9rules WTF 5: 2 more blogs kicked out, Death Toll Now Stands at 3

Filed as News on February 16, 2006 2:21 am

by Duncan

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This just in from an erroneous search of Technorati with the words “Paul Scrivens” in the title: two more blogs have been kicked out of 9rules, College Startup and Personified, bringing the current 9rules death toll to 3.

The newest victims of the Scrivens/ Tyme jihad both had informal, but no formal links with Blog Media. Ben writes at College Startup that his only crime has been to…get this, to do some design work for one Blog Media site. No formal affiliation, his blog isn’t a part of Blog Media or any other network, and yet this is part of the message sent to him:

“due to your involvement with BlogMedia I must ask that you remove the 9rules badge from College Startup. Please understand that this is a business decision and not some vendetta that we have against you and I understand you have kept College Startup separate from BlogMedia.”

Basically the new rules announced by Scrivs are rubbish: remember this quote:

“[Your blog must] not in any other content network. Blogs must make a decision where they want to be.”

Apparently its now a crime according to 9rules if you do any paid work for anyone other than 9rules.

Chris at Personified’s crimes were being friendly with Cowboy, having done a little bit of consulting work for them and, get this, daring to have made a comment at Jack of all Blogs!. No formal affiliation, no conflict with the new directives from 9rules.

People criticized me for calling this a jihad. When you change the rules every 5 seconds to purge people because they are friendly with people you dont like or because you don’t respect their right to free speech is a jihad!

Update: Mike points out in the comments that Ben Bleikamp does have a formal association with Blog Media here, although I still don’t accept the you cant work for anyone else argument as being particularly fair when you don’t pay your bloggers.

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  1. By Mike Rundle posted on February 16, 2006 at 3:17 am
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    Sorry man, but you’re wrong here again. Here are the facts:

    Ben at College Startup is on Staff at Blog Media as their Senior Designer and principal blogger at their new problogging.com site launching soon. Here is his Blog Media biography. He’s employed by their company and listed on their Staff page, I believe you’d consider that a “formal link”.

    Chris at Pearsonified is “The Deuce” writer at Jack of all Blogs. JOAB is an attack blog that we do not want associated with 9rules anymore — it’s just gotten too vicious and disrespectful.

    The basic premise behind our new policy is easy to understand, but people seem to be twisting it for various odd reasons. We don’t want to be associated with companies who do not express the brand ideals that 9rules does, enough said. We choose who gets into 9rules, and if someone we picked no longer represents us and our 150+ members in a positive and respectful way, then we we have the authority to ask them to leave. If you felt that a member of B5Media made you look bad, wouldn’t you ask them to leave?

  2. By Duncan Riley posted on February 16, 2006 at 4:12 am
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    Mike, fair call at the end, but both deny the association. I didn’t know about the “formal” link so you’ve got me on that one. Apologies.

    I always thought Cowboy was The Deuce so now I’m a bit confused. Having said that though what Scrivs posted was that you couldn’t have you rblog in two networks, not that you couldn’t work in two networks. You aren’t paying 9rules members money to be a part of 9rules, so you’d have to concede that saying who they can and cant work for is a bit rough (hey, Scrivs is working in porn, most places I know of would sack you for that!)
    Neither you, Scrivs or Tyme have answered this very important question though, and I suppose its one of the reasons I’ve been a bit hard on your guys: why did you take in soooooo many blogs in a short space of time only to turn around and purge people? wouldn’t it have been more logical to not have taken the people on in the first place?

