Today, Hub Designs committed to sponsoring the MDM Community on Ning.
Recently, Ning changed its business model from providing free social networks to charging between $19.95 per year (for educational and non-profit use) to $199.95 per year (for customized Ning Networks), all the way up to $499.95 per year (for high end social networks with integration options and more bandwidth and storage).
When I started the MDM Community back in November 2008, it was mostly a reaction to the awful state of LinkedIn Groups. Lots of spam, tons of irrelevant job postings, and very little community or sharing between MDM practitioners.
At the time, Ning was a free option, so starting the MDM Community on Ning was an easy choice. It grew gradually, and now has 295 members from 28 different countries. A lot of the different players in the MDM world are represented: Oracle (and Silver Creek Systems), IBM (and Initiate Systems), Informatica (and Siperian), D&B, Kalido, Orchestra Networks, Riversand Technologies, TIBCO (and Netrics). And a lot of large systems integration and consulting firms are represented.
Well, Ning is no longer providing its social network as a free service, but the $200 per year is a pretty reasonable investment to give MDM practitioners all over the world a vendor-neutral forum to hang out, ask questions of one another, help each other out, provide assistance, share opinions, write blog articles, update their profiles, do all of those things that people do on social networks.
At the time, there really wasn’t any other place to do all that which was ad-free, spanned all of the different flavors and vendors of MDM and data governance, and gave everyone an equal voice. I moderate the discussion forums but I try to do it with a very light hand. If anything, perhaps I should be more involved in the MDM Community and put more of my energy into growing it – and hopefully, I’ll do that now that Hub Designs has stepped up to keeping it alive on Ning.