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SocialEngine: Looking Forward

Hey all,

Big, big things are going down at SocialEngine. I’m incredibly excited to announce that we are nearly ready to ship our next-generation community platform, SocialEngine 5. We’ve been working on this for nine months, and the SE5 release marks a major shift in our company’s direction, so please bear with my overly verbose explanation of how and why we are doing this.

SE4 has been, and continues to be, an interesting and challenging ride for our team. While it’s helped us grow as a company, it’s also clearly shown us that we haven’t been helping you all build communities in the best way possible. We’ve learned that offering SocialEngine as self-hosted PHP software ultimately results in a number of variables that we can’t easily control. Unusual server configs can result in speed issues, multiple third-party plugins don’t play nicely together, custom changes to the SE4 codebase interfere with updates – you get the idea. We’ve spent the last year updating SE4 and doing our best to account for all these variables, but we now know that the permutations are infinite, and it’s become harder for us to do what we really want to do: build new tools and features to help you create powerfully captivating online communities.

SocialEngine 5 is our solution. It’s an entirely new platform. Here some of the highlights:

  • We host SE5 for you. There’s no more software to install. Your community is hosted on cutting-edge Amazon cloud servers that have been perfectly tuned by our team to serve up your website with blazing speed. We maintain the servers and roll out software updates for you so you can focus on building your community. You can easily add your own domain name for no extra charge.
  • SE5 themes are much easier to customize. We give you a simple list of HTML templates and CSS that you can edit from your control panel or locally on your computer. No more hunting through nested directories to find the view scripts you need – just a simple, flat list of templates. Designers can easily create their own themes and upload them or sell them to others.
  • SE5’s features are boiled down to what we know brings people together around interests. We’ve stripped out most of SE4’s side-dish features and designed this platform to help your members focus on sharing and creating content within your community. Out of the box, SE5 lets you launch a community with microsharing and curatorial features similar to those found on increasingly popular interest-based networks like Reddit and Pinterest, but we’ll help you go way beyond that.
  • Upgrades will have little to no impact on your customizations. We’ve separated the code that powers your community from your front-end theme so we can easily fix bugs and roll out updates in the background.
  • SE5 will make your community more open to the world. We are opening as many doors as possible to mainstream social channels like Twitter, Facebook, and Disqus. SE5 will pull and push content to and from these channels, making it much easier to draw new members into your community. Of course, if you prefer to keep your site private, that’s also built-in.
  • We’ll release an API to give you unlimited creative control. A data API means you’ll be able to extend any part of SocialEngine’s functionality with your own code. You’ll also be able to host your site on your own server while simply pulling your community data from ours. With our API, SocialEngine truly becomes a social engine in the most fundamental sense. We’ll have clear API docs and kits to help third-party developers rapidly build new add-on products.

So what about SE4? Are we just going to abandon it? Hell no! SE4 is our bread and butter, and we’ll continue to sell and support it because we know that a hosted solution simply isn’t an option for some, and sometimes it just makes sense to have the entire codebase on your own server. SE4 already works really well for many people, so it’s here to stay. Our SE4 team will continue to optimize and improve the codebase and SE4 clients will be eligible for a very substantial discount if they decide to upgrade to SE5 in the future.

On August 20th, we’ll spin up a SE5 beta community and open it to a small group of SE4 site owners. Let us know in the comments below if you’re interested in joining and giving us feedback on the beta. The goal is to get your feedback and bug reports on the basic features in SE5. After the beta, we’ll turn this site into a public resource for community builders everywhere.

Here are a few SE5 screengrabs that I hope will get you as excited as we are!

These are the two very basic themes we are rolling out with the SE5 launch. “Board” is great for photo-sharing and curation. “Stream” is great for communities that are focused on link-sharing and ranking. Both are deliberately simple to make it easier for you to customize your layout. We’ll be creating many other stock themes in the near future, some of which will more closely resemble the layout and feeds in SE4.

Making content sharing insanely easy is one of our top priorities as we build out SE5. We’ve already created a bookmarklet “share it” button. Members can drag this button to their browser’s bookmarks bar and click it anytime they want to instantly share a link with your community.

SE5 will help you learn more about your community and its members. We’ve already added some useful charts and analytics to help you track your growth.

Please hit us hard with your questions and comments below and I’ll personally answer as many as I can. We know that SE5 won’t be perfect for everyone, but it will ultimately solve the issues some people encounter with SE4 and bring us one big step closer to fulfilling our mission: to help you create and activate your unique online community.

447 Comments

  1. aymeen
    Posted August 14, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    thanks very match , i hoppea tested it please , because i will upgrade .

    thanks

  2. Nagendra
    Posted August 14, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    1. Means no need to maintain separate servers any more.
    2. If we need to goto separate hosting is it possible.
    3. There is no more third party apps.

    Ok Thank you for you work.

  3. Posted August 14, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    1. That’s correct. We’ll take care of all the hosting needs by default.
    2. Once we release our data API, you’ll be able to host your SE5 site on your server too. Until then, you can still host SE4 on your own server.
    3. Actually there should be many, many more third-party apps – just not right away. Third-party developers will be free to build apps much more easily on our SE5 API, rather than having to create code packages that plug into our SE4 package manager. SE5 themes are even easier to create and you’ll be able to upload custom ones right when we launch.

  4. Posted August 14, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    you’re very welcome!

  5. Posted August 14, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    Hi Alex –

    As an existing customer on SE4, I would be very interested in testing SE5. You can contact me through my Disqus profile or if you prefer it, just let me know of another way to get on your list for the Beta. I’ll definitely give you a lot of feedback with the hope to improve what you already have.

    I’ll also list some questions on a later comment here, but want to structure it a bit before posting it :-)

    Best,
    – Julien

  6. Posted August 14, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Awesome! Really appreciate it Julien. Fire away when ready.

  7. khalid
    Posted August 14, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    I am in.

  8. Osei
    Posted August 14, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    so does existing se clients get se5 or we have to pay

  9. TK
    Posted August 14, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Great news! I have some questions here:

    1. What about migration from SE4? or SE3? Is that possible? and how would it will be like?
    2. Can we still have language translation? My site isn’t English.
    3. So there will be like monthly subscription plan for using SE5, right?

    Thanks!

  10. Max Liebermann
    Posted August 14, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    Hi, will you be able to transfer the content of the SE4 to the new platform, and will you be able to use your own domain name. And the the main question, how much will it cost, your hosting and setup, particular for your regular paid customers, special like myself a very recent customer. Will it be like a Ning type platform? Sounds good to me, sign me up, Max Liebermann DHStoday.com

  11. Posted August 14, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Now this is very interesting.
    I need to test the SE5 beta. Please put me in that list to try it out.

    One thing i am not sure about, when you mean hosting with you, means we can forego our hosting plans and go with you? How much would that cost?
    Kindly let us know…
    Arigi

  12. Posted August 14, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    It’s very exciting to be finally showing this off! The SE engineers have created something truly exciting. There were many moments where I wanted to leak what they were working on! Can’t wait till the private beta! :)

  13. maxumd
    Posted August 14, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Hi, i am a happy SE4 customer , onplays.com , i would be very interested in testing SE5, please. And thanks for yours great job!

  14. Posted August 14, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    Hi Alex –

    Please find below the first questions that came to mind, numbered for ease of reply. The new direction is great, as social curating is definitely an important trend. The most important questions I think would be to get a very rough guestimate on your side as to when the first 3rd-party plugins will become available to beef-up the features offered and if any migration path for SE4 data is envisioned. These 2 questions are really critical for product planning of any site running SE4 at the moment :-)

    For the SE5 beta, please contact me at jln followed by my domain name paleoresources.com; I’m looking forward to providing some early feedback :-)

    Timeframes
    Q1: Would it be possible to get very rough timeframes, in terms of quarters, with the understanding that all this is very speculative at this point. It would still help to know when you guestimate the points below will become available in terms of Q1 2013, Q4 2012, etc..
    – SE5 public launch
    – SE5 data API released to third-party devs
    – First real plugins from third-party developers publicly released
    – First additional features added to the native SE5 platform

    Third-party Devs & Plugins
    Q2: Have any 3rd-party devs been notified of this news or even involved? (important to anticipate how quickly they’ll get up to speed)
    Q3: Do you envision dedicating resources to help 3rd-party devs bring plugins to SE5 asap after public launch?
    Q4: Is there any new limitations placed on 3rd party devs by the use of the data API compared to what they are able to do now? If yes, could you give some examples of existing plugins that would not be possible with the new architecture, so we can get a rough idea?

    Migration Paths envisioned from SE4
    Q5: For the core data (members, posts, likes, etc), is it planned/contemplated/not planned?
    Q6: For data from 3rd-party plugins, will your API enable them to provide migration paths for their plugin data?
    Q7: Will SE4 be phased in maintenance and optimization mode only, or do you still envision adding a few features?

    Core Features
    You mentionned essentially 2 features that would be available at launch microsharing and curatorial features, with more to come.
    Q8: Could you share what you have in mind in terms of additional features and rough timeframes (ie more like a few months after SE5 launch, or a year later)?
    Q9: How is mobile use taken into account?

    Website customizations
    Q10: Is the intent to provide a tool to build very customized websites, or is it a shift to provide a more limited pplatform as Ning was?
    Q11: Will there be any restrictions in the Javascript that we can use to get analytics, A/B testing, etc.?
    Q12: Will email notifications be as customizable as they are now (ie 3rd-party plugins can create new notifications type, etc.)?
    Q13: Will there be any restrictions as to how we can use email notifications? (important, as email notifications are a great and efficient trigger to increase site activity)
    Q14: Will it still be possible to customize all wording to really create an ad-hoc site?
    Q15: What is your plan re localization in languages other than english?

    Monetization
    Q16: Will there be any restrictions on monetization options compared to SE4?

    Amazon Cloud hosting
    Q17: What about CDN support, either optional or built-in? (important for sites with a worldwide user base)

  15. rzhuk
    Posted August 14, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    As an existing customer on SE4 sinci April 2011, I would be very interested in testing and upgrade SE5
    http://www.buddyties.com

  16. SmartphoneTabletNews
    Posted August 14, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Happy to be a beta tester. Can you give us a rough estimate of cost – upgrade to SE5 and monthly fee’s?

  17. taz
    Posted August 14, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    I’m in too

  18. Posted August 14, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    Great news! HTML themes and API ! I hope we’ll see the API soon and we would like to be a beta tester too :)

  19. Posted August 14, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    Glad to see you will keep supporting SE4 hopefully for a good long time. From my stand point as a system engineer I am not a fan of companies hosting and controlling what I pay for mainly because I don’t share the same ideas many business do. I do hope SE5 works out well and it sounds like you have a good platform you are going to be going with. I would be curious if you are going to release data specs of what the systems are hosted on and maybe an insight look into what you are designing in the back-end, my engineering mind always loves to see things like this.

    I did just notice on another comment that the data API will allow hosting on other servers that might tickle my interest when this comes around and I would be interested in testing your systems. Some question I am curious to see if you are able to answer would be.

    What type of backup levels and/or models are you looking to offer for sites and will this be an additional cost.
    What type of speed protection might you offer, I know Amazon has built in DDoS protection and cloudflare.com is a great option for many people looking for something simple to handle some nulling of DDoS.
    Will sites be on a shared hosting pool of servers or you going with a cluster of servers with sites being on their own ‘virtual server’ in a sense in a major cluster for the best performance?
    What type of security measures will you put in place to control security of the sites and other content that is hosted, I have huge issues with companies compliance and disaster recovery plans and that is the biggest worry when it comes to a 3rd party hosting a production site.

    I’m sure I’ll have more down the road so it will be interesting to see where you all with this and best of luck I hope it works out well I am a big support of SE and your products haven’t drove me away after almost 2 years now :).

  20. Posted August 14, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    The API roll-out will be our top priority after the initial SE5 launch, and we’ll document it clearly. Can’t wait to see what everyone builds on it!

  21. Posted August 14, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    SE5 will be offered on a monthly subscription basis, so you will have to pay, but we will be offering a major discount to SE4 clients.

  22. Posted August 14, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    Looks great, our congratulations! We’ll glad to check SE5 in action and provide feedback(bug-fixes, suggestions, etc)

  23. Posted August 15, 2012 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    Excellent, we look forward to it!

  24. Posted August 15, 2012 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    We are still discussing pricing internally and it will depend to an extent on how we see cost scale with usage on the beta. We will announce this soon, though. SE5 will be very affordable – comparable to many mid-shelf hosting plans. The upgrade from SE4 will give you several months free of SE5, details to come soon.

  25. Posted August 15, 2012 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    Thanks Maxumd!

  26. Posted August 15, 2012 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    Pricing is still being discussed and we’ll know after the SE5 beta. But yes, you will no longer need to pay for hosting from another provider! Later on, when we roll out our data API, you can choose to host your SocialEngine site on your own server if you prefer, but it’s no longer required.

  27. Posted August 15, 2012 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    Cool dude!

  28. Posted August 15, 2012 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    Good questions.

    1. Migration from SE4 will be possible, but not immediately at launch. We’ll develop a migration script that will let you import your core member data, but it may not be possible to move absolutely all of your SE4 content to SE5.

    2. Our beta currently doesn’t have multi-language support, but we know this is a needed feature and we’ll work on including it with the launch or in an update shortly after.

    3. That’s right, SE5 will be billed on a monthly subscription basis.

  29. Juanchosilverado
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    I would like to try the beta also :)

  30. CB
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    I’m a current customer with SE4 and would love to test SE5.

  31. gianfranco
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    I would be happy to try SE5

  32. MBA
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    I run a huge portal ( HUGE ) on SE 3. Can you consider upgrading it to se5 :) . This looks like a very lucrative option.

    Thanks.

  33. Merce
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    Shall we pay monthly if we keep SE5 in our servers too?
    What about all money spent on SE4 third-party plugins, shall we start from zero?

  34. Posted August 15, 2012 at 1:01 am | Permalink

    You’ll still need to pay monthly if you’re hosting your SE5 site since it will be powered by our API. The API will send/receive community data two and from your server, meaning that you can host your own theme and extensions, but you’re still using the SE5 service. Unfortunately most SE4 third-party plugins won’t immediately be compatible with SE5, but we’ve made the new platform much easier to develop on, and we’ll be rolling out docs and kits to help developers make new products for it. That said, if you’re happy with the site you’ve built and the plugins you’ve already added, consider keeping it the way it is – the choice is yours!

  35. Richard Rashed
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    Please add me to the beta list, I worked as a beta tester for many applications so this should be an interesting task for me.

  36. Evgeny
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    A quick question. Have you told about the migration of existing SE4 sites. Mine is having 500 users and growing daily and I will be glad to be able to migrate the existing site to the new platform at some point.

  37. Posted August 15, 2012 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    Awesome! How many members?

    With the data API, you should be able to run an import. But honestly, we won’t be building an import script for SE3 near the initial launch. We’ll do what we can to help though!

  38. Posted August 15, 2012 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    We will be working on an SE4 import script shortly after the launch. Congrats on the awesome traction!

  39. Posted August 15, 2012 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    looking forward to your feedback!

  40. Posted August 15, 2012 at 1:45 am | Permalink

    Really excited to see the SE5 , we are running http://www.creativecrowd.in in SE4 and hosting this in AWS already , i was wondering can we get SE5 , i mean can we upgrade the same in exiting AWS server ?

    Also i am interested to get the access in SE5 beta version

    Cheers and all the best to SE team.

    Rakesh

  41. Posted August 15, 2012 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    This sounds exiting, Alex! As developers we will be interested to play with early release. So we will have few our plugins and themes ready for SE5 release.

  42. StarsDeveloper.com
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 2:14 am | Permalink

    Congratulation, Looks amazing.
    We’ll be happy to test SE5 and provide feedback.

  43. alex
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 2:18 am | Permalink

    Is there nor option to self host SE5??? I dont want my data in AWS…

  44. Surbma
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 2:52 am | Permalink

    Fantastic idea. This is the future, I’m sure. Please add me to beta testers also! Can’t wait to switch my SE4 site to SE5.

  45. Posted August 15, 2012 at 3:06 am | Permalink

    We will definitely give third-party devs the earliest access possible!

  46. Posted August 15, 2012 at 3:08 am | Permalink

    If you choose to host SE5 with us, we’ll host you on our AWS servers. If you use our data API when it is released later, you’ll be able to self-hosted on your AWS server. Nice implementation, btw!

  47. Posted August 15, 2012 at 3:10 am | Permalink

    There won’t be an option to totally self-host SE5, at least data-wise. That’s why we are continuing to support SE4 – it’s the best option for community builders that need to have their site entirely self-hosted.

  48. Posted August 15, 2012 at 3:12 am | Permalink

    Quick questions sounds fantastic! You say you will host SE5 on your servers? But what happens if we don’t want to move onto your servers and will quite happily) own host.?

  49. Posted August 15, 2012 at 3:14 am | Permalink

    please add me also to the beta list thanks

  50. Bruno
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 3:17 am | Permalink

    Hi All,

    Congratulations
    for the with the pursue of improvements regarding the SE5 but:

    1) What
    about site translation with SE5 any particularly improvement ?

    2) but mostly,
    as an European many are concerned about personal date being stored outside Europe
    that is in the USA, event with the API “You’ll also be able to host your site
    on your own server while simply pulling your community data from ours” it is
    not good for personal data protection.

    Personally
    I will stay with SE4, because I mentioned to my members that as a social
    network I care for their personal data that will remains on European servers
    unlike facebook and twitter.

    Good
    day.

  51. Posted August 15, 2012 at 3:18 am | Permalink

    Much appreciated.. But i hope i am in the list for beta testing. Would love to test and see how it goes…

  52. Posted August 15, 2012 at 3:20 am | Permalink

    okay but when u release for the other clients so we can host it on our own servers would we to pay an upgrade fee or would it be free like when we upgraded from se3 to se4

  53. Posted August 15, 2012 at 3:40 am | Permalink

    yes same here! i happy hosting my own server, think there will be lot ppl who wont upgrade if this is true!

  54. Posted August 15, 2012 at 3:56 am | Permalink

    Thats a good move too, I must say, I dont think every one would want to you hosting their data. A lot of builders chose SocialEngine in the first place because of the option to completely self host. Its partly why you stand out. Personally I think Se 5 would be awesome, and would like to join the beta test. But then again, SocialEngine would make the most impact maintaining 4 along side 5. All the best for the months to come.

  55. Ed Clarke
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 3:56 am | Permalink

    Sounds great, I have 2 sites running SocialEngine 4. I did go through some painful patches with hostgator to get the optimum performance with the dedicated server they provided. I would love to be a beta tester to compare performance and usability. One question that has been on many of my members minds would be: when a user makes their album private, members are still able to see the thumbnails of the album. As my site is a Naturist/Nudist site, member privacy is top priority. Do you know if this will be covered in SE5? I was thinking maybe a thumbnail saying “friends only” or Private could be used in place for members that are not friends with the publisher. Just a thought.
    http://naturistcommunity.com
    http://entertainerscommunity.com

  56. Ed Clarke
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 3:58 am | Permalink

    That would be good. My sites are pretty much comprised of SE and your plugins – Top support from your team, many thanks

  57. Dan
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:52 am | Permalink

    SocialEngine goes Corporate….

    This has been one of my greatest fears to happen to the SocialEngine company/platform, sound like SocialEngine is going to be another Ning.com, am I right?

    Choosing this path will make SE mainstream and soon there will be zillions more of the same communities providing more of the same. SocialEngine and their third-party developers will eventually drop SE4 or at least give allot less focus and attention to it, spending more time on SE5 and plugins, same what happened to SE3.

    Why haven’t you guys communicate this towards your customers nine months ago? Having spend over $14000 and counting on customizations and plugins over the last year makes me one of the more serious customers using SocialEngine.

    I know you guys like to serve the big crowd and make lots more money, so do I but this is certainly not helping my business going forward, I think, please prove me wrong!

    I’ve had my debacle betting on the wrong horse(dzoic.com) years ago please don’t let this be another fiasco……

    Anyway sign me up for beta testing SE5 I think I have earned that right.

    P.S. Please clarify some of the comments mentioned above,

  58. Posted August 15, 2012 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Hi Here, first Gongr for this step. it realy need’s balls.
    Good and positive updates anyway. Data API Theme List File would be excelent for developers.
    Which mean we can code easy and make cool things for our new SE5 Engine.

