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9rules Communities

Written by Scrivs on January 3, 2006

When we started the 9rules Network we always envisioned a place where readers could come to find the best content from the independent web and that’s why we consider ourselves a content network first and foremost. Others wanted to label us as a blog network or blog ring, but getting into semantics isn’t really the point, the point is to connect readers with writers and vice versa.

Version 1 did this in a very generic way. If you wanted to know what was happening in the Network you had a very, very broad view of what was going on. You never knew what niches were being updated or who even fit within those niches, but you were able to randomly see entries and which sites were in the Network. Still, it never even came close to what our vision of the Network should be.

Version 2 improved upon things a bit more by removing the long list of sites and replacing it with tags. With the large number of sites in the Network it was still a chore however to get to the subjects you like and see what was happening most recently in that topic. Also the problem was no longer finding the sites, but actually finding the content you want. It’s great knowing that you can go to 9rules to find great content, but wouldn’t it be even better to find great content on Religion without having to troll through 100 sites?

Enter 9rules Communities.

Now you if you like the 9r Member sites in the Business category you have a place to go to see which have updated recently and also find out what the “Community Leaders (experts, whatev)” feel are the best entries to date with their own analysis. Imagine all of the 9r Design sites getting together to hold a redesign contest or maybe the Philosophy Community having monthly book readings and discussions.

Our Network has always been based on content and relationships, but the relationships have been hidden behind closed doors. Communities is our way of bringing these relationships out into the public to build stronger bonds and greater resources for readers and our members.

Not every Community has a leader right now, but over time communities will begin to fill themselves out. What we have launched with is the framework to allow the communities to grow organically. There are also probably some minor display issues hanging around, but we picked January 3rd back in November and we told ourselves we are sticking with it no matter what.

Over the coming weeks you will see tweaks and improvements to the Community model once we start integrating the feedback of our members and readers into the pages. We also know that we are sporting three different designs all on one site and trust me when I say there will be one simple brand to match everything together (I can’t stand the current homepage, yeah I said that). Some communities might only have one or two sites, but you will see them grow over the upcoming weeks, while other communities might be broken up into smaller pieces like Design and Business.

For now sit back and explore the communities because hopefully we have made going through our Network a whole lot easier. We have to go work on the Advertising Network now.

I must give a great big thanks to Mike and Colin for putting in an extraordinary amount of hours to get this out the door and being talented enough to do so. Go take a nap guys.

  1. Daneeeboy Says:

    Great work! A brill start to 2006 – here’s to an exciting year ahead. Looking forward to seeing your response to the advertising issue.


  2. Mike Rundle Says:

    Just so everyone knows, a brand new homepage with brand new functionality to match our cool Communities page is coming next week. I slapped the new navigation/header onto the old homepage just so it was semi-coherent at launch. We realize the homepage looks like a sore thumb right now, and we’re on it πŸ˜‰

    Great job Colin, you are a God among men.

  3. Chris Says:

    This is REALLY awesome. Good job guys.

  4. Elyse Says:

    Bravo! I really like the communities idea and look forward to watching that grow and expand! Keep up the good work.

  5. Carson McComas Says:

    Zoinks, awesome. Seriously, stellar work. You guys are defying all the naysayers by being innovative and delivering the goods. Keep it up, you’re an inspiration.

  6. Scrivs Says:

    I think the worst naysayers are the ones in our own heads and even those aren’t satisfied yet. We still have a long, long way to go, but we are definitely happy with the direction we are taking.

  7. Omar Says:

    Spectacular work Paul. I’m having loads of fun playing around with on the ‘browse’ page.

    And of course, with every new iteration of 9rules, the same question is asked by people interested in the business side of things: what’s the biz model? And when you are you going to launch the advertising network?

    In the meantime, there’s a bit more eye candy I’d like to sample πŸ™‚

  8. Scrivs Says:

    Omar: Yeah it’s amazing how much longer you stay on the site now that you can actually get to the content more easily. As for the biz model part of it should be obvious now, but there are a couple more tricks up our sleeves and each on involves our members.

    I can’t give any timeframe on when the ad network will launch, but of course we would like to get it out as soon as possible, but will not release something that is mediocre.

  9. Websites Made Simple Says:

    9rules Only a Community Away

    You know what I like best about 9rules? Other than the fact that it’s got a cool website design and many talented bloggers in their niche behind it, they’ve a vision of what a blogging network should be as it…

  10. Pauly D Says:

    Looks amazing. Great work.

    Although – I hate to ask this in the midst of all the kudos, but I can’t seem to find the page where I can steal everyone’s php files so I can re-create their blogs without them knowing…

    Let me know on that, thanks.

  11. Michael Heilemann Says:

    A great improvement, it’ll be very interesting indeed to watch the effects of this change. Now how does one go about adding oneself to a community?

  12. 9rules Communities at Binary Bonsai Says:

    […] eywords: 9rules, blogging, communities. The 9rules guys have unveiled their latest addition to the 9rules network: communities. If the number of 9rules blogs stay r […]

  13. Mike Rundle Says:

    Hey Michael, if you jump into the forums we have a few posts in there about 9r Communities and whatnot. You can post stuff in there, or as always, email my secretary Paul Scrivens and he’ll hook you up.

  14. Paul Stamatiou Says:

    Oh man, this is cooler than ice cream and flock. Yeah, I said it.

  15. Justin Palmer Says:

    Great improvement with the communities guys.

    OT: Mike, speaking of the forum. Have you guys approved the accounts of the Round 3 sites because I have yet to receive a confirmation email or anything implying that my forum account has been activated.

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  17. Ian Fenn Says:

    Looks good, but why is there no food category?

  18. Mark Wade Says:


    Right move, right direction – “simply devine.”


    WTG guys…


  19. James Mitchell Says:

    That is very sweet. I can’t wait until each category can have its own RSS feed (noticed not until 1/17).

    I also can’t wait to be a part of 9rules and join a community.

    Well Done Guys!

  20. ME Strauss Says:

    Great job, Scrivs, Mike and Colin.
    It’s a fabulous idea. Well-executed.

  21. Scrivs Says:

    Ian: Funny you should mention that…

  22. Dennis Bullock Says:

    This is excellent and I am excited to see what is shared. I hope to be an addition to your Religion community as I see you only have a few. Or technolgy for http://dennisbullock.com again. great job!

  23. Scrivs Says:

    Justin: Email sent to ya.

  24. adrian chan Says:

    awesome site and great work guys! i only regret having scraped my screen trying to peel off your tasty interface.

  25. Christian Watson Says:

    This really is a stellar piece of work – I am way beyond being impressed. Beautiful to look at and easy to use. I, for one, will be doing a lot more browing around on 9rules then I used to.

  26. Nicole Says:

    Ditto on Ian’s comment. I’ve been looking for a 9rules food/cooking category (now community) for some time now.

  27. Scrivs Says:

    Well we do have two food sites on the way so it’s going to be a great start for that community.

  28. Nick Drago Says:

    When I visited yesterday, there were two problems with the browse page, nice to dee that they are fixed today.

    The new browse page is definitely easier to comprehend an navigate than the old list of 100+ sites.

    Scrivs, I sent you an email- I know you’re busy- just wondering if you got it?

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    […] sh; add your own. View other entries in Member Sites. When we announced 9rules Communities Monday two of the comments mentioned a lack of food sites in the Network an […]

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