November 18, 2005

"They're acting like CBS did last year after bloggers (like Charles!) proved the TNG memos were frauds. It's really uncanny."

Steven Den Beste commenting chez Dennis the Peasant. "It's a bad sign when they start editing the past, in this case by deleting the previous 'name defense' post." A later commenter adds: "Someone needs to do an animated overlay of OSM's original 'trademark' post v. the newer revised version. Alert the media!"

IN THE COMMENTS: Someone links to this recent post by Roger L. Simon, and it makes me say:
Yeah, I read that post of Roger's. It is incredibly whiny. The identification with Judith Miller is laughable. The expressions of weakness with respect to the organization he took a pile of money to run are reckless. How would you feel if you were one of the investors?

Poor, sensitive Roger? Let me remind you once again that Simon telephoned me when I first criticized the Pajamas offer that was emailed to me. He bullied me in the most unbelievably patronizing tone of voice, then, when I tried to express how I felt about blogging, said "Nice to talk to you" and hung up on me. He totally did not impress me as a sensitive sort of person, though he is playing that role in that post of his. I'm sure he feels terrible about his project. But the notion that bloggers shouldn't criticize it, when they had a flashy launch party, is beyond absurd.

And now we should hold back to spare Roger's feelings? Should we have worried about hurting Dan Rather's feelings too?

Suddenly, I feel like writing a post titled: "What's the Frequency, Roger?"

UPDATE: I just looked back at the original post I did about rejecting the Pajamas Media offer. It's very short and light, but it does try to express the feeling I have about blogging:
Did you get your offer from Pajamas Media yet? Are you going to put on the pajamas -- take a flat fee to commit the top four spots on your sidebar for a whole year? I thought Pajamas implied a bloggy freedom, different from a corporate, mainstream mentality. Are we supposed to marry Pajamas and give up on Henry Copeland's delightful BlogAds, which has been beautifully designed with a feeling for the spirit of blogging? Ah, I don't like pajamas anyway. I want to blog naked. With Henry.
This is what led Roger to lay into me over the telephone and then hang up on me. That's all I would have written, had he not called me and acted like that. I was trying to spare them. After the phone call, I wrote this, analyzing the Pajamas offer in detail. And so it became one of my regular subjects.

40 comments:

Icepick said...

And it keeps getting worse!

http://www.radioopensource.org/index.php

Even the Correction The Media Formerly Known as Pajamas issued is wrong!

Hell, at this rate I'm going to run out of exclamation points....

Patrick Martin said...

Do any of their member blogs actually have any OSM-sponsored ads running yet? I've checked out quite a few of their "OSM Blogs", and haven't seen anything but Google, Blog Ads, and self-promotional spots.

Oh, and if you look at the link for the OSM ads on their own page, they're still using "pajamas media" as their affiliate name for the realmedia ads they're serving up!

Icepick said...

Neil had this comment at the post Ann links to:

Do I detect a hint of... KERNING?!

Madfish Willie said...

Perhaps the MSM influence within the organization???

Aaron said...

Hellooooo - they are all hung over today! Jebus on a tentpole. If anyone had read even one of the reviews regarding the launch y'all would know that. Of course the demon rum lay at the bottom of the Rathergate affair as well. But no one expects Glenn Reynolds to hold his liquor like Hurricane Dan. I still say all this is a PUBLICITY STUNT!

tefta said...

Wow. Sic transit gloria on steroids.

Stephen Den Beste, a revered mythical figure in the blogosphere and rightly so, has been tossed off his pedestal for forming an opinion contrary to the OSMtm ruling body.

XWL said...

Apropros of nothing, can I add this entry to the new banner non-contest, contest

"Prof. Althouse, full of fluids. . . .and truth" -XWL

And over at Roger L. Simon's site he posted a lengthy (and most probably heartfelt as well as mostly gracious) piece about his dismay over the heated rhetoric and how tough it is to be a semi-public figure.

