I *very* much agree that the site needs to be bloggier. The ad revenue is supposed to mostly come from the associated blogs, not the portal, with the portal's role being to boost traffic to the blogs, give people an easy starting point, and provide some original reporting, etc., that will encourage people to go there and encourage bloggers to do more original reporting.I thought: Wow, that's about the smartest, clearest thing I've read here yet. Who said that? Then I see, it was Glenn Reynolds. Okay. Well, see? That was a blind reading test.
That means that the portal needs to be interesting, and to change a lot. Right now it's neither.
A few posts down Cal lays down the harshest critique I've seen yet:
See, here's what I don't understand: why are these discussions even necessary? Why is Glenn saying (to paraphrase) "hey, great idea, I'm passing this on to the others!"?Almost
What was Glenn doing for the past 8 months or so, exactly, as part of the editorial board? More to the point, what was anyone involved with this absurd enterprise doing all this time?
This isn't a bootstrap organization. It's not something that was cobbled together and thrown open to the public for feedback. This was a venture with 3.5 MILLION dollars in funding.
Where did that money go? Apparently, it was all spent on a blowout opening bash. It clearly hasn't gone to technicians who could quickly respond to the most basic requests for change. Nor has it gone to any more advanced development work--at least none that's readily apparent. Just as obviously, it wasn't spent on competent legal or marketing advice.
When the only evident sign of investment is in the party you throw to announce an organization with an illegal name offering a service that no one understands and that you yourself aren't entirely able to define, you've got a real problem.
So here's a suggestion for PJM/OSM board members and executives alike: Stop asking people what you should do. You convinced a number of fools to invest 3.5 million--or should I say MILLION--dollars in you. They thought you knew what to do. If you don't know what to do, then accept the harsh truth that your only real ability is lies in convincing fools to give you money. Use some of that money to hire people who actually know what to do, then use some more money to hire people who can actually do it. Then get the hell out of their way.
IN THE COMMENTS: It's noted that Glenn Reynolds has now responded to Cal, but only minimally, to distance himself from what has gone on there. Per Glenn:
"The Editorial Advisory Board met for the first time the day after the launch. I'm guessing that the site design, etc., was seen by someone as a business decision, rather than editorial, but they didn't involve us. As for the rest, well, perhaps you should just watch the site evolve and see how it does."
I express sympathy.
Steve H. drops by to tell us about this post of his:
I learned something really funny about Pajamas Media yesterday. A source claiming to have inside information says they've actually raised SEVEN million in venture capital. Again, I have to ask, where did it go?
UPDATE: Moxie and Jay Currie have some thoughts on all this.