December 6, 2005

"I was under the impression that these people... generally understood what this thing called 'blog' was all about."

"Clearly, I was wrong."

35 comments:

Lars said...

If PJMedia wants to do a Conservo group blog, they are late to the party. NRO's Corner is hard to beat except it could add comments.

DEC said...

Ann, maybe it's time for you to start your own new company to compete against Pajamas Media. You can call the new venture "Thong Panties Media."

reader_iam said...

Wow.

No, damnit, YIKES!!!!!

Re: "[T]he site's own personalized "fair use" policy" (as quoted from the BlogCritics post to which you linked).

Well. My. Aren't we twee? (Sarcasm alert.)

Not to mention overweening. (Serious alert.)

And even fin-de-siecle hubristic mania (only not tongue-in-cheek.

What do these people think they are, TimesSelect without the firewall????

(Brought you from about a location 100 miles from Peoria. And the speed limit most of the way is 65.)

reader_iam said...

Missing a ")" after "cheek"

AJ Lynch said...

Did not know much about the who's and why's of PJM til yesterday. And I looked at their website- thought it looked like Arianna's a little. Then looked at their editorial board and thought they all were kinda ancient (you know around my age) and mostly writers. Whatsup with that? Did not knoiw too many of the board but have seen Jane Hall from FN Watch and think she is a little too unrandom to "get" the blogosphere. Lastly, Who the hell goes to a blog to get "gravitas"...irreverence with a tad of certainty is what we want. Am I right?

reader_iam said...

You can note the rest of the typos for yourselves.

(And who do I think I am??? : ( )

Pooh said...

"Reading the site, the feeling in the room was one of people who had just discovered blogs and perhaps writing the week before."

Damn (or, per RIA, YIKES)...And they thought YOU were harsh (and perhaps unhinged).

Here's another question, how does PJM provide any 'synergy' when you can't even tell that a blog you are viewing is a member/contributor/pawn-of-the-new-media-empire? I ask because I thought I didn't regularly visit any PJM sites. But then I realised that Volokh, Dan Drezner and others are members (are they not?) yet nowhere on those sites is there even a hit of membership, let alone cross-promotion.

erp said...

I might be overcome with the desire to copy some brilliant Pajamas insight and email it around the world, so to save myself some jail time, it's best I stay away from the PJM site completely.

I'm also pretty stunned that Kofi is smiling down from the top of the Instapundit PJM ad what with Claudia Rosset being fellow board member and her writing all those articles about Kofi and oil for money and Roger L. Simon heaping hosannas on her head about nailing the Kofi man.

Yet inexplicitly, there's his picture smiling, not being led to jail in leg irons?

I said at one time that I was afraid subtle pressure might be applied to bloggers to conform to standard demanded by advertisers. Perhaps I was being too understated.

reader_iam said...

Yeah, that Kofi thing is odd.

I do want to note again that PJM does have some truly talented journalists affiliated with it, Rosett being on the top of my personal list.

Ann Althouse said...

"I might be overcome with the desire to copy some brilliant Pajamas insight and email it around the world, so to save myself some jail time, it's best I stay away from the PJM site completely."

Why should bloggers read things they can't blog about? Why should bloggers support bloggers who try to stop up blogging?

Up until now, the main reason to go back to the Pajamas website is to check to see if it's still so bad. I don't do that anymore, because I don't don't want to inflate their traffic.

The main thing that will cause me to go there will be if Instapundit does a blind link that goes there, and my desire to avoid to going there is, at this point, so great that I resist clicking on blind Instapundit links. And every time I see non-blind links over there, I hesitate and think about whether the blogger is a Pajamas insider. So visiting Instapundit just isn't the experience it once was. And the sidebar there is now much wider. What's with that? The change in the width of the text feels so sad to me, so end-of-an-era.

Ann Althouse said...

" ... I don't don't want to inflate their traffic."

I guess I am rather passionate about this! I care about what this thing called "blog" is all about.

DEC said...

Instapundit's editorial links to Pajamas Media annoy me. Do they result from editorial judgment or financial interest? I suspect financial interest. That damages Instapundit's credibility in my eyes.

jim said...

You can call the new venture "Thong Panties Media."

