Home of Rhett & Link fans - the Mythical Beasts!
Hello, Kommunity --
This is some unfortunate news for you Mythical Beasts who have recently attempted, or are planning to attempt, to sign up for a Kommunity account. Due to some newly instated Ning restrictions, the Kommunity cannot hold more than 100,000 members anymore. Since we are already over this count -- currently at 107,631 members -- this means our ability to add new member accounts has been blocked.
How did this happen?
Ning, the platform host for this website, provided notice to some account holders in January of this year that they would either be facing account restrictions or have to upgrade to a larger, more expensive account plan. The Kommunity was informed that we are not an account holder affected by these changes and that we would not have to upgrade our account plan. We have continued our functions as normal for the past 3 months. However, this week, the moderators discovered that we are suddenly no longer able to add new members and that we have a new warning notice that we exceed a 100,000 membership maximum limit.
How can this be fixed?
We are currently in contact with Ning to hopefully resolve this issue without having to reduce the membership. As we understand it, our current Kommunity account plan should allow us to have unlimited membership.
However, if the new Ning membership restriction remains, it means the moderators must remove thousands of accounts and get the membership total underneath the 100,000 maximum. Only then can new member sign-ups be reactivated. We are preparing a backup plan with strict criteria to clear out only older, inactive accounts, as well as the option for self-removal for inactive members. If you joined within the last year or have a demonstrated history of activity on your account, you will not be affected.
We will provide updates as events proceed. Thank you for your understanding and for being your mythical best!
Answering Your Questions
Before I address some of the questions you guys have asked, I want to assure everyone that we're doing our best to clear things up with Ning and restore our original account criteria before we ever resort to removing member accounts! Rhett and Link are helping us reach out to Ning to figure out what exactly is happening. Ning originally told R&L on Thursday that the Kommunity doesn't have a limit and "shouldn't worry about" our membership count, but we are still experiencing the sign-up block, so we're hoping we can get it straightened out this coming week.
Q: If a plan upgrade is necessary, would it be possible to crowd-fund the Kommunity Ning account plan?
A: That would be very generous of the members, but it wouldn't be sustainable in the long term. The Kommunity is currently on the Ning 2.0 Pro plan, which is $59.95/mo or $599.90 annually. If we had to upgrade to the next tier, which is Ning 2.0 Business Plus, the price would jump drastically to $500/mo or $5,000 annually.
Ning's posted account pricing and limits for Ning 2.0 are as follows:
The Ning chart lists Ning 2.0 Pro as having a 100,000 membership limit, but the original agreement on our account plan was for unlimited membership, which we were told in January would remain true.
Q: Isn't this how the Nerdfighter Ning community got shut down?
A: Sadly, yes. But please don't worry about that happening to the Kommunity! The Nerdfighter Ning site was notified in January that they were an account that would have to upgrade plans in order to continue operating. The Vlogbrothers made a difficult decision that the site would not be sustainable at that cost level, and the Nerdfighter Ning website subsequently shut down in February. IF the Ning membership restrictions remain on the Kommunity, the moderators will definitely be able to reduce the membership sufficiently so that we remain in the Ning 2.0 Pro plan and continue to operate.
Q: What about purging spam accounts instead of actual member accounts?
A: We will certainly do our best to identify any accounts created by spammers/spambots before we start clearing inactive member accounts. However, since this scenario would require us to reduce the membership by 7,000+ accounts, removing spambot accounts would be helpful but not enough to get under the 100,000 limit (and have room to add new members in the future).