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Know More Media Blog Network

Just stumbled over Know More Media, a new (launched mid December, I must have missed it in the end of year frenzy) blog network that has quickly launched quite a few blogs – all focussing upon business. I’m yet to get through all of their blogs yet but some of them seem to be doing pretty well – and they are covering a large range of topics within their niche.

I think we’ll see more and more niche-networks emerge in 2006.

My only unsolicited advice/feedback/observations to Know More Media is (hoping I’m not overstepping the mark here – it’s really just my initial impressions):

  1. As I surfed through the blogs, on quite a few of them I had little idea what they were about until I really searched around them. While having titles that don’t explicitly say what the blog is about is fine – I think it’s important to have make it very clear to readers from the moment they arrive on the blog what it is about. This can be communicated in a number of ways from the title itself, to using images, to using a statement/description/tagline that spells it out. Blog readers stay at blogs on average for just a few seconds so first impressions and clear communication are essential.
  2. My own preference is not to publicly launch empty blogs (they are currently seeking writers on 32 of their 65 blogs). While I can see some reasons why it might be good to do (it gets them indexed in Search Engines and perhaps creates some interest in recruiting bloggers) I think there are also some costs. For starters it make the network seem a little inactive and ghost town-ish and secondly I wonder if defining a blog without knowing the blogger might be the wrong way around. My own preference is to find bloggers and then design a blog around them (subtle difference). Of course this is just my own approach and I wouldn’t impose it upon anyone – there is ‘more than one way to skin’ a cat as they say.

The blogs that are currently active have some really great bloggers on them and I suspect this will be a pretty active and worthwhile network to keep an eye on. As I say – dominating a niche with a network is something I’m seeing quite a bit of at present.

Update: Tim from Know More Media has responded to my post here and gives some insight into why they’ve started with empty blogs – along similar lines to what I thought.

I really appreciate the response from Tim – I was a touch worried that this post would be taken in the wrong way – my intention is definately just to give honest encouraging feedback and it seems it was taken that way – phew.

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. Jim Turner says:

    I’ve talked to Easton over there and he is a great blogger and a fun guy. I wish them all the luck.

  2. Carl Lapsburg says:

    Rule #1 always has been and always will be, never launch a ‘coming soon’ website.

    Launch the blogs you have, and leave the rest until you get a writer.

    I worked for a company that is now looking for additional help, but they are doing it, in all places, in their news page.

    The traditional place to look for high-quality workers is with an employment agency. Typically you don’t do it in the News section of your website.

    Likewise, I’m not sure I like the idea of launching an empty blog and then saying “writer wanted for this blog.”

    Again, I was raised with “never launch a coming soon web site.” Many people have commented on how unprofessional it is, but even more so how people who discover a site at that stage never usually return to see it develop. That’s not how humans surf.

  3. Darren, I’ll probably have more to say tomorrow, for two reasons: first, it’s past my bedtime; second, I’m sure a few other people will respond to this post while I’m asleep.

    Thanks for your feedback. “Unsolicited feedback” is often a frightening phrase, but from all I’ve read of your posts and from the kindness and attention you’ve showed me personally (folks, this man is extremely busy, yet he takes time to respond to emails from little guys like me), I’m actually excited to get any feedback from you on the Know More Media network.

    I’m the Know More Media assistant editor, which means I get to know all the bloggers personally and work with them on their blogging. What’s so amazing to me is that we’re getting top-notch writers who really care about their niche subjects, and that there are so many people interested in writing for us. I agree with you – 2006 looks to be a big year for niche blog networks. I can’t think of a more enjoyable and thrilling job than Web publishing.

    (Yawn – must go to sleep) Thanks for your two main points of feedback, Darren, and to Carl as well for his thoughts. Hopefully we can use this and any other comments here to improve our network. It’s obviously in its adolescent stages, but I think it will fun to watch it grow into full maturity during this year and beyond. We’re grateful to get words of wisdom for free from such a great source.

