Dennis The Peasant, delivers what may be the definitive criticism of Pajamas Media.
Pajamas Media, as it stands now, is simply a vanity project. Thats why it is so laughably dull. So many of us have focused so closely on Pajamas Media’s operational gaffes that we’ve basically ignored just how trite and vapid the original content at the site really is. One of my commenters posited a while back that Pajamas Media was largely a product of hubris, which Steven Den Beste promptly picked up as the truth of the matter. And while hubris (which I would define as overweening pride) has a certain appeal as an explanation, I cannot wholeheartedly accept it as the solution to this case.
That is because hubris was a feature of tragedy, and I cannot find it in me to consider Pajamas Media substantial enough to qualify as such. There is no gravitas there. Pajamas Media is more along the lines of buffo comic opera, and if there is one place you don’t find hubris, it is in comedy. No, hubris isn’t the correct way to characterize what has happened here. What I think has happened, ultimately, is that Rog, Chaz, and perhaps even Glenn looked at their traffic and their fan mail and then came to a logical and completely incorrect conclusion:
They were interesting, therefore their blogs were interesting.
That, I feel, is the fatal flaw in Pajamas Media. Pajamas Media is a catastrophic failure not because the principals are stupid, ignorant or naïve (although you could make a case that they are), but because they assumed that they themselves were, in and of themselves, of interest. Glenn Reynolds may be an interesting guy, but that isn’t why people go to Instapundit. They go to Instapundit because Instapundit is an interesting blog. The same scenario goes for each and every blog and blogger associated with Pajamas Media. Just look at the Pajamas Media Blogjams for your proof: Blogjams are a painful embarrassment because they have eliminated that which we find interesting – the bloggers blogging – and substituted that which is not interesting – the bloggers not blogging.Maybe PJM can turn it around, but when they insist on turning their bloggers into nameless editors and showing off where their VC dollars are going, they appear on on track to produce their own
dot com dot org boondoggle. Anyone who was a fan of F**ked Company back in the day should recognize that PJM has all the signs of a classic F’d company.
*** Steve does not understand that Paul and Jay Tea are not involved in any way in The Weblog Awards, which sort of deflates the second half of his post.