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Wednesday, November 23, 2005 

Tulip Mania

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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:

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.