I find NING social networking sites useful and a way of having industry / topic specific type of sites rather than the broad-brush approach of Facebook. (I keep thinking of opening multiple Facebook accounts for different interests so that friends in one area don't bore the pants off those in others - as happens when they are all plonked together as on Facebook now. The trouble is the need for the same number of different email accounts).
Ning provided this - you can be a member of multiple Ning networks and ensure that interests are segregated.
How will this impact successful and active groups such as this one. Will the continuity be there if you need to pay a small sum to be a member. Of course active members won't mind paying a small subscription. However it's important to have the less active people involved too - so that the CI profession can be seen to be inclusive rather than exclusive. We need the outreach factor which Ning offers (and SCIP demonstrably doesn't unfortunately). There are many in our field who are tangentially involved and so want to show a presence but may not want to pay for this. How do we keep them involved and active? Or do we kiss them goodbye as time-wasters and skinflints?