A Sad Day for Bloggers

Posted on 17. Feb, 2006 by in Site News

As you may have noticed, I proudly display the badge from 9Rules in the sidebar of this site. I joined the 9Rules network a few months ago and have greatly benefited from what I have learned from readers and fellow bloggers.

Recently, someone unethically (yup, I believe it was unethical) and bitterly (yep, I said bitter as well) released information about 9Rules asking some sites to leave; sites they fear are either to riske or currently belong to multiple blog networks. I have kept quiet as the stories and accusations have flown back and forth. I have kept quiet through the swearing and the name-calling. But this morning I read something that at first made me rather sad, and then triggerred this post.

One of the sites asked to leave was College-Startup.com because the writer is the lead designer at another network. At first I was sad at the request because I had enjoyed reading the blog every once in awhile. Apparently the author was not “upset with the situation” – but I would like to disagree. Only someone “upset at a situation” would put everyone around him down by saying:

At this point, I know the screen names of people I want to talk to, very little traffic to College Startup comes from 9rules, and the 9rules badge means less and less everytime they accept another mundane blog [emphasis added].

Another mundane blog? Another mundane blog? Now this low blow hit me where it counts. Instantly I lost all respect for College-Startup and realized that he has learned nothing about business or business relationships. One day the author states “what Mike (with 9Rules) has to say is too good to keep to myself” and then when he meets the brunt end of a deal he is putting down every blog in the network.

The reason behind my post here is to spell out one thing that many, many people do not realize. Blogging is a business. As much as people hate to admit that they blog for more than “fun” – blogging, as a whole, is a business. There is significant capital that is invested in blogging technology with the hopes of making money someday. Blog networks (all of them) are hoping someday to make money. Even if individual blogs or even blog networks are not making a dime right now, they must be run as a business in order to keep the “organization” in order. If you are a blogger, have you ever written a post that you later never posted because you felt it just didn’t “fit” with your blog? I have a number of them sitting there in the “draft” pile. Likewise, blog networks (9Rules included) must make business decisions in order to advance the future of the entire group.

And if you’re on the short end of the stick – of any business decision – let me give you some kindly advice:

  • Leave on good terms and in good faith – you never know when you will associate with those people again
  • Don’t badmouth “the company” – it just shows bad taste on your part and again, burns bridges
  • Think of the big picture and how you fit (or don’t fit) into it – hopefully this will prevent the first two points
  • Don’t call every employee at the company names – they won’t like you after you do and will be very unlikely to later give you job referrals (or anything else for that matter)

Well, I think it’s time to get off my soapbox. Very rarely do things other people say bother me. But when people categorically say unfounded and childish things about me and “my family” or friends – I feel it’s time to say something. The world revolves around business (and more specifically, money) and the sooner people realize this, the better. I’m a very nice guy – full of compassion and understanding – but I am also a realist who understands the world I live in.

6 Responses to “A Sad Day for Bloggers”

  1. Marco

    17. Feb, 2006

    Good article! The metaphore with regular business works. I strongly agree with the ‘rules’ you’ve described. I’ve left some employers already and I’ve always tried to stick to those rules. The web design / development world is small. Smaller than I can imagine which is why sticking to those rules is damn important.

    The same thing goes for the blogosphere, which is actually (even though we’re in the ‘hype phase’) only starting. A lot is going to change and I’m sure a lot of interesting opportunities are going to arise. Those are the moments when people look back and remember either the good stuff or the crap about you. It better be the good stuff I’d say.

  2. Mike Papageorge

    17. Feb, 2006

    Nicely said.

  3. Phu

    17. Feb, 2006

    Good post. Sometimes I feel disappointed that negative feelings can overshadow all that good that is out there. I think if people listen to the advice that you give, things would be so much better for all parties.

  4. Lindsay

    18. Feb, 2006

    Well said. His comments didn’t sit well with me either, but I chose not to take it personally because really I don’t know him, he doesn’t know me, and I haven’t really read his blog. I can see why you’re upset by it though.

  5. Matt

    19. Feb, 2006

    Try multiple internal sources – so I guess there’s many “unethical” and “bitter” people.


  6. Chad

    19. Feb, 2006

    I couldn’t agree more. Very well said.

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