Wednesday, November 30, 2005 

Keepin' It Riehl

Click here to enter the Pajamas Media Death Pool.

Dan over at Riehl World has a nice reaction to yesterday's CSM article on Pajamas Media. After highlighting this passage:
That's what Pajamas Media hopes to find out. Backed by $3.5 million in venture capital, the nascent media company has gathered some of the most highly regarded bloggers on the Internet at one site (osm.org), hoping, as co-founder Roger Simon puts it, "to be the place for breaking Internet opinion."

That readership and notoriety is making these elite blogs attractive to advertisers. Mr. Simon and his partner, Charles Johnson, who writes the popular conservative blog "Little Green Footballs", believe that forming a group of elite bloggers can be an even better moneymaking proposition as their collective site sees its readership and ad rates soar.


Riehl goes on to say:
Amazing ... simply amazing. At this rate, by the time they're done, no blogger is even going to like them, let alone want to work with them. This is blogging - if they continue portraying themselves as they do above, bloggers are going to enjoy giving Pajamas Media a hand.

Talk about over estimating your street cred and significance, Geesh! How can they be that naive? As of now, Technorati is monitoring approximately 22,000,000 blogs - the best of which have likely yet to be discovered, if even started as of yesterday. That the best and the brightest, the heavenly seventy something, as it were, somehow coalesced in an early circle jerk based upon hating Dan Rather is feee-uckin' laughable.


This, gentle readers, is exactly why we started this endevour. If Pajamas Media is going to continue in their arrogant way, the rest of the blogosphere will eventually turn entirely against them, and their endevour will die. We're just keeping tabs on how long, exactly, that'll be.

[Tip O' The Hat: Miss Althouse]

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 

We've Broken On Through.

Click here to enter the PJM Death Pool.

Your humble narrators were mentioned today by the CS Monitor in this story about Pajamas Media. So, welcome Christian Science Monitor readers, look around a bit, place some bets, enjoy yourselves. For those of y'all new to the site, click here to join the pool. Happy hunting.

Monday, November 28, 2005 

The First Casualty

While we've been considering side-bets for PJM Bloggers leaving, it should be noted that Tim Blair is the first member of the PJM Editorial Board to resign. As of this post he is still listed on the PJM Advisory Board page, and there is no announcement on the PJM site. We're not expecting anything to that effect from them, but we thought we'd mention it anyway.

UPDATE:

Okay, let's do this right. Here at PJM Death Pool we're only taking bids on the end of the actual PJM enterprise, but that doesn't mean we can't cross 'em off the list as they go. We start with one refugee from the pre-launch memory hole and today's too-amicable-to-be-realistic bow-out by Mr. Blair ( however a man about whom we hear entirely amicable things):
  1. Michael Barone
  2. Austin Bay
  3. Adam Bellow
  4. Tim Blair
  5. Tammy Bruce
  6. Marc Cooper
  7. David Corn
  8. Richard Fernandez
  9. Luke Ford
  10. Jose Guardia
  11. Jane Hall
  12. Larry Kudlow
  13. Michael Ledeen
  14. Clifford May
  15. John Podhoretz
  16. Claudia Rosett

So who's next? Larry, you've got a TV show to do, you don't have time for this nonsense. David, we know you've been under a lot of pressure about this whole project -- Wolly getting to you? Same question for you, Marc. Barone, don't you have The Big Book of Politicians to start editing?

Maybe a better question is -- who's the last (besides Roger and Charles and the VCs) left holding the bag?

Sunday, November 27, 2005 

PJM Death Pool Weekend Update

The picks are rolling in, and while we have a couple submissions to iron out, here's the early board as it now stands:
Ruth Anne Adams: February 14
CGHill: April 19
Paul Hallman: April 29
Sean Hackbarth: May 12
ScoopStories: May 15
Gary Kirby: June 9
Note to J. Kenefick and P. Neeman -- we can't locate your picks! Please email us ASAP!

