The Death and Resurrection of Me (or Why Blog Networks are Dead)

David Krug as probably offend more people involved with blogs and blog networks than anyone. It doesn't make him right but it does make him interesting. I asked him to write about whatever he wanted. The results are below.

"Let's say you buy a house on an acre of land. You love your house, you take great care of it. One day the city informs you they need that land to build a mall and you have to move. You own the house but you don't own the land." – Tyme White

Ok let's say you own 4 houses on 4 acres of land. You love your houses, you take great care of a few of them, neglect a few of them, and the city informs you that all of them stink and you have to move because Walmart would like to build a new complex on top of 3 of your homes. You own the houses but you don't really own the land ( the government does) . Hey, who cares? I don't. Do you really? It's not going to matter in a few months or a few years. Blog Networks are dead. Death to the Blog Networks!

Let's talk about Celebrity 2.0, the age where we can become the celebrity.
Let's take a few Celebrity 2.0's for example and see if they needed traditional media, or blog networks.

Brian Clark — did he need a blog network to become digitally famous? (umm no.)
Amanda Congdon — vlog network neccesary ? (Think again. )
How about some people you might not have heard of:
FilthyWhore, did she need a vlog network to become massively popular? (nope, again)
, Good Morning Sports Racers ( No Blog Network Neccesary Here. )

Did any of these folks need Blog Networks or Traditional Media to gain their Die Hard Fan Clubs? Nadda.
What this means is. Traditional Media, which Blog Networks have tried and tried poorly to mimic have officially been laid to rest in my mind. In fact in my opinion blog networks, and traditional media slow you down. They box you in. And it's really pointless. If it's traffic you are after network yourself. If it's money you are after work harder and network more. If it's fame you're seeking check out YouTube. Watch. Rinse. Repeat. Be original. Pour lots of energy into your pursuit and add a dash of original character. At the end of the day you will be tired. But if you keep trying you will have your fan club. Even if its a pack of haters.
Next never forget where you came from.

I'm not dead. Not yet anyhow. Still kicking and alive.

Explore posts in the same categories: Amada Congdon, blog networks, Brian Clark, celebrity, celebrity 2.0, copyblogger, David Krug, new media, old media, popcrunch, Rocketboom, Tyme White, YouTube, zeFrank

54 Comments on “The Death and Resurrection of Me (or Why Blog Networks are Dead)”

  1. Jennifer J. Says:

    I enjoyed this post. But I am not a fan of Krug.

  2. David Krug Says:

    Like I’ve said Jennifer its not just fans you need you sometimes even need haters. My haters watch me closer than my fans mostly.

    Now aint that salty.

  3. Brian Says:

    You forgot one other prime example David, and you just posted on his blog!


  4. David Krug Says:

    I know that was actually in my original draft — but everyone on this blog knows Prince dont need no stinking blog network woot.

  5. This site is no longer secure. Enter and comment at your own risk. We are awaiting federal assisance. Pllease stay calm.

  6. David Krug Says:

    hahah, thanks loren.

  7. Mike Rundle Says:

    David, doesn’t this prove the 9rules model a bit? All four sites you linked to are run by individuals who own their own site and are independently trying to build something of value. The 9rules Network relies on this entrepreneurial spirit since all of our members own their own sites, whereas other weblog networks pay writers to squat on their land and take care of the place for awhile, make it look nice for the time-being.

    Traditional blog networks may be dying off like you said, but there are millions of enterprising authors out there dying for their blogs to get more recognition, and that’s where I see the value in 9rules.

    Looks like this time you’re drinking our Kool-Aid too, we just come in multiple flavors 😉

  8. David Krug Says:

    Sure your model is the best Mike. It’s like the wheel.

    I’m not drinking anyone’s koolaid.

    Koolaid has proven to be bad for your health and causes death.

  9. David Krug Says:

    what would make any of these sites NEED 9rules?

    That’s the real question.

  10. The answer won’t be known for five years. In traditional media, Henry Winkler aka The Fonz continues to earn residuals on Happy Days even though he hasn’t had anyhing approaching that kind of success in 30 years. What will the Amanda Congdons earn even a year from now if their shows are cancelled?

    Celeberity is pretty cool, but it doesn’t help much if you can’t convert it into cash. Ask Gary Coleman.

  11. Mark Says:

    The thing I think that is going to be the nail in the coffin of the wohle blog network / community / collective is the challenge of maintaining QA standards.

