You have to respect any person that is passionate about what they do. It could be the greatest thing in the world or the dumbest, but if they are passionate about what they do and it shows then you have to give them some type of respect in my opinion. That’s the case with Jeremy Wright and his company b5media. If you are going to say something about them they are going to come back with the passion that you would expect anyone to have when it comes to their company.
This discussion brought out the passion in people who wanted to continuously remind me of my “failure” known as the Fine Fools Network. Fine Fools was my side project. It was my version of how a blog network should run. The idea was simple, you come up with a decent idea for a site and I would host it and you would earn all the ad revenue for the pages that you write. So essentially what I got was frontpage ad revenue while the writers got internal page revenue. My thinking was that if I am not going to pay them straight up for the work they put in, I might as well give them the opportunity to earn what they put in.
Things started off smooth, but some of the bloggers got hungry. Real hungry. The could taste success and they wanted more, which is exactly what you should want. That’s passion and I loved it (and hated it). Unfortunately I couldn’t keep up with what they wanted, albeit how simple their requests were because 9rules was/is my baby. That’s where my focus goes. If Fine Fools was my only focus and I could cater to the wants and needs of its writers I have no doubt that it would still be around today wreaking havoc. Instead I got rid of it to keep my focus.
And how exactly did I get rid of it? I gave the sites away to the people who wrote on them because they earned it. Again, giving away means not asking them to pay me for it. Let’s look at some of these people and you might have heard of some of their names.
- David Krug. I had the domain, he had the idea. If you want to know how much trouble you can cause in a two month span just with a blog then you should go find the history of JOAB. Now what does he do? He bounces around from site to site with his latest being 901am, which from what I read is doing well and in another twist of fate has Duncan Riley as a writer who used to work for b5.
- Melissa Petri. She writes on Escape Blog, which was one of the most interesting and well-written b5 sites around, but she apparently left due to the requirements that were being asked of her. Now there are a ton of things I can say about this entry, but I’ll leave it up to you to read.
- Liz Strauss. Successful Blog. I’m going to go out on a limb and say it is one of the most popular blogs within the b5media Network. I’m going to be honest here and say that Liz is a pain in the ass to work with…and that’s because she knows what she wants and she’ll be damned if anything stops her from achieving it. Nothing wrong with that and in all honesty you want writers with that drive
Now I have no doubt these three individuals could have done it without me, but I gave them a platform to take that jump. What they have done since them is all to their credit. However, they got their “big break” on my failure. How much of a failure is that?
Let’s move on…
Back in mid-2005 we had an idea to bring on a little blog network to 9rules and help it grow. That network was About Weblogs and our offer was denied due to complications with revenue sharing. Completely understandable giving how we were working back then. A couple months later Shai Coggins wrote about the potential merger (scroll to bottom entry) and not too long afterwards b5media merged with them. Let’s just say that isn’t a coincidence.
So where is all of this coming from? It started with this comment from Jeremy Wright, CEO of b5media:
We bought a site that Scrivs failed on so that selling was the only way to make a buck. And that makes Scrivs right about everything.
You see they bought Work Boxers which back in the day when I was flowing on it was a damn good read for making money on the web. I stopped writing on it because again 9rules became my time so what did I do? I gave it (away) to a guy named Jamsi, who sold it to David Krug (yes the one above), who then sold it to b5.
Makes me kind of wish that on some of b5media’s sites they said “Powered by b5media and Scrivs” at the bottom. Now don’t get me wrong, I do have some real legitimate failures where I lost money, time, friends, etc., but in some way they always turn out well for the sole reason that I learned from them. I’m just never going to see starting a Network for $0 and making thousands in return and helping people get their start in this blog world or watching non-failing companies buy up sites that I give away as falling into the failure category.
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