Banned From Ning

Badda Bing. Badda Boom. You’re outta here bub! Yep, I got the boot from Ning. However, I feel a need to set the record straight, from my perspective.

First having me on their site will not make or break Ning. It will live or die based on its own merits, not the loss of my membership. My Ning banning post was titled something like “Why Would One Get Banned on Ning” and written by Ambreen BN Administrator.

I would point you to the post, announcing my being banned, but I can’t find it on Ning. Imagine that. I was so confident that they would want to remember this day, I only recorded the link.


It is funny, because I was having breakfast yesterday with a couple friends after leaving Hospital Mae Lewis. At this breakfast, Ning came up as a topic and I learned that one of my friends had closed his account and his reasons were thought provoking. His concern was not knowing “who” was behind Ning and his personal information being secure. He said he knew Lee and trusted Lee. But he now had lost his trust.

I told him he may have just helped me figure out how to respond to an email I had received a few days earlier. I told him I felt I may follow suit, but wanted to think about it a little longer. I hate it act without thinking things through or in the heat of passion.

Following breakfast, I returned to my house and saw that Keith had made a short introductory post on Ning, where he revealed the name of a guest writer of a recent CC post. Instead on referencing the CC post, he chose to copy the entire post and then reference the link on Ning, where I had introduced the subject.

When I saw it, two things offended me. One, had the author desired her name be attached to the post, I would have included the name. The author had written it at my request and said I could post it, but would prefer, it be for information. She didn’t want me to include her name. I honored her request.

When I replied to Keith, I mentioned that material on CC is covered by the Creative Commons License and that Ning, being a commercial site, was in violation of that license. There was a couple more exchanges and Keith decided to remove the post and all of the comments. As far as I was concerned, the issue was closed. An innocent mistake on Keith’s part.

Some where during this exchange, Bonnie Williams responded on a different post on Ning related to the the Robbery and Shooting in Potrerillos Arriba, about the discussion on the now removed post. This caused a lot of confusion and many took it that I had my priorities out of whack because I was not concerned with the victim or the rise of crime in Chiriqui.

This conflict gave the new BN Administrator Ambreen, the justification to cancel my membership. No problem. He/She just beat me to the draw.

As I mentioned above, the breakfast meeting, had raised the question of whether I really wanted my private information in the hands of unknown people. Like my breakfast associate, I knew Lee. We didn’t always agree, but we respected the other’s point of view, when we didn’t agree.

As I also mentioned above, I had received an email from JLM and had been trying to decide how, what or if to reply.

OK. Ambreen’s announcement of my being banned made it easier to decide that the email should be replied to. It follows along with my thought’s as I read it. My thoughts will be in red. If you ignore that in red, you will have the original email.

Hello Don

I would like to introduce myself. (as you wade through this email, see if you find an introduction, because I missed it.) (I prefer this a private communique, as Boquete can be rough by a few as I see) Boquete is tough? Shoot, it is tough anywhere in the Internet, if you are willing to say who you are and what your beliefs are. Of course you can always be anonymous and avoid direct criticism)

Our team has received many link postings to your site seemingly expressing displeasure from your readership due to the changes we are making on Ning.  ( IE your Sept. 24th post and subsequent reply’s etc. )  (Actually, to be technically correct, your website received many referrals from Chiriquí Chatter, not your team. There was discussion on CC, because the discussion issues were being prohibited on Ning)

I thought it best to take a few minutes to clear up the “Chatter” issues which are a few in Boquete and surrounding areas. (when I created Chiriquí Chatter in 2003, I searched for a blog name that represented talking about Chiriquí. While I was living in Boquete, I felt that I didn’t want to limit myself to just Boquete. Hence, I came up with Chiriquí Chatter. You have chosen to take a swipe at the name by using the “gossip” definition as exhibited by your FAQ writeup. Being a systems engineer and mathematician by trade, I try to focus more in facts than gossip, but we can agree to disagree on that point)

