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Introducing b5media

Posted By Darren Rowse 21st of September 2005 Blog Networks, ProBlogger Site News 0 Comments

The worst kept secret in ProBlogging circles (thanks Jeremy) has officially gone live.

I’d like to introduce you to the project that has done the unthinkable and that has kept Jeremy, Duncan and Myself a little quieter on our blogs for the past few weeks.

Meet b5media

What is it you ask?

It’s a blogging network owned and operated by two Aussies and a Canadian and with bloggers participating from France, the UK, Australia, the US and Philippines. We already have 14 blogs and are close to launching a number of others.

You can get the full scoop on who we are and what makes b5media b5media on our launch post.

Some of you might also be interested in joining us as an author. We’re keen to add some quality bloggers into the mix and to help them earn some income from their blogging – if you’d like to be a part of that you can find the process for applying here.

In the mean time – check out some of our brand new blogs (I’ve put links to each with short descriptions below). Remember that we’re in beta and some of them are further along than others. We’re in the process or ironing out kinks and finalizing templates – Peter from The Blog Studio has just put up a template on our b5media blog (a work in progress) but all the others are a little way off going live with their new looks.

  • Cell Phone 9 – a blog about mobile phone technology – written by Jayvee Fernandez from the Philippines who has extensive experience writing for a variety of magazines and sites on technology. He introduces himself here. Jayvee has 2 years of blogging experience and blogs on his personal blog at The Bugged Life
  • Flight Nest – a blog exploring the many facets of aviation. Tim Flight (real name) and Mike Elgan are the bloggers at Flight Nest. Time is from Maine in the USA and blogs at a cool blog called GPS Review and Mike is a technology writer/publisher/editor based in California who is involved in some pretty amazing projects both on the topic of aviation and wider technology. Check out some of his work at his site. Both Tim and Mike are hobby pilots – they know what they’re talking about and are set to make this an authoritative blog on a very popular topic.
  • Simply Dumb – this is where b5media gets a little quirky and takes a look at… well the dumb side of life. Who better to author this one but our very own Duncan Riley from Western Australia – best known for his work on the Blog Herald. It’s a blog about Weird, wacky, wonderful things from around the web – its on my news aggregator already – I love this stuff.
  • The Sports Weblog – Jacob Murphy heads up the Sports Blog which is the name suggests – is about Sport. Jacob lives in Canada and blogs at lyef & thymes (to name must one blog he’s worked on). Jacob has chosen to add personality to the mix, by always favoring one team in each league, and always contrasting things against that team.
  • The Movie Weblog – Jacob is also heavily involved in the movie blog (what a life – paid to write about sport and movies – all we need to do now is start a beer blog and he’ll be set!). Alongside Jacob is his co-editor – Erin Harvey. Erin is a self confessed ‘web addict’ and wrote one of the best applications for the job of editor of this and our ‘Play Girlz’ blog. She’s been blogging on a couple of blogs since 2002. The Movie Weblog will have a combination of movie news and reviews – real reviews by real people.
  • The Play Girlz Gaming Blog – Erin is involved in this blog also – a blog about Gaming by a couple of female gamers, Erin and Ingrid Diaz. Ingrid is from France and this is her first ever blog! I wouldn’t classify myself as a gamer, but yesterday when I forwarded the URL to a gaming friend, her reaction was real excitement – so it looks like Erin and Ingrid have already done something right! Erin and Ingrid are fun and funny – they came up with the name for the blog themselves – it should hit the spot with gamers – male and female!
  • The Microsoft Weblog – a blog written by John Evans from Syntagma. John is from the UK – and this blog is, as you’d expect, covering all news, rumors and and tips on the topic of Windows.
  • Windows Vista Weblog – John Evans is also heading this blog up – it and the Microsoft blog make a nice companions of one another – don’t you think? Windows Vista is Microsoft’s next Operating System so this blog should have plenty of interesting news, rumors and tips to post for some time to come.
  • Cooking Gadgets – I know a few people who are going to love this one – they’re the type that can’t get enough of those homeware shops, they drool over cheese shavers, talk for hours about apple corers and have draws full of all kinds of wonderful ‘essential’ kitchen tools. Professional blogger, Arieanna Foley from Canada, is heading up this blog. She’s a blogger on more blogs than I can mention here – but makes her blogging home at Blogaholics. I’ll be keeping my partner away from this one – she doesn’t need her kitchen gadget addiction fed.
  • She Knows Best – Arieanna Foley is heading up this blog also – one that I suspect I should probably add to my RSS subscription as its a blog about giving guys easy ways to be stylish, in an affordable, low maintenance way. Hairstyles, fashion, self esteem, whatever helps a guy be a better guy – all according the the world’s best source of information on how guys should live their lives…..Women! (who wrote that??) It’s kind of ‘Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’ with a twist.
  • Literally Blogging – a blog about literature. It’s one of the newest blogs to be added so only has a few posts and is next in line for a new template – but its a blog we’re excited about and wanted to squeeze into our first round of launches. The editors on Literally Blogging are Jacob Murphy and Erin Harvey (our team on the Movie Blog also).
  • Unplugged Living – I’m pretty excited about this one – a blog on living off the grid and finding your way to energy self-sufficiency. This will not only be a blog that a has a growing audience over the coming years (I know here in Australia this is a massive topic) but its one that hopefully gives something back to the world we live in. Kevin Humphrey is the editor on this blog – he’s an experienced blogger at Turbo Blogger (and other great blogs) and is a self confessed hippy – sounds perfect for a blog with a green bent.
  • The Search Engine Herald – a more established blog that has been running as part of Duncan’s Weblog Empire network. To this point Duncan has been editing the SE Herald but stay tuned for a new editor to take over in the next few days.
  • b5media – You’ve discovered this blog already of course – it’ll be written by Dunan, Jeremy and myself and will keep you up to date with all the latest news and announcements pertaining to the b5media network. Add it to your news aggregator and stay tuned over the next few days for a number of additional new blogs which we’re putting the final touches on and should add to the network in the coming week.
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 and LinkedIn.
  1. Does this actually qualify as a “new” kind of blogging network, Darren? I think Shai Coggins and Shanti Braford (and others, I’m sure) have already had these kinds of “networks”. Can you explain how this is “new”?