    Don’t forgot also on SE5, still some poeple want self host SocialNetwork. Also alot of the same have made a a big investment, so the supporting SE4 is a great idea.

    I would like to be in persons which first try the SE5 and my honor to be to report bugs/suggest ideas and so on. I’ll be ready for some Cool Themes! :)

    Keep up with good work!
    Regards,
    Dulisha.com | GreenEngine

  59. paak
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    i am very much interested, please add me as well to the beta list

  60. sebas
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    I do not see our site switching to SE5 anytime soon, so my biggest concern is about new features implemented in SE4. Lately the number of new features implemented have been very few. I.E. I would be quite interested about the bookmarklet option to share links. So my question is, will you keep on supporting SE4 for bug fixing only or you will add new features as well?

  61. Posted August 15, 2012 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Could you provide some more information about the API and the difference between developing modules for se4 and se5? From the admin dashboard screenshot it looks like that there wont be an option to add anything more than css and html to the script. Correct me if l’m wrong. So the API only pulls and pushes data from database?

    Also i hope that there will an option to include external resources like JS scripts to the themes.

  62. Jane
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Hi guys and congrats on the exciting news!

    My site has over 42 000 members. I currently use SE4.

    Once the migration script is ready would it be possible to import all of my members and their details to SE5 without loosing their information like photos, videos, music etc?

    Thanks,

    Jane (http://www.GayGirlNet.com)

  63. Anton
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Hi SocialEngine Team,

    Kindly receive our best wishes and congratulations for this new release!
    We’re looking forward to be beta-testers, excited to go through and see how does it work out.

    Best,
    Anton and the whole crew,
    SocialEngineMarket.com.

  64. Anton Pashchenko
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Hi SocialEngine team,

    Best wishes for your new release and congratulations from our team!
    Sign us in as beta-testers, we’re excited to go through the release.

    Best,
    Anton and SocialEngineMarket.com Team.

  65. Anton Pashchenko
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Hi SocialEngine Team,

    Congratulations with the new release!
    We’re looking forward to become one of beta-testers, excited to go through it.
    Let us know how we can subscribe?

    Anton and the crew of
    SocialEngineMarket.com

  66. Posted August 15, 2012 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Great for SE, not so good for the SE community. As much as it’s a pain with support, people want to self host everything. People pay for full/part service hosting when they want to transfer the risk of support and upgrades. SE is great value for money with a single investment, but I can’t see how site owners can maintain this following this model. It also means (and has meant) that development in SE4.X will slow down – which is really disappointing. People will need to align their business models with SE5’s monthly charges.

    Having moaned – I would still be really interested in taking part in any beta.

  67. Ward
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    //// You’ll also be able to host your site on your own server while simply pulling your community data from ours. ///// …. Your network is your net worth, and I don’t know about you Alex, but I’m not into sharing my net worth with a 3rd party company only to be charged monthly for MY data. Please explain more in detail.

    And is this API / core going to be customizable? Meaning we can branch off from you and go on our own. SE4 has taken way too long and man of us can’t afford to wait another 3 years of beta testing another platform.

  68. Shawn
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Please count me in as one of the beta testers. Pretty excited about this!

  69. Merce
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    I feel betrayed, you knew the above, 9 months ago and you didn’t say anything. I come from Elgg and Joomla + JomSocial fiasco because I was always arranging and changing many things in order to improve my “hobby” site.

    When I saw your community platform I thought that my nightmare finally has arrived to an end. I felt very excited with SE, and hopped with the idea to set up my dreamed website, I spent much money buying SocialEngine, plus many many plugins from SocialEngineAddons and others, and it took me also quite many weeks to translate everything to my language Spanish. But I always thought that all the effort would be worth it.

    All the plans I had for my website counted on SE4 third-party plugins, I did also a big effort to find a hosting company that met the demanding SE requirements, but now all that, have no sense, because soon or later I will have to start from the beginning, wait some months and paying a lot more if I want to have all the third-party plugins upgraded to SE 5, in case I am lucky and they wish upgrading all their plugins.

    So I don’t like the idea of viewing my website ripped up into shreds without its third-party plugins, I don’t like the idea of having to pay a monthly fee, I don’t like the idea of having my website hosted in a tying cloud I want to be an independent plant, not a branch of anyone.

    And the worst of all, How can I trust on you? What will be the next tying surprise?

  70. Anton Pashchenko
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Hi SocialEngine crew,

    Count us in. Excited to go through.
    And congratulations with the release!

    Best,
    Anton.
    SocialEngineMarket.com

  71. Posted August 15, 2012 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    I’m not really sure how I feel about all this. I mean, I get excited when updates roll out, and even with the frequent missteps, I sincerely believe you guys are working hard and have your users best interest in mind which, is why I have been a user since SE3 and happily migrated to SE4 -losing a lot of data along the way and having to rebuild so much. But now SE5, which I have been expecting, is here and as excited as I am about the great new features and capabilities you are surely going to work into it, I am left wondering how hard my pocket is going to be hit by this, how much more rebuilding am I going to have to do? And to top it all off, I potentially have another monthly bill to pay? Can you please tell us, what makes SE5 different from NING? What possibilities are there/what efforts are you making, to allow users to migrate all the plug-ins we have purchased for SE4 to this new platform? What would be the total monthly cost -including any one-time fees if any- for current SE4 users if we decide to go with the complete SE5 package and serve everything with you? There are so many questions, hopefully you can answer these, and maybe you can answer more in a future post. Oh and please, sign me up for the beta, I’m not giving up on you guys.

  72. David
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    I’m excited to see what you’ve been up to. Please sign me up for the SE5 BETA.

    How long do you plan on being in BETA? Any chance that I could launch an SE5 site in October?

    Hope you’re having fun at TechStars!

  73. Posted August 15, 2012 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    I wish to be a beta tester, I have 3 years experience with SE3 and SE4 and 8 years experience with Facebook and great experience in social media, owner of http://madinah.com

  74. molecular
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    I will be staying with SE4. After upgrading from SE3 to SE4 I lost a lot of data and rebuilding time. I wish SE all the best in this business model. I chose SE in the first place over others because of flexibility. Having the opportunity to host your site on your own server is the best way. You are truly independent. After all, how much will it cost? Having SE to host will mean incremental fees time to time. I hope the latest version of SE works well after all the bugs fixes.

  75. Colin
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Please include me in the SE5 beta. I have 4 SE4 sites and am very interested in this interesting development

  76. jkstech
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Hmmm, would we be able to migrate our settings form 4 to 5 if we wanted to? All of our data and members as well? Or would we have to start a new community? I would be interested in testing it out for sure, hopefully a lot of my concerns with se4 have been addressed. What kind of uptime can be expected with se5? Like many, I chose SE to host on my own server so SE5 would have to be pretty amazing to be considered.

  77. Posted August 15, 2012 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Bad move i think, i don’t like the idea about be the same like ning …

  78. brian
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Damn, I always prayed for this not to happen, I guese ish happens. Social engine was mainly the number one choice for social networkers because of the independence, and the fact that its practically your own social network. Hosting Se5 on se domains harm us majorly but are probably beneficial to SE. Basically SE is now a ning.com or like a facebook page. Good to see SE is thinking big and trying to become multy millionares, but this will harm the SE consumer. Im probably going to stick to SE4

  79. ShaunHarding
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    First, let me say that SE5 isn’t another Ning. Being a white label product has been one of the major features of SocialEngine, and we’re planning to keeping it. Our data API will be read/write, so it will be possible to host your SocialEngine site off server, while we make sure your data can be accessed in the fastest ways possible. For clients who want to keep their sites on server, we’re making it possible to use their own domain names, so that it will really be their community and not just a SocialEngine site.

    One of the main goals of SE5 has been to address some major problems that we had in previous versions, and the best way to do this en masse is for us to take a more hands on approach. One of the biggest issue we’ve had with previous versions that we’ve been able to address in SE5 has been performance. SE5 is many orders of magnitude faster than previous versions — it’s really really fast — and part of the reason for this is that we have full control over our servers. We’re no longer limited to just PHP & MySQL with varying configurations from hosting provider to hosting provider. We can use C, C++, Node.js and a bunch of other technologies when we need to, without requiring anyone to compile code. We’re able to address the big problems for everyone, allowing them to focus on what matters most, developing their online communities.

    Keep in mind that SE4 is here to stay. We know that SE5 won’t be for everyone, and we’re still going to be actively working on SE4 as well as SE5.

    Lastly, we haven’t been keeping SE5 a secret on purpose. We’ve spent the last few months discussing features, researching technologies, building, testing and after months of hard work, we can finally show something. SE5 is now a real product, and not just in office conversation. It isn’t finished yet. We still have lots to do, and we’re looking forward to all of the feedback everyone will be providing in the coming weeks :).

  80. Carlos
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Hi. I don’t think the intention here is clearly articulated and confuses me and others a whole lot. Rather than saying SE5 is an upgrade, why not call it something else be-it-that another product to serve a different purpose. SE5 seems like a competing product or similar product like Ning.com whereas SE4 is serving a different purpose. I see two product offerings here, not an upgrade. Correct?

  81. Anton Pashchenko
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Heh, sorry for such a number of emails, i thought it should be added at the top of the thread. :)

  82. ShaunHarding
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    1) We’re actually still working on this one. Personally, I’m not satisfied with how translation was done in SE4 and myself and some of our developers are trying to figure out how to keep it fast. We’ll let you guys now as soon as we’ve got this nailed :).

    2) That’s totally fair, and this is one of our concerns as well. This is partly why we’re keeping SE4 around. We want SocialEngine communities to be client owned. Your data is your data and it will stay that way. For anyone who choses to go with the hosted platform, their data won’t be used for anything other than their own networks. Definitely would love to hear some of your thoughts on this during the beta :).

  83. ShaunHarding
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    No. SE5 won’t be a Ning or Facebook page. Totally not what we’re aiming for at all. SE5 is still SocialEngine, we just want to remove some of the big barriers that come with building large online communities. Just about everything in an SE5 site can be customized, except the application logic — our data API will allow you to enhance application logic though — down to the domain name. You won’t even see our domain name in the rendered HTML source code. We’re going to stay true to the product and remain white label, while reducing the difficulties involved with growing your online communities.

  84. SolutionResponse
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Hi. I don’t think the intention here is clearly articulated and confuses
    me and others a whole lot. Rather than saying SE5 is an upgrade, why
    not call it something else be-it-that another product to serve a
    different purpose. SE5 seems like a competing product or similar
    product like Ning.com whereas SE4 is serving a different purpose. I see
    two product offerings here, not an upgrade. Correct?

  85. Posted August 15, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Thanks Alex , looking for your beta test invitation

  86. Ty
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    So what we have here is NING pt 2, I left Ning to have my own community hosted on my own server and under my control. I am glad to hear SocialEngine 4 will not be abandoned I poured too much into that. Despite what I have read this is too NING like to me, I was on Ning and one of the aspect that I hated is their control over my data and my members.
    That being said I would still like an invite to look it over.

  87. molecular
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    The same way you can use your own server to build large community I truly believe the same can apply for customers to have that in their own servers. The point of all that is driven by money and we all know it. you will have to charge a premium for hosting and that premium will continue to go up where sites owners will have little control. The point of choosing SE was to be independent and free. I truly believe you guys need not to call this an upgrade. In reality it is a new product in its own. However, I wish you guys good luck. I am staying with SE v4.

  88. Michael R (Wird0)
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    First of all its always good to see a update coming and congrats with the announcement.

    As a European customer im not jumping my seat to host in another continent. However im curious how u will be rolling the API out and even more curious how the code will look so im waiting until i see the total site and offers u will make until i make my final decision.

    As a professional software tester i am willing to help with testing the beta if my time lets me.
    This not only helps u but them i am also going to see if i like this model.

    Will we be able to have different hosting packages to choose from ore is it 1 option for all? Can u tell us more details about this?

    Good luck in the coming months.

  89. socialtime
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    here is my privacy concern. my site i will hosted anywhere i want. its 100% not acceptable.

  90. Posted August 15, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Interested in Testing SE5 even if I’ll with some project on SE4. What about reseller programs for our customers?

  91. Ted
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    I would be interested in being part of the beta. I basically see the cost associated with a monthly subscription taking the place of costs associated with my current hosting provider. My question is in regards to having multiple SE licenses. First, can we upgrade one and not the other? Second, will each license be charged the same monthly subscription rate? Or, will there be a discount if you have multiple licenses? I would need to see the monthly subscription fees before making a decision but if they equate to my current hosting fees, and if I am charged for each license, I would clearly stick with SE4 and host it on my own.

  92. Monks
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    SocialEngine is going to be another Ning.com i agree with that

  93. dantemarinho
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations, I would like to participate in testing the SE5.

  94. Monks
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    We need more Ajax in SE4/ if you compare ajax photo viewer/video viewer likes comments etc all are amazing at phpfox as compared to SE

  95. jerkski
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    **Prospective Customer** Funny, I just came across SE4 and was amazed at what it can do, especially with the developer community out there. Anyways, thanks to this blog, I am now hesitant to purchase SE4, and/or wait for SE5. The reason I came across your software is because I was looking for a self-hosted social network where I don’t have to pay monthly fees. I already have a slew of websites hosted at a co-located datacenter, so I don’t need hosting.

    Will SE5 eventually lead to neglect/demise of SE4? Would you consider creating a developer version of SE5 for those of us who would like to host our own? This way at least your company can retain an even larger audience. Otherwise, unfortunately I’m going somewhere else.

  96. Monks
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    SocialEngine 5 = Ning.com

  97. Posted August 15, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Very interested :)

  98. Monks
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Alex you are hiding alot more features from SE4 why i understand now so you can release with so called hosted SE5?

    what about the ajax in photo album/video viewers and API your company promised to release for SE 4? why we have to buy 3rd party plugins for these little features? why you can’t build? or add?

    Not happy with SE5 at all

  99. Rose
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Hi all!
    I don’t know what to say…. We left Ning to Social Engine 3 and since then we upgraded to SE4 and spent a lot of money in third party plugins and customization. Let’s see and test
    Will the SE5 beta be launched with all SE basic plugins? If so…please count us on

  100. Melvin Quinones
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Good bye socialengine. I could have just gone with ning.com or socialgo.com years ago, but instead spent thousands of dollars in software to have full control of my community. After reading this I am convinced that I need to migrate to PHPFOX, which is actually faster and runs better than socialengine. I am disappointed in myself for believing SE could offer me a long term solution.

  101. m4i1b0x
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Bad news … I would like to host my data with me and not with you. I prefer to change phpfox.com.

  102. oboy
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    what make you assume you will not have to pay AWS usage (hosting)? Way I see it one should be ready to pay:

    SE monthly licenseAWS monthly usage (will there be padding?)SE monthly supportsnew SE modules and SE custom coding

  103. Nick
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    I’m sticking with SE4, nothing wrong with it, although I wish SE4 had the Amazon hosting too. Please add it!

  104. Fred
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    This company has a history of doing this. They started out with a blogging platform a few years back, got people in, promised upgrades and never delivered. They moved onto SE instead. Now they’ve got Se 4 – they say they’ll support it – but you’ll find it will be quickly abandoned for SE5!

  105. Charles
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Gat my eye on Hire-Experts.If its good for them,am in..Have their popular plugins on my SE4 :)

  106. Mohamed
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    I like the SE5 idea and am interested in joining the beta please.

  107. Posted August 15, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    As Alex stated in his blog post we realize that SE5 will not be for everyone and we will still continue to improve upon and support SE4 as it continues to grow in popularity.

  108. Posted August 15, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    SocialEngine 4 will continue to be improved and supported while letting you keep 100% control over where it is hosted.

  109. Posted August 15, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    SocialEngine 4 will only continue to get better over time. Lessons learned during the development of SocialEngine 5 will help us make both products even more awesome in the coming months.

  110. Mohamed
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Everyone welcome the new Ning.com!

  111. Posted August 15, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Beckie, fully appreciate your concerns and you have valid points. We’ll continue to improve and refine SE4 for everyone that still wants to self-host. Development on SE4 will continue at the same speed – we actually have two separate product teams and the SE5 team has been totally focused on SE5 development, so the SE4 pace shouldn’t change much, though you should expect mostly stabilization/optimization improvements in the near term. We’ll make sure SE5 pricing is affordable and within reach for anyone that’s serious about building an active community.

  112. Posted August 15, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Ning was an inspiration for us in many ways, but we’ve identified a number of things that we think they do poorly. By hosting their customers, they are solving a much longer part of the chain of problems that come with building an online community. We are going to do this with SE5, but go way beyond what Ning offers in terms of end-user experience, ease of sharing, ease of customization, secondary tools like bookmarklets, browser extensions, Facebook fan page tabs, etc. More to come.

  113. Posted August 15, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Carlos, definitely understand your point. Honestly, figuring out the right name for SE5 took a really long time and many, many discussions. We went through a number of options and they all had their own pros/cons. We think SE5 is a natural upgrade for many (but not all) SE4 site owners, even though it’s provided as a hosted service.

    The intention here is to do a better job of helping all of you create better online communities with fewer problems and better user retention and engagement. On a hosted platform, we can do this *much* faster. We can roll out upgrades transparently. We can separate logic from presentation. “Installations” are no longer needed. We can iterate much more quickly and develop innovative features for end users to help you keep them around and active. It’s become harder do that with SE4 since there are countless dependencies of our codebase with third-party addons, and many people edit the codebase directly, don’t make backups, etc. Our intention is to solve more problems for you and just make it easier to build a better online community.

  114. Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Merce, my last intention is to leave you feeling betrayed. Very sorry that you feel that way. Let me reiterate that you have NO obligation to start over. You can continue using SE4 if it’s getting you the results you need. We’ll continue to improve it and roll out updates at the current frequency. You can move to SE5 ONLY if it makes sense for you. If you’ve already built a nice community that relies on SE4 third-party addons, then keep rocking it!

  115. Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much!

  116. Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    This is definitely the future. We can help people launch really awesome communities with SE5. It’s the next step!

  117. Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    I believe there’s an Amazon plugin for SE4? I know there are some people storing files on Amazon w/ SE4.

  118. Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    If you’re happy with what you’ve built on SE4, then definitely keep using that. It’s all about results. But definitely give SE5 a look!

  119. Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    :) thanks Glenn

  120. Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    SE5 has significantly more AJAX-oriented features than SE4.

  121. Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Good questions Ted.

    1. You’re free to have some SE4 sites and some SE5 sites if you like.
    2. Each SE5 site will have its own monthly fee, but you’ll get a discount for having more than one at a time.
    3. The fees likely won’t be much more than what you’re paying for hosting, and we have a high-end hosting infrastructure in place.

  122. Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    We’ll continue to develop our reseller/affiliate programs, but no major changes for those have been planned yet.

  123. Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    SE5 will not be like Ning. Ning is outdated and rigid. We will soon prove how much better and flexible SE5 is when we show off how templating and the API works. :) We have always been excited and inspired by the amazing things created by our customers and 3rd party developers. We want that to continue.

  124. Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Understandable. This is another reason we are continuing to sell, support and improve SE4 – for those of you that really need to host everything on your own server for whatever reason. But note that with SE5, your data is equally safe. Amazon has an amazing, secure infrastructure and you’ll always have access to your data via our upcoming API.

  125. Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for your support Mohamed :)

  126. Jimmy
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Been a client sine 2009 and love how SE is always thinking outside the box and looking to improve the platform. Considering we use it in a different way/idea than most social networks, I am always excited about these updates!

  127. Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Excellent questions!

    1. I know that you and many others have invested in third-party plugins for SE4. If you’re getting great results out of SE4, then you can certainly stick with it. There is absolutely no pressure to upgrade, and we’ll continue to support you. We’ll also be working with third-party developers to help them build new products for SE5 as quickly as possible. The way we’ve structured SE5 as a hosted service and API will make this all happen more quickly than before, and features won’t need to be cobbled together with the SE codebase anymore.

    2. About cost – we are still working out what that will look like. SE5 will be offered with a monthly fee that will be within reach for anyone that is serious about building an online community. Given the lifespan of many communities, it’s comparable to SE4. There will be no setup fee for SE5, so the risk is actually significantly lower than buying SE4.

