9rules: jealous, petty, snarky or lost?

Filed as Uncategorized on October 11, 2006 2:50 am

eGonzo Weekly by Martin Neumann

I just finished listening to the recent Blog Herald podcast – an interview with Duncan Riley, fellow Aussie and co-owner of b5media, the blog network that recently recieved $2million in VC funding.

The reception to the news last week was overall positive except from one section of the b’sphere: 9Rules.

Mike Rundle posted and commented seeing fit to take cheap shots at b5 – reasons unknown.

Well yesterday, b5 had their chance to respond via the Duncan Riley interview here.

Firstly, Duncan – it’s 9Rules not 9Fools. :-)


I could sense that Duncan wanted to really rip into them and he tried his best to hold himself back – but at times the real Duncan came out and some goodies came gushing forth.

Let me see… what exactly is 9Rules? The big question being: What is their business plan? Do they even have one! Seriously!

What’s more intriguing is that all is not rosey over at 9R land or so it seems. Duncan says that some within 9Rules have told him they are “deeply, deeply embarrassed by the actions of Scrivens and Rundle of late”.

My choice pull out quote from the interview – Duncan says of Rundle and gang…

“…if that’s the sort of quality of individual that they are are, which obviously isn’t very high, they’ll run their business into the ground over time”

Yay, Duncan rips off his newly fitted corporate suit and gets down and dirty … in a classy way, like we all knew he wanted to. :)

Duncan – no matter how big you and b5 get remember where you’re from and what made you, well … you: The guy who speaks his mind without fear or favour, without holding back, without being politically/business corrrect.

Okay, so 9Rules have long been the super-dooper, uber cool blog network with the classy designs but the question is … what next? Okay, the dancing videos were fun for a few minutes, the venture into porn raised eyebrows and there was talk of some advertising model being rolled out – yes folks, an actual business model.

But it’s closer to 2007 than 2005 and 9Rules seems stagnant. All they seem to do is add a few hundred blogs every so often – with big fanfare. That’s all nice and well but when does community building turn into one giant link farm?

Paul Scrivens has rarely been heard from this year (maybe within the echo chambers of 9rules he’s going strong) and Mike Rundle is getting more and more into petty snark (word to the wise: snark died late last year).

His recent sniping at b5 just makes no sense. All it raises are questions of what exactly is going on at 9rules? Yes, no doubt we’ll be shot down by some smart and witty comment, they’ll laugh at this, have their little in-jokes and snicker at those that dare to question 9Rules. Yeah, big deal – we’re all big people here. Talk is cheap. Cheap shots are a dime a dozen in the b’sphere. Now answer the questions.

And my question to Rundle and Scrivens is this: What is your business plan? What is your business model? Do you even have one? It’s a question that’s been asked from day one – heck, I think I even asked that last year – and last year is a long time in the b’sphere.

You don’t have to answer but by being the shameless attention seekers of late that you have become I think it’s a fair question to ask, no!

Martin Neumann blogs at The Blog Columnist

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