Many commenters seem to have taken this to be a call to slag Althouse a little more (though not in lizardoid sized doses)

So far that site hasn't impressed me, Drudge is still fine for headlines and Instapundit still has the blogroll and links and Slate still has some interesting essays (plus Huffington Post is good for the occaisonal laugh), so why would I add OSM to the rotation?

I like many of the affliates of OSM and they do have some talent there, but trying to compete in the portal business seems misplaced (portals are soooo 1999)

Ann Althouse said...

XWL: Yeah, I read that post of Roger's. It is incredibly whiny. The identification with Judith Miller is laughable. The expressions of weakness with respect to the organization he took a pile of money to run are reckless. How would you feel if you were one of the investors?

Poor, sensitive Roger? Let me remind you once again that Simon telephoned me when I first criticized the Pajamas offer that was emailed to me. He bullied me in the most unbelievably patronizing tone of voice, then, when I tried to express how I felt about blogging, said "Nice to talk to you" and hung up on me. He totally did not impress me as a sensitive sort of person, though he is playing that role in that post of his. I'm sure he feels terrible about his project. But the notion that bloggers shouldn't criticize it, when they had a flashy launch party is beyond absurd.

And now we should hold back to spare Roger's feelings? Should we have worried about hurting Dan Rather's feelings too?

Meade said...

I did worry about Dan Rather's feelings.


Still do.

XWL said...

New entry for the non-contest contest:

"This time it's personal" -XWL

(how many movie sequels used that line?)

Guess the good Prof. didn't like the previous quote, oh well.

It's early yet, hopefully the OSM crowd will prove agile and realize they aren't a substitute MSM, just a collection of observers many of whom make good points from time to time.

As they ramp up maybe they will become the counter to AP that they hope to be, but the transition will be painful or laughable if they pretend to be that already while they are still far from the prize.

(like watching a 4 year old pretending to be a pop-star, cute if you are already attached to the kid, painful or laughable otherwise)

Aaron said...

ProfA: Are you really miffed about being hustled off the phone by someone from Hollywood? Welcome to my world. I work for a studio and it is a whole other type of telephonic life out here. It doesn't say much for his sales skills but I expect he had a list of folks he was banging through to try and make some sales. Maybe a soft sales approach might have worked on you but you see: time = money (how is that for patronizing!).

He isn't going to revamp his product concept that he has already sold to dozens of other bloggers many of whom have higher traffic than you in order to make one sale with you. So, you were wasting his time by talking about what blogging means to you. He should have gotten off the phone without pissing you off. If he wanted to see if a quick phone call could change your mind it doesn't necessarily make him a jerk or insensitive. Maybe he was a jerk on the phone but maybe he just had different priorities for his time and a different understanding of the purpose of the phone call. He seems like he knew in a few minutes what your position was. Or- he is just a prick.

The idea that he should have tried to tinker with his business plan to accommodate you is a recipe for disaster. Unless everyone was telling him the same things you were and he couldn't close enough deals to get the thing launched change seems like it would be pointless. Should he change his plan for you? And then when he calls Eduwonk who wants another concept change come back to you with yet another concept and so on and so on.

A good majority of my friends are in academia and I shudder to think what it would be like trying to do business with them - at least until they got a bit out of the consensus, decision by committee, we have time to be thoughtful about irrelevancies to the issue at hand mode their jobs have inculcated with them. I'm sorry if this seems harsh - and maybe you have large amounts of unknown business experience I haven't heard you mention but it seems like a culture clash happened. Did you think he wasn’t making a decent business call? Or, was it a bad discussion about how you feel about blogging.

I will say he seems to have done a sucky job of explaining what OSM is doing and how they are going to crush all similar businesses in their way. Their "about us" statement is touchie-feelie and uninformative. Did he discuss with you what he thought his market was, what his company was going to do to capitalize on which opportunities? The best thing I have heard describing their plan is on NRO - they describe a distributed newspaper/cable news type of organization without the same overhead. That could make a bundle if he really can keep his costs way down while getting strong amounts of worthwhile content from "citizen journalists" across the globe. They obviously are already starting with an impressive editorial section.

