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2010 Brings More Change

Written by Scrivs on January 12, 2010

Hi, my name is Paul Scrivens. I’m the guy who came up with this domain name and am 1/10th of the collective brain that came up with the original concept for 9rules. Although it seems like half a century ago I’m sure a couple of you remember how 9rules was when we initially launched. A small community where we all got together and discussed anything in our forums and showcased great content that truly mattered. As blogs matured and moved on we tried to move 9rules along with it. There were some successes and some failures, but we could always say that whenever we tried something new we did it with the best intentions.

Last August, we announced our sale of the site to Splashpress. I agreed to stay on for a bit with 9rules to help the Splashpress team with the transition. During this time we even had a Round, but I didn’t participate in it and admittedly most of the sites wouldn’t have gotten in under the watch of Tyme, Mike or myself.

In November, I took over the reins of Splashpress and with this came managing 9rules all over again. Now when we first handed over 9rules we felt that it was a good thing because we thought someone else with a fresh perspective could bring some added flavor to the Network. With my mini-vacation I was finally able to sit back and see where 9rules was going and much of it I didn’t like. Fortunately, now that 9rules is under the SPM umbrella there isn’t a constant struggle to ensure that we are bringing in a ton of money, which admittedly was part of what clouded my judgements with 9rules before.

9rules doesn’t have to be the world leader in blogging or be a name that is recognized by all. 9rules simply needs to be what it does best and that is a place for people who love to write to come together. To do this though requires a lot of changes and one of them you can see over time is the removal of a lot of sites that just don’t match the quality that 9rules represents. One of the best times at 9rules was when we first started with 17 sites and we might very well get back down to that number. If you are a member and you don’t see your site up anymore then you probably haven’t been following what is going on in the forums. If that is the case you shouldn’t be too concerned. You are still a member in the forums so you can continue interacting with 9rules members.

There is also going to be a new model of how 9rules works. Every piece of content written by our members isn’t frontpage worthy, we realize that. If our job is to showcase the best content then we need to create a system where only the best content shows and that is what we are working on behind the scenes. I can’t promise a return to the glory days because those are behind us, but I can ensure you that the changes that do take place are ones that bring a focus back to why you came to 9rules in the first place.

  1. Chris J. Davis Says:

    This is great news. We might have had our differences of opinion in the past, but I still have a great deal of respect and love for you and the network. This post harkens back to why I wanted to be involved when it all started.

    I am excited to see what you create this time Scrivs.

  2. AstroNerdBoy Says:

    Hopefully, there will be a new registration period.

  3. Yeah... Says:

    >Fortunately, now that 9rules is under the SPM umbrella there isn’t a constant struggle to ensure that we are bringing in a ton of money, which admittedly was part of what clouded my judgements with 9rules before.

    Realistically a website on this scale would cost pennies to run, it should all be automated as it is nothing more than a glorified blogger ring. What do you even do exactly? I guess you care about the money and not the quality of the site given that statement. This is our content you are creating a glorified RSS feed of. If you wanted to pick and choose you should have done it when we were all complaining about the choices that were accepted into the group in the first place. Kicking people out is gonna create even more problems as people fuss fight and complain on their blogs.

    Where do you get these silly ideas from? Panicking and wanting to go back to the good old days thinking it will somehow get back to the way it was? Laughable.

  4. Adam Says:

    I have noticed that many average (or below average) blogs have been slipping through, gaining 9rules approval. I’m glad that there will be a good turn-around in quality control.

    I would also like to know when the next round of submissions will be accepted. I have been waiting about a year, and unfortunately (because of events I had no control over) was not able to submit my site.

    I hope you can turn things around, Paul! Thanks!

  5. Ex-Member Says:

    “Fortunately, now that 9rules is under the SPM umbrella there isn’t a constant struggle to ensure that we are bringing in a ton of money, which admittedly was part of what clouded my judgements with 9rules before.”

    At first, I was confused when I read this. Between this article and the one on your other site, it makes sense.

    You said you wanted 9rules to be successful. You wanted 9rules to make an impact on the web. You didn’t say you wanted it to make a ton of money. You said you weren’t about money or things. Colin left because he needed 9rules to make money? Didn’t Tyme say one of the reasons she accepted the offer was because you weren’t about making a ton of money? Either you were lying to members, the community and your partner about the goals for 9rules or you were placed in the position of having 9rules need to make a ton of money.

    Mike has always been and always will be about money. He’s the one that wanted to be a millionaire by 25. He sold Business Logs, got married and didn’t he move and buy a house? During the streams, his wife would get on him about doing the videos. It adds up. Mike needed 9rules to make money because his wife was pissed. He had more debt than you and Tyme combined. She wanted him to get a job didn’t she? She got fed up because she’s not stupid. He could have made good money doing web design but he bragged about turning down jobs because they didn’t interest him. I remember a guy threatened to sue Mike because he paid for a design, Mike didn’t do it in a reasonable time frame.

