Ending the Better Blogger Network Era

Yeah. Change is so hard.

I risked it big time when I moved from Ning to MyBB the Better Blogger Network, and I’m risking things even more by changing the name and the platform once again.

Moving from Ning needed to happen, because

  1. I self-host, therefore I’ve grown accustomed to having full control of my websites,
  2. Ning charges by the member count (4,000 members and counting isn’t a fun price), and
  3. Ning 3.0 had not been implemented into old Ning versions for at least two years (I don’t know if it has been implemented yet).

We lost 3000 members on Ning, none of which seemed to have came back, but the most unfortunate part is that they’re likely gone, for the most part, anyway, because there were over 2000 emails that didn’t work.

Moving it was a mess. (The importation tutorials lied. I wrote/made up my own.)

But it needed to happen, because why should I have to pay a company I despise who isn’t at all what they say they are? If you haven’t a clue how to code or manage a self-hosted community, Ning is probably the way to go. However, if you know how to do all those things, Ning is going to be really limited for you, and you’re going to feel caged.

I don’t know if some of you veteran bloggers remember those times I surveyed peoples for a project I was wanting to start. That one never happened, because I later came up with other ideas and projects, and all that jazz. Those results, paired with the survey results from many of the BBN’s results, in addition to spending the past two years researching communities, make Zigative. It was originally going to be Bloglint, which was then going to become everything Zigative is and hopes to be.

You know, “big”, yada, yada, yada.

Big is cool, but it’s more about the community. Old school blogging meets this new school blogging era. I don’t know if anyone remembers it or not, but Georgie and Tiffany used to run Skeletons MB, powered by XMB, and it was a pretty tight-knit and sweet little community of peoples who blogged. In the past, many have tried to recreate that atmosphere, but it hasn’t worked. I doubt Zigative will recreate it, too, but a lot of the inspiration came from Skeletons MB, as it’s likely my most-missed message board.

On-blog “communities” vs. forum software-powered communities

There’s a difference. These days, there’s all this talk about having a community on your blog, and that’s…no, that’s more of a fan club. People who comment blogs and have deep, threaded discussions on posts are part of a fan club community.

People who make a “community” with their name slapped all over it are running their own personal fan club.

Without those bloggers/consultants/etc., those communities would die.

This isn’t that — I’m the owner, but all I’m going to do is direct the community in a healthy path; my name is plastered all over it, but that’s only because I have posted threads and whatnot… it’s not a personal thing, because I honestly don’t want to become famous1, and also because I’m well aware how difficult it can be to get along with me. I don’t get along with everyone… whatever beef I have with people who join Zigative doesn’t matter, because so what? What’s the point? There are other staff members, and I can be professional; we don’t have to communicate directly, either.

Basically, if I happen to go MIA, for whatever reason, the community should be able to continue to thrive on its own. As I have learned with TCGs, things are so much easier when they’re automated and there isn’t much work needing to be put into it all the time. It’s okay to make things easier for yourself.

Zigative’s mission is…

…to connect bloggers and creatives together who want a sense of community. It’s not about networking, or any of that BS — it’s a place to chillax for a while, no matter how long, and to just…chat, connect, etc. There are a lot of blogging communities/networks, but they’re all about promotion, money, and/or elitism… it’s all about being “the next big thing”, or meeting some sort of stupid criteria.

I also don’t know what a “better” blogger is. Am I better blogger because I’ve been around for many years? Is that person making a six-digit monthly income through their blog a better blogger?

The number one reason so many chose to quit the BBN way back when when it was on Ning? They no longer had a blog, or they didn’t have a blog yet, etc., and they didn’t want to break the rules. Stupid rules. Sometimes, people want to start a blog, but they want to first get in touch with people from the community. They want help before they actually open their blog.

Zigative’s sole purpose is to connect creatives from all over the world and give back to the community.

You can learn more by reading the latest announcement. 🙂 The joining process is also quick and pain-free. :3

I personally feel this is better, because the community on betterbloggernetwork.com has been MIA more than it has been open (15th May, 2012). Not only is there a new reputation for the community as a whole, but hopefully it will bring back some members from the early days who left because it was so…dead.

Zigative was a 16-day project, save the three, possibly four, days I did absolutely nothing but watch Homeland because I was so sick of XenForo and Zigative and people and wanted to just quit. Stuff still needs to be done to it, but that can wait, as it’s not super important. Zigative v0.1.0 is on.~

  1. Well, it would be cool, but considering all the drama between my mom and lard, I’m not interested in upping any of that just so they can make a quick couple of bucks off me… those days are over.

Sorry, but comments are closed on this post.

Comments on this post

Nancy’s gravatar

Congratulations on the opening of Zigative! Especially with having to work with all of the mess within BBN. Ning charging by the numbers is bad because spammers can apply or even Ning’s generated bots…. But I remembered people are supposed to be approved by admins, right?

I remembered Skeletons, it was a nice place to be! I’ve seen people trying to recreate a similar community but didn’t make it through. It goes great for the first month or two, then people start becoming inactive. Hope Zigative lives on!

Liz’s gravatar

Yeah, people were approved by the admins. But even then…you have those who make multiple accounts because they want it for their site, themselves…it’s just a bit of a mess. You also can’t see when people were last active on Ning, and it’s minimal control.

Coryl o'Reilly’s gravatar

I remember Skeletons MB! I think I still have my old signature from there. I really enjoyed the smaller community. I also miss it… 🙁

Zigative’s mission sounds right up my alley. I miss connecting with other bloggers just so I can have another group to belong in, and more people to interact with. I don’t want to blog for the sake of profit or creating a hit blog; that’s usually what networking is for. A community is infinitely better for me, since it’s not business-based.

I’m really glad you posted about this, Liz. I’ve signed up, and hopefully a great community can be built!

Liz’s gravatar

Thanks! 😀 The organization of it isn’t totally final, and yeah… but eee. :3 I’m so nervous and excited at the same time.

And yeah, I enjoyed it for its smallness, too.

Susanne’s gravatar

Well done, girl! I love how you have changed the former BBN, and your points about the “better blogger” concept and blogging communities. I miss blogger communities these days, because all out there are for making money (connecting bloggers with brands, etc), and not about real connection. Good luck with it and I hope people will sign up and use it.

Clarisse’s gravatar

I remember Skeletons MB!

Message boards / forums were really what eventually got me into Photoshop, then eventually into web design, and later on blogging as well. I really miss being part of a community like that!

I’ve seen people try to start new forums and communities like this and fail, but I really hope Zigative ends up becoming a success. Like you, I just miss having a place to be able to chill and talk to people with similar interests on a platform such as that.

I’m signing up as soon I finish writing this comment!

Kya’s gravatar

You have to try though, because otherwise things can be hard or don’t work.

I can understand wanting to move away from Ning. That is a pretty big rip-off. :/

I really like the name that you have and hope that it all works out really well. You have put a lot of work into creating it, so I hope it will also be an awesome recourse for many bloggers out there. 😀

Christine’s gravatar

Congrats on the opening of Zigative. I really like the name. 🙂 Skeletons MB is still there, but I’m not sure that anyone logs in anymore. I miss that tight-knit blogging community as well. I think that it’s awesome of you to keep pushing on after the move from Ning, BBN, to where you are now. I wouldn’t have the patience!