February 02, 2009

More on the end of the PJM Ad Network

This post probably only interesting to other bloggers and regular readers.

Thanks for the boost of confidence from Bob Owens, who thinks I'm going to do just fine even though the PJM advertising network is set to close. And thanks to Roger L. Simon for subsidizing my blogging these last few years.

But it's hard not be a little depressed when you go from a pretty steady paycheck into the unknown. Who knows, maybe there is a hidden opportunity here. I've been doing some research on blogads and a number of blogs with fewer hits than Jawa seem to be making more money. At least, they are publicly charging much more for a single ad than I was making in a month and they are getting fewer hits. So, I might actually make more money this way. We'll just have to see.

One of the problems with PJM is that they seemed to be run with a kind of corporate mentality. I would send them links, and they wouldn't link me. Which doesn't make a whole lot of sense given that we were within the same ad network and any traffic they generated for me would be in-house. It never really did harness the collective wisdom of its members, and when it did try it effectively became much like the MSM with individuals making editorial decisions. One cannot have a truly ground up network with editors.

The closest thing PJM ever had to a truly revolutionary model of reporting news was Glenn Reynolds, who essentially just links to other people. As good as Glenn is, unfortunately he's just one guy with way too many people emailing him. As long as you have editors making decisions as to what is deserving news and what is not, then you are essentially just like the MSM.

I think a better model would be something closer to what Daily Kos does, with journals created by users and then popular posts being voted to the front page. While making a website prone to the whims of the lunatic fringe, it also opens up a portal to stories which would otherwise be quashed by editors.

Again, Roger was nice enough over the last few years to offer me gigs writing and editing for the PJM homepage. Unfortunately the timing was always off as I had other projects going. I have a day job, and I've been lucky that my various hobbies have gained some attention. I'm free now Roger, give me a ring.

I also wish PJM all the best in their new video enterprise. Frankly, though, I'm not confident that it can succeed given truly non-hierarchical -- and free -- mediums such as YouTube and Liveleak. As much as I like to see Helen, it's not clear to me why I would pay to see the lovely Dr. sitting next to Glenn.

In any event, there are no sour grapes on my part. If any one is thinking of something to replace Pajamas Media, let me know. I might be game.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:56 PM | Comments |