and not very happy about it, I assure you. But rest assured that the last thing I want to see happen is the demise of NPT. I am looking into a solution to this issue, and since you guys are all already talking about it, and obviously concerned, I think it would be best if we figure this out together. I want to be sure that whatever is decided makes everyone happy, not just me. And besides, I could really use some help with all of this. So, here's what I have so far... (I would love to hear your thoughts on each of these)

Payed Memberships.
My first thought was to start charging for membership. My idea there being to only charge new, future members, not current members. I have no interest in doing to you what Ning is doing to me.

Ads
The new pay model allows for running ads on the site. The trouble there is that 2000 members is not a big enough number to attract big, paying advertisers. So I'm not sure I can make the money there. Although, we are only talking about $20 or $50 per month, depending on the plan I choose. ($50/month gets us video and music. I'm thinking we can lose the video and music altogether, it's just not that necessary here, although some people may feel differently, and I hate to take features away from the members) Either way, it may not be too hard to generate that much from advertisers, but I'm just not sure.

NPT Store
I have been wanting to create a NPT store for some time now. And I am about ready to be able to start doing that. But Ning doesn't have any sort of good store front options, so it would either need to be a separate storefront, such as a BigCartel site, or something, or, perhaps another social network option offers something better, that we could migrate over to. In any case, my idea is, that members donate designs to be used on t-shirts and stuff, and I have them made and sell them on NPT, and maybe elsewhere, and the profits go toward my expenses, including keeping the site running. And everybody wins. You get stuff made that features your work, the fans get to buy it, and NPT continues to flourish for all.

Migrating
Another thought is to move the entire network over to a new provider. Something like http://www.spruz.com/?page=info I have not yet read all the features offered, or the details about actually doing this, but I will. And I hope that some of you will too, so that you can tell me what you think. That link is just one of the options. You can also look into some of the others listed in the links that Neurogami and Tephlon posted...

http://philbradley.typepad.com/phil_bradleys_weblog/2010/04/alterna...

http://www.scriptstar.co.uk/seven-sexiest-alternatives-to-ning/

Please let me know if you find any that really seem to shine. Keep in mind that I do own the domain name, NicePaperToys.com, so moving over, should be pretty seamless for the members, provided they aren't forced to rebuild their pages and what not. If such a thing were to be the case, I would be against the migration idea altogether. We have a very good thing here, and I do not want to do anything to disrupt that.

I can tell you something I am not interested in, and that is having some other sites take over where we have started, such as Pepakura.net. I am much more interested in taking NPT further, not the opposite.

The NPT group on FaceBook is my group, and so I am happy to see that being used, however, it is only meant as an extension of NPT, for FB users, not as an alternative.

So, I think this is plenty to think about. Please share your thoughts and concerns with me, and any other ideas you may have in addition to mine. I'm sure we will figure out something that works well for everyone. Change is constant and good. And with it comes possibility and opportunity. Let's use this as a way to make NPT even better than before. Together I know we can do just that.

Thank you guys for your continued support and for always being so NICE!!!

~Castleforte
I'm late to this conversation but I also REALLY don't want to see NPT disappear... Brian, I think most of these ideas are great but I would rather not have to migrate to another service if at all possible. I really love the idea of a NPT store and would be more than happy to donate a bunch of Glueless NaniBirds to the cause. http://www.nanibird.com/nanibird_shop/index.html

Have you considered some kind of donate button? I actually donate a small amount on a monthly basis ($5 or less) to various podcasts that I really like. Maybe folks here would step up for the same?
yo ..i have a few thoughts on the store front idea. as well as a way for us TOYGAMI artist to generate funds to fund the site and our own arts. but its going to take a major re-thinking of how things are done now. its not often that i do this but here is my personal info graphicsbyjpeg@yahoo.com or call me 619-384-0832. call me so that we may talk more about this topic. we TOYGAMI artist can all pull together and save this site and make some cash doing it! i look forward to hearing from you.
I like the migration idea best...I guess its the purist in me. Would be like cleaning house. Get rid of all the clutter and keep only that which is necessary. The only thing I fear is "Free" might not always be free and anywhere we go might just bring us back to where we are now.

I don't have a problem with paid memberships. I don't subscribe to anything, but I would definitely subscribe to NPT.

I can't say I'm a big fan of the store idea...mainly because I'm broke all the time. And i do hate ads.

Just my two cent.
i just signed on this year and i love meeting all the others that do TOYGAMI(coryright/trademarked). i can only pray that we can keep this site up and running!!!!
may the folds be with you!
If Ning is $20/month, folk can easily link to YouTube or Vimeo for videos/music. No reason to pay extra for those free services. Since we all would donate, or shop in the NPT store, that $20/month should be easy to generate. It's worth it to keep your brand, name, and work in the public's eye. Just write it all off at the end of the year as advertising costs, which it is. I'll gladly donate a few of my Paper Toy books, and you could put them in the store and keep the money generated. I get exposure, you pay rent. Great deal! Let me know when the store is up. Bigcartel is easy to set up if you already have a PayPal. Let me know when the store is up, and where to post my book, Print! Cut! Fold! Glue! Paper Toys by J.E.Moores. Preview at: http://PrintCutFoldGlue.com

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