Friday, August 22, 2008

Ning has unilaterally removed WidgetLaboratory without Notice - Information to Our Customers

As of this morning, August 22, 2008, we learned from our customers that Ning had unilaterally removed Widgetlaboratory.com and all of its products. We have received no formal notice or explanation at this time. We have not violated any Terms of Service, nor have we violated any published "guidelines" from Ning.

This action by Ning was completely without any notice, was without any merit, and in our opinion was done for the sole purpose of eliminating a company that had started to provide a useful and valuable service to all of you. We have a full and complete documentation of our relationship with Ning from the very first moment that we contacted them in November of 2007 and met with them subsequently to get their blessing for creating our company and products. The facts and details contained therein will substantiate our claims regarding Ning's actions.

We have achieved a level of market penetration into the Ning community that has made WidgetLaboratory a somewhat "essential" resource for add-ons and widgets. Based upon the personal phone calls and correspondence from the entire Ning team, including their entire Executive staff, it would appear that they decided to elminate WidgetLaboratory for anti-competitive purposes alone. This is truly ironic to us, given the fact that our products have demonstrably INCREASED the popularity of Ning and caused more customers of Ning to purchase their Premium Services. This was truly a win-win-win relationship between Ning, WidgetLaboratory, and all of you.

We assure you, our valued customers, that this matter will be resolved favorably and that we stand 100% behind our products and our legal rights to offer them on the Ning platform. We ask for your patience and understanding this morning while we attempt to obtain any information at all from Ning.

We are now attempting to get Ning to at least answer our emails or phone calls, but to no avail. They have removed not only WidgetLaboratory, but also our personal websites on Ning (including Trikepilot.com), which further demonstrates an ulterior motive, as that site was about flying trikes and had nothing to do with WidgetLaboratory whatsoever. We have the means and the method to bring this matter into the public light should Ning not immediately reconsider this somewhat short-sighted action this morning. They have not harmed WidgetLaboratory alone, they have (most importantly) directly and intentionally harmed ALL OF YOU and your business endeavors, as most of you have built your business sites utilizing our products and Ning.

Please refer back to this page for more updates as the situation progresses.You can also follow the Ning Network Creator's Forum for more information and to voice your opinion directly to Ning at this LINK.

Spencer Forman

CEO and Co-Founder

Widgetlaboratory.com

31 comments:

Jincey said...

I'm sorry for this situation; it must be very frustrating for you, as it is for us. In the meantime, can you please tell us how to remove the features we installed. I'd like to take the "Advanced Member Search" tab off my site until the problems are fixed. Thank you.

Jincey Lumpkin
www.DigiRomp.com

Fred said...

this is what i have post in ning blog:

in my network i use just free WL features and i dont have spend any money for this king of services.
My question is ....
How can manage a "social" network without ANY social features?
How can search for the members on line with me in the network if I DONT HAVE any tool provided by NING to do that ?
How can i have a chat with a frient in my network if ning DONT HAVE any tool to help contrat between member?
i'm not english or american, i'm italian but i think the real rule for a SOCIAL network is to socialize ........... please ning creators what part of "SOCIAL NETWORK" you DONT undestand ????
if you dont REMEMBER what IS a social netwok click here for a wikipedia remind of it.

Science at parentk12.com said...

Thank you very much for this information. Ning has posted a blog entry which states that Widget Labs has been removed from Ning for violating the terms of service, no more explanation than that and no warning.

This has GUTTED my Ning network, Ning has not responded to my emails yet. I would very much appreciate any additional information.

ROBERT BREINING said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ROBERT BREINING said...

i WISH YOU LUCK WITH THE EG.. i AM SURE YOU VENTING TOO... i WISH YOU LUCK AND i HOPE THE BOTH OF YOU CAN FIND A COMMON GROUND FOR ALL OF OUR BENEFITS...THANKS FOR THE QUICK RESPONSE AND ACTION.. MORE THEN NING OFFERED ..
ROBERT

Alexie said...

I was checking my terms of service.It has a creative commons license. One of the terms is not alter the coding of ning.
I had a problem with ning phishing. I found out that it wasn't ning it was a hacker. Who threatend us. When I told ning about it. They took care of it quickly.
Just communicate with them. Find out, they have always been helpful with me. Mackenzie has always been a big help with anything I ever needed. Including getting our network back online.
So they will let you know. I love your products. Just wait and see maybe they will let you back on and just with some guidelines about what their terms are. Really they will work with you. Its a good company.

Mambo Italiano said...

This only means that you guys are doing a great job.

I'm wondering if there is possibility that the widgetlab products can run with a copy of the ning that is checkout and therefore detached (hopefully?)

I hope it works out. We are not for profit and starting up, and we loved they way things were coming along.

is there a common thread or something that we can do to get ning attention?

Jincey said...

http://developer.ning.com/forum/topic/show?id=1185512%3ATopic%3A63551

Above is the link to Ning's response on this issue.

