My Blog My Rules

by admin Feb 16, 2006 12 Comments

Filed under: Dharma

There is a storm brewing in the blog world, with controversy revolving around 9rules decision to prune their network, resulting in elimination of a few blogs from the network. Looks like, some of the eliminations have been because of explicit content and others due to conflict of interest. It’s blog drama at its best, and makes for good blogging!

I have been a regular user of 9rules, and have been thinking about submitting this blog in their next submission round. But this controversy has made me think about the advantages and disadvantages of being part of a network like 9rules.

For me, my blog is a place where I can express my self freely, based on my rules, within the scope of the topic of the blog, and the interests of the readers. It’s not just a personal journal I want to keep to myself, but my ideas, thoughts and experiences which I want to share with others; a place I can listen to other readers opinions, and engage them in heated discussions. At the same time, I have to be aware of the cause and effect of the contents of my blog, I have to be open to controversy, and use it to propel the blog forward.

The moment a blog becomes part of a network, the dynamics change; I am no longer the lone ranger, but rather part of a collective and it’s not “My Blog My Rules� anymore, it’s “My Blog My Rules and Their Rules�. What could that do to a free spirited blogger? It could probably cut into their freedom of expression, they would have to operate within the confines of the collective, if they wish to be part of the network. Don’t get me wrong here, there are a lot of advantages to being part of a blog network, but you will have to weigh the differences and be prepared for the consequences of rubbing the collective the wrong way, before you make the decision to join a group.

As for me and my blog, even though blog networks like 9rules are enticing, I am not sure if I want to be part of a network yet, I like the way it is – My Blog My Rules!


  • Paddy O'Furniture

    Feb 16, 2006 | 3:12 pm


    Stick to your beliefs and you’ll be ok. 🙂 I know that I am not going to support their network anymore. Their beliefs aren’t in alignment with mine so how can I with good conscience visit their sites.

  • Chris P.

    Feb 16, 2006 | 5:27 pm

    Yo! It’s always interesting to read someone else’s take on things, karmadude…

    I said it on college-startup, but I’ll re-hash it here:

    Personally, I don’t feel as though 9rules offers sites the extreme advantage that it once did. Back in September of last year, it drove pretty significant traffic (the vocal kind) to members’ sites. This is what, in my opinion, drove 9rules to become one of the feelgood sites of 2005. I really wasn’t surprised at all by the 500+ submissions for round 3, because who wouldn’t have wanted a piece of the action at that time? It looked almost glamorous, I have to say…

    Now, I have the advantage of no longer looking at things through rose colored glasses. I have stats to back me here, but it’s evident that 9rules is no longer the traffic driver that it once was. Sure, 9rules itself gets lots of exposure, but as the network grows, member sites get pushed further and further down into navigational hierarchy. There are 150 sites and, what, 16 feeds on the front page, and half of those are consistently taken up by the sites that report with a high frequency.

    And then, of course, you may get ostracized for doing some work with someone they don’t like. Or maybe they simply don’t like your friends. Ouch.

    The bottom line is that a fine blog like yours stands on its own, and 5 or 10 extra people a day from a site like 9rules isn’t going to offer you a huge advantage anyway. I know some people out there are thinking that 9rules will find a way to host ads on member sites or something like that, but let’s face it – do you really think they’re going to do better than Google? Laff!

    Keep pluggin along over here – I enjoyed reading what you had to say. Peace!

  • ij

    Feb 16, 2006 | 8:26 pm

    And just what are “your rules”? Did you write them down? Do you start wide open, expecting your readers to observe general neticette (if there is such a thing) and make restrictions as probelms arise?

  • Thame

    Feb 16, 2006 | 9:37 pm

    I think those people who did get the boot know exactly why they were kicked out but fabricated this whole issue of freedom just to turn the whole situation around.

    9rules is the most free blog network around. It’s members can write whatever they want (within large and understandable bounds) and they are not bound in any way. If they feel that they don’t like the restriction, they are free to quit.

    I think this whole issue is very overblown…

  • KarmaDude

    Feb 17, 2006 | 2:33 am

    More than anything, something like this does set precedence, and does introduce new rules. The fact is, these new rules now apply to those who are still in the network, and as 9rules grows as a business, I am sure there will be more rules. It’s not a question of the ability to quit the network, but about the bounds one cannot cross, in order to stay in, and how restrictive these bounds can become over time.

    I feel, Chris and others do provide the other side of the story, and since I don’t know all the facts, I am going to remain neutral on this. As a user of 9rules, I still love it, and I will continue to use it, and draw inspiration from the blogs on 9rules.

    Its members can write whatever they want (within large and understandable bounds) and they are not bound in any way.

    Thame, looks like you are contradicting yourself here 🙂

    Regarding rules of this blog, ij I don’t think I have any set in stone, I know all the contributors, so I trust them, and as far as the readers go, their comments only get moderated if it’s not related to the post or contain spam. Other than that, all thought is free here.

  • Thame

    Feb 17, 2006 | 2:44 pm

    Haha. I was so worked up about the whole thing and dropped about 15 comments on various blogs without really thinking.

    The 9rules team has set an understandable restriction on adult content. They have already admitted that they made a mistake in not doing it from the very beginning, but they are a young company and are still learning.

    If you notice members defending the network so fiercly (such as myself), it is because we see first-hand the sheer effort and energy the team puts into us and the network and it bothers us to see their hard work turned into something so petty.

    It’s true, I love Paul Scrivens (and Rundle and the whole team) 😀

  • DesiPundit » My Blo&hellip

    Feb 19, 2006 | 10:49 am

    […] As 9Rules decides to prune some of its membership, KarmaDude evaluates the need to be a part of a blog network. This can be easily applied to the non-blog world and its myriad social connections as well. […]

  • Suyog

    Feb 19, 2006 | 12:03 pm

    i’ve used 9 rules mainly to see the web designs – other than that, i haven’t seen any good purpose of 9 rules at all yet. Though I must say the designs they feature do rock, irrespective of whether they generate hits to the site or not.

    But yes, at the end of the day, its my blog, my rules and my content – and I wouldnt compromise on that to be in good books of any site 🙂


  • KarmaDude

    Feb 19, 2006 | 2:28 pm

    Suyog, I agree, there are a lot of well designed blogs on 9rules, but I would also like to highlight the quality of content, and the wealth of information in some of the blogs on 9rules, it would take a little digging around in there to find a set of blogs which relate to your interests. And another priceless advantage you get out of 9rules, is the ability to interact with the talented bloggers on their network, through their private forum.

    But like Chris said above, if you have a blog with quality content, then it really does not need a network like 9rules to stand out. However, it does take effort on your part to provide visiblity for your blog, and to spread the word.

  • KarmaDude

    Feb 20, 2006 | 12:11 pm

    More 9rules blogs leaving the network, I wonder what the real reasons are? Could it be the fear of being kicked out?

    Mark Boulton

  • Alvin

    Mar 13, 2006 | 11:26 pm

    I’m a 3rd round member of 9rules, and so far it’s done good by me. I’ve seen a jump in traffic ever since I’ve joined which has been a big boost.

    Joining the network hasn’t cramped my style one bit since there aren’t any bounding restrictions and no obligations.

    Plus, it’s fun to be part of another social network 🙂

  • KarmaDude

    Mar 16, 2006 | 12:06 pm

    ProBlogger contemplates joining blog networks, and discusses the pros and cons.

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