    Also despite any personal issues between Cowboy and Scrivs (and I’d note Scrivs pretty much made cowboy as well in terms of awareness) isn’t blacklisting another blog network because you happen to disagree with them a bit rough? We have a number of our bloggers who write for us and other networks and I don’t agree with every other network they write for, sure I respect that you get to call who is in and out, but you aren’t paying these guys, and remember, as much as you all do a very good job at 9rules I cant help but think that you’ve started to forget that 9rules is its bloggers, not its management, and those who apply and remain members of 9rules are what gives you your position currently, its not the other way around. Again, maybe thats just me, that’s our philosophy a b5 anyway…

  3. By Mike Rundle posted on February 16, 2006 at 4:28 am
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    Thanks for the reply Duncan :)

    “Neither you, Scrivs or Tyme have answered this very important question though, and I suppose its one of the reasons I’ve been a bit hard on your guys: why did you take in soooooo many blogs in a short space of time only to turn around and purge people? wouldn’t it have been more logical to not have taken the people on in the first place?”

    Man, you are 100% right, and I’ll definitely be the first to admit that we might have made some mistakes in our selection process, but just like Jeremy likes to say at your company’s weblog, we’re learning as we go, and if we make some mistakes then the best thing we can do is learn from them. In fairness to both Ben and Chris, their sites are still excellent sources of information, and I’ll still subscribe to both in Bloglines. When we let them in initially, we were not aware of their affiliation so in our minds things were gravy. Of course times change, people and sites change, so we had to make a decision that obviously was opposite our initial feelings when we let them into 9rules.

    In retrospect however, we’re only letting go a very small number of blogs as compared to our 150+ members overall, so it’s not as though a massive member displacement is happening. In our 9rules forums dozens of other members have stood up and agreed with our decision, so with our members behind us (the people who truly power 9rules) we made this new policy and are going to stick with it. The vast majority of 9rules members agree with these decisions, and the ones who don’t, well, you’ve probably already read/heard their take on our actions via their own weblogs :)

    “We have a number of our bloggers who write for us and other networks and I don’t agree with every other network they write for, sure I respect that you get to call who is in and out, but you aren’t paying these guys”

    You’re right, we’re not paying them :) However, hundreds of weblog authors email Paul and I every week wanting to join 9rules, so in that sense our reputation is more important than a paycheck to many weblog owners. People want to join 9rules because of the high ideals we try to keep, and one of the things that goes along with our high ideals is the concept that we pick who is able to represent our Network. If we believe that certain members are not representing us in a manner we feel benefits our reputation and the Network as a whole, it’s our responsibility to the rest of our members, readers, and future members to correct the situation in a manner we see fit.

    9rules is definitely about our members, but it is also about keeping together what our members joined in the first place — a Network of high ideals and high quality members and content. If we let that slip even a little bit, then we’ve failed as Network owners and businesspeople.

  4. By Mark Wade posted on February 16, 2006 at 4:28 am
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    Unbelievable Duncan…

    You are so far off base with your facts, it is disgusting.

    Actually, if you flip flopped everything you think about these two networks you’d be much closer to the truth!

    But since you’ve chosen to side with the likes of Krug and his gang of infantiles – cya!

  5. By John Evans (SYNTAGMA) posted on February 16, 2006 at 4:36 am
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    Any network that has “rules” in its name is always going to be a bit authoritarian. After recent events, the perception is growing that it’s more totalitarian, and that’s bound to harm the original concept, however benign.

  6. By Duncan Riley posted on February 16, 2006 at 4:41 am
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    Mark
    I’m not siding with anyone. I see something I don’t like, or smells, I write about it. Shit, I use to swap emails with Nick Denton on occasion a couple of years back, does that make me gay? Should all the right wing bloggers I know stop reading anything I write? I promise to stop using the word Jihad from now on though, I’ll call it a purge. If I get any information on BlogMedia from its bloggers or what not that I don’t like the sound of I’ll post that as well. Certainly you’d remember I black-banned Blognetworkwatch after they called me a homophobe and until they apologised, so to be fair I’m snarky to everyone. One of the reasons I’m selling the site as well, because I get into trouble everytime I express an opinion like this. But it is just that, an opinion, and if all you want to do is f*ck off because you don’t like it, then f*ck off, diversity of opinion, even stuff you don’t like, is what makes the world go round. I don’t agree with a lot of stuff I read, but I dont stop reading it. Perhaps given time I might end up agreeing with it (or vice versa). Mike has always been the most articulate of the 9rules crowd so I’m listening and reading….

