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Sleepwalking In Pajamas

Dennis The Peasant, delivers what may be the definitive criticism of Pajamas Media.

Pajamas Media, as it stands now, is simply a vanity project. Thats why it is so laughably dull. So many of us have focused so closely on Pajamas Media's operational gaffes that we've basically ignored just how trite and vapid the original content at the site really is. One of my commenters posited a while back that Pajamas Media was largely a product of hubris, which Steven Den Beste promptly picked up as the truth of the matter. And while hubris (which I would define as overweening pride) has a certain appeal as an explanation, I cannot wholeheartedly accept it as the solution to this case.

That is because hubris was a feature of tragedy, and I cannot find it in me to consider Pajamas Media substantial enough to qualify as such. There is no gravitas there. Pajamas Media is more along the lines of buffo comic opera, and if there is one place you don't find hubris, it is in comedy. No, hubris isn't the correct way to characterize what has happened here. What I think has happened, ultimately, is that Rog, Chaz, and perhaps even Glenn looked at their traffic and their fan mail and then came to a logical and completely incorrect conclusion:

They were interesting, therefore their blogs were interesting.

That, I feel, is the fatal flaw in Pajamas Media. Pajamas Media is a catastrophic failure not because the principals are stupid, ignorant or naïve (although you could make a case that they are), but because they assumed that they themselves were, in and of themselves, of interest. Glenn Reynolds may be an interesting guy, but that isn't why people go to Instapundit. They go to Instapundit because Instapundit is an interesting blog. The same scenario goes for each and every blog and blogger associated with Pajamas Media. Just look at the Pajamas Media Blogjams for your proof: Blogjams are a painful embarrassment because they have eliminated that which we find interesting - the bloggers blogging - and substituted that which is not interesting - the bloggers not blogging.

Maybe PJM can turn it around, but when they insist on turning their bloggers into nameless editors and showing off where their VC dollars are going, they appear on on track to produce their own dot com dot org boondoggle. Anyone who was a fan of F**ked Company back in the day should recognize that PJM has all the signs of a classic F'd company.

More on PJM at Althouse , Riehl World View, and Hog On Ice ***.

*** Steve does not understand that Paul and Jay Tea are not involved in any way in The Weblog Awards, which sort of deflates the second half of his post.


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» Right Thoughts...not right wing, just right. linked with Summarize PJM in a single sentence

» The American Mind linked with PJM Isn't Fast

» ThoughtsOnline linked with Has blogging jumped the shark?

Comments (14)

Pajamas Media is a catas... (Below threshold)

Pajamas Media is a catastrophic failure not because the principals are stupid, ignorant or naïve (although you could make a case that they are), but because they assumed that they themselves were, in and of themselves, of interest.

Brutal but true! What is the point? If PJ folks banded together and announced a common agenda or manifesto to offer readers, that's another matter.

Personally, I think PJ can be a success if it re-invents itself as an on-line educational institution offerring degrees in political science, history, journalism, etc.

PM is the antithesis of blo... (Below threshold)
-S-:

PM is the antithesis of blogging.

Maybe that's their purpose...

Althouse writes far more prolifically what my perspectives have been and are about PJM and the lot that's at the center of the thing, but, HogOnIce captures well the emotional intelligence that led a some of us to feel a bad thing from the begginning.

I've never understood -- and have written about it before, received my share of negation because of expressing this, too -- the fascination by many for the blogs behind PM. I mean, go read the news directly and save yourself the extra clicks.

I dunno, but, there's still nothing finer than an original voice on an original website, errors, typos, or, not. I'm still someone who enjoys and finds interesting individual expression.

The PM thing, also, as are those behind it, are emerging (or have) as non conservative authors -- Iraq hawks some, perhaps, but liberal in essence on other issues.

What ever happened to your "logo contest," Kevin?

Hmmmm.The main pro... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

The main problem with PM is that their content is neither compelling nor exclusive. If Glenn Reynolds were to blog exclusively on PM, then there might be an argument made for going there if you wanted to read his writing. But there's no necessity for this because you can just as simply continue reading Instapundit.

Frankly I think the PM story of the century is how they convinced a venture capitalist to front the money for this nonsense.

Ed: It's worse than that. ... (Below threshold)

Ed: It's worse than that. Not only is PJM not as good as Instapundit, but now half of what Glenn posts are blind links to crappy stuff on the PJM site.

Hmmmm.I say all of... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

I say all of the commenters on WizBangBlog should get together and assemble a *competitor* to PM. We'll call it "BollocksMedia" or some such, play it up and see if we can't get some venture capital.

And I can guarantee it'll be interesting 'cause we'll have news stories that consist of "Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit.com likes his digital camera! Click here to read.".

1. Create a new paradigm.
2. ???
3. Profit!

::: ding ding ding ::: hit ... (Below threshold)

::: ding ding ding ::: hit the nail on the head. I was very encouraging and excited when they first launched but then over time it was very "unbloggy" of them to do what they were doing. I was very happy to see them finally add RSS feeds.

The problem though is that if they are just like any other blog aggregator why bother? I already read the blogs of not and are interesting to me.

It gets all confusing but I think the above quote is the perfect description of their problem.

Yeah, ed, I think the actua... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Yeah, ed, I think the actual event is all that investor money, too. Someone was sure eager for a write off.

I believe the main problem ... (Below threshold)
Elmo:

I believe the main problem now of PJM, is seventy bloggers, hitched to PJ's cart for eighteen months (?). I can't believe that all seventy wish to stay at this point. But one would think they some how still want to believe in it, hoping. There isn't anything wrong with a buck, or earning a living. Just that PJM is not currently a meritocracy like the rest of the b-sphere. It has become the antithesis. I don't really know what it is. To me however, it is sad and entirely ignorable (though of course no one pays me to blog about them. Strange that).

I disagree. Not only is th... (Below threshold)
Adam:

I disagree. Not only is this far from the definitive criticism, it isn't even a very good one.

If you're interested in why I believe that, my response can be read here.

Hmmmm.Yea... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

Yeah, ed, I think the actual event is all that investor money, too. Someone was sure eager for a write off.

I will, with great eagerness and anticipation, await the venture capital funding check for BollocksMedia.com which can be shortened to "BM".

And I think we can all agree that everyone wants a good "BM" in the morning.

"I can't believe that all s... (Below threshold)

"I can't believe that all seventy wish to stay at this point. But one would think they some how still want to believe in it, hoping."

Sigh. Another person who doesn't know what was in the final contracts. But it's sure fun to talk like you know something.

Hmmm.But ... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

But it's sure fun to talk like you know something.

That is after all the ultimate definition of blogging. :)

Dot org! That's f... (Below threshold)
janet:

Dot org! That's for non profits. These people demonstrate they can't use google and discover an open source media, then they go and violate net naming conventions.

And they want to see themselves as experts in this media?

Brainster .... what an *ss.... (Below threshold)
Elmo:

Brainster .... what an *ss.

"Sigh. Another person who doesn't know what was in the final contracts. But it's sure fun to talk like you know something."

You can believe I was trying to give whatever impression you believe. I was expressing a sentiment, an opinion.

Feel free to share your brilliance, insight, and privileged information. J*rking off is easy ..... but hey why bother trying. We can just watch you. Or not.

Have fun/knock youself out.




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