November 19, 2005

"Bloggers reacted quickly."

I've got to run and go shopping, but I don't want to disappoint readers who think I live to slam OSM. I wouldn't want to leave you with just LED-like butterfly wings, internet dating lawsuits, "South Park" on Scientology, Google's struggle with copyright holders, and Senator Kerry's quest to retain his rightful place in America's heart. So let me just ask a few questions about what's currently visible on the OSM home page.

Why would the "BEST OF THE BLOGS" be a dopey call for a "round of applause" for a cab driver who found a bag of diamonds left in his car and called the police?

Why out of 9 "current headlines" are 7 of them from Xinhua News Agency? And why does "Weather information for Asia-Pacific cities" count as a headline? It's not exactly news.

And why, if bloggers ought to hold back and give OSM a chance to get itself established before critiquing them, does OSM present its lead story with a news blurb followed by the line "Bloggers reacted quickly"? It's the way of blogging to react quickly. They're trying to present themselves as better than MSM because they are so quick. How can they or their defenders complain that other bloggers are quick to react to them?

Cue the Althouse-is-crazy comments.

42 comments:

Pete said...

Spot on. Also interesting is this bit at the top of the page "Accoring to OSM news...". Click through and the story is attributed to "The Canadian Press delivered by Newstex". Why are they taking credit for a Canadian Press story?

playah grrl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
playah grrl said...

Oh, don't want anyone seeing those?

ha ha, betcha they'll be more. my new mock is gonna be in the carnival of satire.

MJ said...

Playah grrl (what's the betting she's white, middle class, middle income and a right nutjob),

OSM is a slow moving train wreck who's only cheerleaders outside the blogger locked into contract (people like baldilocks) are sad, obsessive LGF'ers and Roger Simon's wife. Which are you?

PS OSM News? They're a news agency now? Somebody ring the Canadian Press and tell them someone is passing their journalism off as their own....

EddieP said...

Completely OT, but last night Chris Matthews interviewed Maureen Dowd. Talk about your Berkeley house whore! Dowd was all coy glances and fluttering eyebrows. Just the right come hither look that says big boy I want you. She was so syrupy sweet to Chris that even he looked embarrassed. Whatta slut.

Niko said...

Addendum to my previous 10 Questions:

(11) Go to www.osm.org. Notice the small icon in the address bar that shows the website's icon? It's called a favorite icon, and it is being used as an icon whenever you place a shortcut to www.osm.org either in your browser's link bar, or on the desktop, or in any folder. Now go to www.plone.org. Remember, this is the open-source project that developed the Plone software which is being used for the OSM.org portal. Take a look at the icon. Notice something?

Geez. With 3.5M they can't even afford their own site logo? I'm starting to wonder whose pockets the venture capital is lining.

Headless Blogger said...

I keep visiting OSM, hoping I will eventually “get it” and I think I’m catching on to the concept. However, I don’t think it is something I will use. I don’t want or need someone at a website in L.A. telling me which blog posts are today’s “must reads.”

XWL mentioned in last night’s thread that the portal business model is outdated. True, but venture capitalists are always looking for the next big opportunity, profitable or not. For them (and apparently Hatguy & Bikeguy) it is all about the IPO. It might not be 1999, but I believe they are looking to become the next Netscape, Yahoo or Lycos. So why not update the portal model into a blog about blogs? It is this year’s trendy thing and can be differentiated for investors (Asian investors? Does that explain the strange news links and Simon’s trips to Asia?).

Interesting business model, but it has no room for bodily fluids, dinners with friends or the weather on Bascom Hill.

Niko said...

We should watch http://www.osm.org/site/articles/editboardmain/.

Mark, Tim, Mr Ledeen, it's time for an exit strategy.

MJ said...

Playah grrl:

If your over the age of 15 seek medical help

Finn Kristiansen said...

Playah grrl:
Listen to Colin.

On OSM:
I think all the criticism is stupid, including Ann's, and usually I read her because she is almost infinitely astute, even wise.

All they are trying to do at OSM is what, say, Gawker has done, but with a bit more editorial independence for the bloggers involved, and a more newsy focus.

