RIP BlogRush (2007 – 2008)

Filed as News on October 30, 2008 6:31 am

I’ve been toying with the idea of removing the BlogRush widget from my blog for months. It always takes a bit too long to load and produces minimum traffic. Now my hand has been forced. The company has announced that it is closing shop and that all bloggers should remove the code ASAP.

Here’s the official e-mail:

After careful consideration, we have decided to shutdown the BlogRush service. If you have the widget code on your blog you will need to remove it.

When BlogRush launched in late-2007 it spread like wildfire all over the Web. Thousands of bloggers were talking about it and the service exploded to become one of the fastest growing free services in the history of the Web. During the first year of the service it successfully served 3.4 Billion blog post headlines and the BlogRush widget could be found on blogs all over the world; even up until the moment we closed down the service.

BlogRush didn’t grow without its fair share of problems — from security issues to abusive users trying to ‘game’ the system to much lower click-rates than expected. We also had some problems with trying to fairly control the quality of the network, and in the process made many mistakes in deciding what blogs should stay or go. All of these issues, ultimately, limited the service’s full potential.

Our team worked very hard to try and build a service that would truly help bloggers of all sizes get free traffic to their blogs. This was our primary focus. Not once did we ever try to monetize the service with ads or anything else. BlogRush never made a single penny in revenue. We wanted to be able to help our users FIRST and then worry about monetizing the service later. Unfortunately, the service didn’t work out like we had hoped. (It happens.)

I want to say “Thank You” to all of the great bloggers that at least gave BlogRush a test to see if it would work for them. We sincerely appreciate you giving the service a try.

We have received several offers & inquiries about acquiring BlogRush, but we are choosing not to go that route. While many might think this is crazy, we truly feel it’s the ‘right’ thing to do for our users. Believe it or not, it’s not always about the money. In fact, BlogRush will have lost a small fortune when it’s all said and done, and it was by choice. There were many things we could have done to monetize the service but we wanted to make sure it was going to benefit our users first.

Last but not least I want to say that I hope the failure of this service doesn’t in any way discourage other entrepreneurs from coming up with crazy ideas at 4AM (like I did with this one) and from “going for it” to just try and see if something will work. Without trying there can be no success. And as we all know, ideas are worthless without action. The Web wouldn’t be what it is today without entrepreneurs trying all sorts of crazy ideas.

On behalf of the entire BlogRush team, we wish the best of luck to everyone with their own blogs, ideas, and crazy ventures.

Sincerely,

John Reese

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  1. By GoScript posted on October 30, 2008 at 6:52 am
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    Probably the problems they were facing have been too much for even get it sold. Don’t know what to say about monetizing.. I find it hard to believe there hasn’t been any.

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  2. By Andy Merrett posted on October 30, 2008 at 7:34 am
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    I removed the widget from the only blog that was accepted into BR last year sometime.

    While any venture like this has its share of risks, they may have been more successful if Reese didn’t take so many “holidays” while setting it up, if the admin/support staff actually bothered to respond to emails, and if they carried out proper pruning of sites who were gaming the system rather than telling small publishers to get lost because their sites weren’t of a high enough quality.

    BR had potential, but it was run in a Mickey Mouse style. That was the problem, and unfortunately it doesn’t make me want to invest any more time (thankfully no money) into anything John Reese does in the future. Just because you’re a big name online, it doesn’t mean you’ll deliver.

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  3. By Ted Murphy posted on October 30, 2008 at 1:10 pm
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    Actually, I respect the sentiment expressed in his message. I don’t respect a failure to execute, but I do think that building and selling a product is worth doing in and of itself.

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  4. By Jen posted on October 30, 2008 at 3:58 pm
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    What is a good alternative to BlogRush? As a new blogger, I’m always looking for traffic.

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  5. By Angel Cuala posted on October 30, 2008 at 8:36 pm
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    I once joined Blogrush, but it did not helped my blog so removed my widget after 4 months of staying there. I am not sure, but I think one factor members got tired is because it is not that sociable and Entrecard was there to fill the space.

    But then, abusive members will always be there and I think this is also the same reason EC is imposing strict rules.

    Just my thoughts though.

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  6. By Shanker Bakshi posted on November 1, 2008 at 3:35 am
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    @ angel
    Graham is a smart guy – He knows how to make things run and when to sell them off.

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  7. By Norhafidz posted on November 7, 2008 at 12:28 am
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    I am once rejected by BlogRush, I don’t care much about them after that :)
    But so sad to hear that they have to close office

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