The whole name thing seems like a distraction or a PUBLICITY STUNT

DennisThePeasant said...

Personally, I liked the part where he suggested I (that post was directed to me) was making the internet unsafe for his daughter.

At least he didn't mention the fact that I shot his dog two days ago...

Ann Althouse said...

Aaron: "ProfA: Are you really miffed about being hustled off the phone by someone from Hollywood?"

No, I'm not miffed. I'm just capable of keeping track of the evidence of what sort of a person I am dealing with. He excluded the information that did not fit with his plan. He was naive enough to imagine that others would fit into his plan and had no independent agency. He had no sense of whom he was talking to. I'll bet he didn't know I was a 54-year-old law professor. I'll bet he thought I was a young woman who could be intimidated. I saw what sort of person he was and how he thought about himself. He didn't think it would be noticed. His little poor-me routine now is quite something.

"...So, you were wasting his time by talking about what blogging means to you. He should have gotten off the phone without pissing you off. If he wanted to see if a quick phone call could change your mind it doesn't necessarily make him a jerk or insensitive."

He had the beginning of an idea, but it didn't take into account that I might actually be an individual with ideas of my own. When his original conception of the phone call didn't happen, he had nothing. He was at the end of his rope. Kind of like he is right now with his I-am-Judith-Miller whimper.

""The idea that he should have tried to tinker with his business plan to accommodate you is a recipe for disaster. Unless everyone was telling him the same things you were and he couldn't close enough deals to get the thing launched change seems like it would be pointless. Should he change his plan for you? And then when he calls Eduwonk who wants another concept change come back to you with yet another concept and so on and so on."

Oh, Aaron, don't you think right now he wishes he'd at least been polite? This is a man without resources, with one idea and an inflated head about how well it would work, and then, when things didn't go as planned, he had nothing. He just begged for mercy. On me, he hung up. But he can't hang up on the dogged world that keeps looking at his godawful website.

But we were toasting ourselves at the Rainbow Room! And now, I'm hungover and tired. Please, leave me alone.

Again and again, I think: how does this look to the investors who gave them $3.5 million?

tiggeril said...

The saddest thing about this is seeing professional adults participating in the kind of dramabombs I used to only see on LiveJournal.

I expected better from the likes of Johnson and Simon. More fool me.

reader_iam said...

"Gee, it's tough being a citizenjournalistbusinesspersonprophet. Whyever didn't I see that it would be this cotton-pickin' hard?

And "why-is-everybody-always-pickin' on me"? (First time I've thought of THAT song in a long time.)

I've really been agnostic to apathetic about the whole OSM thing since I literally have zero dog in this hunt and have, in fact, never bought into the whole citizen-journalist thing AS such to begin with. (But then, I don't think the so-called MSM is such a lockstepping monolith either, assuming you acknowledge the ENTIRE universe that it actually encompasses).

And while I love bloggers and think they are a TREMENDOUSLY valuable and important addition to the mix, I've never bought into the idea that they, either independently or as a consortium, could or--more important--should replace more traditional forms of journalism, however flawed.

But all that said, this really has been a pathetic display, so much so that, I'm annoyed to say, I've rather been forced to pay closer attention than I wanted to.

WHAT a fizzytwizit! Talk about one's *** hangin' in the breeze, white and goosebumpy for all to see.

Elizabeth said...

First Roger Simon cries "no more!' to the rough tone that he and plenty of the OSM bloggers have perpetuated, then one of the comments on his site says "But when Bush-hate erupted into the open it was the end of the illusion of civil discourse."

Are these people nuts? Have they ever listened to Rush Limbaugh? Were they asleep for the entire Clinton presidency? Civil discourse ended a looong time ago, and they've been happy to ride the wave. Their sincerity is very much in doubt.

Guesst said...

