solved Migration from Ning: a few questions

Elise
Elise
@elise
last year
206 posts
As you may have heard, Ning is ejecting 2.0 customers by eliminating the Mini plan and doubling the hosting fees of the survivors. You might a flurry of refugees, like myself.

I am debating between Social Engine and Jamroom and I have questions :)

1) Groups. My groups need to a place to talk about specific topics. Do you have a group feature that has their own forums? I searched for this but all I found was a VERY long thread about the lack of this feature lol. If not, I assume groups have to become forums categories?

2) I'm concerned about upgrade conflicts as it's a popular topic in the JR support forums. Does the monthly hosting ensures that my site's core gets updated without suddenly showing 404 or PHP errors? Or it's just "space" and there is no upgrades to the core modules involved. Note that I am not talking about bad stuff that can happen when you hack a skin. That would be my own damn fault. I mean upgrades to the "bones" of Jamroom.

3) Friends. With their friend list gone, my members will have to rebuild their network. I want this to be easy for them. When I "friend" someone and they accept, we should be able to send messages and write comment on each other's wall. Can it work that way?

Thanks!
updated by @elise: 07 Dec 2016 12:44:53PM
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
last year
2,998 posts
Here is my own experience as a Jamroom customer for the past 18 months, having come from Ning myself:

1) Groups- yes groups can have their own forum with discussion added, each group also has its own general Comment Wall, and can have Group Pages for giving out various info as well. You can also make any particular Group private, so that the group contents is only visible to members of the Group (those approved for membership to that private group). Here is one Group on my music site for example:
http://fotmd.com/strumelia/group/19/old-style-drone-noter-players
(Your own site will be set up top look the way YOU want it to of course)

2) Since Jamroom creates and provides its own modules/skins and Core, updates are compatible with your JR site. If there's a problem with an update, the JR Team usually fixes it very quickly. Updates are not installed automatically whether or not you are on JR hosting or your own hosting- you get notices advising you that there is a new Core, skin, module update- and usually it tells you what the new update adds or fixes, and you can decide to click the Update button (recommended). All JR customers get free updates for the Core and modules they purchased or are using whether they are on JR hosting or their own hosting. If you choose JR hosting you get all current and future JR modules and skins for free. Plus VIP ticket personalized tech support. JR servers are maintained for you and are compatible with Jamroom requirements. I can vouch that their hosting is speedy and very reliable.

Some people have been having compatibility issues because they are still using the now quite OLD version 4 of Jamroom and are trying to implement new stuff that is meant for the newer Jamroom v.5. You may be reading a few of those discussions. Other 'incompatibility' disciussions may simply be because some module update is in conflict with a custom code that a customer put into place on their particular site, so they're asking how to make the right adjustments to fix it. People customize their sites a whole lot, since they OWN their Jamroom sites! (not like Ning). The good news is that help on Jamroom is fantastic and super fast. The Jamroom Team themselves respond to most all help requests on this forum, and even more intensely when you use JR Hosting which INCLUDES extra VIP Support.

3) Friends: I told my ning members before we migrated to Jamroom that if they wanted to recreate their Friend list on the new JR site, they should make a list of their Ning Friend list, and then work with that after migration. In JR, it's called "Following" rather than "Friending"... so you go to a member's Profile Page, and in top corner you click on "Follow"- then the other person has to do the same and "Follow" you as well. At that point when you begin typing a private message, their name will pop up on a drop down list of people you can send private notes to.
Leaving comments on other people's profile page Comment Walls is usually open for any member to do- though a member can adjust their own notifications and settings to allow various things or not. Private messages will not migrate from ning to JR because they are just that- private. Also member passwords (thus they;ll be assigned a new temp password to log into the new site fro the first time). So, your members should be also told to save any important private messages fromtheir Inbox that they want to keep- they will not migrate since they won't even be in the ning archive at all.

Hope this helps a bit.


--
...just another satisfied Jamroom customer.
Migrated from Ning to Jamroom June 2015

updated by @strumelia: 04 Sep 2016 05:13:02PM
Elise
Elise
@elise
last year
206 posts
Hi Strumelia,
Actually a lot of the posts I was reading were from you ;) You're FAMOUS!