    The benefit of being a member of any community (real or virtual) is having your name and / or reputation attached to the high quality standards of the group.

    If you go through all the blog networks and all the blogs associated with them, as they are listed on the blog network list ( you’ll find a good number (too many in my opinion) of sites per network that are pulling up:

    — page not found errors
    — under construction splash pages
    — no new posts in the last 3 months or longer
    — authors announcing they are going on “hiatus” or shutting down the site
    — pictures of kittys

    “Quality blog network” is now a buzz phrase, however there doesnt seem to be any measure or monitoring of quality within any of these networks. If blog quality was measured the same as some other real world standards — such as the ISO or Sarbanes — or even if these networks were real world professional organizations with the same number of “lacks” per member as I found in these online networks, they would be immediatly dismissed as junk or a fluke.

    I’m not a problogger or member of a network, and don’t ever intend to be. However, I think that these communities, networks and others owe it to those members who are looking at making their money from blogs either through their writing or from increased exposure, to uphold a bit more stringently their standards of quality.

  12. David Krug Says:

    You offer up some good points. What if the network is merely more of a place that people come to “network” and exchange cool tools, ideas, and promote each other.

    Do we still have to maintain standards? Nadda.

    There are so many different models of blog networks that you can’t really enforce a standards litmus test. The number standards test is known as RSS readers.

  13. I can understand linving in a guard gated community with you freaks out there, but I don’t want any part of an internet community. Internet EXPLORER, SAFARI, not “Caccon” Especially 9 rules. I like Robert Bruce so I go to his site. I hope you deliver Robert traffic, I don’t see how this translates to a longterm model for 9 rules.

  14. Mark Says:

    David —

    I dont think I’m calling for a litmus test — although, yes I did mention Sarbanes and ISO.

    What I’d like to see, as an outsider and visitor to these networks for information, is more attention spent on the maintenance of the standard — whatever that might be.

    What I’m seeing is a slip in the value provided. By letting some of these contributors slack off, I’m not getting anymore value from your network than I would for a blog search on Google or Technorati.

    I’ve been a member of a good number of professional organizations that promised all kinds of potential for me getting exposure in a certain arena. Without fail, all of these organizations failed because too large a percentage of its membership were not bringing anything in terms of quality participation or ideas.

    Let’s say you buy a house in a nice community. You own the house, and the land. You take care of your house, keeping the grass cut, trees trimmed and papers picked up.

    But then, after a little while, you start slacking off. The weeds start growing over the curb, because it’s been a few weeks since you’ve mowed the lawn.

    The community association will now be paying you a visit to tell you to tighten up or face some big time trouble.

    When the community association does this with diligence to all who slack off, the community stays nice. It has high quality associated to with the public at large, the home values are increasing, businesses are moving in around the area…everything thrives.

    Alternatively, the home owners associations that in themselves slack off and not pursue the slacker owners, get none of those benefits. Laziness breeds laziness and the neighborhood goes to the dogs.

    What I’m experiencing is lazy homeowner associations in these blog communities, and that’s why I feel that unless changes and standards (even internal standards) are more tightly held to, they’ve all got one nail in the coffin.

  15. David Krug Says:

    I might note also mark that I don’t own a blog network, community or any of the above just so you know. I actually spoke out against them, or a litmus test for them.

    I could care less about the value these networks provide. In fact I notice that too when I surf over to 9rules (Walmart) and notice all the sites in their network. Do they let everyone in. Is it like 5 dollar night at the Los Vegas Whore House.

    I mean if 9rules wants to be like Technorati and let all the tom,dick, and jane myspacers come into their community can we say pointless. It seems to me 9rules seems to let all the big namers go and diss them. And I’m not even talking about me.

    Cuzz im just a guy doing a guest post against the need for blog networks.

  16. Mark Says:

    That’s cool David. Also for the record, when I mention that I think all networks / communities are suffering these symptoms of neglect of quality assurance and manitenance in my opinion — I do mean all of them.

  17. Mike Rundle Says:

    Mark, good to see you over here on Chartreuse, you’re probably the last person I’d think would show up 😉

    I can’t speak for the quality assurance practices of other networks, but one of the things that we do at 9rules is truly enforce these standards of “quality” that we’ve set up. If a blog isn’t posting any more, they’re removed (usually the member emails us and feels bad, asks to be removed), or if the quality isn’t up to the standards they’ve set for themselves then that situation is handled as well. Readers come to 9rules because they know they’re going to find a site with high quality content, so if our members betray that trust it affects our brand negatively. I don’t know what specific practices other blog networks have, but I can say that many times I’ve loaded up a generic blog from another network and the last post is from a month ago. Things like that can quickly erode the trust you setup with your readers.

