Welcome Ning Refugees!

We'd like to welcome all our friends making the transition from Ning to Spruz. The Spruz Owners' Community is full of members who are ready to help you in anyway they can, be it answering questions about the Spruz platform, giving you advice and feedback on your site, or simply supporting you along the way.

Here are a few reasons to choose Spruz:

Unparalleled Stability

Free sites are built into our business model and we realize that without them we wouldn't exist. With that in mind we've taken extra lengths to ensure everything we do is sustainable; no need to worry about moving ever again!

Profitable and Self Funded

Spruz was created by two guys that knew they had to work hard to create an easy to use but powerful site building platform. We've grown since then, but it's all been a natural process. That means there are no big shot investors holding a paycheck over our heads; we listen to the community and the community alone!

Continuous Improvements

Our work on the Spruz platform is never done. We have hundreds of ideas for the future, many of which come straight from the community. The entire Spruz team is open to your suggestions on how we can make using our platform a better experience for all those involved.

Don't have a site yet? Get started!


- Use the Ning Migration Tool to make it easy for your members to find your new Spruz website.

- Stop by our Ning Refugees forum and get help with transitioning your website or provide feedback on the Spruz platform.

- Learn more about using Access Levels to structure your website.

Ning Migration Updates
Full Ning Data Importing is finally here!
Posted by Jay Roberts

As the saying goes "Better Late than never", we are happy to report our Ning Data Importer is finally online! To import your Ning data you will go to import.spruz.com , login with your email address and password, and when prompted join the website. Our import website allows us to centralize information about the import process and will be used to import data from Social Go and Grou.ps in the very near future.

Once you are logged in you can click on the Ning Import link to start your data import process. Before starting make sure you have all your information exported from your Ning website.

The process of developing an import for the Ning data was a huge challenge due to continuous issues we discovered with the Ning Data files, but we are happy our development team was able to work around most issues.

At this time we also wanted to update you on the status of other features in development and update their timelines.

  • Wiki - This is the replacement to the current Knowledge base feature. As many of you know it has been a long time coming and one of those items that just had to be pushed back a few times. The Wiki is a complex feature that should have a range of uses. Estimated release date 1-3 weeks
  • SPL (Spruz Platform Language)  and API (Application Programming Interface) release - Opening up the platform for 3rd party developers has always been in our plan, and I am happy to report that we are closer then ever with the full release of our SPI documentation, new API interface and App Library. Estimated Release date for full SPI Documentation 4-5 weeks and our API 6-9 weeks.
  • Content Settings - Content settings is a new section that will be added to the Site Settings area to give you more detailed control over your website features. Content settings will allow you to control comment box features, ability to customize the sharing and rating features on Videos, Photos Etc., member file space limit settings, and more. Estimated release date 2-5 weeks.
  • Content Templates - This a progression update that is in progress now. Content templates in time will allow you to control all system text within your website. This system can also be used to change the language of system text. Part of this update also includes a new setting that is soon to be added to your site settings that will allow you to control the character set your website uses to display content.

We want to remind everyone that if you encounter issues with the import tools please report the issue in the forums of our data import site .


Posted by Jay Roberts

Can Self-Funded Win Out Against Investor-Funded?

KNOXVILLE, TN, May 4, 2010 – The social platform industry was shaken up recently with Ning's announcement that it would be forcing its free sites to upgrade or leave. Almost immediately after the announcement former free Ning users who no longer had a home for their community started looking for alternatives. Comments left on news articles about Ning's announcement revealed an underlying fear many of them had about switching to another free service: if the industry leader wasn't able to make it, how could any of the alternatives?

While other companies have shied away from answering this question, Spruz -- a free social website platform much like Ning -- has provided a direct response to it. "The bottom-line difference between Spruz and Ning is that we are a self-funded company that is already profitable," stated Jay Roberts, founder of Spruz, who went on to say, "While Ning had $120 million in investment from outside sources, Spruz has always operated as a boot-strapped company. This has resulted in our business model being completely sustainable from the ground up, with free sites being an integral part of it."

Other mentioned alternatives to Ning include Grou.ps and SocialGo, both with substantial funding. Startups who accept funds from outside sources have the difficult task of turning a profit much larger than necessary to maintain the service they provide, as most investors are interested in the acquisition value of a company. Jay Roberts added that, "Spruz has already experienced tremendous growth since Ning's announcement, requiring us to increase our staff and deploy additional hardware. The fact that we are profitable and have no venture funding means we are able to grow to meet the demands of our users without fear of imploding. We're looking forward to welcoming anyone looking for a stable platform to move their community to."

So, self-funded or investor-funded? The fate of Ning may serve as a very telling answer.

Jay Roberts explains the How Spruz Freemium is sustainable in http://my.spruz.com/pt/How-is-Spruz-Freemium-Sustainable/blog.htm

Spruz launched in 2007 as a hosted social website solution that makes it easy to create your own public or private community website about anything.

Migrating Your Members Off of Ning
Posted by David

We have a new Migration Script that you can place on your Ning network that makes it very easy for your members to come over to your new site with Spruz. ( Don't have Spruz Social Site Yet? Create one now. )

  1. Generate Code with our Ning Migration Tool (Click Here)
  2. Paste the Code into a Text Box on your Ning site (preferably high up on your home page)
  3. Send a Broadcast Message to all your members letting them know about the move and to click the Migration Link

This helps your members register quickly on your new Spruz website, when a member is logged in and clicks the Migration Link or Button on your old Ning website, their profile information like Name, Age, Location, and Profile Photo will be copied over when they register on your new Spruz website, leaving only the email address and password the would need to fill out.

Please let us know what you think!

Spruz welcomes Ning Refuges
Posted by Jay Roberts

It came as a big surprise to a lot of people when Ning announced yesterday that it would be ending it’s free service. But don't worry Ning users! Spruz welcomes you to a platform that has many of the same features and a strong track record.

Sometimes change is for the best! With Spruz;

  1. You are part of a network that really cares about it's users
  2. Experience a deep level of customization and flexibility
  3. Easily use our Invite Feature to import your members from Ning. Need help, we will even do it for you !
  4. Affordable upgrade options (Plans from only $9.95/mo)
  5. 100's of Features, and we are continually adding more.
  6. We listen to our community and make adjustments our members want or need
  7. You are not locked in, you can export your data.

You can count on Spruz;

  1. We have been providing social websites since 2002 from our original property www.clansitemanager.com (A site focused on gaming social websites)
  2. We don't have the overhead or investors dictating our path, we are a company for the community.
  3. We have already tried premium only, only to find out it is a mistake! Free websites help a web company grow virally.
  4. We have the right balance of Free and Premium offerings to ensure we will stay in business for aeons, because we are already profitable!

With that said we would like to officially roll out the welcome mat to our new friends coming over from Ning. We will continue innovating and leading the way in social network technology. You are FREE to stay as long as you like!

Ning Bids Farewell to Free Sites, Spruz Still Better and Still Free
Posted by Jay Roberts

It came as a big surprise to a lot of people when Ning announced yesterday that it would be ending it’s free service. However it just proved what we have known for a while now: Ning’s free strategy was not sustainable and this kind of implosion was inevitable.

Since we knew this day would come, we at Spruz have been working for the past 6 months to strengthen our free offering into a highly sustainable one. In this way we can continue offering high quality free social networks to our members indefinitely and provide large value upgrades to owners that need them.

With that said we would like to officially roll out the welcome mat to our new friends coming over from Ning. We will continue innovating and leading the way in social network technology. You are FREE to stay as long as you like!

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