I wrote about Pajamas Media back when they started. At the time I had grave misgivings, mainly because I couldn’t figure out how there could possibly be enough money coming in from ads on blogs to pay everyone a decent wage. Looks like that was exactly the problem.
Now it would appear that PM is dismantling their blog advertising to focus exclusively on their own television productions. This is something that sounds really iffy to me. And when I say “iffy”, I mean from the standpoint of something that someone would actually want to watch. But I’m hardly an expert on the PJTV content because I only ever watched three episodes of Poliwood before deciding that I could spend my time better elsewhere.
I’m not trying to sound harsh, just assess the situation in a realistic manner. A simple glance at PJTV’s home page reveals a fair amount of content. But the majority of it is by people I’ve never heard of before, and whose opinions I don’t care about. The few that I have come across before in the past, such as Austin Bay, have other places where I can go to find their opinion. Why check PJTV’s home page and wait until, every so often, they have someone I want to hear when I can narrow down the search?
There are a lot of things I like about blogs, but the way that readers can carry on a conversation with the author has got to top the list. It is easy, since you can cut-‘n-paste a passage from the essay on to your comment before stating that the author is brilliant or a schmuck. You can even add a link or two to prove your assertion of brilliance or schmuckitude.
It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to do this with a video even if they would allow comments. Oh, you might be able to transcribe what was said, but the ease of cut-n-paste is gone. You also would have to sit through the entire thing, in real time without being able to skim like you can with the written word, to make sure that there was no hedging or clarification that would invalidate the point you were trying to make. You could be leaving comments on five or six blog posts in the same time you are waiting to speak your mind on one 19 minute gabfest. Who wants to spend their time this way?
Four years ago I said that, although I wished them well, I thought Pajamas Media was doomed to failure. The same thing goes for PJTV. Try as I might, I cannot see how this will be a success.
I doubt it will take four years more to prove if I’m right.