I don’t wear PJs

I never fully understood what Pajamas Media wanted to be and I understand it even less now that they are holding a gala, four-and-a-half-hour intro in New York at the Rainbow Room on Nov. 16 with Judy Miller as their keynote. Judy Miller? Judy Miller!

Pajamas, as I understand it, wanted to be an ad network. I don’t see huge advertiser demand for a bunch of mostly conservative political bloggers. At one time, they wanted to be some sort of syndicate but I said nobody would buy content. It seems they now want to be some sort of blog central thing — antimatter to the Huffingtonpost‘s matter, I suppose — but the difference is that most of her people don’t blog while most of these people already do blog so I don’t know why I need to see a collection of them. And they keep saying they’re going to change their name but they have their gala introduction still using the silly name they have. The invite to the gala intro I just got says:

On November 16th, 2005 Pajamas Media will launch a new publishing medium that brings together some of the top online influencers and personalities, under one banner, to help evolve and expand journalism. In essence, this new media company will create a network hub for bloggers around the world in what will be one of the world’s first online forums for citizen journalism and commentary.

I thought all that was what we call blogs.

I like lots of the guys involved. But I’m sorry, guys, I still don’t get it. And I especially don’t launching under Judy Miller’s name.

  • http://bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    Indeed.

  • Duneview

    I don’t get it either.

    No, not Pajamas Media – that I presume is a bunch o’ bloggers trying to package themselves for easy advertising consumption.

    What I don’t get is how you can lecture the Online News Association for “pissing on each other” here, while you wizz away at fellow bloggers.

    That you don’t see a market for conservative political bloggers tells me you haven’t glanced at the New York Times bestseller list for a while.

  • http://bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    Duneview, I don’t think Jeff’s saying that as much as he’s saying that nobody can keep track of PJ Media’s reincarnations. It does seem, based on a recent interview, that PJ now seeks to become a sort of “Huffington Post for Ugly People”. This isn’t an unreasonable plan, depending on how well it’s executed, but it’s a far cry from the advertising collective which was apparently the original plan. But nobody really knows where PJ is going at this point, so this is all so much speculation.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Richard: Right. I mean what I say:I don’t get it.

  • http://bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    Neither do I, which is why I asked Roger for some clarification earlier today.

  • T. Rorshac

    The key problem for them is that Huffington Post uses people, celebrities, notable names, that DO NOT already blog. That’s the key to its huge success. The Pajama People can’t compete with that.

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  • mistermark

    Dennis the Peasant (who apparently got pushed out of the PJ Media consortium, and may be better off for it) has had some commentary on this matter recently. You can scroll down at http://dennisthepeasant.typepad.com/ to read his comments.

  • http://keshertalk.com/ Yehudit

    I think it’s an uber-blogportal with common advertising. Like a BlogAds network only more illustrious and with more traffic. Or like Memorandum with ads and articles instead of links. I think.

    Also it isn’t just conservatives. Marc Cooper is on the board. There are a few other liberal names but I forget who they are, you’ll have to scroll through their profiles.

  • http://keshertalk.com/ Yehudit

    If James Wolcott sneers at it, it can’t be all bad. (And he mentions leftist pundit David Corn also being on the editorial board.)

  • http://www.realclearpolitics.com Al of Chicago

    Regardless of whether you think their content model makes any sense — the bottom line is advertisers crave reach. The more reach you can package, the better deals you can negotiate with the ad networks, and eventually you could even do deals directly with the advertisers. There is actually advantage to having disparate web sites, etc., because you want to ramp up your number of unique visitors and that will do that. I don’t really buy the content portal stuff but aggregating page views and uniques = good thing.

  • http://www.advicegoddess.com Amy Alkon

    Are there any reliable numbers (or any numbers) on what Blogads vs. Google Ads and any others bring in, dollarwise, for a blogger?