  2. yeah i’m not getting it either. what’s so ‘different’ about it? i read “Duncan’s Thoughts, Darren’s Dreams and Jeremy’s Perspective” but all i got was a bunch of waffle. *yawn*

    i suggest publishing a list of features that you have which no one else has. by features i don’t mean vague concepts, but things which are actually buttons you can click on

  3. Whether it’s a new kind of network or not is probably not the most important thing imho…

    Darren & Co. put out some great content, and that’s what does the trick in this business.

  4. Yeah, I don’t really understand the new parts either. Just seems like a place to recruit people to blog for you guys. What makes this “a new kind of Blogging Network”

    I am not trying to be a party pooper, just trying to fully understand.

  5. good comments – I can see where you’re coming from.

    my personal opinion – you’ll have to ask the others what they think – is that it doesn’t matter if its a new kind, an old kind or a combination of both – its about content.

    there are elements of ‘new’ for us both in the combination of people, the combination of topics and that we’re trying to bring together some of the elements that we love in the different existing networks that are out there.

    We’re also sitting on a few ideas that we’re not ready to talk about publically yet that are a little unique in terms of what other blog networks have been doing. They may not be ‘new’ in that they’ve never been done before by anyone online – but they should push into some new ground for organised networked blogging.

    Anyway – time will tell if we’re just talking nice ideas or whether we’ll actually make any progress.

    Appreciate the comments.

  6. […] In a post that I recently commented on from Darren Rowse, I asked what made the b5media network a “new” kind of Blogging Network. I’ve already seen many, and been involved with a few that resemble their new network. It seems like “everyone’s got a blog network these days”. […]

  7. I think when you’re looking at a content-driven industry like professional blogging, it’s not what makes a new network different, as much as it is who is it writing that content.

    The that will determine whether the network sinks or swims are:

    – The quality of the writing. So far it looks to be pretty good, thought some of the topics covered might run out, and have to be rehashed quickly
    – Leadership and promotion. We have 3 of the top bloggers out there today running promotion. Can’t ask for much more
    – Communication and adaptation. If bloggers aren’t in the loop they will get frustrated easily and the blogs will die. We see people get tired, and run out of ideas all the time. b5 seems to be encouraging a community atmosphere, judging by this post:

    “You will participate in the network through internal blogs, wikis, mailing lists or forums. You will help others as you are able, just as others will hopefully help you as they are able. This isn’t done from a sense of entitlement, but of family and a focus on the fact that we’re all people, we all have needs and we all have things we can do to help others out. The best blogs are the ones that have a sense of community and, likewise, the best blogging networks are ones where community is present between writers, staff, founders and even advertisers.”