That OSM has made mistakes in trying to create something new is not indicative of anything. Being neither lawyers, business minds, or tech gurus, they will continue to make mistakes. Nor can one assume that they have divulged the entire business plan. That $3.5 in VC money will go along way in letting them refine or expand things as they go. Hell, toss in one radio station and the model quickly expands.

The fact that all was not revealed to Ann, or their other bloggers, is the same reason why millions of Americans wake up in the morning at their own places of employ just as clueless as to what the corporate heads are doing. Well, except for Ann, who makes sure Kev Reilly, the prez of UW, runs every new policy and undertaking past her desk.

kc said...

Colin W. said...
Playah grrl (what's the betting she's white, middle class, middle income . . .


And middle-aged, yo. (NTTAWWT)

Ann Althouse said...

Nitpicker: "We should watch http://www.osm.org/site/articles/editboardmain/."

Why does that page show two children wearing pajamas? Did they put the picture up before they changed their name to OSM and then forget to change it?

Finn: "All they are trying to do at OSM is what, say, Gawker has done, but with a bit more editorial independence for the bloggers involved, and a more newsy focus."

Well, they are failing miserably then! Gawker has always had a distinctive voice and been a lot of fun to read. Same is true of the Gawker-related blogs like Defamer. OSM is dull and hasn't pointed to anything interesting all week. And it's trying to be a portal, anyway, not a blog. But Instapundit makes a better portal. Why are you being so uncritical?

"That OSM has made mistakes in trying to create something new is not indicative of anything. Being neither lawyers, business minds, or tech gurus, they will continue to make mistakes. Nor can one assume that they have divulged the entire business plan. That $3.5 in VC money will go along way in letting them refine or expand things as they go. Hell, toss in one radio station and the model quickly expands."

Well, they've made nothing but mistakes. They've called attention to themselves and then had nothing to look at. You're saying maybe there are other things that they'll do later. That doesn't change the fact that what we are seeing now is lame? Why shouldn't we talk about it?

"The fact that all was not revealed to Ann, or their other bloggers, is the same reason why millions of Americans wake up in the morning at their own places of employ just as clueless as to what the corporate heads are doing. Well, except for Ann, who makes sure Kev Reilly, the prez of UW, runs every new policy and undertaking past her desk."

That's a silly criticism, Finn. We're entitled to criticize a product that has been presented to the world, that we've been asked to start using. How is our criticism invalid on the ground that there might be a different product later? Really, you're comment is strange. What is your motivation to protect them? A pure interest in fairness and accuracy? I find that hard to believe.

Madfish Willie said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Charles Johnson a "Tech Guru" and Glenn Reynolds a "Lawyer"... and you cannot convince me that none of their editors people or VC people doesn't have a "Business Mind"... wake up!!!

vbspurs said...

Why out of 9 "current headlines" are 7 of them from Xinhua News Agency?

Which reminds me, did anyone see in that section yesterday, an AP story about the Toronto Argos?

About a running back, yet.

Dayum.

OSM is going for the ├╝ber-niche market.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Whatta slut.

Methinks you wouldn't be so dismissive, if that were a hot Cancun chick on Girls Gone Wild.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Why does that page show two children wearing pajamas? Did they put the picture up before they changed their name to OSM and then forget to change it?

Ann, I understand you're making fun of the situation and indeed, their perception of yourself in this matter, by making ironic critiques -- but that's an observation too many.

We get it. OSM is a poorly-thought out operation from the git-go. Gotcha.

Cheers,
Victoria

Charlie (Colorado) said...

Madfish, I've been in two startups and I've consulted for maybe 200, and I can tell you, if you think the problems OSM is having seem unusual, it's because you haven't.

And Ann, the reason I said that your obsessive nitpicking, repeated misquotation, out of context quotation, straw men and general over-reaction seems nuts is because, when contrasted with your usual equanimity and rationality, it really seems nuts.

You flat tore Richard a new one the other day, and while I know you think you were giving him tough love, as a not very successful 50-ish novelist myself, I can tell you if my ex had written that to me, I would have taken to my bed with a case of mid-Victorian vapours.

You really seem to have a burr under your saddle recently, and it's kind of unpleasant to watch.

gs said...

