Come on Ning, you can do better than that

Last week, a lot of Ning sites (including mine) were pretty much down for more than 3 days. Yes, that's days, not hours. I know there were many more sites than mine affected from the thread that developed on the subject on the Ning Creators site (which was also suffering outages).

This is bad enough in itself, with Ning having just recently announced they were going to scrap free accounts and that they'd reduced their staffing levels by about 50% (part of the reason for the excessively long fix time?), but what really took the biscuit was the "support". With site owners genuinely concerned that their sites were down or in various states of not functioning correctly, the best we really got was effectively being asked to stop moaning. At one point, Ning's presence on the thread suggested that if I didn't like his updates (or lack of), I could always check their status site, which was largely showing everything to be swimming along nicely, even when the sites themselves were all but inaccessible, a fact not lost on many site owners in the aforementioned thread.

Many of us were seeking some answers as to what the problem was and when it might be fixed. We're still waiting for the former. As fas as I know, no explanation has yet been provided, unless it's buried somewhere on their domain. Given the extent of the outage, I'd expect something a bit more direct.

Now, I may be wrong here, but I kinda reckon that, as a paying customer, I'm entitled to some answers when the thing I'm paying for isn't there. Instead, they made me feel like I was in the wrong by requesting status updates. Sure, I asked often, but only because I never got an answer.

Given that they're going premium only soon (I'm already premium with them), they really need to get their act together, otherwise people really will start leaving. If there had been an easy way to migrate my site (there currently isn't), I would have been very tempted by around the end of day 2, simply because I was getting no answers and didn't know if we'd be waiting 2 hours or 2 weeks.

Having gone from being an advocate of Ning, I'm now staying with them pretty much only because it's almost impossible to leave and take your data with you.

They've got some good ideas and they've got a good platform in place, but they really need to look at their communications skills.