Jack of All Blogs (JOAB) was one of the first blogs to put Splashpress Media, back then still named the Mr. Bloggy Network, in the spotlights. JOAB was a popular insidery gossip blog about all things blogging, a member of Emeritus Paul Scrivens‘ Fine Fools network, edited and written by David Krug, with Chris Pearson as the outsider contributing his snark.
JOAB was feared – feared because both authors knew what went on in the blogging gossip kitchen and had no remorse, hiding behind their pseudonyms which were only known by other insiders. Let’s be honest, Jack of All Blogs was over-rated and our network owner, Mark Saunders, probably paid way too much for this site – an error this admirable and honest man would repeat over the next five years with a sense of stubbornness worthy of everyone’s respect, until he diagnosed himself and admitted that blog shopping his guilty Sunday afternoon pleasure was. Jack of All Blogs was also the first site I made a paid appearance on and ever since then times were bound to change. I personally – and the landscape as well – would soon undergo a major transition, both for Mr. Bloggy and the blogging scene in general. Things were about to explode.
In 2005 and 2006 a worldwide change was taking place, and more and more people realised that blogging the gateway to a possible new career online was. The days of JOAB were counted but we didn’t know yet. While Mr. Bloggy its own transition underwent and was rebranded as Splashpress Media, WordPress had opened the floodgates and soon everyone and their three nephews had at least one blog. Or were still stuck on Myspace. Twitter was still in private Beta, Facebook was still exclusively for students – let alone had it applications yet – and Digg was important and actually drove traffic to the unknown sites. Michael Arrington interested us and Robert Scoble had already become our Scoble-goat. Those were the days when people knew who Mike Rundle and Matt Craven were.
Much has changed since then, and many a popular and respected writer has said goodbye to blogging or to the scene. Only few are still going strong. Some reformed journalists have made fortunes, others turned to spam/scraping, and several have put the world of the independent keyboard aside. When Jeremy Wright left the b5media network, the good old JOAB scene had totally died and although still going strong under the helm of Andrew G. Rosen, JOAB wasn’t JOAB anymore. I was not a snark writer anymore either, although I would not resist the odd dig at Michael Arrington.
Here at Splashpress Media, we now maintain a select network of well-known and respected publications, led by a team of prolific editors. At some point I was put in charge of everything. I, the person who got hired after publicly hitting out at the network owner on my personal blog. Since then several months have passed, our team has found itself, and everyone has grown in their role – ready to tackle Fall 2010 and the next decade. Many things at Splashpress Media will change over the next months, and many sites will be relaunched.
One thing is important though: here at Splashpress Media we do things differently. We are not your Gawker, About.com, or any other network of online publications, and we don’t exclusively focus on traffic or growth. While both are important for most networks and also for us, our main focus is to create valuable content. Content you want to read and not just content we know will generate traffic.1.
To kick things off, we now officially reboot Jack of All Blogs. Over the next months you will find articles written by all our authors and get an insight at how we run our show here. Don’t expect any gossip or snark anymore2; instead get ready to gather more knowledge about the ins and outs of running a network of online publications.
- Although we should maybe craft more bait entries [↩]
- Although a little bird told me that our CEO still struggles and often fails to shut up [↩]