    David, I’m not saying that any of those sites *need* anything to get more popular, but additional exposure can never hurt. A site like Copy Blogger could definitely benefit from the 9rules Network; has a higher Technorati rank and I still benefit from 9rules traffic and recognition, so I’m sure the same would hold true for his site. We don’t pretend that joining 9rules will instantly double your traffic because the situation is different for everyone. We have seen 9rules members show 40-200% RSS subscriber growth, however we’ve also seen 3-5% growth for our members who’ve started out at a higher traffic plane, the point is that you can always benefit from 9rules, we’ll never be a thorn in your side that damages your reputation.

    “I might note also mark that I don’t own a blog network, community or any of the above just so you know. I actually spoke out against them, or a litmus test for”

    So Ten Foot Square would be considered….. what? An Erati subsidiary?

  18. David Krug Says:

    Ten Foot Square has to be released. It has people who are members. These members happen to have blogs. We are a collective. Trust me we will collectively be much different than a network of blogs.

    What’s Erati, that merged into Blogmedia which I am no longer working for.

  19. Mike Rundle Says:

    David, I think I’d really like to hear the differences between Ten Foot Square and other collective type networks, like Squidoo for example. Squidoo shares revenues and is trying to build a community, but because anyone can join and there’s no reputation system built-in, readers don’t know if they can trust the authors’ content so individual author pages aren’t gaining enough traffic to make revenue sharing even remotely worthwhile.

  20. Scrivs Says:

    The irony of this post David is that many would argue that without the Fine Fools blog network you (Cowboy) wouldn’t even have your “status” on the web today. Good thing you didn’t need a blog network to get where you are…

    As for your examples they all used a network in their own way. Congdon had iTunes and Steve Jobs as way to become popular. Same with ZeFrank who got real big through Congdon. Everyone linking to these people making them famous was all about a network effect. The blogosphere or whatever you want to call it has always been a network and traditional media has been claiming its death for years. Blog Networks are simply more specific areas within the larger blog network so will they die? Nope because they are still composed of sites that make up the overall blogosphere.

    Point is no matter what type of industry you are in, when you become famous you do so through a network. There is no birth-to-stardom fast track without a network being involved whether its generic or one that happens to have a name. I made myself popular before a 9rules network even existed with my own sites so I know you don’t need a labeled network to hit it big.

    Mark: Completely agree with your arguments and it would be great to have 24/7 surveillance on our members to assure great quality consistently. When we see someone slacking off we talk to them and I guess it’s us focusing on our relationships with our members over sticking to super stringent standards that makes us human. Some people have a rough week and that’s why we talk to them, but occasionally having multiple bad weeks which translate into months is unnacceptable.

    In any case if 9rules were to die tomorrow I would be happy with the mark that we have left. When people decide to stay with us they do so because they see some benefits in doing so and when people leave they do so because they don’t see the benefits anymore. People who don’t join us at all form their own opinions.

    It seems when you or anyone else wants to argue against our model you forget that we are voluntary and you can leave whenever you wish and yet we continue to grow. From the beginning we didn’t claim ourselves as a blog network, but to add ourselves to the competition list we let things slide and say we are sometimes. We always say you don’t need us to help your site grow, but a little help never hurt if you want it. Getting a couple more connections never hindered your image. The beauty of our model is that you can use us to help you grow and once you are happy if you wish to leave you leave and keep everything that you created.

    Guess the model of helping others will die as well some time. In any case I wrote about the demise of blog networks back January if you want to check it out. Overall though the message of the entry is a good one and that’s if you push yourself hard enough with the right game plan you can make a name for yourself.

    Sorry for the long comment, but I know how much Char loves to read my words. I do this for him people.

  21. David Krug Says:

    “The irony of this post David is that many would argue that without the Fine Fools blog network you (Cowboy) wouldn’t even have your “status” on the web today. Good thing you didn’t need a blog network to get where you are…”

    Maybe your right, maybe not. I did exist before Fine Fools, and I exist after Fine Fools, I don’t think I have a celebrity status God Help Me if I Do. Scrivs, Me and You probably agree more about ths than anyone.