    Mike must have come to you about 9rules needing to make money or he couldn’t do it anymore. That put pressure on you for 9rules to make money because with Mike’s time management if he had a job you’d never get anything out of him. You were put in the middle because you told Tyme, members and the community that money wasn’t 9rules goal. Mike would never leave his 9rules interest like the honorable men before him because he knew with you and Tyme running it, 9rules would eventually make money and he wanted a piece of it because he’s money hungry. You couldn’t bring another designer in because Mike would get mad. It all makes sense.

    Now you are talking about unraveling what 9rules stands for to go back to your roots. Designers who thought they were better than everyone else. It didn’t take work to make members happy. You didn’t have to answer their questions, help them with their sites. There was nothing to inspire a blogger to be better. Screw your members because you don’t care about them. You and Mike never did. You two came up with those shady deals for members all about money.

    Being under SplashPress is supposed to make members feel better? Didn’t the crappy sites get added when Andy was running 9rules? You said you didn’t like the direction of 9rules, but you gave Andy a promotion. Frank is managing editor? He’s too busy looking up to you to be qualified. The descriptions on the team page are all lies. You aren’t fooling anyone. You’re still messing up and Mark is letting you by not getting you a qualified team. You might be running things but Mark owns 9rules and I hold him completely responsible. His network is trash and he’s ruining a quality site.

    I used to like and respect you Paul. Not anymore. I removed the leaf, like a lot of the other members. It means nothing.

    I doubt you’ll let this comment through because you always protect your boy Mike. If Mike was really your friend, he wouldn’t have put you in that position in the first place. He would have quietly left like the others.

  6. Scrivs Says:

    I don’t mind kicking people out. It wasn’t under Andy’s watch, but Jayvee’s, Andy has taken his place. You are correct in that the situation of members getting in under lesser standards should’ve been corrected when it was happening, but it wasn’t. It is being corrected now.

    Indeed the site as it runs now is completely automated. We could walk away forever and it will still be standing. When I say change I don’t mean just in the members, but how the site actually works. Maybe I didn’t make the clear enough when I said the site needed to change or in the title. I’ll be sure to clarify myself better in the future I assure you.

    As for your feelings about Splashpress, trust me a lot of people feel the same way. Things can’t change overnight and we are working on a project now to hopefully slowly change the perspective of some people of how things are done.

    As for Mike, Tyme, Colin or anyone else ever putting me in a position that just isn’t true. This isn’t middle school and I’m responsible for the positions I put myself in. I enjoy the challenge of turning Splashpress around and in a weird twist of fate that means that I watch over 9rules again, which is a great thing to me.

    Thank you for the honest comments. Not sure why you think I wouldn’t let them through. I understand how hard it can be to leave an anonymous and honest comment so it would be hypocritical of me to not let them through. I would’ve done it sooner, but for some reason I don’t get email alerts when comments need to be approved.

    I can only hope that over time you will all see the changes and like what is happening, but if not I am glad that we were able to cross paths.

  7. Scrivs Says:

    And we will definitely update you on when a new round is coming through. I don’t have a timeline yet, so just stayed tuned here. We have a lot of work to do.

  8. Colin Devroe Says:

    I, for one, am always hopeful that 9rules will become what I always felt it had the potential to be – one of the strongest brands in blogging. I read a lot of comments about 9rules “going back to what it used to be” and while I feel it shouldn’t forget its history it should definitely strive for much more.

    Paul, you’re definitely the man for the job and the man that should be at the helm of 9rules. Best wishes on all of your endeavors.

    Onward, upward.

  9. Dolf Says:

    Was cleaning out bookmarks this AM and took a quick look at 9r. Wow, that was depressing. No wonder I haven’t visited in a long while… ‘online coupon posts’ dwarf actual writing? Ick. Even the social hub and the era of notes was better than what you have now.

    If you are firm on your plan then I suggest just taking down the current mess of content and replacing with a “we’ll be back in a month” message. I simply cannot see how keeping the status quo (aka a sh*t aggregator) is helping you at all. Make a clean break and start fresh.

  10. Devin Says:

    I, for one, am looking forward to 9rules returning to the way that I remember it, as a force and leader on the blogosphere.

  11. DALE Says:



  12. Laura Says:

    I’ve been online since 1996. Time to see a lot of networks start, falter and fade away. Of course, a few have stuck around, gone through rough patches and had to reinvent themselves.

    Even though 9Rules is tattered and in need of some TLC at this time, I was happy to have my blog become a part of the network. I was even happier to hear that there are people on staff who still care enough about it to try to pull it back up again. There is no reason 9Rules can’t pick itself up, dust itself off and become an impressive and vital network again.

    If you think about it, none of the other blog networks that were around a few years ago are still doing much. Others have come and gone in the meantime and most are just ad farms with no fresh content. If 9Rules can pick up it will be a leader again.

  13. Barrie Says:

    Actually it looks like more of the same (i.e. nothing) to me. There are no changes that I can see 🙁

  14. Anne Says:

    Hopefully, there will be a new registration period.

  15. danny Says:

    C’mon guys! You need to get back to the cutting edge where you belong

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