A Year In The Nine

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Okay, so it isn’t quite a year yet, but I thought tonight would be a good time to talk about my experiences of being a member of the 9rules Network thus far, having had BlogF1 admitted on December 19th 2006. In this post I will briefly described the hows and whys of my joining, the development of myself and how I see 9rules developing, and also looking towards the future, Ill quickly mention Ali2, the new version of 9rules that is being launched later today.

Submission

I submitted my site last October on a whim. I had heard of 9rules previously, but it was just a few sound bites here and there. I was aware that they were holding another 24 hour time period for people to submit, but it wasn’t until I read of a reminder on a member site that I decided to fill in the form and allow my writing to be scrutinised and assessed.

The following two months were agonising. As I learned more about the Network, the more I wanted to be accepted, and every evening I would find myself checking the 9rules blog for announcements. As it happened, a regular reader of BlogF1 noticed before I did and left a congratulatory comment on my most recent post. And yes, I did jump up and down with joy.

Initiation

I soon came back down to earth with a bump though, as I learned that some of the most skilled and inspiring blog owners were themselves members. I suddenly felt very small as I logged into the private area of 9rules and found myself reading alongside web professionals, design gurus and some of the most talented people on the internet. As quickly has I felt daunted though, I realised that most of these folk are actually very down to earth and are willing to listen and talk to some of us who simply blog for a hobby.

Since then, as 9rules has grown, I have also grown as a blogger and developed my own skills alongside many other members. I slowly came out of my shell and started to chat more with other people online. My confidence has grown, and continues to grow, and I found a whole wealth of knowledge within the community. I have met bloggers with incredible passion and dedication, who write amazing content and share their knowledge and skills with others. I found folk who care about others, are willing to help and are among the first to offer praise and congratulations.

Development

Since my inception into 9rules, the Network has changed and developed, admittedly not to everyones liking, but certainly for the ultimate better of the community. The biggest change to date came in February of this year, when the owners of 9rules – Scrivs, Mike and Tyme – released a redesign to their site, named Ali after the famous boxer. With Ali, we all saw member content being highlighted, Notes becoming a major force on the web as well as being a lot of fun. With this development 9rules really opened up to much more than the members. With Notes, a self-described open forum, people from outside the fold could join in and speak with one another in a mature, sophisticated community. One could almost say that what was once kept secret in the private Clubhouse (an area restricted to members) was now open for all to share. Of course, the Clubhouse was still kept for members only, but with the effort of people all over the world looking for somewhere on the web to discuss topics openly and rationally, the concept of Notes really isn’t too far from what the insiders experienced behind closed doors. The doors were really kicked open for Ali and the ride has been, and continues to be, a lot of fun.

And so we come to the present day. Tuesday, 9th October will see 9rules launch Ali2, an updated version of the current format of the site, but with added features, frills and fun. From what a few of us have been able to see, the look and feel has been sharpened up, users of 9rules Notes can better track their friends content around the web (as well as their own), new features like Clips allow users to share cool little nuggets they find around the internet, and of course, members content is now easier to find, with recommended posts, random posts and the ever-present profiles and short snippets of our hard work. Notes has been adjusted slightly and better organised into Cliques, areas of interest into which one can delve deeper. There is so much more, more than I can ever mention and more than I know, but so far 9rules really looks like taking a giant leap forward.

Ali2 isn’t live as I type this (Monday, 11pm BST), but I’m really looking forward to when the big red button gets pressed (I truly hope there are three synchronised big red buttons). Members have been discussing with the Trio about what we would like to see from 9rules, and coupled with open and progressive minds, design and community-nurturing talent, I can safely say that 9rules is a place where I feel at home, want to contribute to and feel proud to be a part of.

Here’s To The Next Year

I would like to thank Mike, Tyme and Paul for allowing myself and BlogF1 to be a part or their baby, for putting up with my British eccentricities, and for working so hard and so diligently at making 9rules such a wonderfully creative, inspiring and simply awesome place to be.