After the leaks of Weblogs Inc’s blogger contract Paul Scrivens has published the members agreement that members of 9Rules sign.
Having seen both Weblogs Inc’s and 9Rules contracts/agreements I will say that they are like chalk and cheese. This of course reflects the massive differences between the two blog networks.
9Rules is a network where the content, money and power stays very much in the hands of the bloggers themselves who are ‘members’ of the network. It is more about building community and improving the quality of the members blogs. In a sense there is something of a ‘collective’ feel to it – or a ‘network’ in its truest sense.
Weblogs Inc on the other hand places the content, money and power in the hands of the owners. Bloggers are engaged as contractors and earn money from the central body. It is still a ‘network’ but a very different one than 9Rules – it is a network all under the one body’s control.
As a result the contracts/agreements are very different. Weblogs Inc’s is and needs to be in much more of a legal language. The relationships between the central body and bloggers needs to be spelt out in real detail. 9Rules on the other hand has a more relational document where promises are made between the central body and bloggers. Strangely it reminds me of a marriage ceremony.
Which is better? I’m not sure that that is a fair question. If it is to be answered it can only really be done from an individual looking at the options from his or her context. Each ‘network’ serves a different purpose and will meet the needs of different people.