    3. We think the one thing Ning really nailed is making it easy to setup a community in just a few minutes, and that’s only really possible since it’s a hosted service. But beyond that, SE5 will be really different than Ning, and I’ll publish a thorough blog entry on that soon. For starters, our API will be much more flexible (Ning’s is mostly read-only). We’ll give you true HTML-level access to your themes. We’ll help you tie into Twitter, Facebook, and other services much more intimately than Ning does – way beyond just offering social login. Ning, having launched way back in ~2004, is essentially a white-label MySpace and is stuck in that format. We’ve structured SE5 so that it can continuously be updated with new front-end formats and features, and won’t get stuck the same way.

  128. Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Monks, I understand your concern. But we need to keep pushing forward. If we continue to develop on the SE4 platform, the pace will slow way, way down. SE5 is structured to let us innovate at a much higher frequency.

  129. Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Totally understand. For those that want 100% absolute independence (which is, as we’ve discovered, a small minority of folks that want to create online communities), SE4 is absolutely the right choice. We’ll continue to support you and roll out improvements for SE4.

  130. thatmtnman
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    yeah, I agree with the other commentators, this is just Ning V.yawn-if we wanted Ning, we would have been on Ning..this is bad…we need another version of Ning like ‘a camel needs a pair of pants’…SE would have been better off making SE 4.x pro grade in terms of page loads and concurrent users…

  131. Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately, due to the way SE4 was structured and the fact that nearly everyone makes customizations to the source code or installs many third-party addons, it’s become hard for us to keep developing new features at a rapid pace. This is another reason we are building SE5. As a hosted service, it’s structured to make it possible for us and third-party devs to write separate code and keep innovating quickly. Of course we know that SE4 is still the best choice for many people, and we’ll continue to roll out bug fixes and optimizations, but we won’t be adding any major new features.

  132. thatmtnman
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    agreed Dan…this is pretty bad-we’ve all been holding on working with SE to get another Ning forced down our throats? I think not.

  133. Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    We will definitely try to include as much as possible in the import script. We are projecting that we should be able to import all or most of your member data. As for uptime, we’ll do our best to offer the most consistent, blazing fast service possible.

  134. Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    October is very possible, but we haven’t set an exact launch date yet. We’ll be learning a lot from the beta and going from there.

  135. Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    We are still planning the API, but fundamentally it will give you (or a third-party plugin) access to most of the community’s data and will have methods to let you read/write that data. The control panel in our hosting service currently only lets you edit HTML/CSS, but you can also add new pages and drop in Javascript, or forward those new pages to specific PHP files on another server, etc. We’ll make it possible for you to download your theme, host it on your own server, and extend it with your own PHP scripts that tie into our API. That’s basically how third-party addons will be structured.

  136. Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Appreciate your concern, but I can guarantee this won’t be “just another Ning.” Ning is really antiquated and we are seriously confident that we can build some really innovative features. The only thing we really have in common is the fundamental product purpose, and the fact that it’s hosted. Plus, you’re more than welcome to continue using SE4!

  137. thatmtnman
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    I know how you feel. And if you look at how this SE5 was rolled out, you can pretty much guess that one day we’re all going to wake up and find out we must migrated to their platform.

  138. Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Thanks @dantemarinho:disqus !

  139. Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Understand your concerns, Fred. BlogHoster was acquired, but we don’t have any plans to sell SocialEngine. We are really trying to build a better service that solves more of the problems that come with creating an online community. It may not be perfect for everyone, but we know this is the best way to push the product forward.

  140. Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Understand where you’re coming from, but SE4 will continue to be improved. If you’re getting good results now, I’d say just stick with it!

  141. Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely not. SE5 is 100% optional. SE4 will continue to be offered and supported.

  142. Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Jimmy, thank you so much for your support. We are working on some really cool stuff within the SE5 project!

  143. Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Thanks! We are excited to see what you guys will create with these new tools!

  144. Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    @37ae47f7b635c55fd194eec019546a59:disqus I agree that the two products are different. We see them being used for different use cases. That is why we will continue to support and work on SE4 even after SE5 is out. So the choice is up to you!

  145. thatmtnman
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Oh god Alex..please. If nothing else, respect the intelligence of the user base thats supported you guys. This IS Ning V.x. Every one knows it. Just look at the comments below. Put all the lipstick on this you want, its not going to change that this is a hosted community service, just like Ning. Your user base are technical people. When you try and convince those people that this is not Ning dot x, you come off looking less than honest. This is a massive fail. Just look at the comments. As far as being ‘welcome to use SE4′-yeah? for how long?, are you ever going to really put resources into fixing the conncurrency and page loads problems that people have been complaining about for ever? Or are you just going to throw those resources into SE5? When do we all get to wake up and read the email that we can all ‘get a free upgrade to SE5 and SE4 is discountinued’? Did you ever even ask your user base? Do you understand that not only are you touching on technical aspects but also trust aspects of your user base?

  146. thatmtnman
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    what will happen, is that you will be out of luck. And, if you are hosting EU based data, you are out of business.

  147. Posted August 15, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    As a member of the SE4 team I can tell you that we have a great pipeline of performance enhancements and new features in the works

  148. Posted August 15, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Ty. Reasonable concerns. Our API will give you total data access and you can take it with you anytime. If self-hosting is a requirement for you, than SE4 is still the right choice and we’ll continue to support you.

  149. Posted August 15, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    No. We will do whatever we can to make sure that our infrastructure supports everyone internationally. We would never alienate our EU customers!

  150. Posted August 15, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Our SE4 dev team is putting 100% of their development energy into further stabilizing SE4. But the reality is that we can simply never solve concurrency/speed issues for absolutely every person, on any hosting service, with any hosting config, with any custom changes to our core code, with any third-party plugins installed. It’s just not possible to satisfy every possible combination, given how comprehensive SE4 now is. We can only implement improvements that work for the largest number of people possible, and that’s what the SE4 team will continue to do.

    The only fundamental thing SE5 will have in common with Ning is the fact that it’s hosted. But we know our customer community is more technical, and that’s why we are focused on building tools for them to extend SE5’s functionality. In fact that’s one of the main areas in which we’ll differentiate. The vision hasn’t changed. We are simply trying to solve more problems for more people. I’m sorry if that doesn’t resonate with you.

  151. Wary
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Reading through the comments I have seen a lot of two-facing from the company.

    1) They say that the SE4 and SE5 projects have two different teams, while later saying that SE4 will be continued with “bugfixes and optimizations” but not “major features” because it would slow SE’s progress (Uh, if it is a seperate team than it wouldn’t slow SE5!).

    2) Affordable? For how long? If you really have a large community do you trust the Webligo team to handle CDN, Reverse Proxies, database sharding / partitioning, load balancing, php/mysql/server optimizations. I wouldn’t, I’d anticipate you paying for peak hosting rates and then putting more money in Webligo’s pocket when you keep paying those AWS EC2 rates in off-hours and they can cram more sites into the instance.

    3) Oh? It will have the option to host on your own servers eventually, but data still requires a connection to Webligo’s servers? What is the point in that! By far the dumbest thing I’ve read all month. So then you get to not only pay your hosting fees but still continue to pay Webligo as well! Not to mention additional latency issues from the API (which can be substantial depending on how calls are structured).

    4) 3rd party development started to be parroted as possible after the complaints began rolling in but they say here that currently the only options at launch will be theme related and later PHP scripts can be used to interact with API data. Many third-party plugins are picking up the slack though, not interacting with your data except to grab basic user information and then CREATING new data! Without the ability to affect real change on the data layer all it will be good for is making the next Pinterest or Twitter clone (and believe me, if I wanted that I could download several packages that offer just those features and code up a theme / set infrastructure and launch in a week).

    I have a few clients that I recommended this software to when they asked me about intra-organizational tools…even made a plugin for one. Guess I won’t have to stumble around the crapfest that is Zend anymore after your company shoots itself in the foot.

    Blaze your own trails, don’t be followers.

  152. Wary
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Reading through the comments I have seen a lot of two-facing from the company.

    1) They say that the SE4 and SE5 projects have two different teams, while later saying that SE4 will be continued with “bugfixes and optimizations” but not “major features” because it would slow SE’s progress (Uh, if it is a seperate team than it wouldn’t slow SE5!).
    2) Affordable? For how long? If you really have a large community do you trust the Webligo team to handle CDN, Reverse Proxies, database sharding / partitioning, load balancing, php/mysql/server optimizations. I wouldn’t, I’d anticipate you paying for peak hosting rates and then putting more money in Webligo’s pocket when you keep paying those AWS EC2 rates in off-hours and they can cram more sites into the instance.
    3) Oh? It will have the option to host on your own servers eventually, but data still requires a connection to Webligo’s servers? What is the point in that! By far the dumbest thing I’ve read all month. So then you get to not only pay your hosting fees but still continue to pay Webligo as well! Not to mention additional latency issues from the API (which can be substantial depending on how calls are structured).
    4) 3rd party development started to be parroted as possible after the complaints began rolling in but they say here that currently the only options at launch will be theme related and later PHP scripts can be used to interact with API data. Many third-party plugins are picking up the slack though, not interacting with your data except to grab basic user information and then CREATING new data! Without the ability to affect real change on the data layer all it will be good for is making the next Pinterest or Twitter clone (and believe me, if I wanted that I could download several packages that offer just those features and code up a theme / set infrastructure and launch in a week).
    I have a few clients that I recommended this software to when they asked me about intra-organizational tools…even made a plugin for one. Guess I won’t have to stumble around the crapfest that is Zend anymore after your company shoots itself in the foot.
    Blaze your own trails, don’t be followers.

  153. Posted August 15, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the information. When you say we can forward the pages to php files does that mean that the content of the external php file will be shown in the se5 script and under the user’s domain?

    should the SE owner add these pages manually and point them to external pages?

    ie. if we develop a 3rd party plugin for se5 this aproach will not be easy for the customer to implement the plugin.

  154. Sean White
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    First of all, I think this is a great step forward for SE, but I agree that if the 4 and 5 products are both continuing to be supported, then 5 should be marketed as a separate product.

    With regards to migrating from 4 to 5, will the databases and whatnot we already have smoothly migrate over to your servers without interruption, corruption or loss of data? Can we pretty much go from being SE4, switch to dev mode, upgrade to SE5, check it all works and switch to production mode and continue to run “business as usual”?

    My fear is needing to “start from scratch” again… Will all our content remain intact? Will our member lists etc. all remain intact? And what happens if we ever decide (for whatever reason) to leave SE? Would we have access to our data so that we can smoothly transition from one service to another, or will we have to start from scratch there?

    Can we DOWNGRADE fro SE5 to SE4 if 5 isn’t working out?

    I also believe you should perhaps invest some time and effort (possibly even hiring a new team specifically for this purpose since it’s such an issue) in researching and resolving issues with the self-hosted product(s).

    So say one person installs fine on one server type and another person has issues installing on another server type, you have a team available to a) replicate the problem, b) figure out a solution and c) make this public knowledge so that no-one else has this particular issue going forward, as it could be posted in documentation.

    You could literally compile a list of server types and configurations that work smoothly, and a list where people may encounter issues and over time compile a list of fixes for the issues they may encounter, thus helping everyone do exactly what you say SE5 was developed for, and that’s to run their communities and businesses smoothly.

    With that team in place to help with server configurations and whatnot, it SHOULD be entirely possible to self-host SE5, including data etc. That “Server Support” team could also be responsible for assisting with update/upgrade processes for those taking the self-hosted option.

    eg: one person submits a support ticket stating interest in updating to the latest version, and the sever support team guides this person through what to do, or, for a fee, does it for them, for their specific configuration.

    Yes, I know there are many different server configurations out there and the possibilities are vast which creates a seemingly insurmountable list of issues with supporting self-hosted options, but at the end of the day… You’ve provided us with that product – you should be able to help us make it work!

    I know building this hypothetical “server support” team would take time, money and all that goes with hiring new people, but wouldn’t it just be worth investing in? That way you get to keep your customers, not to mention keeping them happy! You get to keep supporting and innovating with SE4 whilst also doing the same with SE5. This would truly set Social Engine apart from the rest.

    I’m also curious about the implications of storing my data outside of the EU with SE5, and need to be reassured that third party developers will not stop supporting their existing SE4 plugins or even developing SE4 plugins and need to know that they will create SE5 counterparts to these existing plugins FIRST, as a priority over creating new features for SE5 thus making smooth transitions possible for those jumping from SE4 to SE5.

    I think SE5 is a great idea, and a big step forward and I congratulate Social Engine on this advancement, but the questions and issues raised in this post and in others above need answering and resolving first before anyone can seriously consider a jump to SE5 as viable.

    …Plus, we could do with being able to add our site favicon or a logo or something to these bookmarklet buttons! 😛

  155. thatmtnman
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Beckie…are you just as shocked as the rest of us? SE 5 is clearly just Ning reannimated and with some updated features. You still lose total control of your site. Your growth will still be ‘taxed’ and you’ll still face a monthy fee based on scale, and if you leave you have nowhere to go. Not to mention you lose code customization options. Your site will run what SE says you can run, and nothing else. Your site will complie with SE terms of service. If all you want is a site for your friends, fine. But as a commercial site, or a prosite, SE5 will work about as well as Ning. And if you have a reason to be dealing with EU governed clients, you’ll have issues.

  156. Posted August 15, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    We currently have a lot of plans for the continued development of SE4 including more performance improvements and great enhancements to our photo and mobile plugins.

  157. thatmtnman
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    So SE5 will not be like Ning, because why? Because you added an updated feature set? Or solved speed issues that should have been in SE4.x? please…

  158. Dan
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Hi SocialEngine, I have a few more questions:

    1. How long will SE4 be supported before you pull the plug, approximately?

    2. If your startup happen to be successful will you ever be able to sell it when using SE5? I think that’s pretty difficult when you don’t own the core database, but just the API.
    3. Startups like SocialEngine will eventually be very interesting to other corporate companies for being acquired because of the large userbase and technology. So has Ning been recently acquired by Glam Media pretty much for their userbase, Ning is now pretty much left for dead. So the existence of my business would be totally in the hands of SocialEngine in whatever right or wrong future decisions SocialEngine will make is that right?
    Example, worst case scenario http://www.kirstenwinkler.com/dimdim-got-acquired-wiziq-invites-refugees/
    Regards,Dan

  159. Fred
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    I just don’t believe it. I wasted $300 on Bloghoster. I’m still waiting for the promised (yes- promised upgrade) 3 years on! The same will happen to SE4. You’re company has a major problem with TRUST…

  160. Mohamed
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Good for Hire-Experts is good for me, Maybe good idea to have an import plugin for all he-plugins.

  161. ajeets
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    What the heck guys are you trying to do…. Take our Controls ???
    Every thing else is fine except “We host SE5 for you” give us “Self Hosting Option” like SE4
    and you can run your own service on SocialEngine .net or .org side by side like Phpfox have http://grou.ps why not you guys?

    Don’t Push Us to think again moving to Phpfox or other Softwares :((

  162. Posted August 15, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    @953e823d462d999018f3b595481de358:disqus It is the admin controls that makes SE5 different and better than Ning. Soon we will be sharing these tools with the beta testers and learn from their feedbacks. But of course SE5’s end user facing feature set is drastically better than Ning’s.

  163. Jack R Stewart
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    I would like our group to be considered for the Beta simply because I have had so many issues with SE4 that I would like to see if its going to be worth our time as a national-level organization to stay with SE or if its time to move on!

  164. Posted August 15, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    I would wait to test it to make my final judgement but I do have a feeling that this might be cost prohibiting for my community. One of the reasons why I decided to go with SE was the fact that the upgrade pricing looked reasonable yet it looks like whole product line will end at version 4 and will change pricing a model to sub based.
    What also bothers my is that one of reasons behind picking SE to work with was ability to tap into the source code and building on the platform to create my own much needed changes to the base. Now it looks like 5 will be code will be out of my reach beyond some .css customization.

  165. ajeets
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    Time to move to PhpFox http://www.phpfox.com or
    Groups (Phpfox hosted) http://grou.ps/home
    these guys don’t understand us at all or thought twice before making decisions.

    All i see, just an another way to make Money.

  166. juanachosilverado
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    My site has 1370 members and growin… I would like to know how would this SE5 affect them plus I have a lot o 3rd plugins from a lot of developers…so I’m wondering how would the change affect the members of my site and also me being a Photographer and taking a lot of photos on different events how would that work for me?

    that’s why I asked to be in the beta test, if it’s ok with you guys from SE :)

    thank you

  167. John
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    I was a day away from purchasing social engine (their webpage looked so much better than phpfox). After reading many reviews, It was a tough choice, but I went with phpfox. I just knew that I’d end up regretting this (phpfox is not perfect either) .. but after reading about version.5 I can breathe easily. Nicely worded guys. This ‘pitch’ will no doubt appeal to those that do not think things through (and there are plenty of these types to capitalize upon) but I’m relieved that I’m not a customer.

  168. Darnell
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    What about adult sites? If we have adult sites will we still be able to transfer to SE5? Also what about our payment gateways. Will SE5 be able to support gateways other that paypal and 2checkout? Please sign me up for Beta testing as well.

  169. ShaunHarding
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    For clients who are capable of handling the more technical aspects of building a large community, version 4 is a great option for them. Not everyone is equipped to handle all of those challenges however and many of them don’t want to. There are many people who want a simple platform to build out their communities, without having to wade through all of the complex technical stuff, and for many of them, SE5 will be the ideal solution.

    I’m glad to hear that you’re sticking with version 4 and we’d love your feedback during the beta. Also thanks for the well wishes :).

  170. Samual
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    1) What’s up with resolving the goddamn Speed/ Performance Issue on SE4? Please First give a life to SE4 then think of raising another Baby SE5….

    Do you think 4.2.6 has resolved Speed issues? You got to ask your clients again then…

    2) SE5 will be only hosted by SE and it will be Monthly Subscription? WOW…. Make no sense… I think its a Stupid pricing structure….. Nothing New, we usually see such strange things when group of Freelances/developers go Corporate…. All i can say SE5 pricing and hosting make no sense.

    Instead, you should work on the Core SE platform to remove the performance flaws that it can even work properly on client’s VPS at least.

    It will be a Shame to a Script that work well only on Cloud.

    I am sorry, very disappointed. Many are like me…. Few speak, few do not.

    Thanks
    sam

  171. Samual
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    This is what we are trying to say… after one week ppl will say…
    “SE5 will not be like SE4. SE4 is outdated and rigid. ”

    Why because, you guys do not care what you have in Hand, and always develop something exciting then leave in half way then again exciting Idea.

    You are Corporate now, you got to Understand Products should meet Users requirement and usage and not Your Exciting Ideas theory….

  172. LionHeart
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Good step towards enhancement. Good job SE.
    Please let me know if you need testing & validating.

  173. PeteC
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    hopefully an SE4 database will be easily imported to SE5.
    I would like to be included your beta list please.

  174. MAXUMD
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    THIS IS SIMPLE!! People if don’t like the idea behind SE5 , stay with SE4 , SIMPLE!! NING is NING , SOCIALENGINE is SOCIALENGINE dont compare, NING sucks!! and this post is for people interested in test SE5 , so please wait until SE5 release and SHUT UP, dont talk without test.

    I want to test SE5 please consider me!!
    freetempo4wr@hotmail.com
    onplays.com is a collaborative learning platform that provides access to resources and people that make learning engaging, fun, and real.

  175. Designer
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    Do you guys have a developer preview for us just intime to migrate our products for SE5? when is this released?

  176. ClikPals
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 1:40 am | Permalink

    @abenzer:disqus Been with SE since 2010, and the biggest advantage is its independence. SE5 looks cool, thats no doubt, and there are is a big population out there of people who want to create their communities with this tool and who will need your hosting services and the constant support. However, there are also those who want self-hosting to maintain independent communities, like in our case. In a nutshell, my suggestion is: give us 2 options with the SE5 for those who want to maintain absolutely independent communities by hosting everything on their own servers, and for those who want to maintain their communities with you, so that both parties can enjoy the exciting features of the new product. We would be excited to jump onto SE5, but only if we hosting on our own.

    Am sure you will have deals with Amazon for their products and services on the extensive network that will be created, but you can still have community owners chose to work with these deals or not even on their independent networks, like for example the case with VigLink, etc.