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  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    I like the idea of Pajamas. If it’s not too controlling about what they allow the bloggers to say, it might work. That is, if both sides of issues are featured and we’re left to make up our own mind. If they’re as one-sided as Huffingtons, it’ll be a waste of time. Maybe they’re going to be smart and take a more middle way, leaning conservative, but not taking it to an extreme where it’s all right-wing hogwash which is as tiresome as all left-wing hogwash.

    I don’t know what point they’re making with Judy Miller. Don’t care either.

  • kgregory

    Judith Miller? She’s going to talk about good journalism. So who are they bringing in to talk about skillful government? Michael Brown? It seems like they started with a good idea but it has degenerated into a mostly conservative collection of bloggers. But maybe Judith Miller will inspire them.

  • http://pekingduck.org richard

    I dunno…. Have you seen some of the stuff at LGF and Gates of Vienna? If I were an advertiser, I’d be very, very wary. I just wouldn’t want to be associated with blogs that advocate racism, even if its veiled and repackaged under the name of “patriotism.” All an advertiser needs is a burst of posts pointing out that they’re in bed (and in their pajamas) with rabidracists like the LGF commenters, and they’ll be running away fast. Kos screwed (no pun intended) up once and it hurt him badly, but he got over it fast because for all its faults, his blog isn’t rabidly opinionated or shockingly controversial – it’s mainstream liberal stuff. LGF and Gates of Vienna are paranoid, frightened, rumor-mongering cesspools representing a small, ugly sliver of America. As a PR person myself, I’d counsel all my clients to steer clear.

  • http://photodude.com/ Reid

    When Huffington Post was starting up, they claimed they’d have a range of voices from across the political spectrum. I recall similar claims from PJ Media. Ha. In the end, it appears there’s an effort to have one or two Token Others, but otherwise the sites lean the same direction their proprietors do.

    And Lord knows we need more partisan counterpoints on the web. And bigger ones, too. Collective ones. Because partisan bickering has been so helpful on the individual level, conglomorating it into group blogs will surely heal our nation.

    Ten years ago, it was a relatively select group that managed to profit from partisan politics. Beltway insiders on the left and right, lobbyists, media buyers, etc. Today, *you* can profit from politics! If you just sign up with the right ad-based blogplatoon… or the left one.

    And if you’re lucky … you’ll get bumped up on the schedule for your 15 Minutes of Fame. Just understand … the demand is so high now, we’re having to double up. You and someone else have to share your 15 minutes. It’s the only way to get through the long line.

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  • http://www.elflife.com/cgi-bin/txt.cgi/ Carson Fire

    I’m sick of seeing LGF described as “racist” for mostly reporting on the excesses of terrorists, terrorist sympathizers, and religious extremists. Condemning extremists for blowing up innocent civilians is “racist”? Noting that there are people who want to kill Jews and eliminate Israel is “racist”? Pointing out the absurdities of Muslims demanding that images of pigs be eliminated in otherwise free societies is “racist”?

    Oh, weak fallback argument: the “comments”, as if everything I say here reflects on Jeff Jarvis or should be taken into account by his advertisers.

    Meanwhile, the Daily Kos is one of the most immature sites out there, with posts full of hate, racism, lies, smears, half-truths, and the most childish obscenities. No problem there? It’s just the hate, racism, lies, smears, half-truths, and childish obscenities that you happen to agree with.

    Don’t forget, even extremist liberal pres candidate Kerry had to pull the Kos link from his site because of the “screw ‘em” outrage. Warning advertisers of the pitfalls of *right wing* opinion is laughable and tacitly anti-speech. You are offended by your political enemy’s opinion, so — you do not fight for his right to say it, you fight to convince potential sponsors that they don’t deserve the same support as people who agree with you.

    I think Al from Chicago may be right about Pajamas Media, although I’m not very well acquainted with their mission. The Huffington Post is just about celebrity; Kos is monolothic among moonbats; more independent voices need a network, especially for maximizing advertising dollars. My own network does the same thing with independent cartoonists, ranging from comics that have handfuls of readers to the tens of thousands. I probably couldn’t sell much advertising on my own, but thanks to my network, I get a check every so often for my feeble efforts.