We reviewed the Ning site in detail with Mr. Zeltzer long before his passing and most may not know this, he made it clear he was a lawyer by nature and was looking for ways to monetize Ning for the future.  His own post and ads always said as they do to this day  “Support our sponsors”  sponsors is income!  The misconception is that Lee allowed Ning as a free wheeling site, not true,  as I quote Lee’s own words,   ” The admins of this site will determine what constitutes a violation of the rules.  If you don’t like how Boquete.Ning is managed, please close your account and move on.  Your ”right to free speech” is not part of the deal here. ”    (Actually, my understanding, from talking to Lee in the past and Fran Hogan, is that the words you highlight and credit to Lee was actually written by Fran at Lee’s request. He had asked Fran if she would frame the thought as he was too busy at the time. He agreed with what she wrote and it remained. Second, there was never any misconception on my part that Ning was ever created as anything other than a revenue producing site by Lee and so stated in my analysis of Ning.

Freewheeling, maybe not, but Lee’s stated objectives were to have a site that was not burdened by censorship. Definitely a tough act to manage.)

I know I owe you no explanation, but I do want to straighten out misconceptions.   As for Ms. Hogan, (who I have never met), it was a trial so to speak to keep her on. We have our difference of opinions, posting a resignation to our readership base was a shot across the bow with hurtful intents with no forewarning to us.  We have / had every right to terminate the previous unpaid position she previously enjoyed. (You are correct, you owe me no explanation. However, I saw nothing in her resignation that I thought was worthy of being banned. You could have accepted her resignation and allowed her to be a contributing member. It is not easy to moderate a site. I may not always have agreed with Fran, but I thought she was always consistent and that is a quality that is needed in a moderator.)

Ning is moving in a super direction, thank you!  The tone without the diatribe’s of a few is spectacular for the base we wish to bring to Ning. Perhaps you & Fran can take that group on for your site, we wish you the best.   Fortunately as Lee stated, Ning is private and we guide and direct it as we please, just as you do with your site.  I am pretty certain if I or Ms. Hogan took shots at your site to harm, injure or defame, the delete button would ensue pretty quickly. (Actually, I can count on one hand and not use all of my fingers, the people that have been “banned from CC”. And that covers it s existence of 12+ years.)

We are moving forward to satisfy the majority of our base in accordance with our own policies, we owe nothing in return to the few who wish to focus on gossip and what we consider useless chatter (There’s that use of chatter in a negative light again.) among the few.  Ning is a community help, get along, like, share and interact with readers and members alike, the rest others can have and do as they like.  We wish them well.

We really like our new captain ( Keith Woolford)  and we really enjoy our new direction, perhaps we work together to help our neighbor in David versus “stealth” hurt one another.

We notice your postings on our site and as long as they are guided with ethics we encourage them. Alternatively, as Lee stated, we decide the deal here! (It looks like the new definition by Ambreen has been expanded to imply that Ning posts may not reference outside sites, and must be totally contained on Ning. Unfortunately, since Ambreen’s post is removed, no one can examine it.)

Maybe one day when I return to Boquete, we can meet up over a cup of coffee. (Yep, that’s not gonna happen I guess.)

I hope you respect my opinion.  I have read yours about us.

All the best in your endeavors.

JLM (Could this signature have been thought to be the introduction? Naw, I don’t think so.)

There rest is mine and not part of the email.

A few final comments. In my business career, I have had to negotiate many times with individuals that didn’t like me and that I didn’t care for. I always tried to find a way to defuse the differences and find the mutual areas of agreement. When I read this email, I didn’t see any attempt to find common ground. I saw it as non-veiled threats and antagonistic.

Well this concludes my announcement that I also am among the ranks of those who are gone from Ning. At first I felt slighted that I didn’t receive one of those slick Ning thingies that Fran and Jim and Nena received.

But then, I felt honored that I have received my very own dedicated post written by Ambreen BN Administrator. Then, even that was taken away from me. I was once again saddened.

It hit me. I had been struck by a new super fantastic technologically improved Boquete Ning Stealth Banning Beacon. Ah yes. The future is upon us.

