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The 9rules Story

Written by Scrivs on February 26, 2007

Since we have a lot of fresh faces coming to 9rules now I figured not too many of them know the story behind 9rules and since every great company has a fascinating story to tell…

The 9rules Story opened on August 14, 1980. When I was born I knew I was destined to create a place where a great knitting site done by a man could sit next to some bastards. Around the age of four I knew that this place had to also be a destination to join a discussion with other strangers who you probably wouldn’t like in real life. By age 5 I thought it would be cool to see everyone else’s photos so I could realize that I am the ugliest person on the planet.

In school people would always ask me what I wanted to be when I grow up and I would always tell them I would be a Ruler. They laughed, called me names and occasionally threw rulers at me, but they couldn’t break my resolve. I knew what I wanted to do and I was going to be a Ruler no matter what. I just needed some help in doing so. So after college I told my parents I was going to take a walk for a bit. I enjoyed walking because it helped to clear my mind and when I looked up I was in Rochester.

Without having any idea on how the hell I ended up in Rochester I figured the safest thing I could do was find a young Jewish guy to help me out. Lo and behold I ran across a fellow by the name of Mike Rundle and he seemed like a swell lad. We talked it up, battled with some rap verses and waxed poetic on design issues. Soon after I knew I had found partner #1 in helping me on my quest to become a Ruler, but we knew we needed one more.

Now I’m superstitious and I like to find patterns in things so I sat down and thought what type of person should be the third Ruler. I made a list of traits.

  • I live in Tampa, one of the greatest places to live (seriously).
  • Mike is a white guy with who you would say has a lot of black in him.
  • I’m a half-white, half-black male who has a tendency to act like a girl in sticky situations.

With those traits I figured I needed a black woman, who had a lot of white in her, was strong and lived in the worst city in the world, Cleveland, Ohio. With those kind of specifications I knew we were in trouble because a person like that certainly couldn’t exist, but to my surprise we found the perfect match: Tyme. Hell, even her last name is White.

So there it was, I had my team and we would become Rulers. 3 people leading 9rules. 3 goes into 9 three times so the symmetry is more than just a sign of destiny. What happened after that will be saved for another story, but that is how 9rules got its start.

9rules Changes Corporate Infrastructure, Aligns With Universe

Written by Scrivs on February 12, 2007

Last week we launched Ali and that wasn’t the only change that happened within 9rules. There have also been some structural changes that we would like to announce. Since all the cool and professional people are doing press releases we thought it would be best to announce these changes in a Press Release that can be read below.

9rules Changes Corporate Infrastructure

9rules has taken a deep look at its corporate infrastructure and decided that a revamp was needed to boost morale and the bottomline.

Tampa, FL, February 12, 2007 — 9rules, 9rules.com, the Quality Loves Company company, today announced a major restructuring of their board of directors today, and the department for redundancy department.

Community Director Tyme White has moved into the new position of Queen of the Universe. While having very little experience at being Queen of anything, White feels she can improve upon the way the Universe works and hopefully guide 9rules to new places.

“I’m excited about working with both 9rules and the Universe because we believe that without the Universe, there would be no 9rules,” said Tyme White, former Community Director. “The ability to meld the secrets of the Universe with 9rules instantly adds millions of potential new thingies to our Community, which benefits our Members and my.9r Users alike. Add to that what Advertiser wouldn’t love to put their name in front of an infinite number of space particles?”

Scrivs, the uber formerly known as Paul Scrivens, will not retain his figurehead position as CEO of the company and will be taking on a new position of upside down.

“We contemplated many types of exotic woods for our board — cedar, maple, pine — but in the end we had to go back to our roots,” said former CEO/President/Co-Founder/Video Superstar Mr. Paul Scrivens. “Looking back I am surprised that we didn’t make this move earlier since the partnership seems so obvious.”

Mike Rundle, formerly the Chief Design Officer, was demoted due to his inability to ensure the perfection of IE’s rendering of 9rules. Mike Rundle could not be reached for comment. Sources close to Mr. Rundle say that his marathon run of IE7 bug fixes have put him into a perpetual near-death experience involving Bill Gates and a monkey. His new position has yet to be decided and the company is still unsure if he will be allowed any interaction with the Universe.

Unlike existing businesses, the Universe has been dominating its field for billions of years. Whispers of a monopoly breakup were being heard around 2000 B.C., but they quickly disappeared and the Universe has been providing millions of stars for onlookers ever since.

9rules / Media Contact
Upside, Down

The Universe / Media Contact
Like We Know
Every, Thing

9rules Ali

Written by Scrivs on February 8, 2007

When we began work on Version 5 of 9rules we had to come up with a codename, and we came up with Ali. There were many reasons for this, but one of them was that with each round he fought, Muhammed Ali grew stronger as a fighter and that’s what we wanted Version 5 to represent. It is impossible to write one entry that documents everything that has changed and been added, so over the next week you will see entries from us highlighting different sections. For now we’ll just leave you with a few starting points:

  • 9rules Live – expanded to give readers more options for viewing 9rules member content
  • 9rules Member Site Profile – each 9rules member has a dedicated page for their site
  • Topics – Find information quickly on popular topics
  • my.9rules – customize your experience on 9rules

Now we are off to get a little bit of rest, but there will be plenty more talk about all the new stuff that 9rules has to offer.

Passion, the Long Tail, Blogs and Revenue

Written by Scrivs on February 2, 2007

This week AOL closed down both PVR Wire and Divester because it didn’t make business sense to keep them running. The logic behind this was simply a matter of economics.

Part of the reason for this natural expansion and contraction that we go through isn’t just about the per-blog profitability. One of the facts of this business is that larger group blogs require less management than a one-man blog. If someone leaves a one-man blog you have to scramble to find a qualified replacement, send contracts back and forth and then train your new blogger. On a group blog, the existing team trains new bloggers and the loss of a part-time blogger or two doesn’t require immediate attention.

Brian Alvey

I can completely understand the logic behind this from a business perspective. It just kind of sucks though because people like to trumpet the greatness of the Long Tail, but it doesn’t seem to have a place when one of the resources is people. The Long Tail works well with digital goods (Amazon), but when people become one of the products the only part of the Long Tail that matters is the big fat part. If you own a content network and the sites involved in it, it always made sense to us to focus on a couple of great sites and after some time you could expand from there. Thinking that the Long Tail of publishing is going to make you rich won’t happen unless you can really scale into the thousands. This is what made About.com so successful.

Because of the model we have setup here at 9rules we are able to fully utilize the Long Tail because we do not depend on the size, traffic, or revenue of our sites. If you are a business that tries to do both large sites and the long tail there is a good chance you will just fall in between, which is akin to an abyss. If owning your own site and writing content you own is about passion, then let’s keep it about passion and not what numbers you need to reach to stay alive. If you wish to make that big payday with your site as well there is nothing wrong with that. You won’t make it with FM Publishing until you make their traffic quota because it doesn’t make sense for them to work with little sites. So until then (hell even after) you might as well write for you.

Businesses such as Weblogs, Inc. do what they do very well, but were never meant for the Long Tail. In sports terms you can consider them the Major League baseball of content networks. They can’t afford to keep single A players on the Yankees. They need all-stars while other places try to create an All-Star game with single A and AA players. 9rules is A, AA, AAA and the MLB without the All-Star game and now we just need to build a bigger stadium with better parking due to expansion (remind me to never use a baseball analogy again).

We can only hope that the writers of Divester and PVR Wire don’t get too discouraged with how the big dogs play. This concludes our annual entry about the Long Tail.