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Colin Devroe

Reverse Engineer. Blogger.

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee

February 9, 2007

9rules, former employer of yours truly and quite possibly the fastest growing brand in blogging, has recently redesigned their site; which was codenamed Ali during development.

Brining Social Back - 9rules

I am not a huge boxing fan (since I don’t watch boxing all that much I wouldn’t want to call myself a fan for fear of being ridiculed) but I am a fan of Muhammad Ali, and his boxing style and career. When I read Paul’s entry about the redesign, and when he referred to it as Ali, I got a little bit frightened. Would the new site hold a candle to my thoughts on Ali?

Being that I am familiar with the system that runs 9rules (which I’m sure, from what I’m seeing now, has been improved 10-fold since my tenure) I know that an enormous amount of hard work went into creating this iteration of the site. Style, layout, and panache aside – the underpinnings of the new 9rules.com is a monumental upgrade from the previous code-base which was a mashup of the incredibly crappy code I wrote while I was there and Mike Rundle trying to patch said crap. I’d be willing to wager that only a small percentage, or almost none-at-all, of the code that I wrote is still in use at 9rules (which is a blessing for them, trust me).

In other words: the 9rules team did as Ali taught: “I run on the road, long before I dance under the lights.” They were willing to go back to the “drawing board” to rebuild their architecture simply to make it more manageable, faster, and more stable. And really this is something the general public, or any of their members for that matter, wouldn’t have noticed – but this is exactly what they should have done. And from what I’ve seen so far they’ve accomplished what they set out to do.

So, does it hold a candle to my thoughts on Ali? Actually – it blew the candle right out. I’m really impressed by this accomplishment.

Take a look around the new 9rules. I think you will like what you see. Register for an account so that you can take advantage of notes (which got a huge shot of nitro in this release) and my.9rules (which is brand-new) – which are teeming with life right now. Oh and don’t forget to play around with topics, which is a feature that 9rules has wanted to do for quite awhile and I think they pulled it off really well. I’ve been messing around in the apple topic all morning.

Kudos Paul, Mike, and Tyme. You guys are class acts and 9rules Ali is really great. I recommend everyone buying these guys a drink, or a milk for Mike, at SXSW.

To leave you with another quote from Ali, that I feel applies to the 9rules team: “Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them-a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill. “

[tags]9rules, paul scrivens, mike rundle, tyme white, redesign, muhammad ali, blogging, community, social network, web design, thoughts[/tags]

[slug]9rules-Ali[/slug]