9rules: WTF?

Filed as General on February 15, 2006 10:01 pm

by Duncan

I was originally going to start with post headed 9rules Blitzkrieg continues but now I’m totally confused, so I’ll try and cover what is coming out of 9rules at the moment. Certainly lots of things happening:
1. Post to the 9rules blog about the changes
– This confirms what has previously been reported by leaks. Scrivs confirms that more site purges are on their way subject to a review of sites.

– He also writes that “We aren’t the only independent content network on the block anymore and therefore there was never a need to address this issue, but sites, a smart move by the way, are joining more than one Network to expose themselves to as many readers as possible.” 9rules is a network in name, in reality its a blog ring UNLESS Scrivs has something planned to take the network towards a Federated Media style model, which I’ve heard rumors of in the past. Indeed rumor has it that the radical overhaul recently on the 9rules main page was to facilitate the as yet unseen expansion into Federated Media territory.

– Scrivs confirms that 9rules is behind the new sex blog network with this quote:

“Adults, move to this line. Behind the scenes there is a network of sites being worked on that are sexually themed and obviously for adults only. If we are creating a network such as this, it makes sense to guide 9rules towards being one where sexually explicit content doesn’t exist. Everyday we are reaching new audiences and part of this includes children and teenagers who enjoy reading some of our member sites. If you know me you know I’m not the type to shy away from Adult stuff, but this is more about 9rules understanding new responsibilities we have to our readers, not us being prudes.

Makes sense, but I still see a conflict in being the CEO of 9rules, particularly now its being pitched at “children and teenagers” basically being a porn king “behind the scenes”.

– He continues:

“From where I am standing none of this is easy to say or do. Blog/content networks remove writers all the time, but no controversy is made of this. Being a larger and more recognized network though means tougher decisions going forward and this is one decision that I am not happy to make, but know that it must be done. If we tell members they are joining a network with the highest quality sites, that is what they should expect. If we tell readers they can come to us to find the best of the best, then that’s what we must offer.”

To be fair I do understand and see where he is coming from, but he still hasn’t explained why 9rules has taken on so many new members recently in the first place.

2. Tyme White, Community Director of 9rules posts at her blog in response to it all. First thought again, how the hell do so many people have titles at 9rules if they have no revenue? Have 9rules taken VC funding? I mean, I don’t even have an official title at b5media yet even though we are actually bring in a pile of money (although not enough to pay me yet, it all gets paid out to our bloggers and service providers/ helpers) and served up 1 million page views yesterday. It’s probably the Australian thing coming in, we’d rather just get on with the job than obsess about titles (note Jeremy is the only one with a title, and its really exciting…President). But I’m rambling a bit.

Tyme writes that she is disappointed with my comments yesterday because she is really the bad guy and Scrivs is really an angel who was dead against this. Question: who is now running the show at 9rules. Also I don’t have a picture of Tyme so I cant use my excellent cut and paste skills in Photoshop to crop her onto Mohammed’s head :-(

– She claims that Girlspoke has been booted out due to a drop in traffic. Interesting given these figures from Alexa:
girlspoke figures

– She confirms that 9rules is behind the porn blog network:

“See, we want people to recommend 9rules to everyone. Yes, there is cursing but let’s face it sexually explicit content isn’t a good fit for 9rules – which is why a completely separate entity is being formed.”

– She claims that consistency in writing is one of the criteria, and yet a quick visit to Girlspoke shows lots of posts. Finefools on the other hand was last posted to on 2 Januray 2006. (note, not my criteria here, it’s there’s so don’t try to point out I’ve got blogs that don’t get posted to regularly because I’m not setting my bar at this level).

– Last but not least (and this is funny!)

“commenter brought up a good point about 9rules and the sex network because it is being reported that way. The report is false. Look at this page..it has the 9rules team members listed. I’m on the list. I have no details about the sex network. I am not involved with that network. Those sites will never be listed in 9rules and our recent position makes that very clear. I don’t know why that is so hard to accept…but I do know this. Saying 9rules is involved in a sex network pulls me into something I am not apart of…and I don’t like it.”

Um, your CEO is building a sex network. If Jeremy Wright, my leader was setting up a sex/ porn network, I’d be guilty by association…and its being built by 9rules “behind the scenes”….again, not my words. If you want to get all moral, you wouldn’t be working for a pornographer.

My final say
Given I’ve probably just upset 5000 9rules readers with this and yesterdays post, I want to finish with these thoughts.

