Scrivs has just saved me some time and written a post that builds on my Examining the 9rules Network post (in which I gave reasons to enter into a network) – in it he gives some of the negatives of joining 9Rules (or any network for that matter).
So when is it NOT good to join a blog network like 9 Rules Network? Here are Scrivs reasons and a few comments from me.
- You don’t get 100% revenue – if you have a successful/profitable blog already it might not be worth joining.
- If the network looks bad, everyong looks bad – I picked up this a little in my post, but when you join a network you’re buying into the values, decisions and ethos of others. Whilst you retain your individuality you run the risk of being guilty by association. Remember that 9 Rules says you have to give 60 days notice to leave it. Whilst I doubt they will do anything to bring down the reputation of their bloggers its worth keeping this in mind.
- Design envy – there are some very nicely designed blogs in the network – how will yours look next to them?
- Some readers don’t want more people sitting at their lunch table – some of your readers might not like the extra attention being in the network might bring.
Good list – I probably feel more strongly about the first two than the second two.
What would you add to the list of why NOT to joining a network like 9Rules? I have two more:
• Don’t join a network if you’re going to cause too much trouble or if you have a blog that might cause controversy in the network. I’m not sure what this might entail – but if you bring the network into disrepute you run the risk of being alienated by a whole group of bloggers rather than just one or two.
• There is potential for a network to become quite clique-like. I’ve been involved in a few blogging communities in the past couple of years that have become quite insular and incestuous. Bloggers get comfortable with each other and end up just reading each other’s blogs, linking to each others blogs and not really growing or developing relationships outside their networks. This is by no means the way 9Rules will be – but its a potential risk.
All in all I can’t see too many reasons not to go with 9Rules – especially if you have a smaller blog that is in need of some extra attention. The jury is still out on just how much being involved with it will benefit bloggers.
One Danger – In theory it all looks good – my only real concern would be that they take on too many blogs too quickly. If this were to happen the risk of joining is that you could get a little lost in the crowd (decreasing incoming traffic), could decrease the chance of getting some personal attention or advice from the central team and could decrease the ability to develop deep relationships with others in the networks (as they have so many others to make friends with). I’m not seeing this danger coming into fruition yet – they’ve been quite gradual in their introductions of new blogs so far despite there being many blogs applying to join.
Two Opportunities – Someone just asked me via MSN ‘how would I improve what 9Rules are doing?’ Well its not really my place to improve what others are doing – I don’t know what they plan to do, but a few things come to mind:
• Cluster Blogs around Themes – one way to help keep some intimacy in the network as it grows would be the cluster the blogs that join together into thematically groups. For instance if they were to create blogging clans within the larger tribe of 9Rules. There could be the designer clan (for bloggers writing about web design), the gadget clan (for those blogging on techie stuff), the personal blog clan (for the ‘what I had for breakfast’ bloggers) etc. These clans could have their own 9Rules page, build relationships, cross promote/link and even run ad campaigns together (their combined power could be quite attractive to advertisers).
• Interlinking between Bloggers – I’m a little surprised that one of the conditions of being in the network is that you choose to link to X number of other blogs in the network. One of the strategies of other networks is interlinking of blogs – this helps a lot with search engine rankings. I wouldn’t suggest every blog link to every other blog – but within reason this would build the power of the network a lot. Of course this can be ‘encouraged’ in a more natural way once bloggers in the network start interacting.