  • http://punditdrome.com Scott Ferguson

    “I’m sick of seeing LGF described as “racist” for mostly reporting on the excesses of terrorists, terrorist sympathizers, and religious extremists.”

    Not racist, dude. Reflexively anti-Muslim. With repeated mocking references to Islam as “Religion of Peace” (or “RoP” in LGF shorthand), Charles Johnson provides a forum for expressing bigoted views of Islam that broad-brush all Muslims with the actions of terrorists.

    I can see why the soon-to-be-former Pajamas Media would want to keep him out of the spotlight. Advertisers have brands and goodwill to protect. Boycotts can cause damage to a brand that can take decades to undo, and can cost millions of dollars in lost revenue.

  • In Vino Veritas

    Word is, Stephen Glass will warm up the crowd while Jayson Blair leads a townhall format discussion after Miller. Janet Cooke is a definite maybe!

  • markg8

    Rumor has it Michael Ledeen will be leading a seminar on how to funnel advanced weapon systems to Iran and China for fun and profit too!

  • http://www.elflife.com/cgi-bin/txt.cgi/ Carson Fire

    Not racist, dude. Reflexively anti-Muslim. With repeated mocking references to Islam as “Religion of Peace” (or “RoP” in LGF shorthand), Charles Johnson provides a forum for expressing bigoted views of Islam that broad-brush all Muslims with the actions of terrorists.

    As opposed to sticking your head in the sand?

    The left openly mocks Catholicism and other religions for being hypocritical and sometimes just for being devout. Meanwhile, a newspaper is getting serious death threats because they invited cartoonists to draw Mohammed.

    LGF was one of the few outlets that kept to the Theo van Gogh story tenaciously. Muslims recently bombed Hindus — Hindus, who are neither “occupying” Iraq nor oppressing Muslims economically. LGF reminds us that Palestinian children continue to be indoctrinated in a culture of hate and violence that would be acceptable in no civilized society.

    These stories the press and the left in general would like to pretend are minor, incidental kinds of things. LGF reminds us that the problem is endemic. Accepting this obvious pattern is a reminder that we’ve been sticking our heads in the sand for decades, hoping that this would all just go away. Taking a hard look at what’s really happening, however, tends to justify a more proactive position on terrorism, which is why the left must do everything it can to obfuscate. Accusing Charles Johnson of bigotry because *muslims* want to wipe out whole peoples and religions is intellectual dishonest and plain creepy.

    If the Catholic Church today were engaging in inquisitions, tortures, and witch burnings, as in the past, it would be necessary to do the same to them. But it would be no more or less “racism”. It would be the correct response to a movement that is using religion irresponsibly to commit great evil.

  • http://huffandblow.com H&B

    The key problem for them is that Huffington Post uses people, celebrities, notable names

    The key thing about the HuffPost is that you can talk back to Alec Baldwin. Normally, you might think I’m being sarcastic, but I’m not. Alec posts something stupid, and you can leave the fourth comment to his inanity. Awesome, thanks Arianna.

  • http://dennisthepeasant.typepad.com DennisThePeasant

    Why worry about Charles Johnson and LGF when you have Marc Cooper, member of the Pajamas editorial board, publicly comparing the past and present Popes to Joseph Stalin and Lavrenty Beria?

    http://laweekly.com/ink/o5/22/dissonance-cooper.php

    In retrospect, Thank God I was cut out of that deal!

  • http://bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett
  • Iron Fist’s Cat

    Charles Johnson gives a fine, fine example of his “journalisiming skillz” today on LGF. He posts a horror story about an eight year old boy being punished for “stealing bread”. He reassures his readers that the pictures are “disturbing but not gory”.

    The pictures are of a beggar and a silly, dangerous and abusive stunt involving a boy having his arm “run over” by a truck.