    I think this way, we will all be saying Bravo to the SE team, and not bringing in the http://Ning.com picture. Simple, give us a stand alone independent self hosted version SE5, while at the same time market and expand the hosted version, because having come along with the company from all that time, we deserve it and our communities also deserve to enjoy the features of SE5 on our servers. You do this, for sure the complain notes will vanish and we will all be commending SE team, and not thinking about which platforms to switch to, whether http://phpfox.com or http://grou.ps, or etc

    looking forward to migrating to SE5, independently on my server . . .

  177. bypasser
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 1:56 am | Permalink

    You going to learn how big mistake you made with that “SE5″ thru your $ income – many users loose trust in you after these “wonderful news”…
    Personally, I would NEVER buy your software if I was know you would come to this.
    It’s common and well know-ed thing that many software creators leave development for older version in order to make room for incoming version, and you do the same thing….despite your talking.
    I think that THIS decision of yours is very, very wrong. God help to all of you! And to Us, also….:-)

  178. MJ
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 2:00 am | Permalink

    Would love to try, test and create in SE5 — it might so be the answer for us! When can we start??? (Also, can you let us know the pricing you expect? And what will be our privacy guarantees for the members? Thanks!)

  179. wayne pocket
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 2:09 am | Permalink

    I am new to SE, I have been viewing your product and sample sites. I am not a develper so I am looking for a product that can allow me to build a community with the skills I have. I would been keen to be in your beta phase.

  180. es7
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 2:15 am | Permalink

    Hey Shaun. Thanks for clarification!

    What about 3rd party plugins? Will we get tools to work with data fast? My concerns are situations when we need to create something that’s not simple, for example, ranking system for community members. Even SQL queries are pretty complex. Not sure if API can allow faster and easier access to data. I’ll definitely will want to test SE5 to check that.

    Hopefully SE4 won’t be abandoned. Last months development of it was pretty minimal.

  181. Dan
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 2:21 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the reply Shaun much appericiated, looking forward to test SE5.
    I’m sure SE5 will be inspiring, although we will stay independend if SE5 does not give us the independency we need. Please consider having both for SE5, one independend and one hosted by you.
    Regards,
    Dan

  182. philip
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    i am interested to join the beta testing count me in there ,all the best 😉

  183. Steve
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 2:55 am | Permalink

    When will SE5 be available to everyone to purchase? Can you guys run a social network the same way facebook teams run facebook? Like will my social network be as reliable and functional as facebook with no problems? Also Can I use my own domain name right away? If my social network really takes off and becomes very successful do I get charged extra? And do I own the site 100%? Sorry I have a whole bunch of questions lol Thanks for your time

  184. Marian
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 2:59 am | Permalink

    I am a client for 1 year now and SE4 works fine for me,besides a few minor hickups.I have a Network for Pet Lovers and wonder if SE5 will be able to use the Pet Plugin.
    You can count me in to test your Beta version.also will I be able to host it on my own server ( where I am now )
    I never had a smooth change and that worries me

  185. Steven Kelly
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 3:19 am | Permalink

    This is a bad idea and it’s not what I paid for!!! I have being
    working and advising big IT and social companies testing there products and
    giving them new ideas for many years.

    What you are doing is not for the benefit of your clients
    and you know that, one thing I will say, with this way you will make your
    clients go to other solutions and social engine will go down, remember I told
    you

    Kind Regards

  186. sebas
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 3:28 am | Permalink


    Development on SE4 will continue at the same speed” I actually hope it will get better honestly

  187. Posted August 16, 2012 at 3:29 am | Permalink

    Well done guys.
    You have done an amazing job so far for past several years on SE and we are confident that the next version is going to be awesome as well. It is great that along side the self hosted SE4 version you are developing hosted version that will attract customers who did not have enough resources or knowledge to properly tone their servers. It’s a great addition. We are looking forward to beta testing, and developing plugins for your new awesome product. Team at SocialEngineExperts.com

  188. sebas
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 3:33 am | Permalink

    hmmm I have to say that it is disappointing to hear that you will not add more new features for SE4, but I can see why.

  189. Maelle
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 3:33 am | Permalink

    Looks interesting but how is this going to be different than Ning?

  190. Posted August 16, 2012 at 3:45 am | Permalink

    Sorry can’t agree. We are one that do speak out but are not disappointed at all. We have launched numerous SE sites and have no problems or see performance flaws at all. With well tuned server SE works lighting fast (even before 4.2.6).

  191. Steven Kelly
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 4:04 am | Permalink

    This is a bad idea and it’s not what I paid for!!! I have being

    working and advising big IT and social companies testing there products and

    giving them new ideas for many years.

    What you are doing is not for the benefit of your clients

    and you know that, one thing I will say, with this way you will make your

    clients go to other solutions and social engine will go down, remember I told

    you

    Kind Regards

  192. Nesha
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 4:14 am | Permalink

    Alex Benzer: “…
    Of course we know that SE4 is still the best choice for many people, and we’ll continue to roll out bug fixes and optimizations, but we won’t be adding any major new features.” ???

  193. nesha
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 4:36 am | Permalink

    SocialEngine 4 will continue to be improved ???

    Alex Benzer: “… Of course we know that SE4 is still the best choice for many people, and we’ll continue to roll out bug fixes and optimizations, but we WON’T BE adding any major new features.” ???

  194. TZ
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 4:37 am | Permalink

    First off, I understand why many people are concerned but there is no other way to get the speed improvements SE5 will offer without making it really hard (or impossible) to install on your own server.

    1) If I’m understanding correctly, SE5 should solve one of the biggest problems I’m having with SE4, which is every time there is an upgrade, I have to re-apply all my fixes and features to the code again. SE5 will separate the core with my own code. Am I understanding the concept correctly?

    2) Will there be enough APIs to allow me to add my own widgets?

    3) Will there be a way to import my current users (profile and existing data) to SE5?

    4) Can I keep my users separate from everyone else or will the user database become a huge mega-base of all users using SE5?

    5) Have any of your bigger development companies signed on to provide the same features/functions on SE5?

    My biggest obstacle will be a smooth transition for my current users. I’ve already lost a ton of users by switching to SE4 from my old setup but it was worth it. However, I can’t afford to lose any more users if the transition is less than almost invisible to them.

    In any case, please put me on your list for beta testing.

  195. SocialEngineAddOns
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 4:55 am | Permalink

    Congratulations Alex and SE Team! The SocialEngine 5 product sounds great and we look forward to develop plugins for it. We would be glad to have beta access for SE5 to test it and provide feedback!

  196. Ward
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    We sure do have a lot of Me, ME, ME SELF CENTERED people here don’t we?

  197. Ferry
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    1. Is it free for existing social engine users?

    2. Is there an option to host social engine 5 on your own server?

    3. If social engine 5 cannot be hosted on your own server how much will it cost per month? Because i’m not interested in a other server because i have my own dedicated server on my work that i don’t have to pay for.

  198. ClikPals
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    @ShaunHarding:disqus In a nutshell, my suggestion is: give us 2 options with the SE5 for
    those who want to maintain absolutely independent communities by hosting
    everything on their own servers, and for those who want to maintain
    their communities with you, so that both parties can enjoy the exciting
    features of the new product. We would be excited to jump onto SE5, but
    only if we hosting on our own and controlling our data and everything. Been with SE since 2010 and for the same reason my fellow communities owners are expressing. Get us the two options and capture the both worlds for the techy and the non-techy, coz we have brought up SE and we deserve the upper right to be granted our wishes. I’m sure Amazon will offer great monetization options for the coming large communities that they will be hosting, but we can opt for their offers whether we are with them or not. Some of us just want to control our sites, data and everything, and you cant ignore that. . . Looking forward to jumping on board SE5 but with my full control. . .All the best with these improvements. . .

  199. ClikPals
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    @abenzer:disqus Am sure all the 3rd party developers are very excited about this new product, coz its a fresh opportunity for them for the sell of the plugins, modules and the addons. but not all the community owners, like me, are all that very excited. but we have been the buyers of your products and services and plus the 3rd party developers as well. So just strike a balance for those who want total control of their platforms, and those who want SE to control for them their communities (the less techy fellows as we may say), and release SE5 with an option to full independence and SE managed community packages, and both worlds will be smiling. You dont leave us out, and tell us to stay with SE4 while things are advancing very fast in terms of innovation. Sooner or later all the 3rd party developers will be focused on SE5 and no one will be looking back at SE4. . . Otherwise, we are excited about SE5, but be inclusive so we move forward together as an SE family, as we have been from since you started this journey. You cant leave us out at this point in time. . .

  200. Evgeny Ivanov
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    I still don’t get it why there wont be an option to have the SE5 installed on my own servers. I doubt that it is a technological issue? Or this is just business model change?

  201. XProfessorX
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Truly mixed emotions on this announcement. I am extremely interested in becoming a “tester” due to this platform is exactly what I am looking for to put together a near future project. However, I am really not sure if it is going to be good for my current community. I can’t really say anything more than that.

    I would like to say that when I chose SE as my platform, I did so because it was self hosted and although it wasn’t rocket science, it was more advanced in features and it did keep every Tom, Richard an Harry from putting up a community. I feel that making this move will cost a lot of “niche” communities to lose “originality” due to more people will think “I can do it better.” When this happens, the unethical marketing begins. Their target market is already in one place, so they market (spam) the original “niche” site. When the members see that there is a “new” site, they become curious and browse that site. This is bad for the original due to the devaluation of the original (idea,scheme & direction) “niche” site.

    But on a closing note, I am excited to see what this will bring to the table. (for my near future project)

  202. Ferry
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    1. Will social engine 5 be free for existing social engine 4 buyers?
    2. Is there an option to host social engine 5 on your own web server?
    3. Will there be costs to host social engine 5 on your web servers?

    I sure not hope that social engine 5 will be a community service that buyers have to pay for on a monthly basis to use it.

  203. jerkski
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Perfect example…where would WordPress.com be without WordPress.org…They certainly would not have the community development and support that they do now, nor be as widely used and have as large of a fan base.

    Again, since my previous comment was deleted, I am a prospective customer. I saw SE4 for the first time this week and was sold on it. Then, ironically I saw this article. I am now not so certain that this is the way to go. Any product I use needs a roadmap. By the sounds of the article above, SE4 will never be SE5, except for a bunch of band-aids. Also, why do your customers need your hosting so badly? Surely anyone who is knowledgeable enough to setup their own social community should understand the basics of setting up and hosting a website, no?
    Understandably, other companies have traveled your same path, only to admit that they needed some recurring revenue to have a sustainable business. What other reason would there be for SE offering its customers hosting, which have been doing all along?

    Will the introduction of SE5 eventually lead to the demise/neglect of SE4? Will you at least release a self-hosted version for the rest of us who do not need hosting? What about for us developers? What is left for us after you control the SE5 core? What if we want to completely customize SE5? It seems as though complete control was the real reason why people were drawn to your product. Correct?

    Just follow WordPress’s lead. 2 identical products with the same core; Hosted and self-hosted; Corporate-owned and community-driven. Seems like their model worked.

  204. jerkski
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Quoted …

    “So what about SE4? Are we just going to abandon it? Hell no! SE4 is our bread and butter, and we’ll continue to sell and support it because we know that a hosted solution simply isn’t an option for some, and sometimes it just makes sense to have the entire codebase on your own server. SE4 already works really well for many people, so it’s here to stay. Our SE4 team will continue to optimize and improve the codebase and SE4 clients will be eligible for a very substantial discount if they decide to upgrade to SE5 in the future.”

    Where in this paragraph do you suggest that SE4 will continue to be innovated? The general tone is that it will be maintained and optimized, and that its here to stay. No new features, no core changes. Sounds like a dying product… Do you have a roadmap for SE4 to offer?

  205. Posted August 16, 2012 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Alex Benzer To say that SE5 will “go beyond what Ning offers” only proves SE is moving away from the very things that attracted many of us to SE in the first place. Bottom line is, Webligo has to realize, you can’t have your cake and eat it to. If you’re going to be white label, we need to have full control of our sites, or at least have that option. If you’re moving to something inspired but better than Ning, than you’re no longer white label, and you need to make that clear.

    As you can see from the post here, both the veteran customers as well as the prospective ones have very valid concerns. I know you’re not the one who makes the final decisions but these concerns need to be taken into consideration or SE is going to witness a lot of customers leaving en mass.

    Of course, this only makes an impact if a slew of new users make up for the impending exodus but, what about the companies reputation? That’s worth something too and in this hyper connected world, it’s a risky move. I say, offer us both options, total self hosting along with what you are currently offering. In the meantime, could you please explain further to all of us, the pros and cons in more detail, explain it in terms both the techy and non-techy among us will understand. This doesn’t mean you have to get all deep into code but, just clearly explain to us those things we care about most. How exactly does the data remain ours if it’s on AWS servers; how will we be charged on SE5 as our sites users numbers/data/bandwidth etc. grow while hosted by you; if we do decide to self host AFTER being established on SE5 under it’s initial terms, how exactly does the transfer play out; if we host data with you but host site on our own, how does that affect the price?

    I say, never mind the PR speak (how long could you conceivably maintain SE4 – from a business perspective it’s just not practical) and just give it to us straight, especially the veteran customers such as me, who has spent upwards of $15,000 and climbing on SE3/SE4, who remembers back when you had a bug that left our sites vulnerable to hackers -which I was a victim of TWICE-, who has Arvixe on speed dial because of all the site crashes I experience, and on and on. Come on guys, talk to us.

  206. Posted August 16, 2012 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Wow, jerkski, you make an awesome point!!!

  207. Posted August 16, 2012 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    I agree, they said the same about SE3 and I haven’t seen anything upgraded on that for years, and there are still plenty of SE3 users out there. I say SE4’s days are numbered, a few band-aids here and there for the forseeable future but no major development.

  208. Ted
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Good points made here. It seems this all comes down to residual income for Webligo, which is a smart business model, but not necessarily the business model that current clients signed up for.

  209. XProfessorX
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Going back to my original comment, I see the value of this product “elsewhere.” It is a bit confusing by calling this SE5. I would think that if v4 was going to continue to evolve, then this would be called “SomeOtherProduct” by Webligo I am officially nervous now.

  210. Bruno
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Hi Shaun,
    Hi all,
    Thank you for your reply to my yesterday’s post about privacy concerns and any new translation improvements for SE 5, personally I find the speed correct on SE4, it is not the language file that is mainly slowing down the whole software which I find fast enough on my dedicated server with your recommended tuning with APC.
    There are two perspectives to take into account about privacy issue here:
    first technically speaking for developers (SE and third party addons) the evolution of SE 5 is a great improvement but second for the humans parts the real core and value of a social network are indeed the people and their associated personal data, having the option to protect and keep private the personal data is a must have especially for Europeans market.

    Why keeping the members data for free when it will be a burden for your servers you over the years? Do you plan to market and monetize the member personal data one day like facebook and twitter ?Why not keeping and hosting the engine part that belong to you on your servers and letting the people keep the personal data that belong to them? it make sense and logic ?
    Why not keeping and hosting the engine part that belong to you on your servers and letting the people keep the personal data that belong to them? it make sense and logic ?
    Regards.
    BrunoBruno

  211. bwglive
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    I am concerned on the focus of 3rd party developers, that their resources will be constrained splitting work on SE4 and SE5.

  212. ClikPals
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    @twitter-12807582:disqus I absolutely agree with you, and I want to second your proposal. I’m trying to make a lot of noise about this. SE team, please give us 2 options: independent and totally self-hosted SE5, and the monthly billing for those who will chose. SE4 owners who love their platforms and their communities, stand up for our rights and drum support for 1200Dreams, for the 2 options of SE5, coz we deserve it, we are the clients, and we are the ones who have brought up this company from its infant. We cant be ditched so we lose the train of innovative products. Maintaining and supporting SE4 will only be for a limited time, and once SE5 is streamlined and all the 3rd party developers are comfortable with it, SE4 will be retired from support and maintenance, at least by quite a good bunch of the 3rd party developers, and pap, we will be on our own. I love what SE5 is going to be, very exciting and innovative, but everything on my servers. Yes, we have to be considerate for those who are less techy, and for that they have the hosted product. SE5 should capture the best of both worlds. Alex Benzer, tell the guys at SE that community owners want the two options, coz we are the buyers. Before intensive marketing can take place to start acquiring new guys for SE5, we will be the first ones to buy, and which will guarantee you a landing pad with a client base, then you can grow the extended community network. Otherwise, keep the good work, to the benefit of all of us, and not at the expense of some of us. . .

  213. Posted August 16, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    I really need to see a comparison of these two options SE4 and SE5. After spending few months and LOTS of money we’re about to launch our SE site within the next month or so. Then you drop this bomb! Will SE5 be open to mods like SE4? As much as you say SE4 is here to stay the economics would suggest otherwise. If you’re making more income from SE5 then SE4 will just wither away. And along with it will go the many, many websites using it. I need to know that if I stick to SE4 until SE5 is released what are the upgrade/cross grade options going to be like? Not feeling the love right now!!

  214. Hesborne
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Impressive ! Wow, I think there is consensus, and we have a quorum, the debate should stop at SE team giving us 2 options with the SE5: Hosted and Self-Hosted. Anxiously waiting for the release, though. . .

  215. sebas
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    agreed

  216. sebas
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    I am with you

  217. sebas
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    that’s what I asked as well. It looks like the will not add new features, only bugs fixing and optimizations.

  218. Alexander and Bonny
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Okay okay me and my brother have read most of the comments and we totally agree with almost every one of em. Still we encounter mostly the same problems every upgrade in our network and we are just tired of it making use of the expensive support system every time is simply not an option anymore. We would like to try the SE5 and hopefully this is way way better to work with for someone who is less techy then others.

    So Alex sign us up as well!

  219. Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    ..

  220. ShaunHarding
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    This is precisely one of the key problems that SE5 aims to address. The upgrade woes of SE4, and SE3 for that matter, will no longer be an issue because there won’t be upgrades as far as clients are concerned. We will take care of that as part of the service. We will be able to release patches in the background to address application errors without clients needing to do anything.

    Since SE5 runs on servers that we have own, we have complete access to server error logs. I just finished putting the final touches on our log aggregation service this week which pulls in all the error logs from all of the SE5 servers and sends us alerts when a serious problem occurs. Basically if every there is an application error, we can know about it before you and address it without you needing to contact support.

  221. jerkski
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    What if your users don’t want an automated upgrade system? How will you know if the upgrade will or will not affect any plugins that are in use. Or wait, are you eliminating existing 3rd party custom plugins from SE5?

  222. Darnell
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    I asked the question yesterday however it has been removed so I will ask it again.

    1. How does SE5 affect customers that have adult websites?

    2. How does SE5 affect customers that use different payment gateways other than paypal and 2checkout?

  223. Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    As a member of the SE4 team I can tell you that you can look forward to new features and enhancements coming to our plugins in the future. We still have a lot of great ideas we want to bring to SE4 and have no plans to stop improving that product.

  224. Morne
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Agreed

  225. ShaunHarding
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    No, 3rd party plugins are a big part of SocialEngine’s identity as a product, and we intent to allow developers to enhance the application with custom code. That said, 3rd party plugins are going to be pretty different in version 5 because they will access application data through our data API. We plan to do it this way so that they can be completely sandboxed. Should a 3rd party plugin break after an update, the core application will not be affected.

  226. Morne
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Yip I did not want to say anything earlier but it is all about building up that very profitable residual, I do it with my hosting business and with a few other busines models I run.
    Offer us 2 solutions on SE%, Fully self hosted and your new hosted option, or else rename it to some new product and continue with the current SE support and continued development.
    Also while you are busy give us the time frame during which you will continue developing supporting SE as it is now?

  227. Alexander and Bonny
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    thanks Shaun for your reply!

  228. JoBob
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    I concur. SE5 will not support a stand alone business model. And no-one will invest more than a couple grand into developing a product that utilizes your SE5 hosted platform. I will have to say goodbye to SE. You will be going the route of b2c service like facebook or ning or big commerce powered platforms. Certainly, you have been talking to bankers who tell you you need scale and acquire as many recurring revs as possible. What I need is independence from a hosted solution so that I can reduce my development costs but recurring costs where I can create no IP is not going to gel with me. I think the recurring model is going to implode. ELGG is not even on my radar but now it is b/c like Ning it’s hosted. You will be me-to. I have a better way. If interested let me know and I’ll send you the docs to sign.

