On the positive side of the Pajamas debate, Pieter Dorsman is willing to put his trust in Charles Johnson and Roger L. Simon, based on their reputation as bloggers. He writes:
It’s always difficult to take a risk on early stage ventures but in general you buy into a concept or technology and the people behind it....But then the question is: do you want to take the risk that PM will not succeed? What if they do? Do you think PM will return to you with an offer down the road if you declined them today? There are no quick and definite answers here and the PM team probably doesn’t have them either. The point is that some bloggers have been asked to come on board at an early stage, be part of a journey that may well end up in a completely different place.
The best deals should be offered to the first people who sign up, because they are agreeing to the unknown, but the deals are not good enough to compensate for the year long commitment for anyone with decent BlogAds income. I'm not going to worry about missing the boat without being more sure of the boat. Dorsman concedes the "journey" is unknown. And remember the commitment is for a year. Who knows what better deals may emerge in six months? The strange emphasis on a long commitment might suggest that there is a rival enterprise on the horizon. If nothing else, there's the coming BlogAds upgrade. Maybe I want to be free to catch the next boat.
But do I think only the early adopters will get deals or even that they will get the best deals? No! I think if Pajamas is successful, they'll want to sign on more people, especially the people who are now most likely to hold out: those who are doing well with BlogAds, because we are the more popular, established bloggers. At this later point, Pajamas will be more of a known quantity, more worth dealing with. And with all the eager early adopters signed on to year-long deals (or 18-month deals), Pajamas will be free to offer much nicer deals to the holdout crowd. Why shouldn't they want us? Maybe they'll be pissed at me in particular, for criticizing them right when they were trying so hard to get started, but on the other hand, they could say even our harshest critic has signed on.
UPDATE: Who knows what better deals will emerge tomorrow?
UPDATE 2009: The collapse of Pajamas Media for bloggers.