Thanks for the extensive reply. I think I can manage all of this.

But the two step "follow" thing is unfortunate. I have been with Ning for 9 years and I have members with a huge friend list and I wish a SINGLE request could connect people. Meaning if you agree to be my friend, we're both connected. We don't need the other person to do something else.

There isn't a module out there that would make this possible, is there?

Many thanks

Elise
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
last year
2,998 posts
Famous? ...Famous for being confused as a total non-coding newbie for the whole first six months I came here maybe...lol! I actually kind of bumble my way along- I make lots of mistakes but I've learned to reduce mistakes by being careful and backing up everything I do first. ;)

When you think about it Elise, 'friending' a two step process on Ning as well, where you actually DO need the other person to 'do something' to make the connection complete. You send another member a Friend request, but nothing happens unless they in turn ACCEPT the request back. Only after that second step happens is the connection completed both ways and the two people can send private notes. I recall many a time people sending friend requests to others on ning yet never being able to send them a message because the other person never got that notification and/or never 'accepted' the request. Friend requests on ning often get left hanging/pending. Both Ning and Jamroom also require the other person to respond before anyone can send private notes.

My members caught on to the Follow system after a short period of adjustment. I made it a little easier for them by adding some custom text into the email notification a member gets when being told they have a new 'follower'. Through the ACP, in the Followers Module (Modules/Profiles/Followers), under Templates tab there is: email_new_follower_message. tpl At the bottom of that template code i added some simple text saying:
"If you are following (or choose to follow) this new follower in return, then you and the other person will be able to exchange private notes. To 'follow' the other person in return, go to their profile page and click their "Follow" button at top corner. "
That added a bit of instruction prompts members to complete the two-way 'follower' connection. It's a way you can customize what an email notification to your members says, to your liking. Other modules have their own 'email templates' where you can adjust the text that gets sent to your members on various actions.

Don't forget that after you 'save' your text tweak and back out again to the list of that module's templates, be sure to CHECK the little checkbox to ACTIVATE that custom change you made. You can always 'restore' the module again to its default without your changes if you want.


--
...just another satisfied Jamroom customer.
Migrated from Ning to Jamroom June 2015

updated by @strumelia: 04 Sep 2016 06:37:11PM
paul
@paul
last year
3,128 posts
Hi @elise - Welcome to Jamroom.
I see that @strumelia has answered all of your questions (thanks strum).
Let us know if anything is still unclear or if you have any further questions.
Thanks
Paul


--
Paul Asher - JR Developer and System Import Specialist
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
last year
2,998 posts
Elise, I'd like to add one more thing that I think may be important to you-

You state: "I am debating between Social Engine and Jamroom"
...and I'd like to clarify how the COST $ difference between the two platform choices winds up being very substantial:

SE basic platform costs hundreds just to buy the bare platform- the JR basic platform core is free.
On Se you must find your own hosting and pay that monthly.
On JR you can either do that if you want, OR you can use the JR hosting plan... https://www.jamroom.net/hosting

The big advantages to using JR hosting plan are:

--You get the Core platform and ALL jamroom current and future modules (plugins) for FREE. (on SE you are going to pay and pay and pay to keep buying plugins from various 3rd party providers...and they often don't play nice with each other and they aren't supported by SE itself) To get help with your plugins if they don't work, you have to go to the person you bought it from and hope for the best. If I'm not mistaken, don't you even have to buy a plugin to make SE mobile responsive?- I find that ridiculous!- Jamroom is already completely mobile-responsive from the get-go....no need to 'buy' something to make it that way. I read posts from people who have been spending thousands on Social Engine plugins just to get basic site functions and features that come free with JR hosting plan's all-included modules and skins.

--Modules and the core get updated and maintained by the JR team themselves, to insure compatibility- and updates cost you nothing. With the JR hosting plan, all you pay is your monthly server fee.