    Mike
    I’m reading that there is still a lot of purging to happen according to Scrivs. If not, fair enough. We are going to agree to disagree on the criteria though, I don’t know any of the people you’ve purged, but I still think its a bit rough given from what I can gather that they’ve been (mostly) members of good standing with content that’s reasaonably well read and previously appreciated by Scrivs (his Girlspoke post for example). I’ll leave it at that, and start behaving myself now before you guys pull out the Riley voodoo doll :-)

  7. By Duncan Riley posted on February 16, 2006 at 4:43 am
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    Good point John, I suppose when you build up a network that is famed for its friendly, inclusive community and good looks (site wise that is) when you change course it appears harsh.

  8. By Paul Short posted on February 16, 2006 at 4:45 am
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    Well guys, I try and stay outta things like this, but thought I’d throw in my 2 cents worth…

    Duncan, there’s putting spin on something to encourage lively discussion, and there’s contorting something based on rumors and hearsay with no basis in fact, and the latter is what you’ve done here.

    Maybe Jeremy needs to step in here before b5′s rep gets tarnished by BH spindoctoring?

  9. By Mike Rundle posted on February 16, 2006 at 4:54 am
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    John – If a business doesn’t have rules to guide its growth then it will get no where. If I had to categorize our new policy, I’d say that it upholds and protects what 9rules stands for, and doesn’t harm it in any way. Protecting our values as a company is always job #1 on my list, and what happened today will allow us to grow in a manner we see fit in the future.

    Duncan – The guys call me articulate too….. but I think they spell it “long-winded” ;) Paul and the rest of the team will be going back through our members to make sure they all uphold our new policies, but my guess is that the vast, vast majority will remain members of 9rules. Like I said previously, these new policies only affect some of our members, so the “spring cleaning” as some have been calling it won’t be as extensive as many would think. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s about 4am my time and there’s no way in hell I should be up and commenting now lol ;)

  10. By Mark Wade posted on February 16, 2006 at 4:56 am
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    Dammit Duncan, I can read. Maybe “siding with” was a poor choice of words. How about giving credence to their bullshit. Does that work better for you?

    Opinion? Your opinion works just fine – but you’ve allowed yourself to be largely influenced by people who can’t get their acts together as humans, much less Bloggers, much less reporters of news! Would be nice if it was your opinion but it isn’t.

    Manipulation and out and out lies aren’t snark! They are exactly what they are! These asshats attack the less adept in gangs and enjoy it, gloat over it. They don’t deserve your credence. You don’t really think that apology you got was sincere do you?

    Thank God Mike Rundle is as articulate as he is!

  11. By Duncan Riley posted on February 16, 2006 at 5:02 am
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    Paul, with the exception of the rumor, which I published with notes that it is a rumor and its unconfirmed, that a large site has left 9rules, everything else is based on fact.
    1. 9rules is purging members: read Scrivs post at the 9rules blog
    2. the criteria for the purge has been published
    3. The people who have been purged are not happy
    4. Mike has written here that they were chucked out because they are associated with Blog Media, which is not part of 9rules published criteria (see comments above)
    5. Scrivs is setting up a porn blog network: stated fact from Scrivs

    Where is the spin doctoring? Mike states one of them is formally involved with Blogmedia, which I didn’t know (the guy denied it on his blog..) and I’ve apologised for that. As for the rest, its opinion, and I’ll do the short form
    1. I think its rough people are being kicked out outside Scrivs publicly stated criteria is poor form at this stage, although I respect their right to do so, and I generally understand why they are looking to improve things (Mikes comments). It would also seem, at this stage, to be part of some sort of personal vendetta against Cowboy.
    2. Scrivs is setting up a porn blog at the same time he’s shouting out about family values and kiddies at 9rules.