We'll probably update again Monday, so make your picks known -- click here to find out how. We've also had questions about doing a separate pool for the first person to leave. If there's interest (let us know in the comments) we can organize that as a separate pool. You tell us!

But about TA/PJM/OSM/"OSM"/PJM: How about that vibrating kimono hanging over the new-old page, eh? A small improvement? Up to a point. Not to mention the "lively debate" amongst the celebrated elite of the PJMosphere (only one of whom is actually best known as a blogger!) is easily outdone by the message boards at -- wait for it -- pajamasmedia.isfullofcrap.com. And oh yeah, what Althouse said.

 

We Are Bitter, Pathetic Losers.

Dean Barnett of Soxblog isn't particularly impressed with the PJM Death Pool. First, he sent us this lovely gem:
Pathetic that you would care so much about another's failure. Sad as well. If they fail, it won't make you any less miserable a person than you currently are. Don't you know that?

This is after we solicited his participation. A simple "no" would've sufficed, Dean. Really, we're pathetic because we've taken the time to point out publicly what everyone seems to know? That Pajamas Media is a ship without a course, or even a navigator, and seems unlikely to find either any time soon. Our response was short and simple:
It's called schadenfreude. This is like watching fat people cry, or midgets on bicycles: pure comedy.

If you have to have the comedy value of midgets on bicycles explained to you, well, you're certainly beyond our help. What followed was an extremely personal attack on your narrators. Dean's second response is even less friendly:
Yes, we all fall victim to schadenfreude sometimes, but that's a failing, not a strength. Thus, most of us have the good sense to keep such moments private. You probably know this, which is why you choose not to attach your real or known blogging name to this enterprise.

PM/OSM may well fail, but at least its founders will be able to say they attempted something grand at some point in their lives. Will you?

I doubt it. Such pathetic bitterness could only emanate from an individual whose frustration with himself/herself runs very deep indeed.

DB


That hurts us, Dean. It really does. First of all, we'd like to know where Dean picked up sufficient psychological training to deduce such things from our postings here. Secondly, we'd like to make this clear in case Dean has a reading comprehension problem: Timothy Dreier of The One-Handed Economist is administering the pool funds, and also posts updates to the PJM Death Pool site. He's an analyst at a bank in Texas if you're too lazy to read his about page, finds his job satisfying if somewhat stressful at times, and is just a decent GRE score and application fee away from starting an MBA program locally in San Antonio. This is his girlfriend, she's still in school back at University of Oregon where Tim was once editor of The Oregon Commentator.

Is that good enough, Dean? Or are you just a stiff without a sense of humor who got sucked into what he thought was an advertising program that has totally failed to deliver and feels embarassed about that fact? Project much, Dean?

Thursday, November 24, 2005 

Happy Thanksgiving! But Don't Expect Us To Let Up On PJM.

Click here to enter the PJM Death Pool

Here at PJM Death Pool we'll be spending the day eating a delicious dead bird with family and friends. At some point there will likely be football watched and naps taken. Roger L Simon will also be taking the day off from blogging, although it's likely that he's still playing Corporate Genius Pretend. However, he may be helping his daughter live-blog the Macy's Parade. Their post makes promises, but I doubt they'll be kept:
Does the sight of a lurid, 50-foot-tall inflatable Mr. Potatohead fill you with existential dread? Us too. Follow along as Protein Wisdom's Jeff Goldstein and Hillary Johnson of Jack & Hill play Regis and Kathy Lee, providing blogalicious live coverage of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Mystery guests will also stop by to comment as the debacle unfolds.

The entirely unfunny live event can be found here. What we don't understand is when a bunch of bloggers turned into CBS. The Macy's Parade is possibly the dumbest Thanksgiving tradition, and it confuses the bejesus out of us that they'd bother to live-blog. Maybe PJM was hoping this would be entertaining, but it comes off quite forced. Further, they've not even bothered with pictures or screen-caps from the TV coverage, so the rest of us have absolutely no idea which float they're talking about. Happy Thanksgiving guys!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 

Tulip Mania

Click here to join the PJM Death Pool.

