Looking at the weather report in Manheim, PA for tomorrow. If it is actually thunderstorming when I get up, and the report says it will continue to storm until late afternoon, which is what it says right now, we ain't effin' going.
I will be extraordinarily sad to miss Romance and Chivalry weekend because it's my favorite of the themes. Also I was really looking forward to seeing charisma18. But slogging through the mud and trading my pretty parasol for my (albeit also pretty) umbrella will trump those things.
Not that I'll mind if I have a day unexpectedly at home. I will just be sad not to have a fun road trip to do fun things and see someone I miss.
In other BOO HISS news, if you by chance are considering using Ning to make a community for anything? DON'T. I used to be an ardent proponent of Ning. I run a small group on there and have for several months now. I loved it hard. I still love many things about the functionality.
The problem is that they switched from a freemium to a 100% paid model. In and of itself, this is not completely terrible. It's their business, after all. But they've handled every aspect of the transition SO poorly it's like they're trying to drive away customers. Also, under pressure (because so many of the free Ning groups were created by teachers for their classrooms), they added a "Mini" plan, which is really the only affordable one for a small group. For 3 bucks a month, you get enough stuff to make your group function.
Which is fine, although I was deeply reluctant to pay ANY money to a company that was already giving shitty customer service, but there are two huge problems with it:
1) The Mini account gives you 1GB of storage space. Really not a lot, when you consider how many kinds of media you can store there. The problem is that there's no way to tell how much you're using currently. Ning Creators have been asking for a way to find this out for months now. The only official response from Ning is "we're working on it". Oh, ok. Glad to know you figured out how to change the plan structure so you could collect money, but it didn't occur to you that people might need to know how much storage they're using in order to decide WHICH FRICKIN PLAN TO BUY. And they have gone on to say, "Don't worry, we'll let you know if you're getting close to your limit." Really? Would this email come from the same company that told me about the freemium-to-paid transition in an email that was sent to community owners about a month after it was posted on Ning's blog and we'd all had a hearty freakout already? Many comm owners have expressed the very legitimate concern that we don't know whether we'll be told when we're at 75%, 99%, or when we're already over. Will a comm owner who's just scraping the threshold be notified on, let's say, a Friday afternoon (NB: the worst time to send a time-sensitive email in business) that they'll be charged X amount for an upgrade if they go over the limit-- even if one photo upload that weekend could put them over the limit? Comm owners have been asking these questions, and Ning has not said, "No, we will not do that." Which is not giving anyone confidence in Ning.
2) For a small comm like mine, it's more an annoyance than anything, but for a bigger, more active comm, it would be a major PITA-- a *completely unadvertised* part of the Mini plan is that it locks the moderation settings to require mod approval on all blog posts. The little lock icon beside it helpfully says, "Upgrade to Ning Plus to unlock this setting!" UM, NO.
Why not just upgrade? Because the difference between Mini-- the lowest level-- and Plus, the next one up, is $3/month versus $20/month. That'd be like suddenly paying $20/month instead of $20/year for your LJ. Fuck that noise.
So, the silver lining to this whole debacle is that I am going to learn how to build a BuddyPress community on my own hosting account (which I have anyway, so I'm not paying anything extra), now that BuddyPress has a plugin to import Ning comm content. So I can customize my group and give us exactly the stuff we want, including things Ning doesn't offer at all, like a document library. And when I know how to do that, I could do it for other disgruntled Ning customers too, theoretically. Because you know what? It would make me dance in my pants if I could be part of Ning losing customers, and if I got paid to take money out of their pockets, that'd be gravy.
It's a little sad. Because I used to think Ning was the awesomest thing ever to awesome the interwebs. I used to be such a vocal fan. I wish I still could be. But they'd really have to change their business model to something other than "Actively Sucking Ass" for that to happen.
The moral of the story: Don't piss off your ardent supporters, or they will start using the interwebs to tell anyone who will listen, not to use your service.