Transferring from Ning to

by Jay Cross on August 10, 2010

The Internet Time Community has been hosted on Ning for a little over three years. Most of the time, it has been more of a test site than a real community. We’ve experimented with features, swapped ideas, kept track of one another, and so forth.

I was shocked and saddened when Ning announced that its free service was ending. Lots of non-profits had signed up on Ning. They were told to pay up or shut down. In essence, they were betrayed. Many of these organizations have zero tech support. They don’t know how to set up alternatives. Ning could have at least provided a decent migration path away from their service.

The way Ning handled things left a bad taste in my mouth. I decided to move the Internet Time Community to It wasn’t very difficult. I’ll show you what I did in case you’d like to do likewise.

I downloaded and used the free Ning Archiver to move my data off Ning:

Over the course of 30 minutes, I downloaded blogs, discussions, events, groups, music, videos, pages, notes, and photos. No sweat.

You have to download Members separately. For a while, I could not get the download to work. Then I accepted all the pending memberships and the download button magically appeared. No sweat.

I opened up a new account and chose import method #1. I used their Template importer.

An on-screen message warned me the import would take a while. emailed me that things were ready when I returned from a two-hour walk:

Dear administrator of Internet Time Community,

Migration process that started in 2010-08-10 18:45:01 has been completed.

Go to your network :

To administrate:

Here’s the new community. It looks much like the Ning community.

Exploring the Site

I’m now signed up for the site twice.

Twenty videos don’t seem to have made it to the new site. 59 of 67 photos transferred. I don’t have patience to count how many blog entries came across; most entries are solid text, no paragraphs. Groups seem to have been mangled in the move. Somehow, the move added 100 members; I hope I haven’t added all the banned spammers back in!

If you see other glitches, please leave a comment here or on the site

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