Nemo Inis said...

My ning network had paid widgets that I invested money and a TON of time and work in. I had PAID advertisers whose ads are gone now! This is completely ridiculous and unacceptable that they haven't even talked to you about it! I've sent Ning emails asking for an explanation.

Bill said...

I just paid for my widgets this week!! Or you going to stand behind your 100% satisfaction garuntee???

footfoot said...

M sure we all want our money back but guys. please give spence a chance (sometime) to work this out before you do any charge backs or ask for refunds.
lets give WL all the support we can.
thanks in advance.
MoMO

Kimswallows said...

WL had took my site to the Next Level and doubled my income I hope to god this can be fixed

Pam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pam said...

I'm very upset about the dismantling of the great things on my site. I'm not so worried about the money as I am the content that has been lost and the affect on my advertisers, members and the fact that this could happen with out any warning. This has been a decision that NING will regret..as it's already out on the wire that NING treats people badly...I hope this gets resolved and things back the way they were or better. I love all my products and the ease of use. Hang in there Spencer...

August 22, 2008 1:25 PM

Science at parentk12.com said...

Someone's put this up on Digg.com now:

http://digg.com/tech_news/Ning_com_commits_SUICIDE

Still no explanation from ning?

Science at parentk12.com said...

If I rip my network out of ning and take it somewhere else, can I use widgets on another site?

Alexie said...

I don know. Widget labs were gracious to us and gave us a lot of wonderful products and help for our cause.
I will miss them. They are really good guys.

Science at parentk12.com said...

I meant, if I take my members and content off ning and make my group on another site, like make my own joomla or drupal site, can I used Widget Labs products there? Could I use the Media Now that I paid for on my own site, not ning?

Scott Sandland said...

I just posted a formal complaint on the discussion thread for network creators:

http://developer.ning.com/forum/topic/show?id=1185512%3ATopic%3A63551&page=2

Is there anything we can do to help? Is there any way that you will be able to come to some agreement with them, and if so, do we lose all the work we have put in so far?

Keep us informed, because apparently Ning won't.

Macieyo said...

As a sign of solidarity with the Widget Labolatory, I just took offline my network with more than 15.000 members, in this way I just cut off the flow of money from the ads that they placed on my network. This may not be many, but i will not take back online my network, until i hear any rational explanations from Ning.

With all my heart I'm with you.

Scott Sandland said...

someone posted a survey for us. This will be just another way for us to put together data to support the guys and get back our toys.

https://firefighter.wufoo.com/forms/ning-and-widget-labs-use-survey/

tom said...

Hi Spencer,

Are your Widgets available elsewhere ? I would like to explore the possibility of selling your widgets to my userbase.

Please call send me an email tom at Peerme .

Thanks !

Bob Bartley said...

Man that is no good. However, I am looking for widgets in a different platform, elgg. I am hosting my own social network/portal for my class next calendar year but I have created the site to get it ready. It is using the new version of elgg. 1.0. Do the widgets work in other platforms? I would love to use some of them with my class for learning and engaging.

Regards,
Bob

Ofelia B.G. said...

Hola, lamento mucho esta situacion, espero se resuelva pronto, he hecho un comentario en networkscreator, tienes razon esto no solo afecta a widget laboratory, sino a todos nosotros.

:(

Es lamentable que eliminaran tu otro sitio, eso es injusto, porque es verdad no tenia nada que ver con WL.

Todos estamos consternados, pero apoyandote a ti y a mad s.

ozijo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ozijon said...

Hi
Well I don't think theres much more to be said.I'm verry upset about tings as just the night befor I added 2 more widgets and NING new what was going to happen long befor it did so why no warning not good and i'm 100% behind the wdget lab on this one
keep up the good work
its just comes down to the fact that others are more creative
and some don't like it one word (jealousy)

virtualwebmaster said...

Like many WL friends ,today I'm very
glad to have a "Socialist Network" without any form of custom feature or pesonality...

Special thank to E.Genius for the quality of his great work and his always friendly help...

I'm now looking for an other provider than NING (no ,ning),because of theire attitude...

Yes this kind of issue can happend with any network as the "term of use" can change anytime...

I dont want my money back...I want WL and all my great WL widgets back...

Sincerely with you ...Courage...If I can help you I will be glad...

Grass Hut Life said...

I don't believe that I can trust the decison making ability at Ning. I would like to immediately end my relationship with Ning but am not familiar with anyother social networking service. Who could we move our collective business to that is similar to Ning?

Александр Гладких said...

I learned just! This is awful! So sorry what it happened. EG & WL Team - we're with you! I wish you GOOD LUCK. And I want to say just "THANK YOUa a lot for you work"!

Snow

diaries of the travelling tandem said...

Hi Spence,

How can I get a copy of ad manager source as I am caught between you and ning in this "situation". With the source at least I can get revenue from my advertisers without it I am out of pocket.

John

spongefile said...

Yes, anyone know of an alternative to Ning that one could move to?