Early Guitars and Vihuela

A network for historic guitars and vihuelas

In late April Ning announced that free Ning Networks -- such as our Early Guitar and Vihuela network -- would be phased out and that Ning would instead concentrate their business on paying networks. This change will happen in July and will also affect the Lute and Cittern Ning networks, to which some of us also belong.

The Early Guitar and Vihuela network currently has over 350 members. At that membership level Ning will be offering two paid options -- one at $200 per year (Ning Plus) and one at $500 per year (Ning Pro). The way I read their language, that price would raise in subsequent years to perhaps $240/$600. More details on these two options can be viewed at:


The EGV administrators have been in contact with the Lute and Cittern groups and we have been considering a few options:

1) Keep the EGV network on Ning and subscribe at the Pro level for $50 per month. This level keeps the current functionality and allows video and music uploads.

Assuming that half of the membership were interested in a paid network, the fee (at this time) would be about $3.50 each. This could perhaps be paid through PayPal.

The Lute network creator, Danny Shoskes, has also suggested the idea of combining networks so we wouldn’t have to pay 3 different fees.

2) Keep the EGV network on Ning and subscribe at the lower Plus level for $20 per month. This lower level would continue access to current videos, but not allow further uploads.

3) Move to a different, free service.

Already mentioned within our discussions has been Spruz, Webs.com, and Grou.ps. I have started a test page on Grou.ps myself to look at their features. If anyone wishes to explore the grou.ps option you may go to:


The test site for the Lute network can be found at:

Administrators from the 3 networks are still sorting through capabilities and shortcomings. Please note that these test pages may be only temporary.

I think there is an advantage to keeping all three groups on the same network. I also like the idea of a free service.

Please feel free to add your comments and thoughts in the “Network Changes” forum.

-- Rocky

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Weii, free sites "sound" nice, but I'm not sure if the whole content of this current forum can be transfered safely.

So long as the subscription fee can be kept low (a few or several dollars per year), I would think it is safer and better to stay in this Ning network. Disk space consuming data like videos and images should easily be embedded from YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, etc, which would enable us to saty in the NIng Plus level as long as possible.
I think the resources and connections found in the early guitar group are very important so I don't mind paying a fee to help keep it up and running here. Where else can one get access to so many like minds and have close contact with so many guitarists and vihuela players with so much information?? I know of no other place.

I also belong to the Lute Group and Daniel set it up with a paypal donation button. Last I heard, after a few days, there were enough donations to pay a good portion of the yearly fee (I think that forum is at the $500.00 level).

As Rocky pointed out, it's a very small amount from each person that will keep us informed. If we all gave up one pint or designer coffee per year we'd have it more than covered.
I am strongly in favour of retention as is. Theoretically I favour a subscription, although I can see that there would an immediate, if temporary drop in menbership. In practice, I am currently attempting to join PayPal in order to subscribe to the Lute group; my sub to the cittern group was through older-fashioned methods. We ageing instrument-makers can find problems with technology!
If it can help to keep the group where it is, I wouldn't mind paying a fee of $1.10 each year. I would imagine that this amount is affordable for most people.
I recently graduated....money is scarce, and student loans and medical bills (I broke my back right after graduation) are rolling in......

But I'll still gladly pay $5 (throwing in some extra to cover those who are adamantly opposed to parting with $1.10 or are in more dire financial straights than myself) to keep this site going, as I still hold onto the hope of someday purchasing or making a vihuela....pop up that paypal button and I will make it happen....

-Adam C.
I am in favour of free service, if it's not possible I'd be willing to pay a fee.
Best Annemiek Postma
Thumbs up for the paid service! Such a small donation ($ 2-5 per year) shouldn't really restrain those who are genuinely interested in keeping this network going. I also like the idea of keeping it open (unlike the lute and cittern groups) to the casual (or not so, as the case may be) surfer or lurker - this may eventually incline them to join and participate in debates and exchange of information. So please set up a Paypal button, the sooner the better.
For my opinion, the best would be to unify both groups. I would also be ready to pay a nominal fee per year.
REgarding this nominal fee... What payment options would be available? Something like credit card or paypal could be a good option for me. I have bought sheet music from www.arshispana.com which provides a paypal and a credit card option and everything works just as expected. Remember that sending cheques, money orders, transfers and other similar approaches may not be so convenient considering that we are talking about a very small amount and that there are members -like me- in very distant places.
Credit card would be a welcome option in addition to paypal because the service charge for paypal costs too much (at least here in Japan) in relation to only several dollars for this forum.
I don't mind paying a small fee. A free service without the opportunity to post videos or sound files would be a real step down.



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