  229. ShaunHarding
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    We’re still going to allow the enhancement of the application through custom code. As far as you ranking system idea, it’s pretty much already built-in. We keep track of that data and display it within the admin panel, but it would be trivial to expose that through the data API efficiently. And we’re keeping SE4 around :).

  230. jerkski
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    So, basically if anyone has previously purchased 3rd party or custom plugins for SE4, they will not be compatible with SE5? Will SE4 be upgraded to have the same API so there is another route for customers?

  231. Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    If you don’t plan on replacing SE4 with this, you should have taken a different name for it instead of calling it SE5. SE4 sounds like an outdated version to anyone not in the know.

  232. ShaunHarding
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    SE4 isn’t going anywhere. It’s going to be actively developed and supported indefinitely. For anyone who needs to be fully in control of the their SocialEngine site and remain independent, they will be able to chose SE4. For anyone who just wants a create a simple community website and focus on aesthetics and community development without worrying about all the technical stuff, they will be able to chose SE5.

  233. Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I completely agree. There are blazing fast sites but I have seen slow sites because its running on a shared vps with wrong configurations. This is one of the issues we are solving with SE5. A fast social network instantly without needing to waste your time learning to configure the server or pay a high price for a dedicated server.

  234. jerkski
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    I’m a prospective customer…I host my own web servers and do my own coding. Obviously (as mentioned in previous comments), I am not a good fit for SE5. Give me your best sales pitch as to why I should or shouldn’t buy SE4 right now. Please offer your most accurate roadmap for SE4. What is the intended lifespan of SE4?

  235. jerkski
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    When you say “enhancements coming to our plugins”, does this mean that the SE4 core will see enhancements as well? Or only plugins?

  236. ShaunHarding
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately SE4 plugins won’t be compatible with SE5 since the application designs are so different. SE4 probably won’t have the same data API as SE5 simply because SE5’s data API isn’t going to be written in just PHP & MySQL. We’re using a lot of other technologies for SE5’s data API so that we can ensure low latency and the fastest access times possible.

  237. Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Thanks! We look forward to seeing what you guys can do with SE5!

  238. Posted August 16, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    @jerkski:disqus To add to what @ShaunHarding:disqus is saying, our 3rd party developers will definitely be among our early beta testers.

  239. Posted August 16, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    @ajeets:disqus I understand your concern. Data and code ownership is what makes SE4 great. That is why we are keeping SE4 around with a whole team dedicated to it’s development.

  240. Ferry
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    sorry dubble post. Please delete

  241. Posted August 16, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    @c8420b740a8aa5c460a5209e4391da20:disqus I understand what you mean. That is why we are devoted in keeping SE4 around. As mentioned in the other comments, we have allocated a whole separate team for SE4 development. We have a lot of resellers and developers that are able to make SE4 completely awesome but we have clients struggling to even install it. That’s where SE5 would make more sense. But SE5 is not limited to just non-technical clients. We are also going to be showing off our template system and the API soon which will open doors to our more technical clients and 3rd party developers.

  242. Posted August 16, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    I understand the concerns with SE5 being hosted by us. We are doing some cool stuff with the template system and a data API. We will be sharing more details soon. But essentially, this will allow you to create something completely new by building on top of our API. In that sense you will have even more freedom while we do all the hard work dealing with database optimization and scaling.

    SE4 is not going anywhere too. We have a separate team that will continue to develop and support it. I also suspect 3rd party developers will continue to develop for it.

  243. jerkski
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    You are absolutely right. Two different products, one supersedes the other which ultimately spells end-of-life for SE4. This leaves SE’s intentions wide-open for debate. Not once in any of these posts does it say that SE4 will have another major release. Just patches, enhancements, and plugins. Even if it did live on, what would they call it (since SE5 is already used for an entirely different platform)?

  244. Ed Ferrigan
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Based on the comments below I have a comment or two. Im curious how WebLingo came to the conclusion to rebuild the platform? How did you go about it in your research? Did you sit down with customers (not just the vocal ones) and discern customer needs? (I know I was never questioned) How did you determine your choice of direction and feature set? In my experience you cannot create products because of an idea. That is old school. Its a good start but no longer practical unless you are incredibly intuitive or have very deep pockets. You must talk to customers and identify a large enough audience that will pay for what you are creating. Otherwise you spend a lot of time building product but no one shows up to buy. In other words is your product is the result of front line customer research that solves real world issues? In your blog above Im hearing the 30K view but Im not hearing that you talked with say 20,000 customers and here are the conclusions you came to…and that is why you are coming out with the next generation. In other words I need more of what’s in it for me and third party vendors.

    Now Im not jumping to conclusions because I have seen the limitations of SE 4 and hope there are better solutions. But at current time I have not yet paid for the product in terms of practical use so am not sure I want to jump ship yet. How many others are in that boat? Not sure it matters as you’ve already dumped tremendous resources into a new product…..hopefully tested with a good cross section of your customer base. Im smart enough to know resistance is our first act when change is about….until we are clear what the consequences are. I also know you must orient people to the change so there is less resistance. I would like to see pricing, screen shots, and descriptions of solutions so I can orient myself to this. What are the third party people thinking right now after investing so much in the SE4 platform? Id hate to see them bail….To me it felt like things were just coming around to stabilize. All for now.

  245. Steve
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Hey Just curious, since you’ve been running a pet lovers sight for a while, what are some of the minor hiccups I might run into? Is there any way I can avoid these issues? I’m shooting for a network that is similar to facebook with a live activity stream, photo/video sharing and other features facebook has as well as able to integrate with other sites like facebook and twitter.

  246. Simon
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Don’t know how I should feel about these news.
    On the one hand I think it is a good idea. Hosting on strong Amazon backed EC2 machines, API, Auto-Updates… and I can somehow understand this step. Every SE4 Update ended in new errors and countless comments, problems, negative feedback and unhappy clients. This totally went out of control sometimes.
    Sometimes the reasons were real bugs, sometimes the reasons were 3rd party customizations, wrong server configs and such on client side which is very difficult if not impossible to control for the SE team.
    So you have my understanding at this point.The SE 5 concept is an interesting solution for this problem. But I don’t think many people will spend another monthly fee for if the already pay for their own servers. I am sure SE 5 is getting more stable, faster and more scaleable but It is also getting more expensive. In addition we have to pay again if we upgrade from SE4 to SE5. Most SE clients are hobby-networkers and no people with high budget.
    Somebody mentioned the way WordPress handles things – with a downloadable and a hosted version with the same core. I agree with him – this is the only way to keep most SE Clients.
    Congratulations on improving speed in SE4! Great Job! You say: “You asked for it – we listened” you really did now. But it took very long until you did. Speed was an issue since the early days of SE4 – we all know that. I suggested so many enhancements, improvements, thoughts – others did even more. The only point that was realized was Amazon S3 integration if I remember right. I know that you can’t listen to all of our wishes and realize all of them. Nobody is expecting that.
    You would have less problems with updates and clients if you would involve us more in your work.I.e. by opening an official forum for discussions. Comments are a good start but nothing more. Hard to keep the overview.
    Also…after every update…it took days or even weeks until you updated your SE4 live demo. That makes me wonder why. Because you were afraid of your own bugs? So after you finished an update – bring it live on your demo first so we have the chance to test and report bugs before we install it on our own servers – messing up our communities and spamming your blog posts with angry comments. This way you coud make sure that bugs are not client specific. I am sure you test your products carefully too. But 100000 eyes see more than 30..
    Next: Give us a roadmap! Finally give us a roadmap! We want to know what is going on! We want to know what we buy! Make polls and ask us what we need, what we want, what we are ready to pay for. You have multiple projects you work on. Fanmix, SE4, SE5…. but wouldn’t it fair to concentrate on the existing client base?
    I am with SE since…dont know…2010 I think or even 2009?! I have bought many plugins for SE 3…then SE 4 was released and SE 3 was lost in space…all the plugins bought for nothing…left alone with an “abandoned” product I payed for, no more features, no more development. I don’t want this to happen over and over again! Running away when something doesn’t work is only ok if you do it once. So good that you have chosen to continue working on SE4. Don’t leave us in the dessert while you are running away with our money. The only People who profit from this strategy are only you – as the company who sells the product – and the other developers but not the people who payed – the clients.
    All these points seam to work much better with other products like phpfox. The product is more stable, the development is more open, the community is more involved and the software is even cheaper. They use polls to ask which features are desired most and maybe 1 or 2 months later their clients get them. They have not the problem that half of the community and clients are complaining all the time. Why is that so? Don’t think it is the clients fault. But what is it?
    As Phpfox is your competitor you should maybe ask yourself that question.
    Why I haven’t switched over to phpfox? Because I am loyal! And I never gave up hoping for more features, a stable product or a better and more opened development process.
    Some of us are somehow forced to be loyal because the have invested an huge amount of money and but can’t resell their SE license and Plugin Licenses. Reward you loyal clients – don’t punish them.
    Don’t get me wrong – you do a great job and I know it is not easy and I appreciate what you are doing. I really do. But there is still need for a change! For the good of your clients and of yourself as a company. And I am not sure that you are on the right way with your plans for SE5. I tend to say that you are on the wrong way again!
    But prove me wrong! I take you by your word that you will actively continue extending and improving SE4.How about an API for SE4? Or support for multiple databases to improve access time even more and extend V4 without too many dependencies with help of an api like you plan it in SE5? Why you need to build a new car to use new wheels every time? Why not keep the car?
    Many questions, many ideas, many thoughts… I know.
    I asked now…some questions and thoughts are nothing new…..do you listen?

  247. VeryConcerned
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    This idea would have been a great one to share in the way of a survey or customer feedback before you decided to commit to this direction. This move reminds me of politicians who get behind closed doors and make decisions for voters without regard to why we voted for them. I’m very concerned.

  248. Jonathan Cousar
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to help beta test.

  249. ajeets
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to say it all look Lie, you guys lost our faith :((

  250. VeryConcerned
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    If history is any indicator it will lead to the demise and neglect of SE 4 just like SE 4 led to the demise and neglect of SE3. It this is a profit move it’s clear that as the customer base gets bigger for SE 5 we will be kicked to the curb. Time to look for stable alternatives. I’m checking out PHPFox for sure.

  251. Jonathan Cousar
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to know if we’re going to pay a monthly fee for hosting – will support be free? Or $50 a month. Normally when you pay a company a monthly fee, you don’t pay extra for support.

  252. VeryConcerned
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    I spent $24,000 customizing sites in SE 3 only to have to scuttle that for the move to SE 4. I won’t do it again. Maybe it’s time to put a cooperative together to develop our own platform.

  253. Doug Wolanick
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    1. Will SE5 have forums, groups, group forums, chat? (at beta or launch)

    2. If a site has files for users to download, will SE be able to host them or do we need a separate 3rd party file server. Does it depend on file size/type/monthly bandwidth?

    I am interested in trying out the beta. Our site has grown to over 135K members, and performance is a problem with SE4.

  254. Posted August 16, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    This was a great post. Now, let’s see it be ignored while other comments that are not as poignant or worse, praise the move, get replies. We’re waiting to hear from you @ShaunHarding:disqus and @abenzer:disqus

  255. Posted August 16, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    @ShaunHarding:disqus These changes sound great, I agree that a lot of the maintenance happening behind the scenes before we are even privy to it is great, BUT why force us to host the data with Webligo? Why not go with the WordPress model as someone else suggested? And can you please break down the new/additional costs current users will face? We have spent a lot of money, I can’t afford more drastic costs just to get to where I am with SE4, and this is after going through it once already with SE3!

  256. Simon
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Thank you DJ Daddy! Let’s wait and see

  257. Nesha
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    AS seen before with SE3!!!
    This is the end of SE4 developers community, SE developers are small, with no resources to support SE4 and SE5 plugins…

  258. Posted August 16, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Wow! $24,000!! You know, I said above I’ve spent upwards of $15,000 but honestly, I’m as good a financial wiz as I am a coder and that is a rough estimate, I’m sure in the 20’s as well. And I’ve been seeing a lot of people here that have been with SE for long, the oldest I’ve seen so far is 2009, same year I signed up, August of 2009 to be exact, so I’m sure there are a lot of unhappy clients out there, right now!

  259. Posted August 16, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Thanks guys – appreciate your thoughts on this. The reality is that we don’t have a large team. We can’t throw unlimited development resources at everything we want to do. If we could, we would build everything we can to satisfy every use case, but it’s just not possible.

    The other factor that we’ve clearly seen is that, despite what folks are saying in this comment thread, demand for self-hosted software in general has been slowly diminishing. We need to focus on offering a hosted alternative to survive and thrive as a company, or we won’t have the resources to even improve SE4. It’s an extremely hard decision for us to make but we need to focus on what’s important, given limited resources and shifting demand. Again, I know that may not resonate with many folks in this thread since SE4’s community comprised of 100% self-hosters.

    The key here is that we will sincerely continue to improve SE4, but we can only really do that long-term if we launch a hosted service alongside it. We will seriously look at creating a self-hosted variant of SE5, but we simply can’t swing that yet with the resources we have.

  260. Posted August 16, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    There’s really no need to build a new platform. If you’re doing well with SE4, stick with it.

  261. Posted August 16, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    But why have two streams for two products – why not just host SE4 (or SE5) as a cloud service and also allow for full self hosting option. One development stream! And some smart hosting guys who can also share best practice with those people that want to self host. Seem crazy as a long term solution as it will just flatten your revenue streams to monthly income and p*ss your very loyal customers off. I do think your business models needs to change, but not like this.

  262. Posted August 16, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Simon, I really appreciate that you’ve considered the upside to SE5, and you can see how we are using it to solve many of the issues people have had with SE4 around installation, configuration, updates, customizations, etc.

    Truthfully, we would LOVE to be able to offer both hosted and self-hosted options for SE5. The limiting factor is resources. We don’t have a large team, and we are already supporting an existing product. We need to start with a hosted service for SE5. We’ve looked carefully at market data and SE4 customer feedback, and the overwhelming consensus is that there is an astronomically bigger demand for a hosted solution. Meanwhile, despite the conversation here (which is completely populated with self-hosters), demand for self-hosted software in general is decreasing. It’s not a new trend.

    WordPress isn’t the best example because it began as an open-source platform, that was then later transformed into a hosted service. If you’re asking us to open-source SocialEngine, I’d basically have to lay off our entire staff.

    The other factor is our desire, as a team, to be innovative. SE4’s structure and legacy make that much harder than it would be with a SaaS. We’d rather focus less on building a commodity product, and work on building new, unique features that don’t copy-cat the old guard. We need a new start to make that possible. If you give us a chance, we’ll put everything we can into making it awesome. We are also committed to making the process as transparent as possible. The private beta site that we are creating will ultimately be opened as a public meeting place for all SE site owners.

    Understand that with SE5, we are actually making a MUCH bigger commitment to you than we could with SE4. With a monthly service, your support coverage will never expire. We want to take on more responsibility and solve more problems for you. With our limited resources, we can do that much more effectively with a hosted service. Just give us a chance!

  263. jerkski
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    If the SE team would care for a lesson in damage control, talk to the team over at AppThemes.com. They went from being a PR disaster (wink, wink) with numerous failed/delayed product launches to a world-class WordPress theme developer with the greatest customer support. Albeit different systems and different issues, basically they were faced with the same end result…a PR disaster. Ask them how they kept their faithful customers. Here’s a few hints: 1. Product roadmap and release schedules. 2. Increased communication with customers and an active forum. 3. Hire trusted, expert community contributors as official forum moderators to better handle interactions. This keeps the negative chatter to a minimum. 4. Polls for feature requests and a suggestion board. 5. Continuous updates. 6. Perhaps the most important, relinquish all price-hiking plans and support packages (which would have allowed for a more sustainable business model) in favor of better products with increased usage. All of this equals fewer failed expectations, increased usage, and a better experience for both you guys and the end-users.

    in the meantime, you may want to write a follow up post about how those stuck as SE4 users will continue to operate, grow and benefit from this transition.

  264. Posted August 16, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    WordPress, the open source product, predated the commercial wordpress.com. The platform was essentially built by the community. That’s not the case for SocialEngine. We can’t open-source the platform without totally restructuring (e.g. laying off the staff).

    I’m sorry that this post deterred you from investing in SE4. We are trying to be completely transparent about the direction of the company. SE5 will NOT lead to the neglect of SE4 – we have two separate teams working on each product. If we can leverage SE5 as a hosted service to get the resources we need to spin it out into a self-hosted product, we will seriously consider doing so.

    You’re absolutely right that complete control is a major selling point for SE4. It’s also our key differentiator for SE5, which will give you an incredible amount of control. The API will give you access to all your data and every core function of the system, and you can build anything you want on top of that. It’s actually a much cleaner framework than SE4 and should be really awesome for developers. We are not trying to neglect you! Just give us a chance to build it!

  265. jerkski
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Good history, but you’re missing the point. No one is asking for an open-source SE. Just the same product that they purchased. In fact, I would purchase your product again if there was a major upgrade and I could host it myself. The overall concern here that has not been detailed yet is what will come of SE4? There have been mixed responses about how it will be maintained and optimized, that plugins will add functionality. IMHO, all end-users would like to hear is that you will continue to release self-hosted products with the same pace and excitement as this new SE5 buzz carries.

  266. Nesha
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Agreed
    This is the end of SE4 developers community, SE developers are small, with no resources to support SE4 and SE5 plugins… they will abandon SE4 plugins and go to SE5…..AS seen before with SE3!!!

  267. Barry
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    a comparitive newbie to SE but would like to have a look and test of SE5 so please sign me up

  268. Steve
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    How hard is it to start a social network from scratch the same way Mark Zuckerberg did with facebook? I read about all the stuff they use to operate facebook…you would need a team of people to help run the site too and fix any bugs…I’m wondering who to go to for starting something like that…not going through these companies like ning and social engine….

  269. Simon
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Alex for your kind and fast reply!

    I know that you are only a small team with limited ressources – and you really work hard – no doubt.

    You say that most of your clients wish a hosted version. I – and I think many other people here have problems to belive that. I highly doubt that so many clients can afford another monthly fee additionally to their own servers, plus the concerns about having data on foreign servers.

    If you would would make public polls for your clients or have an official forum for discussion where we could see that we are only a minority being against a hosted version I / We wouldn’t misstrust you at this point. No matter where I have been – Forums, the discussions here…no matter…I haven’t seen anyone of these people. I beg you to make this process more transparent. Right now it still seams to happen behind closed doors and I feel locked out.

    Sure I give you another chance. I already did with SE4 – Chances are limited. Other companies build one product…one great product and they concentrate on it and make it as perfect as possible with help of the community and with transparency. I wouldn’t have bought countless SE4 plugins if I would have known that you are already working on SE5 for months!

    I don’t think that the Team behind PHPfox is that much bigger than yours – so why is it working with them? Maybe because they finish things or they don’t start from zero all the time.

    Isn’t it better to have one working product that satisfies clients rather than having 3 or more products which are half ready and buggy? Starting all over again is poison for the trust of your clients. You can still stay with one product an be innovative by improving it and by adding features. Wouldn’t it be innovative to have an API in SE4? Why do I have to wait until SE5 to get an API and loose all my plugins and work and money I have invested before? This is a money eating process that starts over and over again. And thats not Fair. Why should we trust you this time? We will get SE5 and another year later we just get another version build from zero again forcing us to start from zero again, too?

    Why not create an SE4 Amazon AMI with optimzed server config i.e.? That’s also innovative and would improve the situation much better.

    I am excited about the beta site…but thats not enough. You already have a demo site of SE4 which you update days or even weeks after you released an update. Why not offer it for your existing clients to test new updates and to give feedback and report possible bugs before we install it and flood your blog with comments? You can’t tell me that you keep the overview here. With a forum and public polls for clients you would. And also important: we finally would too.

    I kind of feel betrayed because information flow here is incredibly bad. And it never has improved. You tell us that you are working on another version 9!!!! months after beginning of development. Why?? Honestly…how do you call that? A good information flow? If I want to buy i.e. a DVD player and I hear that there will be a blue-ray a few months later I want the have the possibility to decide whether to buy now or whether to wait for the new technology. I don’t have this decision with SE.

    Companies like Apple can do that because they have working products und clients with trust. You know that you buy an Iphone 4s…you will like it..it will work…and a few years later you maybe get the Iphone 5 if you want it…but your Iphone 4s is still great. If it would be the same with SE – ok! But it isn’t.