Or, Negligee News. Where we really believe in transparency, unlike that flannel and non-disclosure/copyright everything Jammies-with-feet outfit.

What's with this? "Additionally all of the weblogs linked to by us are likewise protected. You must abide by all additional copyright notices or restrictions contained on this site and our linked weblogs." Does this mean we can't cite passages from PJM member blogs in our comments elsewhere, unless we contact the org.osm Sales Department? Pretty unbelievable. What's with the sell-out bloggers who signed up knowing about this?

Solution. Quit reading them. They can keep their uber-protected words all to themselves

DEC said...
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Harkonnendog said...

Holy

Crap.

To be honest, Ann, I sort of thought you were looking to up your hit count by creating some controversy until I read the site's "fair use" policy...

What a bunch of dicks.

The bloggers who signed on to this thing must feel awful. I mean the naivete- the disparity between the members and the Pajamas Media... It is like a bunch of punk rockers agreed to write for Hallmark or Disney or something.

These bloggers are more talented than MSM writers and editors. I always wondered why they weren't already MSM stars. The fact that they joined this idiotic OSM group makes me wonder if they're lemmings who made it despite themselves.

Coyote Blue reference- the lemmings, btw.

jim said...

DEC,

Since you asked about PJM linking, this is how Bill Quick sees it in a comment he made over at Hog on Ice:

"...The business of PJM is business, that is, making money for us, the contributors. Sorry that just drives some people bonkers, but there it is. One way to do that is to increase our collective page views as a group - which means that ways to encourage readers of one blog to click on links to other PJM blogs will increase the overall hit count. If we could raise every PJM blog to Instapundit readership levels, we'd have a huge profit powerhouse."

DEC said...

Thanks for the info, Jim.

I read blogs for opinions. If I think the opinions were bought, directly or indirectly, I stop reading. In fairness, a certain amount of self-promotion is reasonable. But editorial links every day to your own business interests damages your editorial credibility. And you lose readers. It is bad business. And it is bad journalism.

Ann Althouse said...

Harkennodog: "To be honest, Ann, I sort of thought you were looking to up your hit count by creating some controversy..."

If you think criticizing Instapundit was thought up as a strategy for me to get more traffic, you weren't paying attention to how many Instapundit links I was getting before PJM launched!

"These bloggers are more talented than MSM writers and editors. I always wondered why they weren't already MSM stars. The fact that they joined this idiotic OSM group makes me wonder if they're lemmings who made it despite themselves."

Part of being a good writer is thinking straight and having good judgment. Maybe some of these people really needed the money. Others obviously didn't. When I read the offer, I had so many problems with it, I couldn't imagine signing on. I really wonder about the people who bought into it.

reader_iam said...

Dec:

You make an excellent point. Do you think there was market research to determine what the reaction of people like you would be? I'm now beginning to doubt it.

As it happens, I've no problem with businesses, even media ones, making bucks. If that's ALL they were trying to do--up the bucks for bloggers as bloggers, rather than set up any and every blogger up as as a would-be journalist--more power to them.

But what you point to is one of the BIG reasons I've been so skeptical of the concept of "citizenjournalism" (I always squish those together--on purpose, and it's supposed to sound a bit nonplussed and skeptical) since that phrase started being bandied about. It's that part to which I object, because I think it's actually dangerous.

(On the other hand, bloggers of almost all stripes acting as a counterpoint and balance to existing journalism--now THAT's a wonderful thing--and, ironically, one of the best things that could ever have happened even to journalism, in my opinion.)

I wouldn't bother picking on PJM/OSM per se, (which I've mostly steered clear of criticizing directly) except that they're the ones who seem to be touting that rather hollow phrase--"citizenjournalism"--most aggressively.

Among other things (many very practical, a lot having to do with my deep love of journalism--warts and all--and a darn good understanding of what it actually entails to do it decently), I don't actually believe that "journalism," much less the best kind, is something that just everyone can do. It's like those who think that because they speak English, they can write. Or because they can use a computer and even write a macro or two, they're programmers.

Pfooey!

Finally, isn't it the ultimate irony--an outrage, really--that the very people who, as the original Pajama Bloggers, were able to lift and quote material from the dreaded (gasp! choke!)"MSM", thereby making doing some great public service but also making a name for themselves, now forbid the same access for others? (Hell, even the MSM did better than that.)