Over at his place, JeffG has some fun with Pajamas Media, albeit in a way that deflects any serious consideration.

Down in the comments, someone misses the joke (Jeff's self-applied Andy Kaufman comparison is apt) but otherwise underlines one horrific possibility about PJM:
Respectfully, I don’t see how this is good news. Nor do I understand how someone as smart as you doesn’t see this as well. Here is the business plan: bloggers like you are the commericials. The advertisements. You round up the listeners/readers. They watch a show of old media types. The big guys make the money. And you are a sucker. You are Pajamas Media’s ads. And you do it for free. (Or come at the cost of the difference between what you’ll make from them on ads and what you’d make with Blogads.) Now, you can rebut, a rising ship will bring me along. Maybe. Or maybe they’ll throw you overboard. But if it gives you satisfaction being linked to Barone/Corn, no matter how tangentially, then do continue. Althouse, for all her warts, ain’t a sucker. She ain’t an unpaid billboard for Simon and Corn. Ultimately, maybe there are better ways to promote the blogosphere. And you.
Even if that's not what Simon/Johnson intended, it's a heckuva point, and not unlike the one collaboratively arrived at by Pablo, Colin W. and Ann Althouse in the comments at her blog. Here's the main thrust, edited for clarity:
Pablo: "It's entirely clear that [OSM] isn't the same business [as Tulip Advertising]. DTP relates discussion of an advertising company for bloggers. PJ/OSM, particularly in it's current incarnation, is in the news business."

Colin: "That's only because nobody actually knows what PJM/OSM is supposed to be....I'm sure Roger and Charles still have designs on providing advertising for blogs...their OSM site is set up for it. It's purely incompetence that has held them up so far. Roger and Charles sold all of the bloggers there (and attempted with Ann) on the idea of an advertising network, thats pretty close to the project that DTP and the S&C were working on no?"

Ann: "Great point! Maybe their lawyers are telling them they've got to change the plan to make it different enough from what was planned with Dennis. But then what's the point?"
If true, wow. And even some of the lizardoids are starting to ask some tough questions. Here's Beagle in the comments to this post:
Charles,

With dozens of lawyers at LGF you guys went out and hired a 'branding' company? Sounds like it would involve cattle.

Seriously, you should get your money back. They encouraged you to TM a generic term which nobody (not even those who claimed you stepped on their name) could defend in court.

Moreover, you could have held an open source contest to come up with a name. Don't forget your roots, man.
Why do we join in the anti-Pajamas vitriol? Despite numerous ridiculous suggestions, it surely isn't "envy," let alone "sour grapes." Schadenfreude is certainly closer, but now that we think about it -- this one's personal. For those of us who have been blogging for several years and have been excited as the blogosphere has grown in prominence and readership, Roger and Charles announced the blockbuster deal of the blog age, and then produced a dud. And it's a black mark upon us all.

This affects all of us.

 

Make Your Guesses Now!

The PJM Death Pool is officially open.

Here's how this thing is going down:

1. Before all else, choose a date anytime from the moment you read this up to and including November 16, 2006 that you think is most likely the day Pajamas Media goes to that great dot com in the sky, or doesn't. What constitutes "death" when a website is not mortal, in fact is not even a living organism (at least until the singularity, at any rate) and hence is incapable of irreversible death as we know it? We count:

  • The site ceases to publish new material, and there is an announcement at Roger L. Simon, Little Green Footballs, or at Pajamas Media itself.

  • The site stops updating or goes offline without comment from the above for at least one week.

  • The company is sold, after which neither Roger nor Charles is part of it (if one remains, that doesn't count). [Updated.]

  • If the Internet like, goes out of business or something, that would count too. But then there probably wouldn't be a contest website...

The contest will stay open for three months from the PJM/OSM official launch. If you haven't signed on by February 16, 2006, better luck next time.

