The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Monday, November 14, 2005

Delusions of Grandeur 

Normally I don't do this sort of thing... where I complain about blogging in general, or my lack of blog traffic... yet this has sort of been eating at me over the last several months. So forgive me for my moment of hubris, but I'm going to talk about Pajamas Media. For those of you who are unaware, Pajamas Media is a company founded by bloggers to create a new media blogging consortium of some kind, whose goals were originally to increase visibility of bloggers, and also to create a new ad network for said bloggers. Several months ago they put together a very basic business plan, and asked bloggers of all shapes and sizes who were interested to sign on.

Being interested in such a concept, I sent off my email very quickly, and received several documents in return. This included a basic business plan, an outline of goals, an NDA, and a non-compete agreement that asked that I don't sign on with anyone else for 120 days while they get up and running. Since my traffic wasn't able to support other blog ads companies anyway, I figured I had nothing to lose and sent in my paperwork. Then came the waiting.

One of the most frustrating parts of dealing with Pajamas Media was their total lack of communication with those who had signed up. Emails were few and far between, and whenever they said they would communicate by such and such a date with more details, they were always significantly late. The overall impression you were then left with was that this was a group who whimsically put out a request for interest from bloggers, but had no real plans to handle what they got in return. I don't know if this is true or not, but that is the impression we were left with. It seemed very unorganized, and very unprofessional in general. And as they say, first impressions last.

The other frustrating part of dealing with Pajamas Media was the fact that they made promises they had no idea how to keep. Their initial call was for bloggers of all shapes and sizes to join in, because their model was going to be able to support smaller blogs in their advertising plan... or so they said. As it turns out this was a complete lie. While they may have originally thought it would be nice to do, they never had any idea how to do it. So they made the promise to help out small bloggers and with it got their new company hyped to the hilt by them, but then as they progressed through their planning, they found out that it wasn't cost effective, and so they dumped the idea rather unceremoniously. Of course, we were still under our 120 day obligation at that point... and they never released those small bloggers from their self imposed cooling off period. Either they never thought to do it, or there were other considerations that made them decide to hamstring us. Either way, they lost an opportunity to show some good will with the little guy. I only mention this because I ended being approached by an advertising company during that period, and had to turn down their offer at the time. As it turns out after the 120 days was over, I found their offer not very enticing, so it didn't cost me personally... but I wonder if it happened to others. I suppose those are the chances you take.

In the end the only promise now being made to those of us little guys, is that we'll be put into some sort of directory (as if there aren't enough already), and maybe our blogs will be read a bit more often by this new supposed powerhouse for linking. Right now, all they're doing is cheerleading those who they have deemed worthy to be members of their little club. Everything else they've kept very close to the vest. Their release will be in a few days now... and it will be interesting to see if all this hype will explode with a large and impressive bang... or a small uneventful whimper.

Of course, I'm not the only one with issues involving PJ Media. Ann Althouse had her own issues, and you can read a bit of other dirty laundry over at Dennis the Peasant as he was more involved with them in the beginning.

Don't get me wrong... I don't wish upon them any bad luck or failure. I hope they do well, as it can only help the blogosphere take a stronger foothold, though I can't help but be somewhat upset that some of us were sold a bad bill of goods. Right now, all I see in PJ Media is a bloggers boys club as it were (yes, I know that there are women involved... its an expression). Obviously I'm disappointed I wasn't asked to join, but I guess we'll see what happens as things progress.

Alright then... back to regularly scheduled blogging tomorrow. Forgive me for my need to rant.


You can and will stand taller on your own.

Trust me.


  Posted at November 15, 2005 6:30 PM by Blogger AJStrata  
Thanks AJ...

I guess I just figured I would have been standing taller than I currently am by now.

  Posted at November 16, 2005 1:34 PM by Blogger Nick  
Full disclosure: I am (A) a contribor, but (B) not a partner and not privy to insider dealings of any kind--I know no more than you do I'm sure.

What I'm hoping is that they will be getting back to people they contacted in the past. I'm familiar with setting up a new business and I know how many details can get put on the backburner when you're trying to meet deadlines.

So I wouldn't just assume you're out of the picture, just because I wouldn't in your shoes. Easy for me to say I know, but...

  Posted at November 17, 2005 1:44 PM by Blogger Dean Esmay  
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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.

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