Mike Rundle, the CDO of 9rules, recently completed an interview with David Newberger.. some excerpts:
There is a growing number of blog networks out there what mistakes do you think some are making and why?
I think the biggest mistake that weblog networks are making right now is that they are all following the same path and business model as Weblogs, Inc., hoping for the $20MM+ buyout that our friend Jason Calacanis was able to pull off with America Online. Jason was pretty wealthy before starting WIN, therefore he had lots of money to self-fund his company with. Engadget and Autoblog are successful because they’re updated 20 or more times per day, so if you’re trying to follow in the WIN footsteps and you’re blogs aren’t staffed with 10 writers working all day long, you’re probably not going to get there. It takes a lot of money to pay a staff of writers to update a weblog all day long, and if you’re hoping to emluate the WIN model of a weblog network without that kind of staffing from the get-go, it’s going to be an uphill battle.
The reason that 9rules works differently than WIN or other traditional weblog networks is because we just couldn’t get excited about starting a new company that did the same thing as everybody else. The 9rules team is made up of pretty young guys (20-somethings) so we all left our day jobs in order to build something completely revolutionary, not just evolutionary.
In this same vein of differentiation, it’s disheartening to see so many weblog networks not care about their brand image or the look and feel of their weblogs. We spent a lot of time working on the branding for 9rules as well as our website look, and apart from Gawker Media, I don’t think any other weblog network cares much about how people perceive their company in a visual way. A great design and logo goes a long way in making your weblog network stand out amongst the dozens of others just like yours.
Actually, that’s my favorite question/answer out of the whole set – though overall it’s a very good interview that says much about 9rules without saying it…
Not everyone can be Weblogs, Inc. I think anyone trying to follow their same business model is bound for failure – or at least they’re not going to see success on the same scale that WIN did…. There are other paths.
Just ask Gawker Media….
Originally posted on December 16, 2005 @ 11:33 pm