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Wednesday, November 23, 2005 

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.

Now suppose we feel that PJM made mistakes, but will still be functioning, because judging a business undertaking on day one is like judging the success of the Iraq situation based on two years. Or judging one's child's ultimate intellect based on how quickly it speaks its first words as a baby. Or judging the hotness of a woman by how she sounds on the phone (and we all know that's largely an inverse relationship).

Shouldn't there be some way to place bets for those who feel it might succeed?

Or, do the organizers of the Death Pool keep all the money if everyone proves wrong? (And I am making no prediction one way or the other). And in that case, perhaps the Death Pool organizers are secretly fans, allowing everyone to sell short on PJM, with the death pool going long and reaping a few bucks?

If PJM is purchased by a giant media corporation be considered the death of the site?

I've sent my entry. I pick June 9, 2006.

I just bought in. I pick April 11th, 2006. (my buck came from jkenefick1@ you can find the rest in your inbox!)


We've added a note above about choosing success -- that would be choosing Nov. 16, 2006. If that ends up being the winning category, funds will be disbursed in equal part to anyone who guessed that. Under no circumstances are we making a penny off this. (No ads here, either).


If the company changes hands and neither Roger nor Charles continue with PJM? Dead. If one or the other continues, we consider it not dead. We've added that clarification above, too.

Another note: At the moment, we're can't accept non-PayPal contributions. If we took regular plastic, PayPal would take something like 30 cents on the dollar. So register for PayPal and resubmit, anybody who tried to send in money via Visa/MC.

I just put in my buck. The date I selected [from yesterday's original post] is 2-14-06. I was wanting to throw in a ten-spot and the PayPal site wouldn't allow me to up the ante. Is this my error or the PayPal site's?

Ruth Anne:

Timothy is off watching Nip/Tuck on DVD, I believe. When he returns, we'll see what we can do.

Ruth Anne:

Now we can do it. Try again.

Why not a side contest? Which of the preferred bloggers will opt out first.

I pick Eugene.

How would a blogger "bail?" This would apply just to the ones with whom "no contracts were signed," maybe?

You should include someone getting booted. The date could be the date of the post on Simon's blog where he passively-aggressively accuses the blogger of keeping his daughter off the Internet.

Shouldn't the car in that last photo be an Edsel? Or at least a Corvair?

David Corn will leave first, followed by Marc Cooper.

The whole thing will fold on May 15.

19 April 2006.

And I think I'm being generous.

I'm taking May 12, 2006. It has to be a Friday when there won't be as much eyeballs on weblogs.

The first contributor to leave will be Laurence Simon. He's the most vocal. The second guy to leave will be Glenn Reynolds when he discovers the VC money won't be going to "blogger reporting kits."

I hate to be the one to tell all of you this and spoil your fun, but Pajamas Media was a stillbirth; it's already dead.

I hate paypal. Is there a way I could mail you a dollar?

Date Of Death: 14 APR2006. Tax Day Eve will sober their asses up toot sweet... What is the Fed Tax on $3.5Million, anyway? I bet it adds up to WAAAY more than their (non-existent) revenue for the remainder of 2005.

What a bunch of hapless schmucks... It IS to larf!

First (and only) out: David Corn-- he KNEW better going in, but... Well, he'll hold out until NLT 15JAN2006, then... OUT!


dollar is on its way...

this is an unofficial guess, but the first business day in January is my guess.

On that day they will write off the 3.5 million and lock the doors.

Their PJM level of effort (and competence) shows them to be a mere farce.

August 22 for no particular reason.

I just sent you a buck.

I say PJMedia/pjm/osm/pajamamedia/whateveritistheydoorsell will die March 10, 2006.

David Corn is the first one out the door.


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where is the $$POOL$$ for George Bush

Where is the $$Pool$$ for when George Bush will die?????

This looks to be another kiddie site.

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