Today we're rolling out some big changes on 9Neighbors.
As of today, 9Neighbors is a directory of Boston-area blogs, not a news site. Instead of focusing on popular individual posts, 9Neighbors is now centered on data about local blogs.
The new 9Neighbors also makes it easy for local businesses to reach out to bloggers with invitations to special events. Right now on the site we're listing offers from Upstairs on the Square, The Gardner Museum and The Huntington Theatre. There are more coming.
Why are we making these changes?
Well, in the months since we launched 9Neighbors, we've discovered that there's a lot of interest in the data we collect about local blogs -- who's linking to who, how often people are publishing and who writes about what. Bloggers want to know how their sites stack up, and businesses want to know who's creating buzz around town. Currently, it's easy to find this information for the global community of blogs, but not for local communities.
The deals and invitations are also an important part of the new site. We think these will benefit both bloggers and local businesses.
There are a lot of quality businesses, cultural institutions and arts organizations around Boston that want to reach out to bloggers with invitations and free passes to events, the same way they do to traditional media. At the same time, there are a lot of bloggers who'd like to take advantage of some of these offers, when they're relevant and interesting.
Without a directory of local blog data, it's hard for local businesses to know which bloggers to reach out to. And without a filter for invitations, bloggers end up overwhelmed in PR spam, like this.
The new 9Neighbors will provide both a directory and filter. Local businesses can send me invitations they'd like to offer bloggers (rick at faneuilmedia dot com), and bloggers who register for the site can signup for a feed of invitations.
Businesses and bloggers are central to our communities. They help keep the places we live unique and vital. We hope this new version of 9Neighbors supports both.
One last note: Today's launch is a first step. The transition from news site to directory is going to take some time, and we'd love your feedback as we make it. If you have thoughts or questions, please let us know.