"When the early Jesuit fathers preached to Hurons and Choctaws,
They prayed to be delivered from the vengeance of the squaws.
'Twas the women, not the warriors, turned those stark enthusiasts pale.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male."

playah grrl said...

wow kc--should i interpret that as a SEXIST comment?
by the althouse rules, only if you are a dude.
you loyal commenters want to excuse this.
admit it--she played the sex card.
that is exactly the same as a black person playing the race card.

Jacob said...

Althouse played the sex card?

Hawt.

reader_iam said...

I think it was a good suggestion to keep an eye on the Editorial Advisory Board. There are some very talented people there, and it's hard to imagine that everyone of them is dancing in the daisies. We'll just have to see.

In particular, I'm an admirer of Claudia Rosett's work, some of it groundbreaking and ahead of the pack, and I even think there's a major award or two out there that she probably deserved but didn't get (for what they're worth--I know reasonable people can disagree). She's not the only one for whom I've got great respect, but I'm singling her out for what I judge to be her outstanding service to us all in her pursuit of the U.N. Oil-For-Food scandal. She was a lonely voice bucking the general stream for a darn long time, indeed--and practicing "traditional" slogging journalism, to boot, not just "on-the-bandwagon" reacting.

With some stories, "quick" doesn't really cut it as a standalone value, and in fact may undercut the ability to pursue news that "seeps" rather than "flows." I'd love to know her motivation in signing onto this type of project--even if it were guaranteed to be perfect.

A serious question: how much input do you think these people have?

Boards can fall along all the spectrum from activist to passive, as I think we know. I'd be curious as to the collective culture of this one, the strength & achievement of the individuals notwithstanding. It doesn't always follow that a strong collection of talented, accomplished individuals in one place makes for a strong team or advisory presence, in terms of operations. Conversely, there have been boards whose parts are less impressive, but whose whole is quite influential.

I DON'T KNOW about the dynamic in this case, or what's going on. But I'm curious as hell, aren't you?

playah grrl said...

Jacob.
Althouse played the sex card?

not in a good way. in the whiny, feminist, the guyz are picking on me way.

Madfish Willie said...

Charles: I didn't say anything about the problems OSM is having seem[ing] unusual... an earlier comment (Finn Kristiansen) said Being neither lawyers, business minds, or tech gurus,... My response was to point out that that wasn't true - they do indeed have all those talents employed... Improve your reading comprehension and don't put words in my mouth.

tefta said...

Instapundit is dutifully linking over to OSM, but I haven't seen links on other of my usual must reads.

Maggie45 said...

"You really seem to have a burr under your saddle recently, and it's kind of unpleasant to watch."

I agree. Very unpleasant.

peter hoh said...

Okay, if it's unpleasant, why are you still watching?

Ann Althouse said...

Misquotation? Be specific or lose credibility.

Ann Althouse said...

At least Charlie admits the source of his sensitivity. He identifies with the two men I've given a hard time to recently. Like them, he's an aging writer. He feels Roger's pain. And Richard's. Sorry, I'm going to observe what I observe and riff in my personal style. Richard himself inspired me with that Cocteau quote. I'm glad I've struck a nerve.

Finn Kristiansen said...

Madfish Willie:

Good points and correction on my original post. They do have tech and legal experience, though, the expertise needed in each of those areas can far exceed any specific training Glenn or Charles might have. (As in, is Glenn a copyright/coporate lawyer?). Granted the VC's are falling short in their oversight duties, but then, anyone recall the stupidity of VC's during the last internet bust? Mistakes will be made.

Ann said to me:

Really, you're comment is strange. What is your motivation to protect them? A pure interest in fairness and accuracy? I find that hard to believe.


Oh Ann. My motivation is actually you. I liked your initial reaction where you rejected them: ever rational and continuing on your own way, no mere follower.

But your tone seems to have changed. It's harsher. Do you want them to fail Ann? I wonder if you could even answer that with a straight "yes" or "no". Your only answer should be "no", or your comments become suspect.

My motivation to protect them? Whatever could you be implying? I write, in lazy fashion, a non-blog blog, unmarketable, and of interest to me alone. I would think I have no motivation to protect them, nor any reputation to defend. I think I am concerned more about YOUR reputation, as Althouse is absolutely one of the best blogs to read and I don't want you to ruin it by accident. (I am selfish that way).

