Duncan Riley> I recieved an email from Roger L Simon yesterday, one of a number of bloggers behind Pajamas Media, inviting me to send through some questions, following my post Monday in relation to a number of concerns I have with the way they are setting up things. I took up the offer and Roger was nice enough to respond. Although I don’t agree with everything he has responded with, and I think he also misses, or mis-understands a few of my concerns (I should have perhaps articulated them better in the email) what follows is his response, unedited.
DR: Why the secrecy?
RS: Perhaps we overdid it, but, like almost all start-ups, we began by keeping things to ourselves until we understood what we were doing. This is a complex business, obviously. Now, of course, the secrecy is irrelevant. We’re all over the place, including the newspapers and television. In fact we’re more public than ninety-five percent of companies and we’ve barely even gotten started. Here I am answering your questions and I don’t have a clue who you are, really, and where you live, except that I see you are in Australia by scanning down the page. Think about that.
DR: Why the exclusivity contract and why do you want bloggers to make what is essentially a blind faith judgement call on a product and offering unseen?
RS: The people involved here are rather public (Glenn Reynolds, etc.) and have been for quite a while (in my case for thirty years, including many books and films, if you’d care to do the research). I think we deserve a certain amount of trust. You’re free to feel differently, of course.
But some degree of exclusivity is a must if you are trying to build an advertising network. It makes simple common sense. The ad serving companies need to know we represent a large number of bloggers with a view to future consistency. Otherwise it just won’t happen in a manner that will do what we all hope – build a serious income stream for bloggers. Only a tiny few will prosper. That said, we plan to spell out relationships in more detail soon, including how we propose to share income. Google, as you may know, doesn’t do that. But to make those
proposals we have to know about our own economics and to do that we need to have some idea of our reach. We should be there soon..
DR: Collectively you are all basically right wing political bloggers, do you believe that your expertise in this area will go well outside the political blogosphere, and are you planning to diversify your ownership, or consultative/ employee scope?
RS: Oh, posh! I personally strongly favor gay marriage, a woman’s right to choose /and/ the War in Iraq,. In other words I think for myself on each issue, as I hope you do. The terms left and right wing are about as meaningful to me as saying you’re a Dodger fan. (Don’t know the
appropriate Australian analogy but you know what I mean). I just don’t think that way anymore. I’ll affiliate with anyone who wants to affiliate with me. I’m easy that way. And, in any case, we’re starting to get some well known (old terminology alert) left wing blogs signing
up. I hope we get more.
DR: Why should we trust you?
RS: I don’t know how to answer that question. Google me? But besides that I am only one of several people here. Soon I will be an even smaller percentage as we grow. This is not about me but about a company, what it will do and how it works. Better to put the question another way, why not trust us?