2. Because some bloggers signed a 12-month plan and others signed an 18-month plan, and we don't know which, we're going to arbitrarily set the length of this death watch at 12 months. If you choose Nov. 16, 2006, you are choosing "success" because that's the limit of the contest. [Updated.] After which, of course, there may be another death pool! Anyway, post the date for your guess in the comment section to this post. Just for fun, include a list of the top 5 bloggers you expect to bail first. It won't count as part of your picks, as some participants may be able to select themselves.

3. Then hit the jar, and let us know which is yours in an e-mail to pjmdeathpool@gmail.com.. If you want to try for the jackpot, the buy-in is $1. If you want to contribute more, we won't stop you -- and if enough of you chip in a bit more, that makes the pot all the bigger. But since you don't know much about us and we don't want any trouble from you, we're not asking for serious money -- just enough to make it fun. The account will be overseen by a friend of PJM Death Pool willing to stick his neck out, San Antonio blogger Timothy Dreier [Updated]. With his help, we will blog about the account balance so everyone knows what's up. Sure, this is a crude method, but we don't want this to be all about the money. We want this to be all about kicking the crap out of an overpromising, underdelivering turkey of an alternative news site.

For crying out loud, it's a buck!

4. Once we've verified your prediction and contribution, we'll make sure your paying participation does not escape notice. We'll run calendars showing everyone's guesses, and tick off the days as they go by. And of course, we'll continue to follow the travails of a website that's so much fun to hate, that pretty soon you forget how you had fun before you found this hate metastasizing inside you, brooding, slithering, waiting to get out...

Exorcise that demon by joining the PJM Death Pool while you still can! The collapse will be here before you know it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005 

The Death Pool

Pajamas Media, née Open Source Media, née Pajamas Media, nee Tulips Advertising, have we come to this? A death pool? Well, this blog is proof of it. So far, many have expressed their displeasure with the project at virtually every stage of its organization -- from its inception, to the development phase, to its eventual unfortunate launch. (Say, why didn't anybody blog about Judy Miller?) And lately the criticism has come not just from your known enemies, but usual allies, and otherwise disinterested parties.

The website is not a failure yet, but we do expect that it will be soon. Hey Roger, hey Charles: You do realize your website is inferior to virtually every other blog portal/aggregator currently available, right?

Worse than that, it makes no sense at all, even to many people who read and like your personal blogs. It doesn't have a personality. It doesn't update very often, especially considering the 300 70 bloggers involved). The site doesn't even work -- our favorite misstep is the whole Xinhua thing (still there last we checked!).

Nobody knows what it's supposed to deliver, let alone how you'd describe it in a single sentence. The only reason to come back is to see if it's as godawful as it was the last time. (After seeing the OSM logo get X-ed out, it does, and are they trying to compare themselves to Dick Cheney?)

Perhaps most interesting, almost no one knew who Dennis the Peasant, AKA Kenton Kelly was until the last week or so. And sure, he's an asshole. But the force of his narrative has persuaded just about anybody who's read the length of it. Roger says he'd like Kelly's posts read aloud in court? Well, I doubt he'd mind. Not that it'll ever come to that. Chances are you're going to fold.

And: Where are those web ads? Isn't that why everyone got into it in the first place? Hey PJM-affiliated bloggers, have you said anything about this to the head honchos? Haven't any of you blogged about it?

Now that I think about it ... did you notice how not-concerned Luke Ford was with getting knocked out of the company before it launched? If there's a winner in all this, it's him. The rest of you? Simon, Charles, Instapundit, Marc Cooper, Protein Wisdom, Sawicky, Malkin, VodkaPundit, I do look forward to reading you extricate yourselves from this debacle.

And then there's the mostly-Acela -conservative -media bigshots who have signed on. Let's not forget about them: Podhoretz, Ledeen, Kudlow, May, Barone and Bellow -- plus, hilariously, Jane Hall. E tu, Tim Blair? Tammy Bruce isn't surprising.

Oh, and the rest of you. What's your story?

But the rest of us either saw this coming or now know it for what it is. And this whole thing is pretty goddamned fucking funny, if you think about it. So don't take it too personally.

And consider it a complement, OSM/PJMers, that this deserves a death pool.

Details forthcoming...