The Debut Of Open Source Media AKA Pajamas Media

Today, Pajamas Media, now known as Open Source Media, had their big roll out and…I still don’t totally get it.

Don’t get me wrong, like everyone else, I’m very impressed by the endless assortment of big names associated with OSM, like Michelle Malkin, Mark Steyn, Glenn Reynolds, and Tammy Bruce among many, many, others. Also, the fact that they’re having a roll-out at the Rainbow Room and have attained $3.5 million dollars worth of venture capital is certainly a sign that someone thinks they’re on the ball.

That being said, there are a lot of things I still don’t understand yet.

For example, is OSM trying to be the Huffington Post, Blogads, the Associated Press, or something inbetween? The homepage for the site is — in my opinion — more than a little clunky compared to the The Huffington Post. So, if they’re looking to turn OSM into a major portal, the page still needs work.

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On other hand, if they’re looking to be the next Blogads, then again, their approach is a little puzzling. They did manage to capture about — oh — I’m going to say half, maybe a little more, maybe a little less than that — of the conservative blog traffic out there. But, there are very few liberal and “other” types of blogs involved. So, if you look at demographics and the actual volume of impressions that they can sell to advertisers, they’re small and limited compared to Blogads. Moreover, given that we’re talking about long contracts every time a new blogger is added, they seem unlikely to ever catch up.

Furthermore, unlike most group blogs, OSM must have some very high fixed costs. They’re paying salaries out to all the bloggers at OSM. On top of that, they have a New York office, a LA office, and a staff of 8 people plus the 2 owners, none of whom are likely working for peanuts if they have to make a living in LA or New York.

Can they make enough off of tower ads in order to break even with that kind of overhead? Given what I know about the kind of ad rates that are being paid out right now on the net and the number of impressions they’re going to be able to serve, my gut instinct is no, they can’t even get close.

That’s why this whole venture seems to be a head scratcher. It’s sort of like back in the internet boom days. You saw large amounts of money changing hands and people getting all excited, but you didn’t see the “there there,” and you had to wonder what was really happening behind-the-scenes. Of course, Charles Johnson and Roger Simon are both sharp guys, so you have to think there’s more to this than what they’re showing to the public right now.

In any case, Open Source Media is going to bring more attention to blogging and there are a lot of people I know and respect involved with OSM, so I wish them all the success in the world. Let’s hope they make a mint…

Some other bloggers commenting on Open Source Media today, pro and con, include:

Althouse (“nothing snappy or exciting”)
BuzzMachine (“confused”)
La Shawn Barber’s Corner (Blogging from the OSM Party)
Open Source Media (We were OSM, before they were. Trademark case?)
Peaktalk (Keep scrolling for updates from the event)
Krempasky (Still no answers)
David Korn (A lonely lib at the roll-out)
Atlas Shrugged (Pics from Pam at a PJ dinner & she is easy on the eyes)

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