Earlier today I posted about a fantastic new service by the name of Blogs.mu – a service that enables you to set up your own blog network. Now I’d like to post a quick interview with James Farmer – co founder of Incsub, the team behind Blogs.mu and the company that runs the WordPress MU hub WPMU DEV and the industry news blog WPMU.org. He’s also the founder of Edublogs.org. He (like me) is based in Melbourne, Australia.
He caught up with me over email last week to talk about Incsub’s brand new offering: Blogs.mu.
So what’s the difference between, say, Blogs.mu and WordPress.com?
Well, the main difference is that at Blogs.mu you become the blog provider, and you have a huge amount of flexibility and functionality that you just won’t get anywhere else.
It’s like WordPress.com in a box really, only better! Once you’re up and running you can create and host as many blogs as you want, at your own domain.
You’ve been able to do this for a while using WordPress MU but that’s been pretty hard as you need to setup hosting, run installation, download and configure themes and plugins etc.
Now though, we do that all for you… and you are free to grow your blog network or community in whatever niche you like – and, of course, run your own advertising!
It’s white label blog networks if you will… kinda like Ning.com for blogging.
So, you say users can run their own advertising, how does that work?
Blogs.mu Supporters (starting from 5 cents per blog per month) can run their own advertising across the entire network just by dropping in any ad code – it’s simple and very effective (or at least we like to think that!)
Every blog theme has 4 ad ‘spots’: under the post title and above the content, under the content and above the comments and at the top of each sidebar – as well as across a footer slot, for running JS contextual ads like Kontera or similar.
And you can set display rules for your ads too – like ‘only show them to IE browsers’ or ‘only show them to search engine visitors’ so you can make money like WordPress.com too… without annoying your users.
So what’s with the MU, are you big in Mauritius?
Heh, very funny, the MU actually stands for MultiUser – as in WordPress MU – also known as WPMU. We love the platform and have been on it from the start – one our WPMU Sites (Edublogs) is older than WordPress.com by 3 weeks… so we know what we’re doing.
And yeh, we did the obvious as well and setup WP.MU too – it’s an installation service for people who do want to get down and dirty with the guts of it all.
So we hope we’re covering every base!
And how do you think Problogger readers could best use Blogs.mu?
Well, I’m hoping there are a heap of ways that established and aspiring probloggers could use Blogs.mu. First up, if you’ve got an active community then this is a great way to get them writing in your space (you could even configure your site to a subdomain of your existing site!)
Another way would be that it’s a really affordable and powerful way to run your own 10 or so blog network.
Either way there are tons of advertising opportunities – and we’re looking into incorporating eCommerce, membership subscriptions, ‘pay to blog’ features and more pretty shortly.
Also, we’ve got some forums up and running for existing and prospective users (it’s completely free to join) at forums.blogs.mu so if any of your readers would like us to consider or build in specific features – we’d love to hear from them!
Check out Blogs.mu for yourself.