    I have the feeling you never really finished a product. You always stopped somewhere without asking what we want – or did you ask us?! We can’t check because of non existing public polls. You say something – you say that most people want a hosted version – and we have to belive again and again. Thats not transparency…thats darkness.

    Your words are comparable to the words I heard when you started SE4…we can do more with SE4..new possibilities, new base… and now the same story again? What’s the sense of innovation when you release half ready products every 1 or 2 years?

    I still think most of your clients are hobby networkers – prove me wrong!

    SE4 is a great product! Bu if you’ll release SE5 in the near future development for SE4 will slow down. Especially 3rd party devs will concentrate more on the new product.

    I don’t know how many times this will repeat again.

    I want to trust you and your products again – help my doing that. You see my concerns and I think it should be easy to understand them. I would like you to convince me and clarify my doubts and concerns above. Until now – you didn’t. As much as I can understand you and your points or at least most of them…but it is not convincing at all. Would you be convinced?

    Thank you!

  270. Posted August 16, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    To be honest, SE is no longer the script/software we need for our niche. While I love SE and I get the point of SE4 and SE5 being separate platforms, I dont think a mini-social network is the solution for our community needs anymore, our last SE project didn’t pick up as we expected despite heavy marketing efforts – we drew to a conclusion that our niche is more content and comfortable on FB and Twitter, that our target is a “lazy audience”. I also do get Alex’s assessment that hosted services are more in demand now than self-hosted software, especially with cloud services on the rise. I’m still interested on trying out SE5, maybe we could discover a new niche soon and this may serve us well.

  271. Posted August 16, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    One thing that’s really different about SE5 is it’s tight integration with mainstream social channels like Facebook and Twitter. We are working on aggregation features that will help you actually pull in content from your community members (or prospective members) even if they are tweeting it. Interest-based communities no longer exist in just one channel – they exist and share across many channels – SE5 is designed with that in mind.

  272. Posted August 16, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Alex Benzer and The Social Engine Team(SE4 and SE5)
    Just do what you have to do.

    I will test that SE5 and if it suits my target market, why not. If it doesnt atleast i still have an option of SE4. I only hope that the support will still be there for SE4.

    All the best Alex and the SocialEngine team be it SE4 or SE5 team.

    Just let me test that SE5 beta…

    Arigi

  273. Posted August 16, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Adult content will be permitted as long as it is legal and you hold the necessary rights to share it. Payment gateways are still being discussed.

  274. Posted August 16, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Adult content will be permitted as long as it is legal and you hold the necessary rights to distribute the material. Additional payment gateways are still being discussed.

    Also your original comment was not deleted, Disqus just moved it down as there were other comments that got “Up Voted” to the top of the list.

  275. Posted August 16, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    As long as SE4 gets better and smoothly transitions into a self-hosted SE5 then I’ll be a very happy camper. 😀

  276. ShaunHarding
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Definitely! We’re going to keep on developing and supporting SE4. Thanks for the well wishes and we look forward to hearing from you during the beta :).

  277. oBoy
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Please provide a means to do survey. Let your loyal customers tell you (vote) what they wants, their needs, what they are wiling to pay extra for. Then base on their feedback you and them can see where the priority should be. Let the survey results be open so everyone can see. Perhasps each license holder can cast one or two votes to be fair.

  278. Posted August 16, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much Arigi. We really appreciate your support.

  279. oBoy
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    if you are concern with quality control (server specs), how about selling preconfig Amazon AMI. Say Ubuntu and SocialEngine preinstall image with tutorial. You can charge a fee to install if clients doesn’t know how. or have a list of certified admin to install and config for a fee.

  280. ShaunHarding
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    We have a database of over a 100 thousand e-mail and support support request that made problems with previous versions of the product quite visible. There are many really amazing developers that use SocialEngine, and many write us and let us know when we break stuff or ways that we can improve on the software, and we’ve been greatly appreciative of their suggestions. The majority of our clients however, are non-technical, as our database of support requests and emails suggest, and SE4 have requires a fair amount of technical savvy. For those that are less technical, we want to provide a service that lets them build and grow their communities without needing to worry about any of the complex stuff.

    One of the things we really want to drive home is that anyone with an existing SE4 site isn’t required to switch to SE5. I think there will be some that will want to make that transition, but this isn’t something that is going to be required for anyone. We are going to continue development on SE4 and will continue supporting it. Newer versions will be schedule and released as they have been over the past couple years.

  281. ShaunHarding
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    We’ve considered doing something like this, but there are still a number of key problems that remain unaddressed here. Scaling and performance are still really big problems that do not get addressed here. With Amazon’s Autoscale service, its possible to easily spin up more EC2 instances to manage high loads, but the cost of this can get unreasonably high quickly. Not only that, but errors do occur and checking error logs for multiple machines daily is a fulltime job — this is pretty much what I spend all of my day doing, it’s not always fun… sometimes it is, but I’m a geek so go figure :).

    It’s a really great idea — I actually suggested it to the boss people over a year ago, and we spent a few months exploring this option, but I doesn’t address all of the big problems that we want to solve. This is part of the reason why we chose to go with a software that provides a service, rather than just another service on top of existing software, and I think it better utilizes our staff’s unique abilities.

  282. ShaunHarding
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    SE4 isn’t going to go away. We’ve had a lot of success with SE4 which allowed us to grow as a company to the point were we can have a team dedicated to the development of SE4 while still developing new things. We’re going to continue developing SE4 and new versions are still be scheduled and wil be released.

  283. Posted August 16, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    Alex Benzer and ShaunHarding you guys love your jobs, you really believe in your product? I believe you do, so do I/we (or is it, did)? Which is why I am sure you can understand when I say that the above posts made me feel emotional, like my wife watching a chick flick! And not simply because I have spent so much money and time on SE3 and 4 but because he so eloquently touched on many of the key concerns your user base currently shares. Because, he laid it out clearly, simply, sincerely. PLEASE, we have been asking, can you do the same? The cat is out the bag, no need to play coy now, might as well put it all out there. Please. Pretty please.

  284. ShaunHarding
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    We don’t delete comments. I noticed another guy mentioned this and I went over all of the comments earlier and didn’t see that any were removed by our staff. Disqus automatically rearranges the order of posts so more active posts float to the top. If you check back through the post history you should be able to find your post.

    I actually had this conversation with @abenzer:disqus yesterday and he mentioned to me that we’re not becoming a hosting provider, we’re providing a service, which found to be a pretty interesting view of the new product. I’ve mentioned this a few times today, but not everyone who uses SocialEngine is technically inclined, however they still want to build online communities. As it is, our client base continues to grow rapidly and with the way things are, we’re not best serving those that are less technical and we feel we should. This is more or less how SE5 started. I don’t see SE5 as being a product for everybody. Anyone with sufficient technical savvy would probably enjoy the freedom that SE4 provides, and had I been on the other end, I would probably go with SE4 over SE5 simply to satisfy the geek in me.

    Absolutely not. SE4 is a self sustained product with a team of developers ready to continue pushing its development, so there is not reason to discontinue the product.

    There are going to be some interesting things in store for developers once our APi is ready. We’re going to make it possible to enhance the core application with custom features, through the data API is still under active development. I’m going to forgo saying too much about it at at this time since its still subject to change, but we definitely want this. 3rd party developers have been a major part of SocialEngine’s success and we want them to continue as part of the product’s story.

    Complete control is one of the features of SE4 and previous versions that a lot of people want, and can still have with SE4. SE5 is really targeting those who need this less but still want to have their online communities.

    Part of the reason we decided not to just hack up version 4 and make it work as a service is because it’s still much more complex than we’d like it to be. One of our goal in developing SE5 was to reduce and/or remove complexity of the product for end users, while the goal of SE4 was to make the product much more flexible for developers. Since SE4 focused on developers, many of it’s features like the task manager for instance, included a lot of complex stuff that confused most users. In order to make SE5 less complex, rethinking some of the product’s features was necessary.

    We’ve learned a lot from working on SE5 and I’m sure that many of the things we’ve learned during the development process will make their way back into SE4 code base. Thanks for considering SocialEngine and asking some really good questions :).

  285. Posted August 16, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    No playing coy! I promise! I’m already working on my next blog entry which will go a bit more in depth on the differences between SE4 and SE5, the motivations behind building a new platform, etc. Give us a chance to build this awesome new thing. We really don’t want to disappoint you!

  286. Posted August 16, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Alex, Please include some more information in your next blog for 3rd party developers too, specially about the API. a few more screenshots will be great too.

  287. Posted August 16, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    I never get why if you have a problem that SE dodges it hoping you pay them 60 dollars for an answer and when you pay them..takes like 3- 10 working days

  288. Posted August 16, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    sometimes i feel like i bought a car off you guys and the only thing that works is the radio

  289. Posted August 16, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    I swear to god i wish i looked into SE before bought/ i got ripped off. Example = chat plug in. I could have used that money on booze and pissed it on the wall instead of giving it to you guys.

  290. ajeets
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    @abenzer:disqus @ShaunHarding:disqus @patentpending85:disqus @junghokim:disqus

    Let us have Fair Voting (Poll) here, then you guys will know what people want and what not….

    You guys all ready know SE4 is big disaster and you can’t hold it, and we also don’t want to stuck with it, so give us self hosting Option on SE5..

    You don’t have to host for us, we want host it on our Own Server = Full Control.

    Voting Plz..

  291. Guest
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    You dont have to host for us, we want host it on my own Server
    (Rackspace Cloud, Arvixe, Amazon EC2…)

  292. Simon
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    @Alex Benzer if you don’t Want to disappoint please kindly answer detailed on my 2nd Post above and help Me / us to understand and Trust. I for my Part really Want to. Thank you!

  293. Dan
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 1:47 am | Permalink

    yes please!

  294. sultan
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 2:12 am | Permalink

    You dont have to host for us, we want host it on my own Server

    http://answer-win.com

  295. Dan
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 2:44 am | Permalink

    Yes please do consider a self-hosted variant.

    You guys have been with or are still with Techstars, SocialEngine is a promissing company for invesors why don’t you guys raise more funding to make it happen and to speed things up instead of bootstrapping on your own?

  296. Maelle
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 3:04 am | Permalink

    Alex again we get f*ck*d by Webigo, I had so many problems with this and scripts like PHPFox rock, but dont have the economic machine behind them. What is going to happen to the $4000 I spent on SE4? Will I get a refund? What about the new server I just set up and invested in a 1 year payment? The technical support is already a nightmare and why shouldn’t I just move to Ning finally like I should have in the first place? I dont think you realize that you need to provide technical support and listen to your customers, that is something which has not happened very good in your company’s track record. You have a great product, dont abandon it and piss off your entire customer base and their thousands of users.

  297. partyfreaker
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 3:54 am | Permalink

    No own hosting = no go for me. Even if social engine 4 will stay alive we want new futures too!

  298. Lundblad
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    I just bought a new space on a dedicated server just for the purpose of SE… what a waist of money! Until you prove me wrong, I’m gonna look at PHPFox instead, because this is not the way I’m walking…

  299. Pulkit
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Umm to be honest it looks like shit, but anyway.
    Would SE4 users be able to upgrade their present community to SE5?
    If yes, how would they go about the modifications that they’ve already made.
    If you would have given a hint of such a thing happening in your company 9 months back itself, when you guys started the work, it would have been much better! Nobody would have bought your product itself or atleast would have known that they would be abandoned soon!

    All the best guys, if you would have worked more on SE4, it could have given you better opportunities to earn!

    One concern, if you host it in the US and a person requires a community for Indian audience, wouldn’t the users face latency issues? How would u cope up with that?

  300. jerkski
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Before you posted this article, did you consider how you will continue to gain new SE4 customers? There is so much uncertainty based on its content and lack of meaning for SE4 customers, that it makes one wonder why you would continue to support and enhance a product (SE4) that potentially will not be your flagship product any longer, therefore losing sales from this moment on. From these firesquad comments, it seems as though you were barely able to keep up with SE4. How in the world will you keep up development of both SE4 and SE5? Even by splitting into teams as you’ve mentioned…all that does is decrease the amount of people focusing on the product that got you to this point.

    Apparently your company was doing quite well up to 2011 with SE4 alone: http://fusible.com/tag/webligo/ Not great by Silicon Valley terms, but good enough to give people jobs and continue to innovate your product. Has something changed? Have SE4 sales dropped off? If so, the good news is that’s an easy fix. Give-the-customers-what-they-want!

    How much more $$$ are you planning on making from this venture? I can say from my experience that your expectations for a hosted service may be skewed…nobody wants to rent a social networking server anymore. Lessons have been learned. But they will buy it if it can be their own 😉

  301. hithere
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Hi there,

    i do consider the above as good news as long as :

    1) you release an official support cycle for se 4 so that we make proper arrangements.
    2) provide at least a basic migration mechanism from se 4 to se 5.
    3) release a self hosted version of se 5 and leave it to the end users to customize the server i.e. do not provide server customization, support e.t.c. just good documentation. The community will take over.

    For me the biggest problem of social engine is the lack of plugin developers. If you look over dolphin the community is really kicking and the platform is stable and easy to manage. This is an outcome of long and stable releases.

    Regards

  302. Hesborne
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    @abenzer:disqus well said Alex – “We will seriously look at creating a self-hosted variant of SE5″ – OK. As soon as you roll out SE5 on the 20th, while we will be beta testing, please work on the self-hosted variant. Am sure a good bunch of the current community owners will be smiling, and you can be sure to get the best of both. Keep it firing. . .

  303. Sri
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Exactly.. this is my concern. My social network is more for the south asian sub continent. I have done the speed test even on AWS. The latency from Virginia is somewhere around 230 – 250 ms as against 40 – 60 ms on a similar bucket or a server hosted in Singapore or Hong kong..!! Given the reputation of slowness of SE, my users will be waiting almost a couple of seconds before even the site loads. Am definitely not into SE5 unless the team proves me wrong.!

  304. ClikPals
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    @ajeets we are ready to vote “Own Server = Full Control”. open the polls @abenzer:disqus

  305. jerkski
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    How do you intend to bundle pricing for SE5 and Amazon hosting? EC2 has per hour variable pricing. (
    http://aws.amazon.com/ec2/pricing/ ) Will your service hosting be flat-fee and tiered as one would expect?

  306. bwglive
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Social Engine: Will the SE5 have just as many features out of box as SE4? Will creating plugins be harder, easier for developers? If a developer creates an SE4 plugin, will it be easily converted to a SE5 plugin?

  307. Dave
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Alex, I have concerns as other so, and I see the potential for some improvements. I’ll keep an open mind and give it a try. Please include me in the beta of SE5

  308. jerkski
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    But without the ME, ME, ME’s, SE wouldn’t have any any customers.

  309. ShaunHarding
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    For everyone that wants to host SocialEngine themselves, SE4 will be the option that’s made available. SE4 already has a team of developers, and we’re going to continue investing in SE4 as a product. SE5 is a new product that we will be making available for those who don’t necessarily want to host SocialEngine themselves, but still want to build online communities.

  310. jerkski
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    SE4 has been out for over two years. Is there another major release planned or will it just be patches from here on out?

  311. ShaunHarding
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Not just patches. There will be new features added as they are scheduled. We get feature requests all the time for SE4 through support tickets and e-mails and some of them, not all, get scheduled for inclusion in new versions.

  312. ajeets
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Don’t you guys understand or blindfolded… we don’t want Broken SE4 give us SE5 with Self Host…

  313. jerkski
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    @ShaunHarding:disqus Please excuse my vigorous commenting and questions. Despite all of the bad press thus far, I am still interested in SE4. Maybe I’m foolish. I don’t know. I’m just trying to wrap my head around what you guys are doing with the product.

    I’ve used just about every product on the market, and have spent a lot of unnecessary $$$ in the process. Believe me, even a bad press release can scare people away from investing.
    Can I make one major suggestion? Take a look at this link: http://ideas.appthemes.com/ Please implement something identical to this so your users can have a voice. Tickets are not an effective way to handle feature requests because they are not created or supported by the majority. Its mostly so that users can see that there is a future for SE4, but also to be sure they can offer their ideas and you can see the value in them. This also makes planning your roadmap much more clear cut with direct user input. I think this would be a necessary step in assuring new and old customers that their investments in SE4 will not be wasted.

    Side note: Your responses do not provide enough evidence that SE4 will be around much longer after SE5 is released. You need to release another blog post outlining your plans for SE4. Don’t use vague terms such as patches/features/enhancements. In software terminology, this spells EOL. Show your users how you intend to continue building on SE4. Don’t just say it. Give us a drawn-out roadmap and planned release schedule. Similar to this: http://www.appthemes.com/releases/
    Again, I keep referring to AppThemes because they were in the dumps over a year ago, but have turned around and come out as one of the top WordPress dev companies out there and given their customers some outstanding products. They did it by hiring a PR specialist whose job was to figure out how to handle customers.
    Handling this scenario is not as difficult as your team is making it. Just be clear and concise, especially when negativity arises. The more your team uses vague responses or dodges questions in favor of promoting SE5 features, it makes us feel like you haven’t really thought about what will happen with SE4, and that leads to unhappy customers.

  314. frantz
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    i agree

  315. Randy
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    I also agree. I also want to mention as far as SEO goes, all these sites on the same servers for SE5, may not go over to well with Google. I there’s been some issues with web 2.0 sites. No thanks I would prefer to stay on my own and not hand over my data. It’s like handing out your bank card number and waiting for someone to use it. Just hope they keep their word with SE4. Somehow I think that will change over time.

  316. Posted August 17, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Please let us know the initial costs involved. Will current users have to buy into SE all over again, if we go with your full package can we eliminate our current hosts, and if so, will your prices be less/equal/more; how exactly do the prices scale as our sites grow, and do you have any access to our data, meaning, can webligo see it and if so use it for whatever they want?

  317. Guest
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    @ShaunHarding:disqus
    Hmmm…last comment was deleted again somehow. Briefly, to recap: Help a new customer understand how much longer SE4 has to live! Provide a blog article with a drawn out roadmap (similar to http://www.appthemes.com/releases/). Don’t just use vague terms like enhance/plugins/features. Show us what to expect. Don’t just say it. Also, give your loyal users a way to make feature suggestions (similar to http://ideas.appthemes.com/). This gives them assurance that the product is being worked on, features that they want are being implemented, and it also provides a project-list for your team to work off of.

    Also, I keep referring to AppThemes.com because over a year ago they were in the dumps in a similar PR nightmare regarding new releases. How did they fix it? They hired a PR specialist to handle the customer’s demands.

  318. Guest
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Additionally, so you know, I am still considering purchasing SE4. I’m not sure why at this point. Foolish? maybe… just need you to explain to me how SE4 will continue to flourish.

  319. jerkski
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    there must be some strange delay in posting comments. It appears for one second. Then 2 minutes later its gone. Then 5 minutes later its back. Sorry for all the repeat comments: its Disqus’s fault. Not SE 😉

  320. Dan
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Amen to that, you’ve got my vote!

  321. ShaunHarding
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    It didn’t get deleted. Comments are being flagged as spam by Disqus and were having to manually approve them. It’s been doing that all morning. @Everyone If anyone notices their comment isn’t showing up let us know (http://www.socialengine.com/contact) so we can make sure they are getting read and included in the comment thread. We want to hear everyones questions and concerns :).

    SE4 alive indefinitely. It has a full development team and we’re going to continue working on it. New features will continue to be scheduled, bugs will be patched and our team will support it.

    Thanks for the feature suggestions idea. I’ll bring this up with the team in the next team meeting :).

  322. ShaunHarding
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for giving us a chance! 😀 @abenzer:disqus is working on a new blog post that will clear up many the questions we’ve been replying to regarding SE4 and SE5.

  323. jerkski
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Thnx! Looking forward to the new blog post!

  324. jerkski
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    I would suggest leaving SE5 out of the new blog post. Think of yourself as a customer who spent a lot of money on an investment in SE4. It was an investment…for many a large and time-consuming one. You have already delved into the mystical features of SE5. At this point, everyone just wants to know how they can keep their old system for as long as possible.

  325. Posted August 17, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Hi @google-9cf12d4b8319dbcc55b3ea074423fab5:disqus! Support will be included with the monthly fee. One of the best things about us hosting the code is that we are able to fix bugs and push regular patches immediately to your sites without it breaking. Shaun has completed a log management system that will alert us of any fatal issues with the applications. This will allow us to fix critical issues before you even need to open a support ticket! No more waiting around and having us ask for FTP access! :) Also, smooth upgrades!

