I got a few links from PM back in 2005-2006, very little traffic. It didn't seem like the aggregation was adding any value to the constituent weblogs. Additionally, a lot of their stuff is 2001-2004 vintage Right-of-Center media commentary, the sell-by date has long passed. Something like The Next Right is what circa 2010 conservative weblogs are going to look like, at least the good ones.Actually, no. Sorry, Razib. The Next Right is about GOP operatives talking political strategy and tactics. This is a very important discussion, but the core audience is inherently limited. It's inside-baseball for specialists. It is not a mass-market product in the sense that, say, Hot Air is mass-market. Compare: The Next Right monthly traffic (317K visits in October) vs. Hot Air monthly traffic (21 million visits in October).
As to the "2001-2004 vintage Right-of-Center media commentary" remark, Razib utterly misses the point of what Allahpundit does: Aggregation with attitude -- and the reader has a chance to add his own 2 cents.
Look, I follow the news via blogs. I watch very little TV news and I seldom go to the Drudge Report. What I mainly do is go to Memeorandum and to my favorite blogs and follow the links. If a story is important or interesting, it will eventually be linked somewhere in my browsing pattern. Furthermore, lots of blog consumers nowadays get their content via feed readers (please subscribe to my RSS feed) and seldom browse. The big dogs of conservative blogging -- obviously including the biggest of them -- throw more traffic than ever.
So the news-value of blog aggregation is real, and it translates into traffic, and the task for an independent blogger is still (a) to find a niche or two where he can contribute meaningfully, and (b) link, link, link like crazy. (E.g., "I think Pamela at Atlas Shrugs also misunderstands what's going on with PJM.") So Razib's snarking at "2001-2004 vintage" blogging as something obsolete is absurd, and all the more absurd when he's doing it at Culture11.
What I have been told is that the main Pajamas Media page will continue to be open for business. What is being shut down is the blog-advertising network, apparently because it wasn't generating the kind of "synergy" (to use a 2001-2004 vintage word) that had been anticipated. This means a prospective loss of income to the affected bloggers, who will go back to being independent in terms of ad vending. Or . . . something.
Believing in capitalism means believing in change. It appears that the investors bankrolling PJM want to specialize more in online video production. It's their money and they can do what they want with it. (And if Vox Day wants to jeer, it's his blog, so he can do what he wants, too.) PJM bloggers know how to produce interesting online content, and they are obviously going to continue to find work, although they may have to restructure their own private operating models to adapt to the dissolution of the ad network.
BTW, did I mention that I've spent the past few months doing video editing with Final Cut Pro? Just sayin' . . .
UPDATE: You know who is incredibly sexy and also incredibly stupid? Jessica Alba. "Mass-market," see?
UPDATE II: You know who is incredibly smart and also has a sexy wife? Well, yeah, me, but also Glenn Reynolds, who talks about the online ad slump.
UPDATE III: Ann Althouse congratulates herself on her decision to avoid pajamas and keep blogging naked. Althouse points out the same problem I have with online talking-head video:
I just have no patience waiting for people to say something that I could read inRight. If you are a very rapid reader, TV news is much less enjoyable. The Anchoress points out something else:
1/10 the time. . . . Why am I looking at these folks? Put it in writing!
Sound bites are destroying our ability to hear, converse or think, but we can't get enough of them. Unfortunately, yer girl ain't made for camera lenses. Aside from the fact that I am unable to "smile for the camera" without looking terrified, I’m also dead chubby and I understand the camera adds 10 or 70 lbs..Right. TV favors people who are "good on TV," an ability that is not universal. And there is a disturbing variation of the "halo effect": On TV, people with the ability to seem convincing have an advantage over less glib people, regardless of the merit of their ideas. We might say that TV is a medium where the ad hominem argument is deeply embedded.
UPDATE IV: Steve Graham speculates:
The blogger who told me about the end of PJM’s blog network theorizes that the GOP is making PJM its main Internet outlet. That is highly plausible, in view of the unbelievably stupid things the GOP has done over the last few years.OK, I know for a fact that "the GOP" is not running PJM. They have investors, and are trying to give the investors what the investors want -- which is kind of hard to figure out. I know that during the Democratic convention in Denver, PJTV did a lot of street-protest coverage with Steve Green (VodkaPundit) doing the anchor gig. But then it turned out the investors didn't want that, and it was scrapped.
Apparently what the investors want is talking heads -- online panel shows. Fine, it's their money. If that's not your cup of tea, or you don't see the market demand, so what? It ain't your money.