1. Personally I don’t care that Scrivs is building a porn/ sex blog network, after all 9rules doesn’t exactly have a revenue model and he’s entitled to make a living, and I’m sure that the 9rules style blog ring model with a revenue model bolted on and applied to porn and sex blogs is going to be a winner. I’m not jealous, but I’m man enough to admit a bloody good idea when I see it, even if its not something I would be doing in public. I don’t even have any great moral issues with it either, if you like porn, good on you, but I know through a number of emails I’ve received from 9rules members that they don’t like it, and obviously Tyme doesn’t either. My point: it’s bizarre, dangerous…maybe even insane for lack of better words to be running a “family friendly” 9rules network and running a porn network at the same time because others will judge Scrivs on this.

2. The PR on the purge has been bad. You start chucking people out of your network these things are going to leak, despite this bizarre post. The blogosphere is full of gossip and I know, I get gossiped about as well (hi chartreuse). Scrivs has come clean now (be it a little late) and as I’ve already said, I do see and understand where he is coming from, but we still haven’t got an explanation as to why soooooo many new blogs were taken on board in the first place if all we are going to see is a massive purge now, and as Scrivs himself writes, against people he’s now friends with (well at least for the time being).

3. I don’t buy Tyme’s explanations on the 9rules criteria, because accept for the whole conflict between networks and the 9rules blog ring (what’s the conflict if you don’t own the sites, unless of course you’ve got something secret planned) the quality of writing criteria was applied to the blogs when they joined in the first place.

4. If you are a 9rules blogger I have one recommendation: do not post any self doubt about your blogs or traffic on the 9rules forum because it will be used against you in the future as part of a justification to purge you from the network.
9rules
5. Last, if I was a 9rules blogger and I was worried about being chucked out for what ever reason (like you used F*ck in a sentence and upset Tyme) I’d walk now, it would be far easier and less humiliating than being chucked out. If you are interested in setting up your own 9rules style network-blog ring drop me an email at [email protected], I can put you in touch with people who would be happy to help, or alternatively I’m happy to take people’s names and help facilitate you guys setting it up yourselves. Sure, I cant say I’m heavily interested in all the content of every 9rules blog (after all, I can’t possibly be in to everything) , but from a marketing, potential audience reach and general viability sense I’m yet to find a 9rules blog I didn’t think would make a great member of a new network/ blog ring. And yes, I don’t want to run it or control it, but I’m happy to help you guys out. It’s the least I can do. Also if you are interested in helping the soon to be ex-9rules members out, leave a comment or drop me an email as well.

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  1. By Ben posted on February 15, 2006 at 11:58 pm
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    Jeremy – I don’t think they’ll be kicking out too many more members. Right now, as far as I can tell, it was only the people associated with Blog Media. Everyone else gets to stay.

  2. By Jonathan Holst posted on February 16, 2006 at 6:55 am
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    Wow, that idea with Mohammed’s head was funny.

  3. By Chris P. posted on February 16, 2006 at 8:57 am
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    I think a few of the sites owned by 9rules officers will get the boot, but they’re really just wasting their time with that anyway.

    Duncan, if you examine the comments on Tyme’s site carefully, you’ll see some of the 9rules sheep shouting all kinds of tomfoolery, mostly at Cowboy and me. One of these sheep summed things up nicely by saying:

    Chris – I think everyone is thinking right now that if you were loyal to 9rules, you wouldn’t be writing for a site that has so little respect for the network you are in.

    It doesn’t matter that “you� didn’t say anything. It’s your association.

    Does this not stand in direct opposition to the Scrivs/Tyme/porn thing?

    It’s obvious to me that Tyme is making mental reservations so she can feel good about her involvement with 9rules. Frankly, it’s amazing to me that people have already adopted attitudes towards 9rules that smack of such blind fanaticism.

    Also, kudos for asking the question, “who is now running the show at 9rules?” Personally, I feel as though a man ought to run his business with conviction and decisiveness. At this point, who knows where Scrivs stands? Will he morph his philosophies tomorrow to accommodate a new officer? Will he continue to let his business by dictated by a few emails from pissed off parents (who then turn to the comments at Tyme’s and drop F bombs like it’s Hiroshima)?

    There are so many conflicts of interest going on at 9rules it’s amazing. They’ve pretzeled themselves up nicely; now we can all sit back and watch while they try and unravel.