  326. Posted August 17, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Hi @disqus_ZMtkllmMbr:disqus! Latency is a valid concern. We are hosting Amazon’s web services which gives us the ability spin up region specific EC2 instances. This should take care of any location based latency issues. FYI, our new sale site is being hosted by this service and it has been fantastic in terms of speed and performance!

  327. Melvin Quinones
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Alex, of course you will say “I’d stick with it”. Put yourself in our position, all the money that we have invested. I am trying to work on integration between 6 SE websites through a main portal and still needed to add 3 more SE websites. It will take A LOT of customization that I may not be able to have with SE5. Also, with a dedicated server I can host as many pages as I want, How much is it going to cost me monthly 8 or 9 SE5 websites?

  328. Posted August 17, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Hi @785b71fe95e16b00607d9a8ec5dca704:disqus!

    1. Transfer of data
    SE5 is a completely new system and a lot of things in SE4 will simply won’t work in SE5. That said, we are working on migrating everything that makes sense. The transition will be smooth for your users.

    2. Will you be able to use your own domain name?
    Yes :)

    3. Cost
    Pricing is something we are still working out. We will be sharing it with you shortly. As Alex mentioned, existing customers will get a substantial discount.

    4. Is it like Ning?
    Yes and no. The only thing similar is that we are hosting your online community for a monthly fee. Aside from that when play with SE5, you’ll notice that is very different from Ning. For example, we will be providing a Read/Write API. This allows developers to customize their community to their specific needs while we handle all hard issues with database scaling. We have also worked hard to make sure your community works well with current social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter. No only just social logins, but actual aggregation tools to leverage those social networking giants to get your target audience. There are many more features that makes SE5 different from Ning. We will be sharing them in more details soon!

  329. Posted August 17, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Naming SE5 is something we deliberated for a long time. We believe that SE5 will be the future for many of our customers. Our goal is to help people and brands to make great online communities and I believe SE5 does this really well.

    SE5 takes aways all the hard problems like configuring your server and maintaining it. We can push updates and fix bugs on a regular bases since we know our clients have the same base code. While we work on all these hard backend problems, our clients can focus their energy on building out their community.

    We realize that we have clients that are technical and want their hand on the source code. That is why we are keeping SE4 around and will continue to support and develop it.

  330. Posted August 17, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Hi @JaneHx:disqus! We are still working on of the migration script. The user and their information will definitely be imported. Most of the user generated content will be migrated over as well. However, SE5 is redesigned from the ground up so there are many things that do not make sense to migrate. As we share more details about the social networking features of SE5 we will get more details.

  331. oBoy
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    i bet most of the 100 thousand e-mail are chinese spammers. Do other SE site owners think am wrong?

  332. Posted August 17, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Thanks @twitter-340238861:disqus!

  333. Posted August 17, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Like SE4 release, we will definitely make sure to keep in touch with our developers. The release date of SE5 has not been announced yet!

  334. oBoy
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Guys, let say you put all your members (data) in SE5 and paying the monthly fees. What happen if you no longer can afford to stay with SE5 hosting? What happen if better technology come out? What happen if you and Webligo have a fall out? Will you be able to extract you members (data) and move back to v4 or other platform? What will happen to your data on Webligo servers? Can they use it? data mine it? spy on it? My dad taught me, the best time to plan a divorce is before getting married. :-) Webligo, am sorry if I sounds negative but am concern with the worse scenarios.

  335. Halal
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    On one hand, you guys are saying that you will keep both SE5 and the new SE5. On the hand, you are saying that you “don’t have a large team” to develop SE4 to your customers. satisfaction. If this “small team” has failed to develop one script (SE4), how will the same “small team” be able maintain both SE4 and SE5? I don’t think this time you will get hold of my money. Never!

  336. java
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Hi why not offer a hosted version of SE4

  337. java
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    As Dan has pointed out “Will SE5 lose the simplified Facebook style you are mentioning in the
    interview and are we heading off to a microsharing community with SE5?”

  338. java
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    I figured that the major issue with SE 4 was server hosting, why not Social Engine team offer an SE 4 Hosted version instead of building something way out because I really don’t see anything wrong with SE 4 framework and also there are already many developers selling great plugins on it. Just as many has cited SE 5 maybe the demise of SE4.

  339. Dan
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Hi Alex,
    In your interview at Socaltech you mention that SocialEngine is like WordPress, but instead of blogging, it provides an online community, but in the comments here we are being told that it is not like WordPress…?

    “SocialEngine is a white-label, community platform. It’s like WordPress, but instead of blogging, it provides an online community, which is self-hosted. ”

    Still I don’t understand and I think I’m not alone, is why you haven’t communicate to us that you where going to update the format to a SaaS, in the meanwhile you where giving this interview at Socaltech without informing your user base, what’s up with that?

    “Alex Benzer: We’re building SocialEngine in parallel, and working on a new, software-as-service version.
    We’re also updating the format. The product right now is like a simplified Facebook, and we are updating it to a new format we think more people will want, sort of a hybrid between Pinterest and Reddit, so that you can have any combination of features between those two.”

    Will SE5 lose the simplified Facebook style you are mentioning in the interview and are we heading off to a microsharing community with SE5?

    Earlier I’ve asked why does SE keeps bootstrapping in this competitive time? If you really want to be ahead of your competitors you need some extra money on the side to work faster with more staff. How is “raising money wouldn’t get us anywhere faster” being explained?

    Source interview http://www.socaltech.com/interview_with_alex_benzer_socialengine/s-0040835.html

  340. Cracken226
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    … noooooooooooo … and once again … noooooooooooo … se5? ok, i want it, but as an upgrade so i can run it whenever, wherever … you are loosing the biggest point ever, freeedom of choice. instead of that you should do …

    1. the plan you do, is fine for some, so keep going …
    2. there should be an option for install on our servers, open code, as always …
    3. most important, availability of upgrade from v4 to v5 …

    do all this, and i garantee you, you will get more customers, than the way you are planning to do it …

    john

  341. javatech
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Reading through Alex Benzer comments it seem SE5 hosted service will be great, the only issue here is that are we going get all the ability to add all plugins already on SE4 or do we have repurchase updated version from third-party developers.

  342. ajeets
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    @abenzer:disqus @ShaunHarding:disqus @junghokim:disqus

    Wow…Now you Guys start Ignoring us…. You said you listen to users ?

    Create Survey (Poll), Get Answers, you can use Free Service https://www.surveymonkey.com

    Q: Should Webligo Host Social Engine 5 (SE5) for us or We should have freedom to host on our own Servers?
    1) Yes, Let Webligo host SE5 for Me
    2) No, I want to host SE5 on My Own Server

    Simple is that 😉

  343. molecular
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Guys you have to understand SE is doing this for one thing. It is all driven by money. In the tech world data are gold mines. You can only sell data. Having the data on their server after sites owners work hard to generate a user base it will benefit them. Data mining is great business. I am very disappointed the way SE is going down the road. I can not understand why SE wants our data unless they plan to do something with them in the next few years. I once believed SE was going to be around for at least the next 10 years. I come to my senses that SE will be a different company very soon. Some deal is being negotiated as we speak.

  344. BenDaddy
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    I am interested in joining and giving you guys feedback on the ver. 5 beta however I would still like to host it on my own server.

  345. sledd
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    SE have earned a superb base following and the response in this forum clearly demonstrates people are highly motivated to comment, understandable if you have spent serious money. But regarding SE5 I think there is an area, the basic in fact, that hasn’t been expanded upon. It’s this: SE need to sell not just to the computer literate but to those (like me when I started) who frankly don’t have a clue. If SE5 had been available when I bought SE2 (still works, lots of members, active sites) then I would have been spared working with servers, ftp, setting up email – it goes on. To the experienced it’s a total non issue I fully understand, but to reach a wide audience, SE5 is a plainly obvious way to do it.

    I am trapped with SE2, way too many mods to even remember, never mind copy over. SE quickly realised that newbies generate a massive request for support with some of the most inane questions (I know, I sent some) and plugged that hole with ‘extended support’ at a cost. The next move has to be hosting and updating in the background. My sites could be so much better if I wasn’t bogged down with PHP, SQL, updates (not any more!) and whatever else appears.

    SE4 must remain and be improved, I agree, but it’s a kit car, not a road car. If you are a capable mechanic you will make something way better than mainstream with SE4. If you are not it’s bland, more toys to make it universal than you can shake a stick at and crushed under a weight of code that made my SE4 attempt run at glacial speed. Yes, I know its getting faster, but if it wasn’t so slow in the first place it wouldn’t need a kick up the ****.

    My first post, try not to savage me too openly. :-)

  346. sandiegomike
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Our company is currently running two SE sites. Looking to add a third. Please add us to the beta for SE5.

  347. Alberto
    Posted August 18, 2012 at 2:10 am | Permalink

    Alex… if you insist on try to chase the money… the money will run out even faster… As far as I have seen, my first concern was the first time you introduce a 3rd party app on the core of SE4 in order to try to monetize it… but what you do not undestant is that your costumers, the ones that buys licences for SE4 are developers, programmers or freelances … and they will never use a hosted solution or any core app from a 3rd party embeded on SE4…

    For the hosted solution you are planning for SE5 I can predict with a 99% of accuracy that will be a fiancial disastre… (the first picture, the one like pinterest…. you can have that on tumblr for 2 bucks and is a simple css change) the rest of the interaction is unusefull for that purpose. Who is your target then for the hosted solution? Who will pay for no control?

    SE4 is not the best product out there and the only reaso why you have us here supporting you is becouse we have invest a lot of money and time trying to make from something good somehting even better… and don´t blame the developers, and their pluggins, the best ones now undestand that they must develop thinking on avoid confilicts with other developers scripts and at least with the big 4 ones that is something that has been reached (i had my fights with everyone of them in order to try to teach them how to develp thinking on the users and on the conflicts with others pluggins since the begining)

    Any way…. I am here becouse I were looking for an update and news about the last tragic “update” and I found this…

    Well, at the end what I will do is to keep why iIgot, revamp the core myself with the help of other coders and leave the updates for the ones that does not have other possibility than take it or leave it… I´m sorry for the SE4 Develpers too as they has invest a lot of time and money too developing things for something they believe and like,

    And just to finish… don´t you think that maybe your sales of licenses are went down dure your lack of support, acurate updates, etc etc etc… before you jusmp in to something you first read read and read again forums, blogs, etc in order to try to undestand the pros and cons of any product…. what will a potential customer will find from you no out there? Problems, problems and problems…

  348. Alberto
    Posted August 18, 2012 at 2:26 am | Permalink

    well… I haven´t seen a sigle person commenting about how happy they are about the hosting solution? wich market numbers did you see… becouse for free online communities there are plenty of options…. and you know what…. If all the best SE4 3rd party developers moves to PHPFox… what will happen? for me the end of SE history…

  349. daniel
    Posted August 18, 2012 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    i inversion 6.000 € of my social network you are stupits!!! what happend with my time and with my money??? i think its no good idea SE5 you will see similar of NING.

    all automatic… and you lost 70% of your customers because to be the best social network you need custom programing and SE4 its your best future.

  350. Danny
    Posted August 18, 2012 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    I’m one of those customers who have spend well over 20,000 dollars in my site trying to make it better and now seems like eventually S4 will get abandoned. My first BIG disappointment was last month when I purchase support from SE and just lost my money because they said they could not support sites with 3party plugins.

    I hope they reconsider and instead of creating something new improve what they have create new plugins of their own, I’m pretty sure the SE could make it even greater than what it is right now, they just need to stop chasing money first.

  351. what the fuck
    Posted August 18, 2012 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    this is some real bull shit… i really hope it kills your company, no one wants this crap we just want stable, working solutions. how the fuck are you going to host my PORN SITE on Amazon ????

  352. what the fuck
    Posted August 18, 2012 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    so what company do we move to now that we have been told we are all screwed SE5 can scrape us for hosting costs on top of monthly and yearly software costs instead of free upgrades for life?

    Are there other self hosted social networking scripts that we can support? there is a massive social engine plugin developer network that would move in a heartbeat since they will all now get screwed royally… all thats needed is a good social engine exporter that can export all the data.

    time to look at open source solutions backed by paid plugins. email me on karsten@plugin.com if you are interested in building something oss and good

  353. what the fuck
    Posted August 18, 2012 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    yes it really sucks. we invested 50k in our site…

  354. what the fuck
    Posted August 18, 2012 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    yea totally fucked its disgusting

  355. what the fuck
    Posted August 18, 2012 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    how do i host my porn community on amazon???

  356. Danny
    Posted August 18, 2012 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    agree i’m looking for a way out, leave porn because for the way it looks SE wont work for us anymore

  357. Craig
    Posted August 18, 2012 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Yes, I absolutely want to be a part of SE5 beta community! I have been running an SE4 site for a long time and would love to be a part of the beta community. Thank you very much! I do appreciate it.

  358. oBoy
    Posted August 18, 2012 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    let say we will give SE5 a try. what happen if we do not like it? Is there a way we can revert back to SE4? What will happen to new members and activities we acquired while using SE5. I will try SE5 only if there is an option to back out. I don’t want to be trap.

  359. molecular
    Posted August 18, 2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Without your own data in your server you are not a site owner. The data tell you the value of your site. All these data are psychologically transferred to SE. SE in turn can go around and sell these data. SE team has lost my trust. what about if someone wants to buy your site? how will you do so if that individual wants or already has his server. what is the value of your site if you have no data to show for it. How long do you plan to be in business? having SE host your site based on the new plan you will be in business as long as SE is in business. Once your site takes off you can always have team that can do all the things SE is providing. You do not need to know how to do everything rather you need to know what to do. When it comes to Facebook, Twitter where are their data? you bet in their own server. Do not believe someone is going to help you grow your site base on what they say. Same thing was promised with the introduction of SE4; you need to grow your own site.

  360. Maelle
    Posted August 18, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Would it be possible to make a spinoff of SE4 without Webigo? There are so many talented programmers in the community who know the software well and can help bring out updates and continue to fix the script, support each other, pool our technical talents and not get left behind.

  361. Tim
    Posted August 18, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Interested in beta!

    Will there still be 3rd party plugins? Do you have a code sample or examples?

  362. Maelle
    Posted August 18, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    We need technical support, updates and help Alex…. we should continue with SE4 on our own if you are going to abandon us, your business ethics are just unbelievably blurred, we need to worry about our communities and not stress like this. Please consider us and our investments instead of ending up with no customers or having to restart your entire customer base.

    Look I just brought a site back to SE4 from PHPFOx and then we hear about this. Trust me my users are going to be livid to move again.

  363. Maelle
    Posted August 18, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Yes of course PHPFox… http://www.phpfox.com That is a great option, we have used it and it they give a discount for people moving from SE, the only problem is there is no mobile app and we just moved back to SE4 and then POOF we get hit with the news of SE5 after pre-paying for hosting for a dedicated server for a year… Now back to PHPFox… pissing off our users bigtime and wasting $2000.

  364. Jonathan Cousar
    Posted August 18, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    That’s kind of what they said they’re going to do. They said, “we’ll continue to sell and support it (SE4) because we know that a hosted solution simply isn’t an option for some, and sometimes it just makes sense to have the entire codebase on your own server.”

  365. Jonathan Cousar
    Posted August 18, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Who cares about a mobile app? All the phones now can display web pages the way they were meant to be seen. I hate it when sites have a mobile app and I have to look at the no frills version of their site on my phone when my phone is perfectly capable of displaying the site as it was meant to be!

  366. Jonathan Cousar
    Posted August 18, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and by the way, apparently they do have a mobile app now… http://demo.phpfox.com/mobile/

  367. jeff
    Posted August 19, 2012 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    extensions that I bought will not go well for SE5?

  368. Maelle
    Posted August 19, 2012 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Jonaathan you are incorrect a mobile app is so essential to success now that 90% of my users dont even use our website because the mobile versions for PHPFox and SocialEngine are not app like. Ask any expert or programmer. Also that demo page is not for an app it is for a mobile version of the site which doesnt work very well.

  369. Tom
    Posted August 19, 2012 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    I am very much interested, please add me as well to the beta list :-)

  370. si young choi
    Posted August 19, 2012 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    I am interested in Beta test of SE5.
    Please let me in the Beta tester.
    Thanks.

  371. Kevin Soto Vallejo
    Posted August 19, 2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Me parece excelente que ayan progresado y se ve increible el SE4 es increible facil de manejar y no tengo mayores problemas que la ultima actualizacion del 4.2.6 el idioma me da error pero todo va bien y si yo deseo consegir el SE5 no va haber vercion free de tal el 20 para yo tambien probarlo me gustaria que lo pudieran hacer asi :) los felicito sigan adelante

  372. Darnell
    Posted August 19, 2012 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    PhpFox has a mobile app already included in their software. They have been upgrading their software every other month. They are now working on updating their activity wall among other things. http://www.phpfox.com/blog/feature-set-for-v3-4-0/ I’m waiting on this to be added and stable and I will be moving back to phpfox myself. I have over 50,000 members and It is a must that I keep my members happy with continued upgrades which I don’t think that SE4 will be doing much longer once they launch SE5. But not only that It is my responsibility to have total control of my members data and email address’s. This is why I have a dedicated server. By moving to SE5 I would loose all of that control.

  373. smooth
    Posted August 19, 2012 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    i agree control is the key…

  374. smooth
    Posted August 19, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    I TOTALLY agree don’t bring a child to the world and then stop guiding it i was going to customize my site and put in $4000 more dollars to launch it in November you just upgraded to 4.2.6 i was happy and ready to go to the next level,then i saw the new product SE5,THAT TOOK my joy away cause it seems our control of the platform is been taken away currently see how many view i got since 2011 November when i bought your soft ware…… today 8/19/2012 this too much data to share with anyone so am not moving to SE5 please finish what you started and improve SE4 by the end of this year i should be at 1million views its me who promoted my site under your SE4 product..i want control that’s why i bought your product am focusing on going Corporate some day and in order for me to give you guys some props please focus more on SE4 and use the other SE5 as an option for other users..for me i come to far too look back $7000 already spent..am looking at forks who have spent $24000 don’t do that to your customers some form of integrity is needed here … there’s a wise saying that says the journey of 1000 miles begins with one step the SE4 is at 500 steps please finish the other 500 steps before embarking on a new journey no short cuts.
    i know your company has the potential with this great product you started tweak it to the next level..

    Version4.2.6StatisticsTodayTotalPage Views615539,142

  375. smooth
    Posted August 19, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I TOTALLY agree don’t bring a child to the world and then stop guiding it i was going to customize my site and put in $4000 more dollars to launch it in November you just upgraded to 4.2.6 i was happy and ready to go to the next level,then i saw the new product SE5,THAT TOOK my joy away cause it seems our control of the platform is been taken away currently see how many view i got since 2011 November when i bought your soft ware…… today 8/19/2012 page views total 539,142 this too much data to share with anyone so am not moving to SE5 please finish what you started and improve SE4 by the end of this year i should be at 1million views its me who promoted my site under your SE4 product..i want control that’s why i bought your product am focusing on going Corporate some day and in order for me to give you guys some props please focus more on SE4 and use the other SE5 as an option for other users..for me i come to far too look back $7000 already spent..am looking at forks who have spent $24000 don’t do that to your customers some form of integrity is needed here … there’s a wise saying that says the journey of 1000 miles begins with one step the SE4 is at 500 steps please finish the other 500 steps before embarking on a new journey no short cuts.
    i know your company has the potential with this great product you started tweak it to the next level.

  376. ajeets
    Posted August 19, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    You guys missing basic features in Se4 features: Video size(sucks), Forum(waste),images, share, comment, list is big.. you let every thing on third party plugins = buy more plugins = SE4 slow

    Check out how cool is Phpfox
    http://www.phpfox.com/demos/

  377. Dave
    Posted August 19, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    I have been playing with SE and phpfox since last 2 years, and the point is.. although phpFox is reliable, fast and firm, i just somehow don’t like it’s administration. Admin CP in SE is very intuitive and userfriendly since phpFox is a maze for me.
    Second thing is, to move everything – users, all content – posts, comments, and look to be as much similar as now.. I am confused. I think will stay with SE, till the end of their work upon SE4 and then.. we will see.

