Those guys certainly know more about web advertising than I do, but it seems like a strange business decision to me. My first thought on reading this was, “I can’t imagine having less interest in anything than I have in watching ‘Ask Dr. Helen’ or ‘Hugh News’ on my computer”. Not to pick on those two, per se, but it’s true. So I checked the web stats on Alexa, and appeared to me that Protein Wisdom alone had more views over the past 6 months than pjtv.com, the portal for all of their shows (probably a reasonable facsimile for views of all their shows combined). Yet they’re going to dump PW (and presumably others) in order to focus on PJTV? When you factor in that probably a solid half of the readers of these sites are stealth-reading them from work, and that it’s rather harder to stealth-watch a 20 minute video clip, I have a hard time seeing how this is going to work out for them.Jeff G. retorts:
Maybe I’ll start a free version PJTV. I’m sure I can play all those characters.I must say, I can barely stand to watch any political talking heads TV shows, even on network TV and cable TV. I just have no patience waiting for people to say something that I could read in 1/10 the time. I've clicked over to PJTV a few times, but after less than a minute, I always leave. Why am I looking at these folks? Put it in writing! Yes, I know I do Bloggingheads, but that's an active conversation for me. Do you watch Bloggingheads? At least with Bloggingheads, I can make whatever little embeddable clips I want to use to set up a discussion in writing.
I'm reading more comments chez Protein Wisdom, and SGT Ted mirrors my thinking:
Well, crapo. The reason I use the intertoobs is because I don’t LIKE the talking heads “we’ll tell you what we think is important and you won’t have any way to respond” Bullshit of TV. If I want TV like programs, I’ll turn on the goddam TV. I like the people doing the PJMTV when they are blogging, but I don’t want to watch them go blah blah.Instapundit says:
YEAH, the PJM ad-network model isn’t working. I don’t have much to do with the PJM business side, but online ads just aren’t producing revenue like they were a few years ago, and the blog-network thing was apparently a tough sell. Hence the emphasis on PJTV. How will that work out? Stay tuned.Well, we will, of course, stay tuned to Instapundit for further updates on this and everything else. But do you want to watch him on web TV? I mean, surely you must want to watch him when he's talking to me... or do you? (Hey, that's one of the few times Bloggingheads put me on the left.)
Ace, another PJM blogger who's about to lose his income stream, says:
Damn. I was finally starting to make an amount of money I wasn't utterly embarrassed by, too....This is one of those patches. I usually have 2 or 3 ads running via BlogAds, but haven't even had 1 ad in the last couple of weeks. You can see why BlogAds is a less risky business. It doesn't pay you because you have traffic. It pays you because they sold an ad to run on your blog. How much does it pay? When I sell an ad, it pays me a percentage of the price I set myself (and can adjust up or down as I see fit). (Feel free to buy an ad!)
[T]he model for payment was pretty transparent and intuitive -- paid per impression. One could figure out one's quarterly payment just by eyeballing one's Sitemeter. BlogAds paid okay, but there are always those patches where no one really wants to buy ads, making income kind of unpredictable.
Some of you long-time readers may remember that I rejected my offer from Pajamas Meda back when it started:
Did you get your offer from Pajamas Media yet? Are you going to put on the pajamas -- take a flat fee to commit the top four spots on your sidebar for a whole year? I thought Pajamas implied a bloggy freedom, different from a corporate, mainstream mentality. Are we supposed to marry Pajamas and give up on Henry Copeland's delightful BlogAds, which has been beautifully designed with a feeling for the spirit of blogging? Ah, I don't like pajamas anyway. I want to blog naked. With Henry.Will Henry take them back?
I did some pretty harsh anti-Pajamas blogging back in the day. (Including stuff aimed at Jeff G. Remember when I wrote what my old commenter Icepick said was "that the grossest thing Ann has written on this blog"?) It was a huge ideological issue for me at the time: the freedom and independence of bloggers. Looking back on those old posts, I can see I've lost some of my lively romanticism about blogging. I had a very intense feeling about how subversive this all was. That somehow went hand in hand with the anticipation of waves of money flowing in — and who would channel more of it to me, Henry or Roger?
But these are hard times for everyone. Any business could fail in this environment. So, what does it say about how good that business model was in the first place? My concern was always, which business model is better for us writers, and I thought it was Henry.
ADDED: The Anchoress — a PJM blogger — weighs in... and, as one of several reasons why she doesn't want to do web TV, reveals that "the Lord’s overgenerous endowment in my chestal area makes any notion of camera work unthinkable, particularly in HD where the girls might terrify some." How large do breasts need to be before they make it impossible to appear on television? And can't you just adjust the camera frame? On Bloggingheads, we're all just heads — and maybe a bit of shoulders — unless, of course, you're Arianna Huffington:
UPDATE: I'm still waiting for Dennis the Peasant — PJM's biggest antagonist — to join the conversation, so let's read that other relentless Pajamas antagonist, Steve from Hog on Ice:
This is probably what’s going on: PJM always lost money, so it was paying people out of venture capital. As the capital dissipated, people had to be fired.Go to the link for his curse theory. It includes Obama and the GOP and the G-O-D. He ends with Biblical verse:
PJM’s new hope is PJTV, a pay video site. Where you can pay to watch Glenn and Helen Reynolds. This is not unlike asking people to pay to be punched in the face. It will fail. I can’t understand why anyone would think it could succeed....
I used to see the PJ fiasco as the result of greed, treachery, foolishness, and dishonesty. These days I see it more as the evidence of a curse.
Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning!I keep telling myself to go cook breakfast, and I'm taking this as a sign.