According to Dennis the Peasant, Simon was offended because DtP wasn't gracious about being screwed. According to Ann, he bullied her and insulted her, then dismissed her. Now he's Mr. Judy Miller, playing the kid-card by using his daughter as a flame shield and sympathy generator to compel readers to ease up and stop writing mean things about his CEOness that Miss Simon might stumble across inadvertantly.

I am surprised at how shameless he has turned out to be. Playing the kid-card should be way down on the list of last-ditch efforts.

playah grrl said...

Well, playing the kid card is certainly more understandable than PLAYING THE SEX CARD.

Coming soon to a blogtheater near you--
Ann AltHouse in POKEMON CHALLENGE!!!

sorry this taking so long, but i'm having to draw my own Pokemon cards.
;-)

Niko said...

I have a couple of questions regarding OSM.org. Actually, consider it food for thought, as I doubt anyone of the OSM.org mavens would take some time to address these.

(1) Why is there a separate "Errors and Corrections" page that runs these "corrections", but doesn't link back to the original articles?

(2) Why is there stealth-editing of those incorrect articles?

(3) Why is the wife of Ed Driscoll, OSM.org blogger and affiliate, namely Nina Yablok, being the "designated copyright agent" of OSM.org?

(4) Why is Nina Yablok being listed only as the "designated copyright agent" whereas in actual fact she also represents the OSM.org venture in general, including, but not limited to, administrative tasks related to the disputed domain name osm.org?

(5) Do the investors know of these connections?

(6) Why does the "Terms of Use Agreement" page read, "You may not reproduce, distribute, copy, publish, enter into any database, display, modify, create derivative works, transmit, or in any way exploit any part of this site"?

(7) Why does the OSM.org website use the open-source and free (as in beer) software Plone (plone.org) without providing any atribution notice, whereas the original template files of the Plone software upon which the final design is based explicitly ask for keeping those?

(8) Did the open-source project Plone receive any donations from OSM.org so far, for instance, from the sizable sum OSM.org collected from investors?

(9) Why does the OSM.org ad-server, and affiliated ad-servers, place cookies on the visitors' computers that are being identified as tracker cookies by various anti-spyware software because those cookies allow tracking of visitors even on non-OSM.org related websites?

(10) Why does OSM.org run stories provided by Chinese propaganda organ Xinhua News Agency (http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=15172)?

Niko said...

Oh, and by the way - there is already a movement that aims at providing a solid legal base for publishing open-source content. For details see:

http://creativecommons.org/

Icepick said...

playah grrl said...
certainly i don't expect a retraction on your scurrilous speculations, but could we at least leave off the whining about how it really is trademark infringement until RadioOpenSource weighs in?
And that goes for you too, Steven-kun.


10:53 AM, November 17, 2005

PG, RadioOpenSoure has weighed in, basically calling "bullshit" on the PJM claims about the origin of the name OSM(tm). The ORIGINAL Open Source Media, Inc has published and linked to a great deal of supporting evidence showing quite clearly that PJM is acting in at best a confused and haphazard manner, and at worst in an Orwellian and decietful manner.

Now that we see that it is Roger L. Simon and Charles Johnson that are in the wrong, care to rethink your support of their position? Or are the facts even relevant to you?

playah grrl said...

I'm cool with that.
Dontcha think that this is their business now? They're all big boyz, they can work it out.
The trademark issue is the only part of this argument that has any legs, IMHO.

But Ann lost me when she played the sex card. Nothing she says has any validity whatsoever with me now.
how I really feel.

Jacques Cuze said...

Is there anything the OSM offers that the Command Post didn't already have as of April, 2003? Apart from the ad network, CP offered a world wide network of bloggers, cross posting, and editing the main page of CP.

All w/o requiring $4M.

I suspect this really is pissing off the CP founders. It should be.

The question then, is how long until CP offers their own ad network as well?

Ann, you should speak to the CP folks and help them design an ad network that takes the best features of blogads (and OSM if there are any best features to be had there....)