    I don’t think the MSM has much to fear from Johnson and his ilk.

  • http://dennisthepeasant.typepad.com DennisThePeasant

    Thank you, Richard.

  • http://lesterblog.blogspot.com Jon Lester

    The conservative blogs I read are mostly covered by BlogAds, some for good rates, but BlogAds has gone invitation-only for new affiliates and other advertising outlets are welcome, although the people at Pajamas really ought to settle on something permanent.

    I wonder if they considered and then ruled out the name “Pajamahedin?”

  • http://anechoicroom.blogspot.com Elmo

    I don’t want to get philosophical on all yur raggedy asteroids. But this came to mind (below link). Signed, No Dog in the Fight. P.S. Great show today Dennis (applause).

    The little engine that could.

  • ed

    uh sure. check the stats.

  • Eileen

    “I don’t think the MSM has much to fear from Johnson and his ilk.”

    Aharharhar. More head in the sand wishful thinking. Amen to both your comments, Carsonfire.

    Iron Fist’s Cat should be so lucky as to attain that status. He/she is apparently afraid the cat’s being let out of the bag about Islam. Deal with it, IFC. The world is getting appropriately educated, with or without Western leftist/MSM efforts to pretend it is the Religion of Peace.

    Charles Johnson ‘and his ilk’ are doing a superb job of covering news that doesn’t happen to fit into the dying dinosaur, MSM’s game plan. Smart advertisers will flock there to reach the hundreds of thousands of daily LGF readers. Anyone who can garner literally THOUSANDS of comments on any one thread is getting it right. And I suspect the PJ crew, a fine collection of bloggers, will soon represent a force to be reckoned with by the MSM. None too soon. Smart advertisers take notice: the majority of the country is represented by LGF, NOT Kos. If I wished to advertise, I know where I’d put my money.

  • Eileen

    Let’s put it another way.

    If you were a betting person, who do you think is going to win the WOT, the U.S. and our allies or 7th century religious thugs? And if you were, again, a betting person, who do you think is going to prevail on a global scale in the war of political ideologies: socialists/Marxists/leftists/the MSM or free market capitalists/democracies?

    PJ is a group of influencial bloggers which also includes ‘their ilk/readers/commenters who *will* provide a formidable voice that the MSM should recognize, adopt and disseminate in terms of fair and balanced reporting. If, however, the MSM continues on it’s current suicidal propaganda approach, it does so only in aid of its own accelerated, dinosaurial demise.

    THAT is the point of PJMedia, in my view. Ad bucks be damned!; that is Not the reason for their collaboration.

    A few little issues like survival are at stake. I’ll take my chances with Charles over Ariana and her so-called expert ‘stars’ any day.

    [Questions: why does my above comment keep getting bumped down the line after other comments which didn’t exist before I last posted? And also, why does the program tell me to ‘slow down, cowboy and not post every 15 seconds’? My last comment was actually entered over an hour ago.]

  • thibaud

    Re LGF vs Kos, the likes of Citibank, BMW, Amex etc won’t be caught dead advertising on either site. Re. Kos, look at the Pepsico and its CFO’s “middle finger” affair. Pepsico and the CFO grovelled appropriately to legions of outraged center-right bloggers and blogreaders. If the Pepsi CFO is toxic, then Kos is radioactive.

    As to LGF, if the intention were to highlight cases of muslim hatred, hate crimes, forked-tongue public officials, etc, that function’s well covered, and infinitely more professionally, by MEMRI.org. In any case corporate America is utterly terrified of being accused of racism, from any quarter, so its hard to imagine which major corporations outside of maybe privately-held Coors would even consider advertising on LGF.

    An even bigger problem for LGF and Kos is that, unlike the flamers on talk radio, the bloggers are vulnerable due to the idiocy and vileness seeping from many of their commenters. Limbaugh, Michael Savage et al don’t have to worry about this, beyond keeping tight control on the abort button for callers.

