The end of free Ning shows the danger of placing yourself in the hands of proprietary services. Ning's Jason Rosenthal, who has been CEO for a month, announced the end of free services (and the layoff of 69 staff) in a message this week. "My main conclusion is that we need to double down on our premium services business," he writes. "Our Premium Ning Networks like Friends or Enemies, Linkin Park, Shred or Die, Pickens Plan, and tens of thousands of others both drive 75% of our monthly US traffic, and those Network Creators need and will pay for many more services and features from us." Of course, it was on the basis of its free services that Ning got those paying accounts in the first place. Jennifer Wagner reflects, "as I took the time to digest this news I realized that I had placed myself in a box that I did not like." The Innovative Educator suggests that this will create opportunities for other educational service companies.