‘I like the idea of developing the group blog concept and “collective blogging” is an interesting thought. But what on earth does medical research have to do with Jessica Simpson? Or credit cards with MP3-players (unless you use the first to pay for the second…)? And why can’t readers subscribe to the collection of blogs with one feed?’
I appreciate the critique of what we’re doing but wonder if I communicated clearly what we’re hoping to do with the collective when I announced it. Let me make a few points to try and clarify things a bit more:
- I agree with his observation that the spread of topics are quite eclectic and largely unrelated to one another. This is intentional as it represents the interests of the bloggers who write for us (who are a rather eclectic and interesting bunch).
- The reason we don’t offer an RSS feed that follows all the latest posts across each of the blogs is for the exact reason that Fredrik states – the blogs cover such a wide variety of topics that it would be a very strange individual that would want to follow them all (I know I wouldn’t – because some of the topics I have little no interest in). Rather each blog has its own RSS feed which is clearly identified on each blog.
- We chose to use the word ‘collective’ to describe us instead of network for a number of reasons but perhaps the word causes some confusion. By collective we don’t mean that we’ll necessarily all be working collectively on projects (each blog is run by an individual or in some cases in the future a defined group). The word collective was chosen because there is an element of revenue sharing and commitment by members to promoting one another’s blogs.
- Why didn’t we choose the word ‘network’? Well it may actually be a better word – however in my mind I was wanting to differentiate ourselves a little from the other emerging blog networks out there like Gawker and Weblogs Inc. Not because we don’t like what they do – they are inspirational – but because we operate a little differently to them. From what I can see they are owned by an individual or small group of individuals who engage bloggers to write for them. The model we are currently operating with (and it may change as we experiment) is one where a small core group of individuals started BNB but where the ownerships of blogs is actually held by the bloggers themselves who each contribute back to the collective a percentage of their earnings for shared costs.
- The central home page may also be causing some confusion for some. A number of people think that that page is a blog in itself – its actually not and is made up up the last few entries of each blog in the collective to give an example of the topics we’re covering. This central page is not intended to be the only thing that people read and it is not expected that it be the dominant focus of the network – rather our hope is that each blog will be the focus and that the central page is just a reflection of what is going on around the collective. I suspect this page will change and evolve as the collective continues to grow.
Having said all that we’re still experimenting, exploring and creating on the run. It is not perfect and we’re open to feedback. Things are growing fast and we’re hoping the collective will emerge and evolve into something worthwhile for all involved. I’d be interested in your critiques, reflections and suggestions.