  • thibaud

    Correction: Kos and LGF could of course abort many of the more vile comments on their sites but choose not to. Blogs with comments are the equivalent of pubs under whose barstools are mounted microphones connected to speakers blasting every word uttered by every barfly out to the street. But there’s no imbibing anything other than air on a blog. Unlike pubs’ patrons, blog visitors don’t pay for the privilege of bloviating. Little reason any major advertiser would waste any time, let alone money, on a site devoted to unpaid political chat.

    OTOH, Pajamas Media could well turn out to be an extraordinary political fund-raising machine for certain center-right candidates. Perhaps it will be the center of the Draft Condi for President movement in 2007.

  • http://www.elflife.com/cgi-bin/txt.cgi/ Carson Fire

    Whee! Thanks for the biggest laugh I’ve had this week, Iron Fist’s Cat.

    “I don’t think the MSM has much to fear from Johnson and his ilk.”

    Tell that to Dan Rather.

  • http://www.elflife.com/cgi-bin/txt.cgi/ Carson Fire

    Re LGF vs Kos, the likes of Citibank, BMW, Amex etc won’t be caught dead advertising on either site.

    Thoughtful analysis, thibaud, but I’ll have to be contrarian on that point: the goal of blog advertising shouldn’t be about attracting super major sponsors like Citibank, Amex, etc, anyway.

    They aren’t the best advertisers on the web, anyway. The most dependable advertisers are companies with a year-round interest in attracting eyes to their own websites.

    My comic network’s primary sponsor, for instance, is a web services provider. Regular advertisers include web hosts, dating services, online games, and other sites like ours.

    The best advertisers for blog sites will be web hosts, informational/news sites, online magazines, etc. Those advertisers are already there, but a network can maximize the power of a group of less-influential sites.

    It should also be noted that many advertisers don’t *care* about the politics of websites, apart from demographics that impact on sales of their product or service. A left wing site will want to advertise on Kos and not on LGF, but a company that offers web hosting couldn’t care less… and activists should reign in their tendency of accusing such advertisers of “supporting” this or that site. It’s stupid and anti-democratic. I think it also tends to leave people with a worse impression of the bullies pushing the issue than the target.

    I was reminded about all this simply by visiting my own site this morning, and finding embedded liberal reporters on my home page. I don’t care much for the NYT; but what do I care if they attract more readers from people visiting my own site and sites like mine? More power to them. In any case, the only reason I have this ad on my page is because of my powerful network, since I probably couldn’t sell adspace to a slug, myself.

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  • HLG

    “LGF and Gates of Vienna are paranoid, frightened, rumor-mongering cesspools representing a small, ugly sliver of America.”

    What you said. I keep looking at LGF because I just can’t believe anyone would say the kinds of things people there say. It’s given me a whole new perspective on my fellow citizens. And they are so proud of themselves! Now that France is burning, they’re positively thrilled to have the opportunity to rag on both the French and Muslims.

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  • http://www.workfromhomemomma.com Marta Wells

    Hey I work from home in my pajamas and I never got an invite to the gala!

    Feeling ever so slighted.

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  • http://www.allthingsbeautiful.com Alexandra

    TrackBack by All Things Beautiful Blogging To Differ at Pajamas OSM Media (UPDATED)

    “Daniel Rubin @ Philly Blog reminds me that I’ve been calling Jeff Jarvis who is the creator of Entertainment Weekly an old fishwife for bitching about OSM so much, whilst appearing confused. O.K. it isn’t only David Burge who needs to get his proverbial foot out of his mouth. Jeff, hindsight gives you 20/20 and all that ‘jazz’….I have however had enough of grovelling for one day. I am usually quite polite…well I said usually, unless we talk about Islamofascism.”

    May I apologize Jeff, being rude just doesn’t sit well with me in the final analysis. Like good wine my thoughts sometimes simply don’t travel well.

    Not cool, not cool at all.

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