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Fine Fools Community – Foolish or Smart?

Posted By Darren Rowse 27th of September 2005 Blog Networks 0 Comments

Scrivs from 9rules network has started another network (although he’s not calling it a network) of blogs called Fine Fools Community.

What is it?

Scrivs talked a couple of days ago about wanting to mobilize some of his older idle sites by getting others writing on them. He decided to give his authors 100% of whatever their posts earned from Adsense/YPN. It currently has 8 blogs on it on a variety of topics.

He’s promoting it as a foolish idea – however I don’t believe that it is – at least its not on some levels.

While giving authors 100% of Adsense and Yahoo revenue might sound a stupid move by Scrivs its actually not – don’t worry – he isn’t completely missing out on benefits of the blogs here. What does he get?

  • Adsense and YPN ad revenue on front page and category pages. Authors make money from the contextual ads on their own pages – Scrivs presumably takes anything generated elsewhere on the site.
  • Other Advertising. The agreement says nothing of sponsorship deals, affiliate programs, shop sales. Scrivs has previously made serious money from shops on his sites and has talked about sponsorship deals on his other sites off an on for a while.
  • Page Rank. One of the benefits of involving others in your blog is a more active/fresh site that has the ability to grow in it’s search engine ranking. This will benefit his authors but also himself and the posts that he chooses to write on these blogs.
  • Referral Traffic – Scrivs has control over what appears on sidebars and menu etc and will refer to the sites he chooses. One of the stated reasons for starting Fine Fools is to refer traffic back to 9rules (and presumably any other sites he wants to start).
  • Departed members Content – the members agreement states that the authors have their publisher code left on any articles that they write for 90 days after they leave the network. Over the long term members will come and go. Thousands of archives can be a lucrative asset.
  • Site Sales – Scrivs has previously sold sites for some pretty decent money. There is nothing to stop him doing so in this case. Members are effectively fattening his blogs up for market.

Now I’m not suggesting that Scrivs is evil or sneaky or hiding anything here. I’ve got nothing at all against bloggers making money from blogs or involving others in doing so – all I’m really doing here is exploring why offering authors 100% of income might be a worthwhile (and perhaps smart) thing to do.

What do you think about Scriv’s approach?

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • What I think is that I’ve found the perfect plan for my network and how to compensate the bloggers that we find to write for us on our blogs !

    Wow ! I saw his post but never even began to dissect it like you did.

    Darren, you are way too good to just be a blogger. Are you a super-hero by night and a blogger by day ?

    Ever get the urge to leap over tall blogs in a single post ?

    Do you get the urge to change clothes in a phonebooth ?

    Do the have those in Austrailia ?

  • LOL Mike – no – we’ve heard about such things as phone booths but until we get electricity we’ll probably just stick with pigeons as our primary mode of communication.

    On the serious side:

    I think there is merrit to the way Scrivs is going about this – however I personally wouldn’t probably go in this direction to the extreme that he has. I’ve been toying with something similar for a while now but my hesitations are around quality of posts but also revenue share and sustainability. I probably wouldn’t go for 100% for publishers – I think there is something to be said for taking a cut and providing publishers with more of a service.

    I also would hesitate to move my blogs to having more than one or two bloggers on them – my blogs have a system to them and if too many started blogging on them I can see some logistical problems. While I’m not anti group blogs – I’d much rather one person oversee a blog who has their finger on the pulse of everything that goes on in it.

    That’s just my personal preference though – there is, as I’ve outlined in the above post, some things that are worth considering here.

  • It’s a wonderful move. I’ve always known with ideas, one can achieve great success. Just like A Million Dollar Homepage. I might just join his site if I have more time to spend blogging. Definitely a good move, no doubt.

  • This is interesting in that for many blogs Adsense is never the core revenue earner in the longer term, its direct ad spots, text links, and other sorts of advertising, if I looked at the income from the Blog Herald and paid myself the Adsense revenue it would account to about 15-25% of monthly revenue, sometimes less. Interesting.

  • Darren,

    I’m thinking differently about blogs with multiple authors. I’m thinking about a blog right now that will have up to 5 bloggers.

    It should be a good experiment, to see if all the posts that up to 5 people can write, along with multiple viewpoints will be more popular than single author ones.

    Works good in thew mechanical world. Multiple engine planes are far, far better than single engine ones.

    Works good in the hotel industry. Hotels with multiple rooms pull better than hotel’s with one room.

    Looks good in the blogger world, as I see a blog from 37Signals has 14,199 readers in their feed and I don’t.

    We’ll see how it goes.

    Invitations are soon to be sent, probably this weekend. Stay tuned.

  • Good dissection Darren. I am in on the I like Cameras writing team. From my perspective I get to write about something I love (be passionate!) in what could become a high-traffic channel. I could write the same posts on my own blog but I wouldn’t get the eyeballs that the Paul Scrivs brand brings. You yourself have linked to the network now and that links to the ilikecameras site and then on to my posts with my name and style.

    As an aside I also get to experience the dynamic of writing with others. I think that will be a very interesting part of Scriv’s experiment; how the teams shape up. Already we are discussing amongst ourselves how not to step on each others toes, how to handle dissenting viewpoints in a focused site and so on.

  • To me it seems like a win-win. My only problem is the name – I can’t read it without thinking of the Motley Fool (

  • Sounds good Paul. Can’t wait to see what you all come up with as Cameras is a topic I’m very interested in myself. It’s now on my news aggregator and I’ll link to anything I can that I don’t already cover on my digicam site. Should be fun.

  • Very nice writeup. Let’s see if I can tackle these points.

    #1. You’re right on this one. I get frontpage and category pages, but we all know the action is on individual pages. Not saying that clicks don’t happen on other pages. Hmmm, sounds like I need to setup some channels and report this in the case study.

    #2. Other advertising will eventually come into play sooner or later and at those times it will be discussed with the writers beforehand how the shares go. This will involve some kind of split once I figure out technically how to get what I want done.

    #3. So basically everyone benefits right? :)

    #4. All authors have links pointing back to their site on their article pages and homepage if their article appears there so they get to share in the referral traffic as well. The stated goal wasn’t to push traffic back to 9rules, but to 9rules’ members (small difference I know, but significant in my mind).

    #5. Simply more incentive for them to stay :) I think 90 days is extremely fair when I could just leave it at 0 days.

    #6. Now to be honest I haven’t even considered this one. The selling of CSS Vault and Forever Geek came at a time where money was tight (much better grasp of my finances now) and many of the members who put in their fair share of work got a cut of the action. Just another thing to worry about down the road if the time ever comes.

    Maybe this thing will work out and maybe it won’t, but if it doesn’t then I guess we don’t have a book to write together now do we ;) I call it foolish simply because of my attitude towards the project and how I am approaching it.

    Hope I covered the points decently, it’s 3:15am here and it’s almost time for my nap.

  • nice work Paul. Hoping it works out well as I’m sure it’ll inspire many of us to consider variations of it. All the best with it.

    Now go sleep.

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