Also, does anyone know of:

A) Death Pool for OSM?
B) A pool for when Roger posts a link to OSM from his blog's front page?
C) Death pool to pick when and who the first OSM dropout will be?

john marzan said...

Ann, there's a way to let the readers go directly to this comment permalink link of yours.

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2005/11/theyre-acting-like-cbs-did-last-year.html#113236012633002480

just add the letter "c" before the pound sign and the number combination like this.

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2005/11/theyre-acting-like-cbs-did-last-year.html#c113236012633002480

see the bolded "c"? now readers can go directly to your comments. neat no?

(and something that blogger.com should fix in the future, so bloggers don't have to add the "c" themselves.)

DennisThePeasant said...

Roger's wife went crazy over the 'killing the dog' joke over at RLS and at my place.

After 'semen and pus', I thought it was pretty safe to use a joke like that here.

Learn something new every day.

playah grrl said...

Jesus Mary and Joseph, now you are going to drag Mrs. Simon into it?
You people disgust me.

tiggeril said...

If Mrs. Simon was commenting on the kerfuffle, she wasn't dragged into anything.

Mr. Spock said...

Oh BRO-THER

Playahgirrrll why don't you take a powder and send Iron Fist over instead

At least he is amusing

or how about that "nuke mecca" guy

he was a hoot too

But I must say that speaking of "culture clashes" Johnson has been listening to you idiots for too long

the whole bunker mentality, only listen to sycophants and encourage an inflated opinion of yourself until you lose touch with reality

The lizardoids who mindlessly cheer him on every time he picks his nose

and attack established libertarian and conservative scholars as "moonbats" or "LLLs" every time they make an argument that is over your heads

You people are morons

Charles' tactic of siccing you retards on KOS has made him lazy and foolish

Maybe its a good tactic when attacking the likes of Kathryn Cramer or Matthew Yglesias but you see playagrrrrllll that this is a *product rollout*

and for him to sic you tards on someone like Ann in the middle of product rollout makes for lousy PR

and is a grievous embarassment to his investors who must need a serenity prayer of their own by this point

everytime one of you idiot lizardoids opens your traps you just poison the well even further

You think OSM can survive the kind of negative buzz it has generated already?

we'll see

Meantime I am really am laughing my ass off about this whole thing

but every time i start to feel sorry for Johnson I remember his "Idiotarian of the Year" award for Rachel Corrie

when he was practically inviting his peanut gallery to piss on her grave

and so

Treat others the way you would be treated

and now Johnson is finding out exactly how that works

Aaron said...

Hey ProfA - a few questions/comments:

You said "He excluded the information that did not fit with his plan." What information are you talking about? Information about the marketplace, blogging, what?

"He was naive enough to imagine that others would fit into his plan and had no independent agency." Umm, others have fit into his plan. They raised 3.5 milion dollars and just had a big party at the rainbow room. How is that naive? What is an independent agency?

"He had no sense of whom he was talking to. I'll bet he didn't know I was a 54-year-old law professor. I'll bet he thought I was a young woman who could be intimidated. I saw what sort of person he was and how he thought about himself. He didn't think it would be noticed. His little poor-me routine now is quite something." What the hell did he say to you on this phonecall that was so overbearing, patronizing and rude - you make it sound like you knew from what sounds like a brief call that he is a jerk. What did he say? Was he like, "Hey little lady stop asking me so many questions and sign the damned papers - you 23 year old easily intimidated non-lawyer?"

"He had the beginning of an idea, but it didn't take into account that I might actually be an individual with ideas of my own. When his original conception of the phone call didn't happen, he had nothing. He was at the end of his rope." Well - he had a business proposal that you were not interested in - the fact that he wasn't willing to accomodate whatever issues you had about the proposal does not deny you your individuality. You make it sound like it was creative differences not business problems. Once again I have to say that especially if he already has signed other folks into a certain deal he really wouldn't be able to make many accomodations for others. You are a lawyer and know better than most how contracts have to mesh with each other. Just to get the legal work on something like he is trying to do established is expensive and time consuming. He certanly would have to have a very compelling reason to alter the deal he is offering. Were the suggestions or issues you raised something worth getting all his legal work re-done, abrogating whatever deals he had signed with other bloggers and starting over from scratch (knowing that now everyone would have their two cents to put in)?