Daryl Herbert said...

Ann makes a few snarky comments and receives a torrent of criticism.

And part of that criticism is to claim that she is the one who is obsessed?

The hostility and resistance to examination and criticism is the worst characteristic of the very same big media they hold in disdain.

At least the UN has the brazen honesty to hold its summit on internet freedom in an authoritarian country that filters the web and oppresses dissidents.

---

Why are they taking credit for a Canadian Press story?

Don't you read any right-wing blogs? Everyone knows Canadians won't fight back, so Roger Simon can walk all over them.

---

The real story is this: Althouse played the semen card. And OSM is pregnant with outrage.

playah grrl said...

Nope.
The real story is that when she got criticized she got all whiny 'n' self-pitying 'n' and called out to Kevin Drum and and the feministas to save her.
She's the sex traitor, not me.
just nauseating.

Icepick said...

playah grrl, just leave. You keep promising that you will, and then you don't. Worse than being a simple troll who can't pass the Turing Test, you're boring as hell. You've got one note, and it's off key. Do I have to use any more cliches, or will you finally keep your promise and go be an irritating fool somewhere else?

Niko said...

Ann - the pajamas children are all about street credibility, noam sain?

Charlie - you missed the inconvenient fact that OSM claims that their venture speaks for the whole blogosphere as such. Straight from the horses mouth:

"OSM’s mission is to expand the influence of weblogs by finding and promoting the best of them. (...) Call it the blogosphere, call it citizen journalism, or call it (we hope) Open Source Media—but the next phase in the democratization of ideas has begun."

The business model of OSM actually depends on the conflation of the blogosphere with OSM.

frankwolftown said...

Hey, come on. This is still a waaaaaaaaaay better start than when Air America went on the radio.

Pinko Punko said...

Awesome. Why don't you cobags all eat each other? If double-A's crit is legit, what do the motivations matter? Oh yeah, on this side of the world it's all about feelings and beliefs. "If I don't believe in OSM, how could it ever work??" Ann, stop emboldening the terrorists, er, OSM critics! We have to fight until the end, for OSM Media!. We must support them until they support themselves. We will stand down when they stand up.

The Impolitic said...

Rock and roll Ann. There's no love lost between me and that crowd and I'm trying to be open-minded but it's just so undeniably boring. The site is tedious, unoriginal and even their blog posts in defense of the project are dull.

So far the only interesting aspect of the BIG LAUNCH has been your and Dennis' posts.

I mean really. Want to give up your pharmaceutical sleeping aids folks? Try reading this one all the way to the en...zzzzzzzzz

Madfish Willie said...

Finn:

Not trying to be argumentative, just trying to make sure we all know what is what...

Glenn teaches an Internet Law class so I would assume that would make him an "Internet Lawyer"

Charles is indeed the technical guru; he coded LGF with all the bells and whistles; and he does site coding all day for his "real job".

Please correct me if I'm wrong.


Charles:

I've done more than two and less than 200 startups, so I know what problems can be encountered and what I would consider usual and unusual problems in a startup. In my startups, if we screwed the pooch for our Grand Opening we were history - period. I'm sure that my startups were of significantly lower scale than yours (up to $2 million - privately funded), but it appears to me that there wasn't enough due diligence done on this project.

playah grrl said...

Sorry, icepick. i'm gonna keep on with what ever deviltry i can manage. ;-)
Can i call your attention to this lamo-apolo at baldilocks?
"Baldilocks: You're misreading the intent of my post. I can defend myself and am defending myself. I'm also laughing at them. (Listen to me on my podcast #21.) My post is about asking people who care about feminism to become outraged about how women are attacked. I'm not asking people to come and help me, but to be aware of the rank sexism that is displayed in certain parts of the web. I admit I asked for a fight, but I'm still allowed to criticize how people fight. In fact, that's part of the way I fight."

Oh, yeah, doing for the sistahs. You ain't doing it for me. You weak, whining, wimpy, broomstick up your butt, sex-traitor.
this is war.

wanna see how i fight? stay tuned.

icepick--you're a guy-- are you launching a sexist attack on me? Help, feministas, Kevin Drum, come to my rescue!!!!!

Charlie (Colorado) said...