    Email Jeremy, the site has been sold. I’m writing this as me, not b5media or me representing b5media, the whole perceived conflict of interest thing is one of the reasons I sold the site, but I reserve the right to express my opinions….so I’m just taking away my conduit to do so :-)

  12. By Duncan Riley posted on February 16, 2006 at 5:09 am
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    Mark
    “Opinion? Your opinion works just fine – but you’ve allowed yourself to be largely influenced by people who can’t get their acts together as humans, much less Bloggers, much less reporters of news! Would be nice if it was your opinion but it isn’t.”

    There are a number of people involved with BlogMedia, I don’t know all of them, I do know a number of them informally through blogging circles and email and what not, and I think what you are saying about them is harsh. Again, remember that Cowboy was created by Scrivs, and he was very, very nasty and harsh on b5media and The Blog Herald WHILE HE WAS PART OF FINE FOOLS/ 9RULES. Personally, I’ve gotten over that, I read his blog, exchange the odd email and even comment there. We all have good and bad days, but if all this is about it holding a grudge or hatred against one person all I can say is get a life! Life is to short to hold this sort of hatred up inside of you, if you guys don’t like Cowboy, don’t read him. Punishing others because they are associated with him is taking things way to far. I’m wont use the word Jihad in a post again, but its difficult when I read Mikes sensible words and then I read your comments Mark, I keep varying between wanting to be nice about 9rules again and wanting to be on the attack because I really think comments basically calling other blog network operators sub-human because you disagree with them is just disgraceful.

  13. By Matt posted on February 16, 2006 at 8:38 am
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    Allow me to point out that technically Ben is not an employee of BlogMedia, Inc. Neither is Chris, neither is David.

    Funny, no one asked me that during this process.

    Now go argue amongst yourself.

    Matt

  14. By Mark Wade posted on February 16, 2006 at 8:52 am
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    “Mike’s sensible words.” Mike represents 9rules and deservedly so.

    I speak for no one but myself. If I motivate you to consider attacking 9rules, something is really wrong.

    I am absolutely amazed that you read this – “can’t get their acts together as humans” into this – “sub-human.” Is the translation a cultural difference?

    It’s their ACTIONS that I was talking about!

    How can you attribute responsibility for Mr. Krug to Paul Scrivens? That’s crazy!

    “if all this is about it holding a grudge or hatred against one person all I can say is get a life!” ??? Good grief Duncan – obviously you see it differently than many. It’s Mr. Krug who has the grudge and he uses every single lame excuse under the sun to continue it. He needs to get ONE life!

    “Punishing others because they are associated with him is taking things way to far.”

    I can see you haven’t read some of the threads at Liz’s or Adam’s blogs (or a few other places). Associated with, as in working for the same outfit, is one thing. Ganging up on others for the explicit purpose of degrading the victim takes it way past just being associated with.

    Now THAT is damn well disgraceful!

  15. By Cowboy posted on February 16, 2006 at 10:02 am
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    Cowboy was created by Scrivs. No one burned him at the stake. But now 9rules wants to “destroy” that brand. In the end by trying to purge it they are making it stronger. By saying its evil they propogate it. If you truly want to destroy something you ignore it.

  16. By Mark Wade posted on February 16, 2006 at 10:44 am
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    Yeah right David… Someday you’ll have to take responsibility for your own actions.

    I doubt “Cowboy” is anywhere near the legend he is, in Scriv’s mind, compared to the legend you are in your own mind.

    Keep twisting everything so everyone feels sorry for you. Not.

  17. By Duncan Riley posted on February 16, 2006 at 9:20 pm
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    Jesse
    couldn’t agree more, apparently though this is lost on 9rules and in particular Paul Scrivens. Again, I’m not moralizing about the porn stuff, and I actually think its a clever idea from a business perspective, but its certainly not compatible with a respectable, family friendly blog network.

    Mark
    Cowboy was created by Scrivs. Not fiction, fact. Pure 100%, if JOAB hadn’t been in Fine Fools, the name “David Krug” would remain unknown to but a few people now.