Format Break: OSM Media — I’m Still Not Getting It

If anything, the whole Open Source Media project is more puzzling than ever now, 2 days after their debut.

It’s becoming clear that they don’t intend to be a big portal, given that they only had 3 new articles on their main page yesterday (There have been more than that today) and the articles written by staff are, well, pretty run-of-the-mill. There are a lot of blogs signed up with OSM that are pumping out more (and better) content than the OSM homepage.

So the home page is inferior to the blogs of many of the members and, therefore, doesn’t seem designed to be a traffic magnet, like let’s say The Huffington Post.

So, what about advertising? Well, judging by the list of blogs involved and the traffic they’ve done at Blogads, they’re probably serving up 5-6 million impressions per week with Glenn Reynolds, Michelle Malkin, and Little Green Footballs making up a little over 2.5 million of that total. Can you make enough money off that many impressions to support parties at the Rainbow Room, a LA office, a New York Office, 8 staff members & two owners, after paying the bloggers their cut, which probably comes out to something like 5k-6k (if not more) a week, given what these people were making with Blogads? Given the advertising rates being paid out of the web right now, it’s hard to see how they could come anywhere close to breaking even with those kind of numbers.

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So, if they’re not going to be drawing massive traffic to their homepage, they’re probably not making a profit selling advertising, and they’re not breaking news (none so far), what exactly are they trying to do?

That’s a little hard to say, but there are lot of good and decent people involved with this project, so hopefully things will become clearer. Anything that brings more money, attention, and competition to the blogosphere is good for all of us, so let’s hope OSM is successful.

PS: I sell Blogads and run a Conservative MiniNetwork for them, which is an unpaid position. Since I don’t work for Blogads, I don’t think it’s a conflict of interest to talk about OSM, but I figured I’d note that anyway.

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