The big bloggy news this weekend is that Pajamas Media is shuttering its ad network come March 31st. A number of farm-league conservative bloggers (Protein Wisdom, The Anchoress, Ace of Spades, etc.) are apparently worried that they’ll no longer be able to keep up their writing without the revenue.
One the one hand, I’m a little startled – perhaps I’m naive but I didn’t realize that the folks running those blogs were actually making money doing it. Apparently while I was holed up in my software development cave, the online ad market bounced so high that people could support themselves as moderately popular political bloggers. While I don’t fault them for being disappointed at the online ad market’s collapse, it feels like 1999 all over again.
Still, Pajamas Media isn’t exactly steering itself in an inspiring direction. Fronting Joe the Plumber as a war zone correspondent feels a little gimmicky. The Long Tail is getting more treacherous these days, or at least getting squeezed.
Update: Atlas Shrugged has some thoughts on the closing as well; apparently the smaller blogs on its roster never got much of a cut, but her expectations seem to have been a little high to start with…
I was one of the original pajama bloggers. I thought PJM was going to rival AP, UPI, Reuters. Finally, a news portal of citizen bloggers and journalists that would counter the Pali stringers and left wing biased journalists of the news gathering agencies.
Doing actual solid reporting – as opposed to critiquing and commenting on news stories that other people have written – is real work that takes time and money. While there are some great examples of it out there, I’m not sure most of the politibloggers on Pajamas ever showed much interest or aptitude for that side of things. An old Internet friend of mine, Adam Tinworth, has a lot of interesting observations from the other side: he wrangles the online efforts for a large traditional media company, and his blog is must read material for anyone interested in the shifting media landscape.