Oh, I almost forgot.

All the best in your endeavors Bob JLM, whoever you are.

UPDATE: Just before I posted this “diatribe” this appeared in my inbox. I’ll just tack it on at the end, rather than rewriting everything above.

DRW Banned

31 thoughts on “Banned From Ning

  1. I can’t hit that ‘like’ button…I’ve never been a Ning reader but have been a follower of your blog for many years. Keep up the good work and thanks for all you do. I think maybe they did you a favor.

  2. I have asked to be deleted from Boquete.ning. I have no problem with getting “rid” of people that make life miserable. That’s NOT what we came here for.

  3. Sorry about your issue with .ning. Have rarely used it in past few years….but occasionally. I did know Lee, tho not well.
    Tried to find a way to remove myself from .ning but changed personal info and asked to be removed by ‘staff’. Based upon my rare usage, and only to help occasionally with questions asked be others, it won’t be missed by me, and I’m sure they won’t miss me either.

  4. I was banned by ning last week. no warning. the only reason i care at all is because i have now lost contact with my ning friends. the new owners are real jerks. they’re simply digging their own graves.

  5. Don Ray, perhaps you could reproduce your post that was deleted and to which I responded. That would put matters in better context than your explanation.

  6. Don Ray, Keith’s post that was deleted was in response to a post of yours raising the issue of use of proprietary material within the topic of Marion’s misfortune, which also was deleted. I answered but deleted my own post when the other two posts by you and Keith were gone. However, you responded to my post, and that was not deleted.

    I believe all these posts and responses were within the same thread, and I suspect that the subsequent posts critical of you were generated by your original post, not by any confusion. Your initial post was not deleted immediately; I saw it, so I feel sure others did as well. That is my perception of what occurred, and that was the post I hoped you had a copy of and could reproduce here to provide a better context for all succeeding posts. But, if you did not, we will have to rest on our differing perceptions of what happened.

  7. No, Bonnie, you are incorrect. Keith’s post had an introduction sort of stating that people might be surprised, but the author of the following was Marion Clamp. Then he copied the post content from and pasted it on Ning. It was the posting of the following that I took issue with. Here is a portion of what he copied and pasted.I am talking about a post, not a comment.

    Hospital Materno José Domingo de Obaldia, David – First Visit (Part 1)
    (Women and Children’s Social Security Hospital located in David, Chiriqui — entrance just before PriceSmart, on the right of the InterAmericano)

    Ladies, you might find some interesting information here and please don’t say “I have private insurance I would never go there”. I have private insurance but as it happens, the only hospital in this area that has the equipment and the knowledge for the particular procedure I require, is located at de Obaldia. My only other option is to go to Panama City, to a specialist, who has this equipment. Those specialists are not exactly in abundance – plus there is the cost to consider. Such a visit would entail – flight to Panama City and return (for one or, if you’re fortunate enough to have your spouse by your side, for two people), perhaps an overnight in a hotel, private transportation (I am old, I no longer “do” taxis, you never know what/who you will get) plus meals. If you have a morning appointment and want to return the same day, take a good book with you and be prepared for a long wait at Albrook Airport for the late afternoon flight returning to David. Or be prepared to pay substantially more for transportation to Tocumen to catch the Copa earlier afternoon flight which is scheduled to begin November.

  8. Keith Woolford initiated the conflict by violating copyright laws. He copied text from a source, posted it on ning, and was finally called on it, NOT by Don Ray but by someone else.

    Keith has a habit of copyright infringement, he takes material from other sources and posts it to ning without regard for due credit. He is consumed with being the center of ning to the point of having to pay for his way in. Only in a ning world would a used car salesman be held in such high regard.