  378. Posted August 20, 2012 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    Check socialenginecamp.com if you are looking for SE4 developers community

  379. FatihB
    Posted August 20, 2012 at 1:56 am | Permalink

    Ok, count me in for Beta.
    Thanks.

  380. Posted August 20, 2012 at 2:28 am | Permalink

    There are good alternatives for standard video plugin
    http://socialenginecamp.com/question/view/493/which-video-plugin-to-choose-wisely

  381. Cindy
    Posted August 20, 2012 at 4:13 am | Permalink

    I have been using SE 4 since the beginning of the year. I would be interested in testing SE 5.

  382. skidpics
    Posted August 20, 2012 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    If you are so concerned about hosting issues, why don’t you just run a hosting program for those of us wanting to manage our site ? we wouldn’t mind paying for it, if in turn, SE would run excellent.. and the pricing is comparable to what we pay now…

  383. skidpics
    Posted August 20, 2012 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    Where is that Dolphin Migration script when you need it?

  384. Posted August 20, 2012 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    would like to get a beta invite.

  385. Medow7
    Posted August 20, 2012 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    We all knew that SE4 have a major problems, and the right action to do is to build a new version from scratch to solve these problems.
    For me, it is OK to pay for a new SE version. We can invest more money on it.
    But you should know that if we need a hosted version why we didn’t go to anther famous hosted platforms.
    Give us a very well coded version and give us the ability to host it on our own server and we can buy it.
    Belive me, this step you intend to do is the first step to SE ending.
    At the past, your are filling the gaps of social network scripts, but now there phpfox.
    One wrong step, and you will be gone for good.

  386. Guest
    Posted August 20, 2012 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    I’d like to test SE5 beta. Thanks –

  387. Posted August 20, 2012 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    I’d like to test SE5 beta. Thanks

  388. Tony Perez
    Posted August 20, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Yes we would love the chance to give feedback and bug reports on SE5 please add us on the team. http://www.iGoCity.com

  389. ajeets
    Posted August 20, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Not another plugin, add more plugins = SE4 slow
    better SE4 Video Plugin got upgradation with all best features added..and why we paid for Plugin ?
    we are missing basic features in SE4 plugins, also look and feel. visit Youtube or Viemo

  390. skidpics
    Posted August 20, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Developers? Start working on a se4 to boonex dolphin importer!

  391. skidpics
    Posted August 20, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    It has everything built in.. only $99 bucks and a dev community behind it…

  392. Posted August 20, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Im interested in the BETA edferrigan@me.com

  393. tom
    Posted August 20, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    so wee are 21th… where can we try that SE5 ? was only a tease ??

  394. Posted August 20, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    SE5 BASIC FUNCTIONALITY QUESTION: (And I do want to see the beta Alex ((please give me access!))) – QUESTION: You post above: ”
    Upgrades will have little to no impact on your customizations. We’ve separated the code that powers your community from your front-end theme so we can easily fix bugs….”

    Our whole site is based on profile data where we define personalities and match them with others for various reasons. We need to preserve that functionality. We need people to automatically be part of dozens (out of 100’s) of networks and “Newsfeed” them accordingly. Would we lose that function with SE5?

    (To quote you again)- “You’ll also be able to host your site on your own server while simply pulling your community data from ours.”…what are we pulling? We add several new profile fields to a profile…do the profile fields for xyz person’s (Libra Sun Sign) profile data point) live on your servers or ours?
    Thanks!! Please let me in!!

  395. Posted August 20, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Is the BETA open now?

  396. ajeets
    Posted August 20, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Show us what you got on SE5 and we want same features on SE4 to.. No leaving behind.

  397. Posted August 20, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    I think you got to re-brand your products here into editions in order to prevent further misinterpretations – SE4 as “SE Community Edition” and SE5 as “SE Hosted Edition” or something like that, especially if you plan to keep SE4 clients happy and support them.

  398. SocialUser
    Posted August 20, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    This looks like the new move for us.

  399. Poor
    Posted August 20, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    What worries me…..

    SE4 is still like a BETA. Full of errors and glitches.

    You guys can’t handle the support so your going for a quick buck with SE5.

    Poor form.

  400. Poor Form
    Posted August 20, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    What worries me………..
    SE4 is still like a BETA. Full of errors and glitches.
    You guys can’t handle the support so your going for a quick buck with SE5.
    Poor form.

  401. Darnell
    Posted August 20, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    looks like crap to me. May thats why it’s only 99 bucks. I think phpfox is much better.

  402. David
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 1:56 am | Permalink

    What worries me…..

    SE4 is still like a BETA. It has bugs, glitches and speed issues all over the place. Despite my monster dedicated server.

    You guys can’t handle the support for SE4 so it seems your going for a quick buck with SE5.

    Leaving all the people who have invested in you to rot.

    Poor form, bad business practice.

  403. Nikhil Jeewa
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 2:13 am | Permalink

    hi, i am interested in testing your SE5 beta.
    http://www.digideaf.com
    please contact me
    thanks

  404. Halal
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    You said “On August 20th, we’ll spin up a SE5 beta community and open it to a small group of SE4 site owners” It is 21st today. Where is the SE5 beta and how to join and give feedback on the beta?

  405. Host on Cloud
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Add us to Social Engine 5 Beta Test – hostoncloud@outlook.com

  406. Jay
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    I will never want a hosted network and I do not want it linked to all the other networks out there like facebook. I want my Social Network to be as private as possible as I believe in the future people will get fed up with the intrusiveness of facebook and the like and want a private alternative. This is the way SE could benefit as I see the future will be many small communities like facebook type sites but for towns, cities or interests.

  407. jerkski
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Moved on already. Thnx for the warning signs! Best of luck.

  408. Fed up
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    we have used social engine 4 for a couple of years now and this news just confirms you guys are control freaks teres no way i would trust My data on some other companies servers no matter how secure you claim it to be My members are My members and ultimately i am responsible for keeping their data safe ! what if your cloud server got hacked and some of my members had their identities stolen are you going to recover them and pay the legal costs involved or are you going to slug us with another “Support Fee” as you do now, I think every purchaser of your script has come to conclusion you deliberately build in bugs to your updates just so you can extract that monthly support fee take the last one 4.2.6 did you bother to mention to us users that if we have gzip page compression enabled it would screw up the updated site NO you kept quiet about it knowing that it would cause issues for some of us, did you answer the contact reporting the bug No you were waiting for me to pay your support fee.
    I can understand you need to make money but theres a few things wrong with your business model

    1. the script is over-priced as to make anything good of the site you need to purchase a stack of 3rd party addon modules and themes

    2. your support is lousy and i mean really lousy you want customer loyalty then you need to ensure your support is king and fairly priced many i time i paid for 30 days support and only got 12 days because you guys don’t work weekends which in your case seems to be a 4 day affair thats less than half the promised/advertised support so not worth $50 a month we provide 24/7365 support for free to all our clients and we too only have a small team.

    3. if your going to provide upgrades for christ’s sake at least ensure your third party developers know of pending changes well in advance so they can update their Modules ready for the release.

    4. Listen to what your customers want / need especially if you want them to continue spending with you or referring you to other companies

    5. reduce the frequency of updates to the core script and focus more on developing new features as addon modules you only need 1 or maybe 2 updates yearly

    These are simple measures to implement and ones that can revive your business as for SE5 we will be giving it a miss and if as everyone suspects se4 drops by the wayside then we will look at either building our own script or finding a different platform as previously stated we will not be trusting our members with a company that has such a lousy track record for support.

  409. Austin
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    I would be interested in beta testing Social Engine 5. I feel that it will serve both Social Engine and Our company here to do so. Social Engine 4 plays a large rule in client interaction where I work and I need to know if Social Engine 5 will fall into the same boat when it comes to functionality, performance, customizability and white label branding. It will also answer a lot of question regarding the current way we are doing business and possible growth of business moving forward. We maintain a few clients with Social Engine 4 and have approximately 7 more clients in the barrel aiming to be launched before the end of 2012.

  410. Fred
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Where is the beta? It’s the 21st… As always, you guys say one thing and never deliver..!

  411. Amando
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    I have read thoughtfully your blog entry and the comments made by community and I am really sad you have taken such decision. First of all, SE5 in my humble opinion comes prematurely and is not the best way to retain your customers despite drastic changes in your marketing philosophy. SE4 is clearly an unfinished product. The move to Zend, Mootools, etc, was clearly the wrong choice, and you have lost an important base of customers that still uses SE3.
    Bringing SE5 to live as a small company (you stated that) will margin SE4 to a secondary or possibly abandon to develop it, as your team will focus on a new product, without finishing the one we acquired. Your decision not only involves Webligo products, but a myriad of 3rd party addons, that were “must haves” and your company marketed. The invesment in going to SE5 won’t be plausible for anyone.
    Your company plans to market a new product that will be hosted is, honestly, the worst you can do. Your team told that SE4 had a lot of problems with people in a hosting environment. The excuse your team offers is naive. In a next blog your team described that your demo version were hanged for hours, because APC were not installed! No… I want to host my software, my own infrastructure, my own ISP and get the source code of all the products I acquire. That was you mantra with SE4. If there is C code to be compiled, we can compile. The ones that don’t have the knowledge for those tasks, could use your hosted service.

    At the end, if I have to develop a social network that is hosted…. well, facebook offers that, has 900 million users and don’t have to spent a penny. I am not going to mention other new products that came after SE4 and are being developed actively.
    My question is: will you retain me as a customer of SE5 having the experience I had with SE4…. hm… no. The lack of updates of this months to create a new product, is something that never had to be done, without increasing your staff and don’t abandon SE4 development as you did. The latest patch, honestly, can be done in no time. Not to mention other projects developed besides (FanMix).
    I think you still have time to reconsider your position, or I can guarantee that SE will fail. The changes your development team have done to SE5 should be done to SE4.

  412. Amando
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Agreed 100%

  413. Amando
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Alex, my question is: If you are a small company, why you don’t focus on just 1 product, make it excellent instead of doing FanMix, SE5 and how knows. You published that you got 1 million dollar from SE4. With that, I am sure you can make your company bigger hiring more staff. Although your team has repeteadly that SE4 will be further developed, the fact is that SE4 has not being developed for months as it should.

  414. Melvin Quinones
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Alex, no disrespect, but your company can barely support one platform right now. We have to wait up to 48 hours for a ticket to be resolved. SE can’t even offer a higher priority or emergency service even if we pay more $ for it. How can I expect SE to support 2 platforms?

  415. Dan
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    SE5 beta testing has been delayed…. I don’t see any communication from your end for last 4 days on this topic. You guys better come up with a proper solution to satisfy the needs of your clients, there is a desperate need for a different approach.

    In the middle of all developments I had to cease all tasks because I’m uncertain what’s going to follow and what direction to go with my business, to a stage that I’m starting to get nervous

    I remember having an angry client base myself once, I couldn’t sleep at all and worked around the clock to fix it, weekend or not, to satisfy my clients again, no offense I’m just saying……

  416. plexaz
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    I would like to try the beta

  417. plexaz
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    I am hearing and seeing many people drop off facebook. Seems like it is happening a lot since they went public….but I agree that a more private or location driven network are trending…

  418. up&down
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    If SE5 change to central host then don’t have option for self host.
    Also, stop 3rd party plug support and upgrade in SE4? Man, you guys just want to shut down your own business. The sell point in social engine is have full control and self host. If SE5 don’t have two option we can pick then you guys just give a good opportunity people start new social network business to provide full control and self host because SE5 have one option.

    how long could you conceivably maintain SE4 and how long let 3rd party plug can support SE4?

    Thank you

  419. Posted August 23, 2012 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Has the beta been launched yet??

  420. Joseph
    Posted August 23, 2012 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Not White Label please!!! I want my files on my server!!!

  421. Posted August 23, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Couldn’t agree more! I just started looking into Ning, at first this announcement was a blessing but the more I read the more nervous I become. People keep suggesting that you create a self-hosted version of SE5 and after reading this I don’t think it’s a suggestion. IT’S A NEED, don’t let your company and product fall to the innovations of others. If you don’t listen to your customers, you won’t have customers. Especially when the newcomers read what the past “generations” of customers have endured..

    MAKE BOTH hosted and self-hosted options, allow outside developers to join your team even if it’s a pro bono situation, the extra help might allow you to actually give your customers what they want. Now it’s silly to say that what people want from Webligo is love. But that’s exactly what the company is lacking. We understand that it can be difficult to give everyone what they WANT AND DESERVE, but THERE’S ALWAYS A WAY. It feels as if your company no longer cares and that is exactly what is prompting me to look elsewhere.

    I WILL keep an eye on this update and look forward to upcoming news, but at this moment, with this announcement, the future of your company looks grim. Put some of that $1,000,000 to good use. LISTEN TO YOUR CUSTOMERS OR LOSE YOUR CUSTOMERS. Simple as that..

  422. Bryan
    Posted August 23, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    When will this be in effect

  423. Villara
    Posted August 23, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Had this before with their previous project, great idea, then fumbled and gone with the wind. Same is going to happen with SE. SE5 is a bad idea. They are just trying to follow Ning and think they’ll make a lot more money of off all of us that way. Not from me! I am already looking elsewhere, since I want to keep control of things on my own dedicated server. It’s MY social network, not theirs!

  424. Posted August 24, 2012 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Sounds good on paper but…

    – Major companies who want a custom social solution are going to want an enterprise or privately hosted version 9.9x out of 10 (theyve already been burned years ago by Ning and Ning-like companies where they put in a tremendous amount of effort and resources only to have those companies shut down). You’re kind of going down the path that has already been traveled and burned down by so many similar predecessors. ATT, Coke, etc who have all wanted closed social networks in the past — won’t go with a hosted solution due to privacy concerns.

    – I know dozens of site owners from major major sites who have a really bad taste in their mouth from going in too deep with hosted solutions like Ning (and even if you say you’re not Ning-like — a hosted version will always look like this to these companies who have already been burned). They wouldn’t touch this kind of model even though they still yearn for a community solution — too much nickel and diming — too much loss of control

    – Why are you copying pintrest and google communities in the layout teasers? (maybe your layout controls you mentioned give more power)

    – Where are the ads/ad layout?

    – What other ning-like add-on pricing will there be? (an extra fee if we want to run “our ads” in “our community” on “your hosted pages?”……or an extra fee to remove branding?)

    – Will the ‘pointing your url our way’ simply be a stealth url or a real url. Many of us want to show up in third party tracking tools like quantcast, comscore, and netratings. Without our own true URLs — this isnt possible

  425. Posted August 24, 2012 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Yes, the private beta is now live. If you have all ready purchased SocialEngine you can request an invite by logging in here: https://www.socialengine.com/sign-in?redirect=%2Fclient

  426. Morne
    Posted August 25, 2012 at 1:04 am | Permalink

    SE5 meets ning meets twitter meets pintrest…..
    Please give this product a new name as it does not come close to SE4
    I have logged in to beta version and am not impressed at all especially if I have to pay monthly fees for it.
    Micro blogging is what it looks like to me at the moment…. Maybe another 12 months developing the beta before releasing for testing. At the moment it does not come close to being something I would consider to use as a community solution.

  427. Bajan Firefighters
    Posted August 27, 2012 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    I completely agree with some of the other comments here regarding SE moving to a hosting platform just like Ning. I left Ning and bought SE to get away from all of that and now to learn that SE wants to move in that direction is just killing me. Hell noooooooo…

  428. Posted August 27, 2012 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    This is not a “move” per say, SocialEngine 5 is a completely different product aimed at a different type of client. SocialEngine 4 will continue to be maintained receive updates.

  429. jerkski
    Posted August 27, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Alex Benzer Are you still writing that blog article you promised that details why new customers should continue to purchase SE4?

  430. Maelle
    Posted August 27, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Then why call it SocialEngine 5? You should keep the roadmap alive for a real SE5 not this “other product” and trying to capitalize on a brand… No other web development company does this. They simply go to a more advanced version with customer feedback. PLEASE make us a real SE5.

  431. Guest
    Posted August 27, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    It doesnt look like anyone at SE really cares about our opinions, they are not replying to our concerns here and

  432. Morne
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 2:41 am | Permalink

    Rename it then!

  433. Bill
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been in this exact situation before with a script called hyperseek back in 1997?. It was an EXCELLENT Search engine script. the owner John Cokos exclaimed and promised that hyperseek will ALWAYS be supported. Hyperseek went to the trash can in 2001! The lies then ring forward here. Hyperseek turned into Jackhammer and went hosted with the same excuses and reasoning. After the switch the company iWeb sold, and hyperseek was trashed, no more support and the jackhammer cost went to 5K. This whole thing with SE is a mirror image to the entire iWeb turn of events. I lost then and I am sure we will lose now.
    The ONLY reason I went with SE is because for their INITIAL vision. To create a stable open social script at a price to be afforded and supported.
    I feel the reasoning is SE has lost control of the script to pirates and they simply cant find a way to enhance SE’s speed with more refined code. PHP is cross platform and if coded efficiently there is no reason a script cant run well on any server capable of running same script. SE cant and shouldn’t be a cure all for all people. This melarky about cant support all the different platforms and configurations is pucky in my opinion. Adobe does it well, so does Corel. I can also see motives here in that it’s probable that a sale or a investment is in the wind if they can move to a more controlled environment. It’s all about the cash people. It’s happened before and will continue to happen. No way will I be sold on a hosted environment. a third party holding my members info hostage? no way in heck is that ever going to happen. I’d have to change my privacy statement darn it.
    I like SE. Once I figured out the hardware required to operate smoothly and the script mods that needed to be done to help speed things up it became a pleasure to run. To bad this one will also end up in the scrap heap eventually. I’ll look for one of the other social scripts to configure a migration tool so I’ll be ready to jump ship when the time comes and my members wont be left with nothing.

  434. Guest
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    deleted? really??….
    Truth hurt?

  435. unhappy customer
    Posted August 29, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    You guys are freakin idiots. Stupid decision to stop supporting the true white-label self hosted version.

  436. unhappy customer
    Posted August 29, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Great for now. 2 years from now with no updates it’ll be sh*t

  437. unhappy customer
    Posted August 29, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    If you are excited and inspired, don’t f*ck it up by switching to a hosted platform.

  438. unhappy customer
    Posted August 29, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Hosted sucks. Period. Doesn’t matter what you say in your blog. Charge for support if it is so hard to provide. i’d rather pay for support than have some damned hosted platform.

  439. Posted August 29, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    We are going to wholeheartedly look at creating a self-hosted version of SE5, but we simply can’t swing that yet with the resources we have.

  440. Posted August 30, 2012 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    After all this comments and understanding that SE 5 it will be only a hosted solution we wont buy this software.

  441. Posted August 30, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    like Ning! thats why i move forward of that plataform and now you do the same

  442. Morne
    Posted September 1, 2012 at 4:13 am | Permalink

    Quick Survey To Show Interest in SE5 Or Not: http://www.easypolls.net/poll.html?p=5041df16e4b00ec5b7e778db

  443. Morne
    Posted September 1, 2012 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Bait-and-switch
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Bait-and-switch
    is a form of fraud, most commonly used in retail sales but also
    applicable to other contexts. First, customers are “baited” by
    advertising for a product or service at a low price; second, the
    customers discover that the advertised good is not available and are
    “switched” to a costlier product.

    Almost exactly what is happening here…
    By the way this is happening with other social platforms as well, jomsocial is busy with this exact same exercise under the guise of so-called easier to bug fix, improve etc etc etc… All a load of hogwash, it’s the investors who are calling for an approach where they can get maximum return on their investments by locking users into residual payment plans then slowly squeazing them for more and more cash over time.

  444. Monti
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Good luck with phpfox.. the ugliest thing i have ever seen. the entire thing looks like from 1994

  445. Monti
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Just use SE4. my god…

  446. Muzzamal
    Posted September 20, 2012 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Which Framework will be use in SE5?

  447. Posted January 22, 2013 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    So you go from one of the most open and easy to use scripts in the world- Social Engine 2 and 3, to a restructured 4 that I and many of my clients refuse to use because of how restricting it is, to a completely closed off SE5? Why not release SE3 and open source and bring the community in? Obviously you aren’t selling the software anymore, you don’t even use the Cake platform that was present in 3.2, you’re using Zend 100%, so what is the harm in getting a community supported SE3 out there for the masses to fix some of the issues it has?

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