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9rules and Weblogs Inc – Contracts and Agreements

9R Rounded WhiteLogo-2After 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.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Stuart says:

    Dunno that I would call the relationship Weblogs Inc has with its writers a network Darren – one dictionary gives this description for a network:

    “to form possibly advantageous associations with other people”

    Weblogs Inc and it’s dealings with people who write for them sounds much more like a typical employer/employee relationship to me.

  2. Darren Rowse says:

    While I know what you’re saying Stuart I know the Weblogs Inc people and many of the bloggers who work for them would argue that that definition is true for them in that both the central body and the bloggers involved come out of the association with benefits.

  3. duncan says:

    Stuart
    I’d probably argue the flip side in that Weblogs Inc., is more the network where as 9rules is more like a confederation. If we go on your definition though the term network is applicable to both.

  4. Shane Coffey says:

    Off topic, but does anyone know whats wrong with feedburner. As of 9:23A.M. Eastern Standard Time in the United States it shows readers 0. This is even true of Darren’s blog too. I know I saw at least 720 readers yesterday on Problogger.

    To get back on topic. When I was a contractor doing network administration, I signed similiar contracts of non-disclosure. There were things in there to prevent me from getting me hired at the place that I was contracted. So I have to agree with Duncan, it does seem more like an employee, employer relationship as far as weblogs is concerned.

    Did any of that make sense. Its early and I am still reall sleepy.

  5. Nandini says:

    Jason has pronunced his blogs as a network of trade blogs. Here blogger is more of an employee. Relationship of Weblogsinc with its bloggers is quiet different from 9rules.

    Jason is roughly paying (accroding to people who leaked the news) roughly $4-$5 per post, which can be debated if is low or just ok, but since his relationship is of an employer, he has to pay the fixed amount. No matter if the blog does well or not.

    I know Jason is not most loved one in most of the network, but still I feel he is running a fair biz model. He must not be paying the same amount to his top writers, must be paying them more.

    I feel nothing wrong with both models, both are good and mutually accepted by both parties. The only difference is in one case both parties are partners and in other one party is the employee and other is the employer.

  6. Jay Allen says:

    I work for WIN (http://www.bloggingbaby.com), and am quite satisfied with my arrangement. Categorizing it as an employer/employee relationship is somewhat accurate,but I feel it’s an attempt to cram a new model into an old one. Most of us don’t feel like employees, largely due to the autonomy we have on our blogs. They feel and operate like *our* blogs, even though the ownership and funding comes from elsewhere. We get to write great content and have fun, while the administrivia of ad sales, server management, software upgrades, etc. are handled by others. That’s the real benefit of Jason’s model.

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