I left "The Welcome Mat'

What a turn of events on The Welcome Mat operated by Wanda Kerr.

When I first joined last year, I loved being involved in the discussions and seeing photos of all the great rugs people were hooking. But over the months, several things began to bother me, including the fact that there was no way for members of the network to organize their own groups. So I couldn't put up a group for The Ten-Minute Challenge. I also discovered that the discussion forums themselves were censored when one of my comments was deleted because I referred to my blog. Then fees were charged for joining a dyeing group. It began to feel less and less like a social network and more and more like a business.

During this time, I discovered another rug hooking social network, Rug Hooking Daily, which is also a ning network but which allows any member to create groups and run discussion forums. It also has great photos, and many of the people who are on The Welcome Mat are also on Rug Hooking Daily. So I kept my Welcome Mat page, but have been mainly socializing on Rug Hooking Daily.

Then this week Wanda has instituted a charge ($20 a year) to belong to The Welcome Mat. She says she will be invoicing members and new subscribers have to pay up front. How many members? 2675 members? If my calculations are accurate, if all members paid, the earnings per year would be $53,500 for facilitating a ning network which is basically a big social blog.

Personally I don't want to be part of a social network that is someone's business. I want to be part of a social network that fosters community and values the diversity of voices from across the world, a rug hooking network where together we can share tips and challenges and encouragement and resources.

So it was quite easy today to go to The Welcome Mat and delete my page. All I did was go to My Page, under "settings" and hit "LEAVE THE WELCOME MAT". Nor will I join the now second "free" social network that Wanda has set up for those fleeing the fee: "The Front Door".

I will be hanging out on Rug Hooking Daily, and posting pictures of my rugs there. There is an open discussion board and tons of groups to join, including no fee virtual rug hooking camps. And if you have an idea to facilitate your own group, challenge or camp, all you have to do is click a button and set it up! Hope to see you there.