November 15, 2005

Where's the blog? Where's the "pack?"

"Open Source Media," (formerly called Pajamas Media) is supposed to debut tomorrow. Here's an article. [Many thanks to Dennis the Peasant, who's got the much to tell you]

I was one of the bloggers who originally signed up with Pajamas Media. I wrote then:

...Of course I have this sort of schoolboy feeling that someone will soon tap me on the shoulder and explain that the offer was actually intended for the cool kids who are part of the in-crowd, not me. We'll see what happens....

Well, that's just what happened, although they didn't even have the courtesy to tell the minor bloggers; they just stopped sending e-mails. And that was after we jumped through various hoops, and signed contracts and faxed them back, and promised secrecy, etc, etc. You may be thinking, "What a bunch of capitalist jerks." Actually, I think the problem is that they are not capitalists, not businesspeople. Experienced businessfolk would never be so stupid as to mistreat bloggers who might include in their number next year's rising star. I suspect this is "business" as learned by Roger Simon by writing Hollywood scripts.

I'm guessing they won't accomplish much, not because they are arrogant, but because I never saw, in my contacts with them, anything that wasn't Industrial Age thinking. Top-down thinking. What's Glenn Reynolds's saying? "A pack, not a herd?" Well, maybe things were different among the elite, but us little folk were only treated like a herd. "Sit quiet, and we'll soon tell you all the amazing things we have planned."

Nuh uh. I'm not impressed by even the cleverest Five-Year-Plan. What I wondered was, "Where's the blog?" Where was the PJ Media internal blog or forum where all the "members" could exchange ideas and criticisms and comments, so as to pool their intelligence and skills into a super-organism? That's what bloggers did, for instance, when, in a matter of hours they collated the knowledge of hundreds of people to expose the Dan Rather forgeries. Knowledge ranging from advanced computer typography to remembered abbreviations on Air Guard memos from the 70's!

Maybe I was out of the loop, but I saw not the slightest sign of that in what I heard from PJ Media. And frankly, it's just stupid. I've been a businessman (very small-scale, to be sure) for decades, and my wife is a lawyer who advises businesses. So there is probably a 98% likelihood that we know something that would be useful to this new venture. And the couple of hundred other bloggers who were dropped probably ALL could have made valuable contributions. But there was never a hint that us pygmy-bloggers would ever be expected to contribute anything. Just take orders, and be awed by the brilliance of our betters.


*: UPDATE: I may be wrong. I just got an email from Open Source Media, telling me to.....Stand by! Stand by because there will be other e-mails coming.....We shall see. I apologize if I've wronged them.

However, my remarks about this being a herd, not a pack, still hold. Communication is still only in one direction.

Posted by John Weidner at November 15, 2005 9:15 PM
Weblog by John Weidner