And because--what? Their work is above needing the counterpoint, the balance, that they say the MSM needs?

"Citizenjournalists," heal thyself.

DEC said...

Reader_iam, I have no idea about PJM's marketing research. But I do know that media companies usually take a long time to reach profitability. Time, with all of the power of Time and Fortune magazines, lost money on Sports Illustrated for 10 years before the publication turned a profit.

And look at the financial history of most of the New York City daily newspapers over the decades. Many went out of business when they had large numbers of readers.

Will the Internet be different? I doubt it. Newspapers are on the Web and a number of big ones are laying off employees, not hiring them.

Harkonnendog said...

Ann,

"If you think criticizing Instapundit was thought up as a strategy for me to get more traffic, you weren't paying attention to how many Instapundit links I was getting before PJM launched!"

No no, I'm well aware that the Instapundit linked to you a lot before this PJM stuff. That's how I found you! I was thinking of the little drama between you and LGF and Protein Wisdom- I imagine there was a lot of clicking back and forth between your site and theirs and attendant hits... Pissing off the blog father to INCREASE your hits- crazy idea.

If anything, I dig the fact that you didn't join in with all these heavy hitters, even though, had the thing worked, it meant you could have coasted a bit and retain your visitor count.

Ann Althouse said...

It's not fun getting that kind of traffic. I had a lot of antagonistic people here for a week or so. Really nasty stuff. I don't blog for that sort of thing. It's not just the quantity of visitors. It's the quality.

PatCA said...

Why would anyone join? I did because my blog was new and I thought I could make some income. Actually, though, I'm not that interested in continuing with it--interferes with my writing and it's too much like business--so I dropped out. Didn't seem to be worth the trouble.

It's a business venture, not a blogging venture, and I hope they all make lots of money. It does mark a watershed moment for blogs, though. I hope the original spirit survives. The corporatizing has a chilling effect, as others have said, and the blogosphere will change one way or the other. Those bloggers are no longer cool fierce lone wolves; they're media honchos. OSM is not bad journalism; it's plain old journalism, the good and the bad together.

Finn Kristiansen said...

A parable:

Once the moon complained that the stars were getting together into constellations and attracting attention, and the moon did not like this. She knew that the best way for the stars to appear and be seen, was independent of each other. "Such is the true spirit of the stars!" she said to the many moons she hung with, who all nodded in agreement.

The moon looked, and could not make heads or tales of the shapes. "I see no Orion, no Libra, and certainly no Perseus." Why be in a group and have such a name, if one does not look any different together than when alone?

The moon wanted the stars to stand in better formation, to demonstrate a clearer connection. But when they began to do just that, and to link, the very next day she said, "Oh, the spacing is so unpleasant, it would be better if you did not show such closeness"

"It is the end of an era," said the Moon, sighing out of true concern.

"Nonsense," said the Sun, who was sitting reading the New York Times.

"Why fret over the comings and goings of the stars, and mock their dependence, or flutter over their loss of independence, when you sit here at my tit, sucking on my light and passing it off to the world? We are all dependent on something. We are all attached to this, or that. Now here, take my NY Times, as you usually do, and go be creative".

"And one more thing...remember there is no causal connection between showing your light, and having sound judgment. Such is laughable, so mistake not talent for wisdom."

jim said...

All bloggers are created equal, some are more equal than others. Sortapundit is reminded of Animal Farm.

erp said...

The blogosphere is important to me as a vehicle for sharing information with those who have expertise and entree to sources the average reader like myself can't access and also engaging in some amusing give and take with other like minded folks who know how to comment without being nasty or using profanity even if they disagree on an issue.

This blog is an example of a place I feel comfortable visiting and putting in my two cents. I look forward to reading, not only Ann's take on an issue, but what her readers think about it too. Ann's blog is highly personal. She comments on things that interest her and invites us to comment back.

This is far different from the Instapundit blog. Reynolds links to interesting items but rarely voices an opinion other than his patented "heh." Now like many of you, I cringe when I see those frequent links to fellow Pajamazonians who had previously enjoyed only the rarest link and then not always positive. Blind links to the mothership are suspect, so even though the Instapundit is still on my First Reads list, I'm beginning to feel a tug of resistance. It will be interesting if, after an initial surge in hits, the numbers start going the other way.