    Yes, there is room for another blog network, and there will be room for plenty more after that. As long as people continue searching for information, and informed opinions, these networks will continue to multiply exponentially.

    Good luck Darren

  8. It looks like that there still was room for a another blog network.

    Good luck to all three and to all new bloggers around you.

  9. Ashley Norris says: 09/21/2005 at 4:44 pm

    Good luck Darren. There’s plenty of room for other blogging networks especally when the sites are as good as yours. Like the really strong eccletic mix of topics too. Just don’t go doing a women’s shoe blog or we’ll send the boys round! Ashley and Katie @ Shiny Media

  10. Don’t wait too long B4 you check out b5.

    Yeah, I’ll admit Jeremy told me all about b5 a month ago.  But Duncan, Jeremy and Darren … props …

  11. Two Aussies and a Canadian, eh? It’s good to see you colonials making something of yourselves :-)

  12. I am blogging about mobile phones since 1996, I live in EU, and I even
    worked once for several years for Nokia in Finland + I go to several tradeshows including original CeBIT, and 3GSM – the most important one in cellphones. Now, compare me to the guy who runs your cellphone9!

  13. Congrats on the new move Darren. I’m already starting to love some of the blogs, esp Cellphone9 and Simply Dumb. One thought though, the newer blogs seem a little raw, but they’re all great. If I could be a part of this in the near future I’d like to contribute in the design department if you guys need a hand there. Once again, great job and keep it up. I’ll be visiting often.

  14. you’re right JErm – the design on some of them is completely default template based.

    There will be new templates on all of them in the coming days/weeks. you should see a new pro-design from peter from Blog stuio shortly.

    thanks for the offer though. Appreciate it.

  15. […] Darren just announced b5media, a new blog network. Here’s the b5 is live post from the network’s own blog. […]

  16. Michael says: 09/22/2005 at 1:19 am

    “I am blogging about mobile phones since 1996, I live in EU, and I even worked once for several years for Nokia in Finland + I go to several tradeshows including original CeBIT, and 3GSM – the most important one in cellphones. Now, compare me to the guy who runs your cellphone9!” from Comic Strip Guy

    writing skills? Am sure the guys who chose him had their reasons.

  17. Mouse says: 09/22/2005 at 1:28 am


    I’m curious as to why you decided to get involved with this? It seems you’re putting a very good reputation on the line here, and perhaps some credibility at stake.

    Not having a digg, just curious….

  18. Comic Strip Blogger attempts to turn the conversation towards himself, yet again…

    Congrats, Darren. I, for one, am sure you guys will be successful.

    Good luck, my friend : )

  19. […] When my other website (thegadgetblog.com) joins the network is up to my CEO (Duncan Riley) to finalize. Here’s the news at b5Media, Liewcf and Problogger. Maybe the network will be listed someday on Nasdaq. That would be cool. […]

  20. Good Luck to your Corporation! Good Luck to your sub-contract bloggers too!. I know it’s in the early stages and time only tell for all the existing and upcoming projects – but, so far .. I truly think that the ‘cream of the crop’ are Arieanna’s two blogs … “Cooking Gadgets” and “She Knows Best” .. Ingenious I tell you – and not because I can’t cook or dress myself or that she’s also Canadian .. erm.. uh , maybe it is all that :P

  21. Darren:

    Very exciting stuff. My two cents about what makes b5 a “new” venture is that you seem to be blending a lot of ingredients into one darn good recipe.

    Mix good content written by bloggers who are truly honored for their contribution and backed by solid management behind the scenes and you have a blog network worth its salt.

    Look forward to seeing what else you have in the ingredient cupboard.

  22. Good Luck Darren and I hope all of the hard work pays off.

  23. thanks – let me respond to a few people:

    – Comic Strip Blogger – You’re always welcome to apply to join up. Having a go at our blogs/bloggers is probably not a good way to attract our attention though. The fact is that Jayvee has extensive experience in writing about gadgets and phones also.

    – Mouse – yes I guess it is a risk – as is starting any new business. The reason I’m doing so is that I think Dunan and Jeremy are pretty amazing bloggers and the opportunity to work with them was too good to pass up. It will enable us all to do something beyond what any one of us could achieve on our own.

