For the best of the blogs, 9rules

Millions of people are blogging out there on the wild, wild Web – so many, in fact, that it is difficult to separate the wisdom from the noise.

9rules.com was created as a starting point in the search for good content. It is intended to help readers find good blogs on their favorite topics and to give outstanding bloggers additional exposure.

“It’s a blog network,” explains Mike Rundle ’05 (information technology), co-founder. “Our idea was to create a community of the best blogs.”

Rundle and Paul Scrivens launched the project in summer 2005. Currently there are more than 300 members writing on more than 30 topics listed at www.9rules.com. Among the categories: technology, humor, photography, history, the Web, entertainment, writing and business. The 9rules home page is now gateway to about 3 million pages of content a month, Rundle reports.

Members are carefully screened by 9rules managers who accept submissions from potential members a few times a year. There’s no regular schedule; the 9rules site blog announces when submissions for membership will be received. The fifth round, which took place last October, attracted 1,190 submissions in 24 hours. Approximately 24 were selected.

The bloggers that are accepted are listed free of charge. Among the criteria: passion for the topic, respect for readers and commitment to the 9rules community.

“We don’t care if you’re famous, have a book, if you’re already popular,” says Rundle. “We just care about the quality of your content.”

In February, a new social networking component of the Web site was launched. More than 3,000 users have signed up for the new “My9rules” service, says Rundle, and user account numbers are doubling every two months.

The project has caught the attention of Fast Company magazine, which featured 9rules in a story about “Citizen Media” in the October 2006 issue.

The young entrepreneurs are hopeful the 9rules concept could take off like the successful Digg.com or other Internet phenomena. At this point, says Rundle, “We are profitable and supporting ourselves full-time through 9rules revenue.”

The project has been successful on other levels as well.

“Our big interests,” says Rundle, “are blogging and meeting people. We’re building a community, and that’s very rewarding. There’s a lot of power in the 9rules forum.”

Predating 9rules.com is Business Logs (www.BusinessLogs.com), a consulting company Rundle and Scrivens started in 2004 to help businesses develop Web-based interactive communication projects. It is still operating.

Rundle, who grew up in the Utica, N.Y., area, has been designing Web sites since he was 13, and began blogging about technology and design in 2003. He lives in Raleigh, N.C., where his fianace, Eleni Binopolus-Rumayor ’06 (computer engineering), works for IBM.

The University Magazine, Spring 2007