  4. Wow,
    I was going through “Know More Media”, and I came across CTO’s profile, and he mentions his love about Nepal, and even raising a young women from Nepal as a daughter.
    What a coincidence? I m also from Nepal. And its not that you see or read like that often.
    Thanks Darren for the mention.

    Ps. BTW its Internet Salsa not Internet Sales…No big deal.

  5. Tim Stay says:

    Darren,

    We are thrilled to even be noticed by you!

    I responded to your post in an open letter at Know More Media.

    Would love to meet you – maybe in October?

  6. Darren Rowse says:

    thanks for your comments Tim and Easton – nice to chat with you both in this way. I’d love to meet you in October – are you coming on the cruise?

  7. Hal Halladay says:

    Darren – good thoughts. Unsolicted feedback or not, I am glad you found us. It helps to have great people like Easton out there representing us. I don’t think we will ever tire of feedback or hearing how we are perceived. Every review adds value and challenges us to think though our assumptions. More than once, such feedback has caused us to change direction a degree or two. We will keep our eye on this conversation. Thanks for getting it started. We certainly don’t consider Know More Media a “finished product” or “under construction.” Like most businesses, we continue to develop, expand, grow and hopefully better our product based on our audience and customers. However, we are firm in our commitment to create a quality platform for business professionals to share their expertise.

  8. Darren,
    As one of the KnowMoreMedia authors, I appreciate the attention you have given to our network. I can add that the “coming-soon” sites were for ideas that KMM felt a strong urge to fill. With me, I proposed a blog about Convention and Visitors Bureaus, and they held it for me (unpublished and off the Web) until I had other things running. It is now http://www.TheCVBlog.com.
    I also write http://www.TranslationMaven.com, and http://www.ExPatFacts.com

    How can I be adequately expert in all three? Thanks to an eclectic career as a diplomat, traveling the world, learning languages, translating, organizing conferences, dealing with international procedures and clients, I have gained insight in many fields.
    I guess I’m the least business-y of all the KMM blogs, but they’re happy with me, and I’m happy with them. If niche networks are the future, let’s hope they are all as pliant and savvy as KnowMoreMedia.

  9. Jason Boog says:

    Dear Darren Rowse,

    Thanks for all those helpful comments about Know More Media (KMM)! I’m now working to make my blog’s purpose clear from the very first moment new readers arrive. I also agreed with your speculation about the future of niche blog networks. Along with some of my writing friends, I’m urging my readers to zoom in on niche audiences.

    I just wanted to add one more magic ingredient to your recipe: blogging voice. I joined KMM after reading AdHurl.com and ExPatFacts.com. I’d spent a lot of time lurking around marketing sites looking for story ideas, and the words “Business Blog” made me think about cookie-cutter posts and press-release prose. Both these blogs sounded different. KMM had a couple genuine voices, and these bloggers were building new communities from the ground up.

    That’s what I appreciate most about my blog network—they took risks on less established voices, allowing us to create new web families. Over the last two weeks, established writers have tracked me down to work with the site. I’m learning that a quality voice can trump buzz, Technorati ratings, and page rankings. I think the business blogosphere needs more creative writers to explore uncharted places, and that’s why I joined KMM.

    Jason Boog
    ThePublishingSpot.com

  10. As an author at Know More Media, I wanted to comment on the blogs looking for authors. I think this is a good idea, if only for the fact that when someone visits the blog and see’s that they are looking for an author to blog on a specific topic, they can apply. I just started over at Know More Media and have been telling everyone I know about it, I am hoping some of them will apply for some of the authors blogs.
    I think Know More Media is going to be a great success and I am excited to be a part of it.
    Thank you for all your kind words about Know More Media! Together we can all be successful.
    Michelle Dunn

  11. Rich Ottum says:

    Darren:

    As a long-time reader of ProBlogger, I am pleased to see your advice regarding Know More Media. I am the author of Marketing Blurb for their network. As this blog title implies, I cover marketing with brief and entertaining commentary. I hope you and other ProBlogger readers will enjoy my effort, and explore other sites on the Know More Media network as well.