If he really had no idea who you were then he is a poor salesman. One wonders why they didn't have Glenn Reynolds who obviously is familiar with your work contact you. (I'll file that fact away as possible evidence that you are telling lies to continue a possible PUBLICITY STUNT)

Ann Althouse said...

Aaron: I'm describing a phone call Simon made to me. I had blogged about how I didn't think Pajamas made a good offer. He chose to call me, bully me, refuse to listen to me, and hang up on me. So your point that I could take or leave a fixed offer is irrelevant. Understand the context. I'd already rejected the offer and he called me because he didn't want me to say anything negative about Pajamas. But I'm a blogger. Why shouldn't I say what I think? Then he treated me badly in the phone call. How dumb is that? It caused me to write a much more detailed post analyzing the offer.

And "independent agency" isn't a place, it's a quality. It means that individuals act on their own and can't be controlled. I had independent agency in the sense that Roger couldn't control what I wrote, how I responded to the offer, or how I responded to the phone call. He didn't seem to understand the first thing about human behavior. You'd think a novelist would understand such things. But I guess mystery novels....

David N. Scott said...

Hey, I did that comparison hours and hours ago, tho it was with the original corrected overlaid vs. the weird error message now given. So I get half credit. Woot!

playah grrl said...

tiggeril
that would have been fine if she was commenting as Mrs. Simon. it is my understanding that she used initials to disguise her identity.
You coulda been wallin' on SJ or SL all you liked, but not on Mrs. Simon or Roger's wife unless she claimed it.
and you think the comments at LGF are a swamp?
this place reeks. i'm goin' back to LGF so i can breathe.

Palladian said...

This is the, what, second time you've announced your impending departure, playagrrrrrrl?

Why don't you make good on your word this time.

tefta said...

Over at Roger L. Simon scroll down to Charlie (Colorado)'s snide remark about Ann and hormone replacement therapy.

playah grrl said...

Ann just blocked my comment from appearing on the front page on another post--guess she doesn't want people seeing baldilocks take on it.
She stabbed me and MY sisters in the back with that sex card crap. I'll leave her alone when she apolos.
palladian, do you have a dog in this fight? don't think you're a grrl. ;-)

playah grrl said...

and if you think that's snide, just wait 'till i get my nex mock up.
;-)

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann just blocked my comment"-- what are you talking about? I don't even know what that means, let alone how to do it.

Anyway, I read Baldilock's post and left a comment over there. She, like our new troll, is misreading my "Can I get a feminist?" post.

reader_iam said...

I'll leave her alone when she apolos.

Apologizes? I bet that'll be a cold day in hell--at least I jolly well hope so.

DennisThePeasant said...

Play Grrl-

Sheryl Longin, aka Roger's wife, commented on my obvious insanity at my site using her full name. I recognized the name because I've met her personally. In fact, she was the one who informed me that she commented on Roger's site as "SJ".

Richard Bennett was the one who actually caught the comments and let me know about it. He also knew that Sheryl commented as "SJ", although I don't know how. He has posted about it on his blog.

I didn't drag Sheryl Longin into anything. She started making a big deal and the 'shot the dog' joke I left on this thread, then about my being anonymous... and then that 'someone' should out me. I simply made note of what she was saying and outed myself on my own site. Evidently she had me confused with Valarie Flame (spending too much time with Judy Miller?).

I'm really not doing a whole lot of work in all this... they're hanging themselves. I'm just enjoying it all in my own special way.

Note: The last telephone conversation I had with Roger, which was back in August, featured a discussion about Ann's comments on her blog. I can basically confirm Ann's version of their telephone call, because Roger confirmed it to me when I asked him about it.

Nancy said...

Hey Anne! I hope you're back soon, and I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving