9rules’ New Rules

So I got this email from 9rules about some new member requirements. Since a few of the anime blogs on Animenano are also on 9rules, I thought I'd start a discussion about it. (And why not post it on my blog, too?)

Basically, the new requirements are: "If you feel you are contributing by your entries being shown only, 9rules is no longer a good fit for you, decline the agreement (or do not respond), please remove the leaf from your site and we will remove your site from displaying on 9rules."

I have no time to spend posting on Anime Nano, let alone 9rules! So this is most likely it for me and the leafy thing. 

I can certainly understand their reasons for wanting members to participate in the forums, etc. But having a "community" means different things to different people. In my opinion, it's naive to require people to participate and expect anything good from it. Conversation should be organic. Nevermind that the forums at Anime Nano are not particularly exciting…

To me, members in a "blog network" can communicate through their blogs. At least, those who have blogs. And the forums are great for a centralized conversation. But look at some of the back and forth that goes on in the AnimeNano blog-o-sphere and you'll see what I'm getting at:

http://bignanime.wordpress.com/2007/08/03/is-anime-deep/

http://www.concretebadger.net/blog/2007/08/03/group-discussion-anime-isnt-deep-its-just-entertainment/

http://animeyume.com/blog/2007/08/03/is-anime-deep-or-just-entertainment-or-both/

http://www.minaidehazukashii.com/?p=415

http://daijoubu.animeblogger.net/2007/08/03/beware-of-false-depth-in-anime/ 

http://giapet.net/?p=221

And that's just a small sample from that particular conversation.

So here's my question: What do you think is the best way to encourage "participation" without forcing it? What's the best way to help the anime blogging community grow? I know I haven't been the most visible webmaster lately, but this move by 9rules has made me think. I could probably help the community by clearing out that queue of pending blogs from Anime Nano.

Just for the record: I'll never require anything other than a good blog, a clean feed, and maybe some payola for inclusion into Anime Nano. Oh, and all the other requirements in the FAQ.

31 thoughts on “9rules’ New Rules”

  1. LOL fuck 9rules.
    To be honest I got like no hits from them anyway and everyone who was on that site are bloggers who visited my blog prolly via anime nano anyway.

    I don’t care about 9rules or their stupid community. I hate when people make these stupid ass requirements like instead of creating a “blog community” it becomes some stupid ass bullshit elite organization.

    (・`ε・´●)チェ

    Whatever, ever since me and JP switched hosts I lost their stupid logo and their stupid sight has no link to downloadable ones. Frankly I couldn’t give a crap if they take me off. I thought their whole “put our logo” on every page thing was stupid in the first place.

    The whole place seems like some big e-p0n0s increasing organization anyway.

  2. I’m a bit in the middle on the new membership requirements. At the moment, I agreed to the new requirements because I wanted to see what I could get from 9rules. And I wanted to see what the new version was like.

    I really don’t like how they seem to be forcing people to have to participate. I honestly thought that their initially reason for creating 9rules was just to group together best blogs on the net. Now it seems they are more concerned with community/social aspects of 9rules.com site itself. I’m sorry we don’t need another Facebook or MySpace, those suck anyways. The whole social site stuff has gotten a bit carried away lately.

    Now, after reading your post and Hinano’s comment perhaps I should just screw 9rules altogether. But I really don’t know. I don’t want to quit right off the back.

  3. I’m now thinking why the hell did I agree to the new membership rules. I believe that 9rules has sold out to the social network crap. So I’m gonna pull out of 9rules. They didn’t do shit for me anyways.

  4. This post wasn’t meant to tell everyone to fuck 9rules, but I guess that’s how it ended up? Yikes. I wonder what Kabitzin and Julie and… weird, you can’t even see a list of blogs anymore. How messed up is that?

    Ah well, as long you guys are still cool with Animenano…

  5. @Hung: You can see who are apart of 9rules but its really, really hard to find. 9rules doesn’t realize that they have moved totally away from where they started.

    The only way you can see who’s listed is to go into Anime Entries section and sort the listings by member.

  6. It’s odd they don’t display the list of members anymore, but they are undergoing changes there right now. I actually read their blog and discussions, and I really have no idea what they are trying to build. From interviews they think the hot new wave is some facebook slash social network thing. I am a little skeptical, and we all know that the community forum was not really jumping at all. It was about as active as the Anime Nano forum (sorry, couldn’t resist, Hung).

    They actually do check up on if you have the leaf. We pretty much get zero hits from their site, and now that there are no listings, we will probably get none. However, I do know that their redirects help the rankings of our posts, so if I gotta do some fake participation or copy pasta some “I agree” notes, I’m down. Yeah that’s right baby, I’m just keeping it REALZ.

    I think the problem is that it was a blog directory at first, and now they are trying to force a community as Hung says. However, the 9rules memberships are not really well linked to the site entities, and since the notes accounts are open, there is no real community. I have yet to have any sort of real discussion ever on 9rules, and seriously even the #animeblogger IRC produces deeper conversations.

    BTW, I didn’t even notice the forced to participate requirement, I just clicked yes. If it’s enforced and it ends up being too difficult, I’ll just ditch the leaf, otherwise I’ll just keep coasting. I understand what they are trying to do, but forcing a community out of writers on so many subjects is difficult.

    Hung, when are you gonna start requiring a logo on every page, and discussion on the forums?

  7. Ironically, this is the most conversation that’s happened on my blog for quite some time.

    I think once I *really* sell out, I’ll start requiring the logo and discussion. Discuss.

  8. I didn’t care for the new member agreement, so I declined and asked to have my blog removed within minutes of receiving the e-mail.

    I haven’t a clue what they’re trying to do over there, but I knew I wanted no part of it. Not like I was getting any traffic from 9rules in the first place (and I mean NONE… literally). I only joined out of a favor to Michael in order to help get the anime section up and running, so it’s not like I had any particular attachment to the place.

  9. With my work committments, it is impossible for me to be inside. I didn’t even email them back as yet, but I guess I have to remove the leaf. I do not like to be forced to participate in anything (time is a premium).

    Oh well >3

  10. While I don’t agree that the discussions going on over there are particularly thought-provoking (What did you last eat? What is your favorite Dreamcast game?), I agreed to the new terms. For now. It really doesn’t take but 15 minutes per day to participate in some of the discussions.

    I, too, thought it was a place that put an emphasis on good blog content, and I’m not thrilled with all of the changes. Forcing bloggers to take time away from their sites to respond to mostly pointless discussions doesn’t do anything to improve 9r’s content. It would be better to force members to participate on the sites that were accepted into the network.

  11. I personally believe that it should never come down to the fact that you tell people “If you are not involved in the community where we are all bloggers and needing to spend time on blogging, please be out.”. We do have lives, and our lives do not revolve just around blogging, or commenting or surfing at 9rules. As much as I desire social interaction, enforced participation and kicking people out is just not a good PR campaign. It is done politely, so I give them just that.

    Nevertheless, I finally emailed them and told them to remove my blog. I prefer being in IRC anytime for inspiration. I do not want to force myself to spend 10-15 minutes a day on a place because I have to in order to keep my blog in a place.

    In essence, screw them ^+^

  12. Impz, I hear where you are coming from, believe me. The question is, do I spend the 15 to 20 minutes feeding content onto their site, or do I spend that time adding content to mine? Or networking with blogs more in tune with mine? I haven’t decided on the answer yet, but I think commenting on other blogs is a more worthwhile pursuit. If I take the time to go to a blog, read an entry, and then comment about it, I’m interested in the content and I have an opinion that I want to share. Forced participation doesn’t usually work that way.

    Time is at a premium for me, too. I work 60 hours a week, have a family, and have critters that need tending to (that live on a farm 10 miles from my house). It’s hard making everything fit into the schedule. In terms of worth, I don’t get much traffic from 9rules – in fact, I get about 5 times the traffic from Animenano, so go figure. I’m still on the fence about this.

  13. Overall I’m no fan of being forced to participate in any community, but I’ve agreed to the new terms for now. Not sure how long it will last, but for now I’ll coast like Kabitzin.

    Haha, just went on the site and not only was it barely possible to find anything (I ended up on a thread started by someone wanting to know how you tell if you’re a sex addict), but there are only 5 members left in the anime section.

  14. I remember when the “I got accepted to 9rules!” posts started showing up a while back, and they just made me roll my eyes–it just screamed elitism to me. I’m a big fan of AnimeNano because it’s open to everyone, and it lets the reader decide which blogs are “worthy” or not, versus some individual or committee setting rules for entry. That’s the way a community should be, in my opinion. I blog purely for fun, not because I aspire to post “100,000 hits GET!” someday–I don’t even have a counter on my blog, so I have no clue how many people visit or from where, but it sounds like 9rules didn’t make much of a difference for people anyway.

    I think blogs and forums have different uses though–forums are better for in-depth discussion, while blogs are better for reviews, summaries, and editorials. Just looking at one example, episode 1 of Clannad has more than three times the number of posts on AnimeSuki’s forums than Random Curiosity has on its blog entry for the same episode. Blogs can have very good discussions in the comments section, don’t get me wrong, but if I had to pick the *best* vehicle for discussions I’d say it’s a forum. If 9rules is trying to create some mutant offspring of the two by decree, I think they’re destined to fail.

  15. As a 9rules member I can confirm that many of our more prominent members have jumped ship in the past ccouple of weeks. There is an overall condecending tone from Tyme and more than a bit of arrogance from Mike and Scrivs.

    Many of us feel betrayed that our content was used on 9rules for so long and in return we are given even less prominence in Ali2. It’s disappointing to say the least. Looks like it’s time for me to hand in my leaf too.

  16. I just got an email saying my site has been removed. Perhaps for the other communities on 9rules, the new changes are probably good. However I think for us anime bloggers we have are own sense of community already so we don’t need 9rules. At least that’s what I think.

    These comments and this post is a sign of that.

  17. So now the 9rules anime community is The Whitehawk, which is not even an anime blog, and the scabs of Sea Slugs, The Anime Blog, Azure Flame, and Manga Maniac Cafe, all blogs you can find on Anime Nano…

    Nice job, 9rules.

    I’d say that I’d prefer the anime nanoers to post on the Anime Nano forums, but that would be hypocritical of me, wouldn’t it? I’ll just say this: try to decide where the real community is, and stick with that. If that’s IRC, great. If it’s Anime Nano, great. Just don’t participate because someone’s making you to be in their club.

  18. Hey Hung understand your decision to leave and I’m sorry that there wasn’t more I could do to give back to the community.

    I think what is impressive is that so many of the current non participating members of 9r agreed to the new terms and actually started posting.

    Good luck with anime nano. I’m sure you’ll do just fine.
    Michael

  19. Not a 9rules member myself, it’s sad to see what has happened to that site. Back in the day I thought it was a pretty good network of “solid” blogs, looks like they screwed that up with the exodus of blogs. Not saying that the sites left aren’t good, but bad publicity like this is not helping it’s new reform.

    I went back to the site when it was redesigned a few weeks ago or whatever, I was confused 2 minutes later because I couldn’t find the blog listings, so I just looked at some porn or something.

    If I can’t find specific content, let alone a simple listing, they need to fire their site designer or .. I guess they are just refocusing the purpose of their site … into strictly internal community … whatever that means …

    Oh well … Animenano and AB are the only two things any anime blogger has to concern themselves with … if you want to get exposure

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