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I've been following the evolution of Pajamas Media, now apparently to be called Open Source Media until the lawyers tell them to knock it off with some bemusement. Unlike Dennis the Peasant, who admittedly has an axe to grind, or the lefties at Daily Kos and MyDD who hate competition (especially hard libertarian competition) I don't really have a dog in this fight. Yeah, PM/OSM has a lot of bloggers involved who I read on a fairly regular basis, but I don't think I'll be dropping by the OSM portal much because I think Steven den Beste and Ann Althouse are correct in their criticisms of the business model and the way Simon and Johnson have handled things, i.e. poorly.

What really keeps me from checking the site out, though, is that I really don't like the way S&J a have handled the constructive criticism from people who rather clearly know their stuff and are pointing out why they really don't want to be involved with something that has the stench of 1990 dot-bomb business culture all over it. Granted that I haven't spent a whole lot of time obsessively reading the ad contracts and following the discussions of what PM/OSM is supposed to be, but it's never really been clear to me that Simon and Johnson had the same vision of the business either. Sure, they both agree that this could be a possible competitor to the MSM, but then things kinda get fuzzy. Is OSM going to be a hard libertarian version of Indymedia? Trimming the number of bloggers involved from 300+ to 70 would seem to argue against that. Is OSM going to be a political portal like Daily Kos or MyDD? Answer unclear, try again later.

We'll see how well they do once they figure out what it is they're going to do. Right now, despite the big fancy launch in New York, I'm not convinced these people have any idea whatsoever what they want to do or how it is they want to do it, aside from selling ads.

UPDATE: Dennis the Peasant explains why political blogs don't make a lot of money, while Iowahawk explains in great detail how the OSM business model actually works. He doesn't say so, but I'm pretty sure underpants gnomes are involved somehow. Via The Bride and The Blog Formerly Known As USS Clueless.