Back in September 2005 9rules was featured on TechCrunch, but not in the cool way all Valleyites hope for. Back over a year ago, only a few months after launching our first site, many people were linking to 9rules in a manner of ways like 9Rules, 9 Rules, 9 rules, and so on. We thought we’d write a joking entry over at our blog to clear the situation up but many people thought we were being jerks, and after reading the entry over a few times I have to agree. Some things like sarcasm and a smile don’t translate well to the web, but the combination of saying something dumb and trying to be sarcastic just doesn’t work at all.
At the end of September this year, a few weeks ago, blog network b5media raised a Series A venture round, and although we’re not direct competitors we are still in the same space together. Whenever a blog-related company launches something new it’s big news since it’s a small industry niche that we’re in, so when b5media announced their funding round it brought out various reactions from around the blog world, some of which I talked about here. Taking on funding is a bit step for many reasons, but regardless, major props need to be sent over to b5.
One of the reasons I like blogging so much is because it’s a soapbox for me to speak and see what others have to say in response. On many entries here I analyze a company, talk about the executives, maybe joke about their users, be sarcastic regarding their popularity, but generally just have a good time talking about the web industry that I love so much. The problem with doing the same thing with a company in our niche getting funded is that you can’t knock on parts of a blog network because they’re all run by an actual person somewhere, at their house, writing about what they love, and I made the terrible mistake of crossing that line. I commented at Valleywag the same way I write joking entries here, but it was totally unnecessary and I got rightfully murdered for it. Regardless of what I meant by the comment, I offended a lot of people and for that I’m truly sorry. My comments didn’t need to be said, and no one has the right to comment on someone’s passion.
A bit later I posted a link in the 9rules Humor community referencing the Valleywag post, and I stuck my foot in my mouth there as well. At the end of the post I linked to a few b5media blogs I saw listed in their sidebar randomly, and without giving it a second thought, published the list. I only meant to poke fun at b5 over their Valleywag feature, not insult anyone who wrote for any of their blogs, but it was taken that way and I’m very sorry for that too. I’m an idiot.
The problems came to a head yesterday when the Blog Herald tried to incite a comment war between 9rules, b5media and everyone else, but we didn’t show up. I’ve upset enough people in this whole mess so heading to BH (like I might have done in the past) just wasn’t a good idea — my blog network analysis and sarcasm hat has been hung up. I’ve emailed those who I’ve pissed off and tried to bury the hatchet, and this post is just another attempt at putting things behind me and moving forward.
From now on I’m staying far away from any type of blog network analysis, sarcasm, comment war, or anything else because not only is it not worth it now, it’s never been worth it. 9rules is very popular around the world and one of the responsibilities that goes with running a company like that is knowing when to shut up, knowing when to apologize, and knowing when to keep your feet on the ground. This was one of those times when I stuck my foot in my mouth and didn’t mean to offend anyone, but it happened, and I think writing an entry in such a public manner is my only real way to repent.
Back to your normal programming…