The money aspect: I'm a free market conservative and have no objection to anyone marketing themselves or their products and raking in as much of the filthy lucre as possible. The only issue that concerns me about a PJM affiliation is that in order to maximize their profits and to appeal to high paying advertisers, bloggers may need to shift their political position and that may have a negative impact on the elections of '06 and '08 which I think are, not to be too overly hyperbolic, vital to our future security and that of the entire planet.

Should the left become the majority again and a Democrat be installed in the White House, even one temporarily wearing a conservative cloak like Lieberman, we would resume our foreign policy of appeasement and deference to the UN. The exact policies that led to 9/11 and the enormously expanded role of Islamoterrorism round the globe.

jakemanjack said...

"Blog free of die" eh?
I read numerous blogs – some are part of Pajamas Media – some are not. It is clear that not a single one of the blogs that are a part of PJM have changed their content. They still blog with the same style, panache, bite and conviction they have always had. (like them or not/agree with them or not) I don't understand how combining forces somehow changes the integrity or subject matter at individual blogs? It doesn't.

Seems like the standard imaginary grievances among those who constantly criticize PJM is that those on board PJM must obviously give up their autonomy as bloggers. I see zero evidence of this. So then the critics say that the PJMers must/should therefore censor their content. I see no evidence of that either.

Harkonnendog said...

jakemanjack, all the OSM posts I've read are not written in the same style as blogger posts. They sound more like newspaper articles.

And the format at Pajamas media is also more like an online newspaper then a blog.

And look at the original name- Open Source Media- instead of Pajamas media-

So you basically have a new technology- a new format- trying to become more like an older technology and format. But the reason the new format has been successful, in the first place, is because it is different.

Maybe you and I just read blogs for different reasons.

DEC said...

Erp wrote: "Reynolds links to interesting items but rarely voices an opinion other than his patented 'heh.'"

Actually, Instapundit's links are opinions. Linking says, "In my opinion, you should look at this."

erp said...

DEC, Are you trying to be argumentative, or do you have a point?

Reynolds' links mean he finds something what? Interesting, odd, right, wrong, amusing, startling, titillating? He mostly doesn't tell us. That's his style and it's worked wonders for him which is why it's all the more noteworthy when he does have a strong opinion on something.

DEC said...
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DEC said...
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DEC said...

Erp, my comment goes back to my statement earlier that I read blogs for opinions. And I mentioned Instapundit.

I am busy during my work days. I trust my employees to bring only important things to my attention. I trust their opinions as to what is important.

Similarly, since I don't have time to read a lot of stuff on the Web, I trust Instapundit to tell me what is important and interesting on blogs. I respect Glenn's opinions on the matter.

But when he links to PJM nearly every day, I feel I no longer can trust his opinions about what I should read. To me, Instapundit is starting to look like a company newsletter for PJM, not a reliable source of objective information.

With respect to your question about whether something is interesting, startling, etc. on Instapundit, I can tell by the context. I have knowledge about Glenn's previously expressed views, and I have no problem understanding subtlety.

erp said...

DEC - I think we're on the same page here.

Ann Althouse said...

"Reynolds' links mean he finds something what? Interesting, odd, right, wrong, amusing, startling, titillating? He mostly doesn't tell us. That's his style and it's worked wonders for him which is why it's all the more noteworthy when he does have a strong opinion on something."

I think it mostly means that he's culled through he's email, taking a look at the first line, as it is displayed in gmail, with the purpose of picking out a few things to link to keep up the regular flow of posts his visitors have come to expect. I've seen the Instapundit gmail, as I've guest-blogged there twice. When it was my job to find things to link to, I think I resisted a lot of things he'd link to. Often when I'm just working on my own blog, I notice he's linking to things that I also got in my own email, that I didn't link to, because it didn't match up with things I'm interested and I didn't feel I had anything of my own to add. I think his style involves a lot of awareness of how much traffic he has and a sense of the value of his link to other bloggers. Most other bloggers aren't going to do that. I don't think I've ever done a post that was just to say "X is writing about Y." But he has valid reasons for doing that. Of course, if he does it now for the benefit of Pajamas insiders, it's just not going to feel the same!