--SUPPORT!- on SocialEngine you are charged money for: every. single. instance. of tech support. And after buying 3rd party plugins galore you are going to need support assistance. With JR hosted plan you also get JR VIP Support- which gets you 24/7 personalized ticket tech support for any jamroom problems you encounter. I can tell you from experience the JR team responds VERY quickly and they go above and beyond in order to help you. Ask anyone here. This is not to say that 'tech support' means they will build your site for you- lol, you must build and run your site yourself- it's yours! But it means the Jamroom Team will investigate any platform, skin, or module glitches you encounter, and either fix them quickly or explain to you something you might not be understanding. They also cheerfully tell you how to do something in the code to get the results you want. And they support and maintain your JR hosting server of course.

In addition, ALL us JR customers have this excellent support forum where we are typing right now. What other platform gives you a super fast customer Help forum -where the platform developers THEMSELVES monitor all threads and jump in right away to help you??
You simply won't get all this from SE, Wordpress, Ning, FB, or from any other online networking platform.

I know I always sound like an ad, but I'm just a happy customer. In my opinion, Jamroom gives you waaaay more than any other option. And what you get is reasonably priced, top quality, with the best support anywhere.


--
...just another satisfied Jamroom customer.
Migrated from Ning to Jamroom June 2015
Elise
Elise
@elise
last year
206 posts
It doesn't sound like an ad, it sounds like you did the research :)

As I work with both head to head, I've had glimpses of this. Their SE Ning import feature only works on self hosted (not their cloud version). Ok, I can do that. But when I tried to use it, I got php memory errors that no amount of .htaccess could fix. They could not tell me what was wrong (even with the error message) unless I gave them unbridled access to my cpanel.

Thanks for explaining how the updates work. I didn't realize at first that the module are developed only in house (my main web site is on wordpress with third party plugins) so I was having cold sweats at the thought of compatibility nightmares...

It helps a lot.
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
last year
2,998 posts
There are a few 3rd party JR modules, but usually they are for pretty specialized needs ...all your typical site features and functions are covered by the over 200 JR-supplied modules found in the JR Marketplace. Some code-savvy folks also create or commission custom modules for their own use as well. All modules (plugins) and skins created by Jamroom are supported and updated by the Jamroom Team.


--
...just another satisfied Jamroom customer.
Migrated from Ning to Jamroom June 2015
Elise
Elise
@elise
last year
206 posts
Strumelia:
When you think about it Elise, 'friending' a two step process on Ning as well, where you actually DO need the other person to 'do something' to make the connection complete. You send another member a Friend request, but nothing happens unless they in turn ACCEPT the request back. Only after that second step happens is the connection completed both ways and the two people can send private notes. ... Both Ning and Jamroom also require the other person to respond before anyone can send private notes.

I am confused then because it doesn't look the same to me.

In Ning:
1) I make a friend request.
2) You accept it. We can both send each other private messages.

In Jamroom.
1) I make a follow request.
2) You accept it. You can send me private messages but I can't.
3) You make a follow request back to me.
4) I accept it. We can both send each other private messages.

It takes 4 steps in Jamroom, right?
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
last year
2,998 posts
No it's not exactly like that. Firstly, your 2) in your Jamroom list is wrong: nobody can send any private messages to anyone until the Follow is completed both ways (and that's the SAME way in Ning).

This is more accurate I think:

In Ning:
1) I click "add Friend' on Bob's profile page. That sends a notification email to Bob and the circuit is now half complete. Nobody can send private messages yet.
2) Bob clicks the link in the notification to 'Accept' it (thus completing the two way connection). We are now both on each other's Friend List and can now both send each other private messages. (Bob doesn't have to go to or look at my profile page to accept my friend request.)

In Jamroom.
1) I click "Follow" on Bob's profile page. That sends a notification email to Bob and the circuit is now half complete. Nobody can send private messages yet.
2) Bob clicks the link in the notification which brings him to my Profile page, where he can check out who I am first and then click the follow button to "Follow" me as well (thus completing the two way connection). We are now both on each other's Followers List and can now both send each other private messages.

The only difference is that on Jamroom when you get your email notification telling you that you have a new Follower, when you click the link it doesn't actually complete the circuit- rather it takes you to the other person's profile page, where you click 'Follow' back. It IS one extra click, but it's not really twice the number of steps.
In some ways it's an extra little effort, but in other ways it's nice because you get people to actually go look at each other's profile pages first, before they click to Follow back. This often creates new activity- I find people leave more comments on each other's comments this way. But yes, it's an extra click. :)
Like I mentioned before, I also added a line of instructions to my template for the Follow Email Notice, making it clear that the person should click to go to the other person's page and click the Follow button to complete and permit private messages to happen.

My members had quite a few little complaints that things were not exactly the same as on Ning. But then they began to see all the wonderful new features we didn't have working in Ning, and they started going Ooooh! more instead of Ackk! lolol

One of my fave things I noticed at first was that: when members forgot their passwords and the 'forgot password' process on Ning didn't work for them (which was often), I couldnt do a damn thing except tell them to open a new membership account. Now I can just say "No problem!" and zip over to their page and change their password for them quick as a wink- this makes them soooo happy to not lose all their old profile stuff! For every one thing that I might wish was a little different on JR, there are like ten other things I'm doing the happy dance about every day.
The big thing to get used to in your head is that everything is Profile-based... everything is 'owned' by a profile. Once you understand how JR works concerning Profiles, Users, and Quotas, it'll help you a great deal in hitting your stride.

One concept about following to understand is that:
By default, a member can 'Follow' you and be one of your Followers simply by clicking the Follow button on your page. Technically, they're not 'sending you a request to follow you'...they're just following you. And you get a notification (if you allow site notifications in your member settings) that simply tells you someone new is (already) follwoing you, and that you can follow them back if you want, and here's how. Now, a member can check the option to Approve new followers before allowing them to follow them, but that's not the default.
Think of following as like exchanging business cards. If I give you my card with my contact info, I still can't contact you until you give me your card in return. By 'following' me back, you are in effect giving me YOUR card too, and we can then communicate back and forth.


--
...just another satisfied Jamroom customer.
Migrated from Ning to Jamroom June 2015
paul
@paul
last year
3,128 posts
Hi Elise
Yes, this is the way Jamroom works. Followers don't automatically get reciprocated.
If this is a show-stopper for you, a simple custom 'listener' module could solve this problem - the module would listen for a follower being accepted then add the reciprocating arrangement to the Follower datastore. Basically a few lines of code in a custom module. See this documentation - https://www.jamroom.net/the-jamroom-network/documentation/jamroom-developers-guide/127/module-development
I can advise further on this if you want this follower functionality.


--
Paul Asher - JR Developer and System Import Specialist
michael
@michael
last year
6,185 posts
Jamroom is closer to the Twitter model than the Facebook one. If you like stuff that someone is posting and want to keep up to date with what they say, follow them. If they follow you back you can private message each other.
Elise
Elise
@elise
last year
206 posts
paul:
Hi Elise
Yes, this is the way Jamroom works. Followers don't automatically get reciprocated.
If this is a show-stopper for you, a simple custom 'listener' module could solve this problem - the module would listen for a follower being accepted then add the reciprocating arrangement to the Follower datastore. Basically a few lines of code in a custom module. See this documentation - https://www.jamroom.net/the-jamroom-network/documentation/jamroom-developers-guide/127/module-development
I can advise further on this if you want this follower functionality.

Yes, this is exactly what I would like :)
When the request is approved, both the sender and receiver are authorized to contact each other.

I'm not a PHP developer, so this is a lot to take in. But I think the docs are precise enough that I can create a module and a listener function.

I'd need help on what is the datastore call that authorizes the other party?
Elise
Elise
@elise
last year
206 posts
michael:
Jamroom is closer to the Twitter model than the Facebook one. If you like stuff that someone is posting and want to keep up to date with what they say, follow them. If they follow you back you can private message each other.

Right, I see it now. I don't use Twitter much which is why I was slow on the uptake.

But most importantly, my members are also used to the Facebook model. Hence my desire to keep it that way. At the end of the day, it's all about trying to eliminate friction for my members.

