9rules strikes me as potentially a great idea. It’s basically a conglomeration of blogs, each of which has been approved as reaching a certain standard of quality.
The 9rules Network is a community of the best weblogs in the world on a variety of topics. We started 9rules to give passionate writers more exposure and to help readers find great blogs on their favorite subjects. It’s difficult to find sites worth returning to, so 9rules brings together the very best of the independent web all under one roof.
They have periodic application periods when they winnow out the sheep from the goats and accept the sheep. The approved blogs are then sorted by subject.
Since blogs are many and multiplying, any way of finding the good stuff has to be a good thing. But I decided to look at the blogs which have been accepted into the 9rules Writing Community. It hasn’t given me great faith in their quality control. One of the various principles they claim for themselves is that
A nicely-designed site might draw readers in, but it’s the content that keeps them coming back.
But given that at least two of the ten in their ‘writing community’ are blogs which are nicely designed but whose content is seriously poor (1, 2), I find myself unpersuaded. The most likely scenario is that the people who selected the blogs just weren’t very literary by inclination; my point really is that they aren’t doing their credibility any good.
In the interests of balance I’ll point out one more 9rules literary blog, PoetryReviews.Ca, where they review Canadian poetry books and seem to do a good job of it.
But generally the 1rule which is most important seems to be ‘style over content’. Perhaps that’s unfair. Perhaps the many good blogs that can be found among my long poetry blogroll just haven’t applied, so 9rules don’t know what they’re missing.