Charlie - you missed the inconvenient fact that OSM claims that their venture speaks for the whole blogosphere as such. Straight from the horses mouth:

"OSM’s mission is to expand the influence of weblogs by finding and promoting the best of them. (...) Call it the blogosphere, call it citizen journalism, or call it (we hope) Open Source Media—but the next phase in the democratization of ideas has begun."

The business model of OSM actually depends on the conflation of the blogosphere with OSM.


Wow, Nick, that's quite a jump: from "best of the blogophere ... call it (we hope) Open Source Media" to the assertion hat OSM's business model depends on the conflation of the blogosphere with OSM. Are you sure "conflation" is what you really meant?

madfish:

Charles:

"Charlie". That's causing enough confusion already, since I'm apparently both Charles Johnson and all bloggers in Colorado now.

I've done more than two and less than 200 startups, so I know what problems can be encountered and what I would consider usual and unusual problems in a startup. In my startups, if we screwed the pooch for our Grand Opening we were history - period. I'm sure that my startups were of significantly lower scale than yours (up to $2 million - privately funded), but it appears to me that there wasn't enough due diligence done on this project.

As far as the rest of this goes, you seem to believe that some front-page typos and Ann not getting Jeff Coldstein's joke is "screwing the pooch."

Golly, and I thought I got perfectionistic. But actually I don't believe you really think that, that this is hyperbole: "screwing the pooch" is spending half your VC money on one Superbowl ad, or planning on installing raised floor in your dorm room so you can install your server there, or buying a $50 million dollar ad buy for Thanksgiving Day while your e-business site is running on a single small Dell server and a T1 line. (All of which I've watched happen, with the serial numbrs filed off suitably for protecting my client's identiities.) "Screwing the pooch" is a CNN moment; typos aren't.

Ann:

Sorry, I'm going to observe what I observe and riff in my personal style.

If this seemed to fit your personal style, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

(Oh, and there was another ad hominem circumstantial there. I'll leave it as an exercise for the readers to identify it.)

Charlie (Colorado) said...

Ann, sorry, I'm catching up. Misquotation: I said "I've got to say, Ann, that the notion that Charles Johnson and Glenn Reynolds "don't quite get blogging" is just a little jarring." here.

You restated it as "...and all you say is but Glenn and Charles are really good. " here.

Note: I said I found the notion a littel jarring; you restated that as me saying they were really good. Misquotation or false paraphrase, you clearly changed what I'd said into something else.

I asked you to clarify it, saying "(Oh, and along the same lines, Ann, I'm not quite sure how you got from my finding it jarring to see the assertion that Glenn and Charles don't get blogging to the claim that I said that they're "really good." Could you possibly explain the argument there in a little greater detail?)" here.

I don't recall actually getting a response on that by the way.

You said "I think people have latched onto the Ann-must-be-bitter theme because they can't engage on the merits." here.

I said "Oh, Ann, come off it. What "merits" ? You think OSM's site is visually cluttered, you didn't get Jeff Goldstein's joke and you don't like their business model so you didn't sign up. You think a tiny startup ($3.5 million is a tiny startup) shouldn't have typos on the front page. And you think Roger, Glenn, and Charles don't get blogging." here.

You said "Oh, Charlie, it's an awful site, and you're admitting it! There is nothing positive to say. You're just proving it." here.

Notice I had not, to this point, said anything about OSM's blog. You, however, recast me saying I didnt' find a lot of merits in your argument into saying that I was admitting OSM was an awful site. Clearly mischaracterizing what I said.

You also threw in "Sorry, Charlie, I don't have to follow the first rule. I stayed out of the club and preserved my free speech. Kind of a blogger thing, you know. Glad you're staying right there, though, Charlie, defending the big guys. I'm sure you'll reap wild benefits for you devotion to their interests." here (Ad hominem, circumstantial variety, rather than answer my point you impugn my motives.)

There are actually some other examples, if you want.

Charlie (Colorado) said...

Well, that's weird. The last two posts came out in reverse order.

Madfish Willie said...

Charlie:

I didn't say anything about typos or anything about Ann... my main point, though I didn't actually say this in my comment (my bad), is the whole fiasco with the name issue and their actions after the fact... those are well documented... I would call that screwing the pooch - although not to the extent of your examples.