Thanks!
terripattio
@terripattio
last year
3 posts
I have several questions I need answers to, first one is 1. Can I keep my domain name? 2. My community on Ning is for bloggers and article writers. Here is the link address to it: syndicationexpressdotningdotcom. 3rd question is if you do the work, how much does it cost? I know a little, however not enough to do it by myself.
updated by @terripattio: 07 Sep 2016 11:28:28AM
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
last year
2,998 posts
Terri, hi....
1) If you have a ning site with the domain name of: mysillycat.ning.com ....then you will not be able to keep the ning part of your domain name. So...you'd have to obtain and register a NEW domain name of simply mysillycat.com ....if that domain name is available. Domain names are easy and cheap to register on many online locations. Jamroom does not offer domain name registration service, so you'd have to do that part on your own.
If your current ning domain URL does not have "ning.com" as part of it then you must have previously obtained/registered your domain name in your name when switching your site URL from a ___ning.com URL. If you still have your non-ning domain name registered in your name than yes you can transfer it to point to your new Jamroom site.

2) when you say "you do the work"- that does not mean actually designing or customizing your new site for you, nor making it look just like your ning site. You can purchase the Jamroom Import Service which includes doing the actual IMPORT of your Ning 2.0 content and member accounts into your JR site and making sure your site is basically functioning. You still would need to customize and design your site's looks and preferences yourself. If you plan to import your Ning 2.0 archive of content, you can see the various levels of JR Import Service here, the service is priced according to the size of your import archive:
https://www.jamroom.net/ning-to-jamroom/serviceshop

here is a slightly fuller description of what's involved when you buy the JR Import Service:
https://www.jamroom.net/ning-to-jamroom/serviceshop/5/5-gig-ning-site

================
Oops sorry, I posted this before Nate's post appeared. =8-o


--
...just another satisfied Jamroom customer.
Migrated from Ning to Jamroom June 2015

updated by @strumelia: 07 Sep 2016 11:59:54AM
paul
@paul
last year
3,128 posts
You cannot use the URL http://syndicationexpress.ning.com/ for a Jamroom site as that is a Ning sub-domain. Try and buy the domain syndicationexpress.com or something similar and use that.
Alternatively you could stick with one of our sun-domains like syndicationexpresscom.jamroomhosting.com but that is a bit cumbersome!! You'd be better off all round with your own domain. They only cost a few dollars a year from somewhere like namecheap.com


--
Paul Asher - JR Developer and System Import Specialist
terripattio
@terripattio
last year
3 posts
Strumelia:
Terri, hi....
1) If you have a ning site with the domain name of: mysillycat.ning.com ....then you will not be able to keep the ning part of your domain name. So...you'd have to obtain and register a NEW domain name of simply mysillycat.com ....if that domain name is available. Domain names are easy and cheap to register on many online locations. Jamroom does not offer domain name registration service, so you'd have to do that part on your own.
If your current ning domain URL does not have "ning.com" as part of it then you must have previously obtained/registered your domain name in your name when switching your site URL from a ___ning.com URL. If you still have your non-ning domain name registered in your name than yes you can transfer it to point to your new Jamroom site.
2) when you say "you do the work"- that does not mean actually designing or customizing your new site for you, nor making it look just like your ning site. You can purchase the Jamroom Import Service which includes doing the actual IMPORT of your Ning 2.0 content and member accounts into your JR site and making sure your site is basically functioning. You still would need to customize and design your site's looks and preferences yourself. If you plan to import your Ning 2.0 archive of content, you can see the various levels of JR Import Service here, the service is priced according to the size of your import archive:https://www.jamroom.net/ning-to-jamroom/serviceshop
here is a slightly fuller description of what's involved when you buy the JR Import Service:https://www.jamroom.net/ning-to-jamroom/serviceshop/5/5-gig-ning-site
================
Oops sorry, I posted this before Nate's post appeared. =8-o

Thank you Strumelia for clearing that up. I got it now. My domain name is available and I will register it because I do want that domain name. I was looking at your site and I like what I saw. You did a great job customizing. Very helpful and thank you again.
terripattio
@terripattio
last year
3 posts
paul:
You cannot use the URL http://syndicationexpress.ning.com/ for a Jamroom site as that is a Ning sub-domain. Try and buy the domain syndicationexpress.com or something similar and use that.
Alternatively you could stick with one of our sun-domains like syndicationexpresscom.jamroomhosting.com but that is a bit cumbersome!! You'd be better off all round with your own domain. They only cost a few dollars a year from somewhere like namecheap.com

I will do that Paul and thanks for your response. Strumelia is very helpful in the forum.

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