    As far as the Ten Foot Square model. Who knows call it a network, compare it to a network , what do I care. As long as I don’t have to have a uniform or drink “official company koolaid”.

    Peace out roger. And my network sucks since I don’t have one.

  22. Mark Says:

    Scrivs –

    I’m not arguing against your model nor am I suggesting you assign 24/7 surveillance over your membership for your community or any of the others out there. I am just noting that there seems to be amongst the problogging / blog community / network sites out there a decrease in QA, that if continues to go unchecked will probably become a problem for you and your peers / competitors.

    Also, generally speaking, I would have to say that assuring people stick to a standard of behavior that they have agreed to within a group of others can be some of the best positive relationship building one can do.

  23. Am I missing something? MARK mentions.. I’m not a problogger or member of a network, and don’t ever intend to be. yet on the bottom footer of his page he is a member of the Focus Think Network?

    My 2cents on this .. the people who talk about QA shouldn’t throw rocks at glass houses without looking in a mirror themselves. Even the great ones have really lousy thoughts and bad days sometimes. Don’t be a hypocrit.. the great ones still have great thoughts and great days too. If you don’t want to look for it, or have somebody STAMP it for you – then why bother. Move on. I.M.O.

  24. Liz Strauss Says:

    Great thoughts and great comments here. David you spurred a find discussion.

    Wonder why the women bloggers never take part in these conversations.

  25. range Says:

    I think debating the issue brings forth some interesting points, however, I believe everyone is free to do as they wish. It comes down to personal choice and if there are any sacrifices that you can make in order to further your blog.

    Some people will, others won’t. Networks will come and go, people will always find something new.

  26. David Krug Says:

    thanks liz. 🙂 not sure why the ladies like yourself didn’t jump in. feel free to share some thoughts. i think i intimidate them.

  27. chartreuse Says:

    Interesting discussion. Thanks guys.

  28. David Krug Says:

    It was so my pleasure. Let’s do this again some time with some beer. How about I hit tampa and me, you and Scrivs go rollin on the town for a helluva night?

    Shall we set it up?

  29. candice Says:

    Asking for the girls’ input?

    You haven’t really made it until you’ve gotten hate mail.

  30. David Krug Says:

    Hahahahah. That’s classic Candice. Gotta love it.

  31. Brian Says:

    A few points:

    1. I am a member of a network called the Interwebs. It gives me all the tools I need.

    2. Mike, back when I first started Copyblogger, I emailed Scrivs wanting to know more about joining 9 Rules, and never got a response. Sure, I didn’t follow the submisson rules, but I wasn’t submitting, just asking for info. Oh well.

    3. Candice, I’ve gotten a few hate mails, all, oddly enough, from Australia. Not sure why, but I’m glad I got them.

    That is all… 🙂

  32. Robert Bruce Says:

    I see an America a world with a poem in every browser.

  33. David Krug Says:

    Scrivs, not returning emails. Brian. enough with that sarcasm.

  34. Cowpoke,

    It seems to me that the folk who bash blog networks are those without the stamina to sustain one themselves. It takes a hell of a lot of work to keep it going, keep it growing and keep it improving. Angelina Jolie wasn’t built in a day, so why should blog networks be judged when the vast majority are less than one-year old? Even thoroughbred race horses are allowed to get to two before they’re put on a track.

    Back on your horse, Cowpoke. Mosey on over in a couple of years and we’ll have this “debate” again. Or better still, build a network yourself, and show us how it’s done. 😉

  35. Wait a minute! There’s a “celebrity” called the YouTube FilthyWhore? LOL, I need to update my definition of celebrity apparently 🙂

  36. David Krug Says:

    Ugh who needs a network.

  37. Jamsi Says:

    You sure like to stir the pot David 🙂

    Now everyone seriously now, I’ve got this great idea for a blog network – wait its not a network its a blog ring. I’m going to call it 10rules and you’re all welcome to join. You get a free beer upon acceptance and David will perform lapdances at your request, 24/7.

    Oh and Scrivs, I’ll need you to do some dance routines for my promo video, you in ?

  38. Wow, thanks for all of the wonderful insight into blog networks — much appreciated, guys! I recently started and it has had some amazing results in the past 2 weeks since launching. I am a fan of networks and I hope to see more pop up on the net!! They are GREAT for networking, really are!

  39. […] The calm after the storm. Placing the new 9rules members, my daughter’s birthday. I’ve been very busy. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been following the conversations going on recently. […]

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