After sounding off about Ning a couple of posts ago, I have had a few days of more sober reflection. And instead of searching for a new home for the MCTE network, I have decided to absorb the cost of a plus plan. There are a few benefits for doing so: Ning allows for domain mapping, which means the MCTE network now displays http://mcte.info in the address bar, and that all permalinks begin with the http://mcte.info domain. That was a bit of a trick to figure out, but the Ning support helped.
Another reason for staying with Ning, despite its pricey upgrade, is the continual development of applications. One such application is the integrated Eventbee registration tool, which we’re using for the upcoming MCTE Autumn Assembly. Another admittedly cool tool is the Cafepress application, which lets you design and sell merchandise such as t-shirts, coffee mugs, and more for your organization. I used Cafepress to create the t-shirt shown here. It uses a high-resolution, public domain image of Ernest Hemingway that I found on Wikimedia Commons. The picture is actually taken in Cuba, but no one has to know that.
I think Cafepress would sell this t-shirt for around $22.00, with a small percentage of profits going toward maintaining the MCTE Ning. Oh–the dotted line is not actually on the shirt. If you like the design, let me know. Or, if you’re feeling inspired, send me your ideas for a cool MCTE t-shirt.