  9. I’m with ya. I haven’t voluntarily resigned from Ning. Too easy. Instead I wrote posts I thought might get me ejected which would put me in good company. . . . you, Fran and others. The last thing I posted, just moments ago, is sure to do it for me. Heck, I”D boot me if I got a post like I just sent! LOLOLBwahahahaha

  10. I think the new “captain ( Keith Woodford)” is making more enemies then friends by giving you the boot. What goes around comes around,

  11. I stand corrected about the initial post. It is your response to this post that I am referring to. I believe your post, deleted along with Keith’s response and my response, was the source of other posts that questioned the appropriateness of raising a copyright issue within a topic devoted to Marion’s injuries and hospitalization. There certainly was nothing malicious in Keith’s reproducing Marion’s narrative from CC; I read it as demonstrating what a courageous, strong person Marion is for those persons who may not know her. If you felt that this impinged on your proprietary material, I and others suggest that this was not the place to raise that issue. But all this is water under the bridge now.

  12. We are obviously not going to agree. I never said his post was malicious. I said it was in violation of the licensing covering the material he copied and pasted on Ning.

    Had written his intro then directed readers to either the post I had on Ning, which went to CC or had just posted the link to the post in CC, there would have been no licensing violation.

    Here is the Creative Common’s page if you want to review it.

  13. I reviewed it previously, and it appears to be based on U.S. copyright law and of doubtful validity here. But even if you are correct about the misappropriation of proprietary material, it was a negligible matter compared to what happened to Marion and could and should have been addressed outside of the thread about her situation. Just my opinion.

  14. Ok Bonnie. We will agree to disagree about the copyrighted material. It never had anything to do with the seriousness of what happened to Marion.

  15. Just take care of your blog and forget about other people´s blogs. you do whateverr you want with yours and they do whatever they want with theirs. you have your right to boot someone and they do too. just a thought.

    just another personal thought. I participate less of your blog because it seems like everything is around yourself and that you get mad when we do not agree with you. There is a lot of good information that you provide, but also a lot of confusion about some information and a lot of compla and negative comments about how things are in Panama.

    Many times you talk with a person in some business or institution and inform about your experience, but it seems like either you didnt get the info well or the person didnt give the information well. for example issues about panamanian health care, legal, etc.

    about restaurants and food wonderful.

    lets be more constructive.

  16. Noris. Thanks for taking the time to comment. A couple points. Boquete Ning is not a blog, it is a one of the new social sites for the exchange of information.

    Second, I welcome all comments, whether in agreement or disagreement. The purpose of allowing comments is to issue that others can share their views or clear up misconceptions.

    Sometimes it is difficult when comments come in from individuals that don’t have English as their first language and their spell checker may be set in a different language. When that happens often their comments come in very difficult to understand.

    Luckily I have a good Panamanian doctor (from Chiriquí) that practices in California and always reads this blog. He has added many valuable observations to the healthcare discussions.

  17. Noris, el punto de un blog es permitir al propietario para escribir sobre lo que es interesante para él. Si otras personas encuentran interés en sus escritos, entonces pueden leer la información de forma gratuita. Don Ray no tiene que vender nada en su blog.

    Boquete ning vende espacio para publicidad. El interés de Ning es nunca decir nada malo de Panamá que podría alterar las personas que pagan por la publicidad. Panamá, como los EE.UU., no es una buena noticia.

    Uno de los propietarios de ning era utilizando la información del blog de Don Ray, una violación de la propiedad. Cuando esto se informó en Ning, su acción era eliminar Don Ray desde su página web. Ellos fueron sorprendidos robando lo sacaron Don Ray antes de que pudiera informar a sus lectores sobre el robo.

    Ning es erróneo.

  18. hi jim and nina, i lost contact with you when i was banned from ning. i made a fb page, The REAL Boquete. please join, if you’ve got a fb account.

  19. This still doesn’t contain the three posts that were deleted and that were the subject of the exchange between me and Don Ray. What you have cited in still on Ning.

    I suggest that we let this go. I believe everything has been said–more than once.

  20. I’m with you on this one. Even without your clearly posted copyright, it’s still your work and should be respected as such, and the wishes of someone who wants to remain private should also be respected. It sounds like your objection was taken as an effort to promote your blog. Oh well, another internet misunderstanding. I think all of us who blog or post photos or other things on line have had our work used without permission. It’s darn annoying for sure.

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