  24. Darren, Jeremy and Duncan – I could care less how many blogging networks are out there. What I do care about is a blogging network I can trust! Having been a follower of Problogger and BlogHerald for several months now, though a silent follower, I have grown to trust the men behind the blogs!

    In a world where fly-by-night websites/blogs pop up so quickly and without real substance, I have to say trust is a very big issue for me!

    I’d choose anything these guys are involved in over some of the other big dawgs and more “mysterious” bloggers any day!

    Wishing you all the very best of luck! Just remember us little guys err gals when ya’all make it to the big time! (as if you weren’t already there).


  25. Join up existing cellphone9 is pointless – it is too amateurish – if you would have blog that would be property of b5 and specifically about mobile phones – let me know by email!

  26. Thanks for the offer Comic Strip Blogger but we’re not approaching bloggers. We’ve named our system for applications for bloggers to start new blogs and won’t be emailing.

  27. OK, no problem. You have already blog about cellphones in your b5 network so there’s no place for me.

    Anyway: you should have RSS feed for comments – as all WordPress blogs have – but you don’t have. Sometimes readers are willing to participate in discussions only if such feed for comments is in place.

  28. Darren,

    Firslty, good luck in this venture (and launch) … I’m sure if anyone can make a success of it, it will be you guys.

    And thanks for not letting us diehard readers of yours know a little bit in advance of your plans. C’mon a personal email would have been nice ;-) … althouogh I guess if I was more cluey enough I would have figured it out with a lilttle digging.

    And 2 Aussies and a Canadian … taking on the world!! Cool!

    Yeah, same here with some of the blog designs – a little too rough for my liking – so I’m hoping you really take the time and effort into making high quality designs.

    One thing that I would not want to see is a move to bland blogging that can so easily happen when one starts to get bigger and goes more maintream – this goes more for Duncan … who at times shoots first and asks questions later (which is what we love him for … except if you’re on the receiving end). So bare that in mind.

    Comic Strip – get a grip of yourself. You’re not the only one to be an expert on cellphones and to blast the one they have choosen on one of the owners blogs is like shooting yourself in the foot. Not a very smart way to sell yourself for any future positions.

    b5, ha! have you thought about using some banana’s in pjamma’s as a logo? ;-) LOL (sorry – who’s b1 and b2 ;-)

    I guess it’s a wait and see on this one – but that’s what business is all about: if you don’t take the risks you’ll never know … so all the best for as massive success.

  29. Michael says: 09/22/2005 at 5:15 pm

    Comic Strip: I’ve seen your comments somewhere else a couple of times. You purport expertise but we have yet to see proof.

    Okay, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt… maybe you are indeed an expert BUT, in order to be an effective blogger, you also need to have writing skills. Looking at what you have written, I can only guess that English isn’t your first language.

    I could also be wrong. Maybe. Maybe, not.

  30. Am I the only one who finds the logo to be…well…boobalicious? :-D

  31. LOL Soni.

    take another look at it – and imagine its the back end of a little ‘bee’ :-)

  32. Re: Jayvee – the magazine he works for as editor, M|PH was among the first here, and remains th e classiest, I think.

  33. So Beehive was the play on words? Brilliant!

    Or am I the only one that is now getting the term…..how mortifying.

  34. @migs,

    wow word travels fast indeed. you’re right there. m|ph was the brainchild of a bunch of us avid gadget freaks who were frustrated — there were no credible gadget mags in the country.

    so we made our own.

    the rest is history! =)

  35. […] Darren Rowse’s ProBlogger has been a long-time destination point for all types of bloggers wanting to go professional and Duncan Riley’s Blog Herald is like the tag line implies: more blog news more often. Duncan has the more serrious conflict-of-interest thrown at him because his blog deals with directly offering up news on the blogging industry. b5 is now part of that community. […]

  36. Cheap and Tiny and Problogging

    CheapAndTiny is a weblog about cheap and tiny gadgets, exploring the lower boundaries of size and cost in the world of personal electronics. Your writer:…

  37. […] On the surface it may seem the logical step for a professional blogger to become an owner of a blog network, thus securing a sustainable future without the constant need to produce content all by oneself. In fact Darren Rowse did exactly that becoming part of the b5media blog network founding team along with several other high profile bloggers. […]

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