    Sincerely,
    Rich Ottum

  12. Darren,

    I really valued the feedback and input that you gave in the KMM post. Your points on making topics more clear as well as not showing coming soon blogs are valid. No question these comments will be seriously discussed next week in our meetings. Thanks for your insights and best wishes to you.

    Will you be at SES conference in NYC? I would love to meet you.

  13. colbert says:

    Hi Darren, its funny you missed the launch of this network but its never too late to write about it. As a blogger for both B5media and Know More Media, I get lots of insight into the world of network blogging and its been a fun journey for me.

  14. Maria Palma says:

    Darren,

    First, I’d like to say that you have a great website here with many helpful resources :) I’ve been blogging for about a year now and have come to realize that writing has always been one of my passions in life.

    I’m very grateful that KnowMoreMedia has given me the opportunity to write about another passion in my life: customer service. I know that KMM will go far. If they hadn’t advertised the need for writers, I probably wouldn’t be part of their team.

    ~Maria Palma
    http://www.customersarealways.com

  15. Darren Rowse says:

    wow – this is like a Know More Media blogger convention! :-)

    Nice to have you all here and responding. I really do wish you all the best with it and hope that the network flourishes. Would love to explore how we can support each other more at some point.

  16. Hi Darren,

    Just had to pop by and add my two cents to this conversation (convention?). I was originally referred to the Know More Media network by a friend who passed on a link to a New Year’s post by Easton Ellsworth over at KMM. She then forwarded me the link to SmallBizMentor.com with a note that I should apply for the writing spot.

    Conveniently enough the company that I was working for at that time eliminated my position a few days later and the first thing I did was apply for that SmallBizMentor blog writing opportunity since my contractual “non-compete” obligations were gone. While I, too, prefer not to see a lot of “this site coming soon” or “this page under construction”, having the blog visible as an open opportunity sure worked out well for me.

    Since training with Dan and Easton at KMM (don’t even get me started on the excellent job they did creating training materials and starter files!), I’ve enjoyed both the building of the blog itself and getting to know the rest of the team. One day near the end of January I happened to see a new blog created to appeal to women in business. When Workerette.com popped up as an available blog, I requested the opportunity to apply and received that blog address…and couldn’t be happier!

    These folks know what they are doing, and I’m excited to be rubbing elbows with colleagues who are sharing information and taking the time to build not only their own blogs but to network with each other. Planning is everything when it comes to creating and maintaining a successful business, and I believe KMM has done the trick. They are finding fantastic writers and I get to read them all. Woohoo!

  17. Bill Belew says:

    I am a new writer for KMM and while doing do diligence to knowing more about the company I will be writing for I came across this ‘convention’. FWIW, I couldn’t find an empty store in the ghost town of coming writers to set up shop in. So, I proposed a new site…and they accepted.

    I lived and did business in Asia for nearly 20 years…mostly Japan. But, my wife is a native Chinese with an MBA from an American University.

    Needless to say, we often talk about the differences between these three great countries in terms of business and culture, which reflects how you do business.

    In a week or so, watch for the launch of an Asian Business blog (the name is TBD).

    Thanks for letting my drop in.

  18. I just joined KMM as the blogger for the BizToolBelt…Who doesn’t love gadgets…I also did my research and looked at a few other blog networks before deciding to apply with KMM. They seem like a great group of people and have talked with a couple of them personally.

    Oh, and if they didn’t have the empty sites and the “Looking for Writers” ad, I wouldn’t have noticed the vacancy.

    – Brandon Hopkins

  19. Razib Ahmed says:

    I have recently joined Know More Media and my blog is about South Asian business. Just yesterday, we celebrated our 5,000th post in KMM. Thus, KMM is gradually becoming one of the largest and most organized source of information about business.

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