Monday, January 16, 2006

High School Bitch Fest

Remember all the cliques, and elites in high school? Remember all the infantile fights and bitch fests that happened when the groups re-arranged and some people got left out, and some people didn't join and formed new groups etc?

Well it is happening now in the blog world, and I feel like the chess club geek watching it all unfurl from the cheap seats.

Not too long ago Charles Johnson from Little Green Footballs and Roger Simon from his self-titled blog, formed an organization with the stated desire of promoting blogging and making a buck off it from advertising. They got some financing from venture capitalists and asked for bloggers to join them. They got around 300 responses. They immediately pissed off a huge number of people by cutting this down to an elite 70 or so, and abandoned the rest with nothing but a non-disclosure deal. They then had huge problems from the outset, including infringing on someone else's name (open source media) to an extremely slow roll out of their ads, which after all was the main purpose in the first place.

Now some other bloggers made note of these facts. Dennis the Peasant apparently had an agreement with Roger Simon to set up this organization, and was then cut out of the deal. Others merely took a little pleasure in pointing out the mistakes the new organization was making. Among them are Steve H and Moxie.

Throw in blogger awards, and allegations concerning those awards and you can practically smell the zit creme in the air. Hostile posts are springing up all over the blogosphere, friendships and working relationships are being destroyed, and several entertaining writers are wasting valuable bandwidth on this.

Just for the record, I was, and am opposed to Pajamas Media because I knew it would have exactly this effect. I still read several Pajamas Media sites everyday, although I do not go to their central site. I also read several of their critics everyday. I think there are excellent writers on both sides.

I am just sad to see that we never leave the silly high school stuff behind. I've seen it crop up in other, otherwise adult situations also. I guess it is just the flea picking, dominance-game-playing primate coming out in us.

By the way, my comments are being moderated at Hog on Ice, and deleted at Protein Wisdom. So it looks like I've managed to piss off people on both sides of the catfight.

Update: For an example of how pathetic it is getting, check out the comments on the post below this one. My "offense" was trying to post on Jeff's blog that I thought the whole thing was high schoolish.

Update II: Steve H is moderating all posts at Hog on Ice, not just mine.


Keith said...

I'd comment, but I'm staying out of it.

We didn't have Chess club at my High School. So I was a band geek.

Andrea said...

In America personality is formed during the high school years, which is why no one ever seems to break out of what sort of person they were in high school. I, for instance, am still the nerdy outsider who is little aware of the cliques and cat-fights going on around me, and when I do get wind of them I sit back and watch.

Pablo said...

Just for the record, I was, and am opposed to Pajamas Media because I knew it would have exactly this effect.

You opposed a website/business venture because other people might not like it? Ohhhhkay.

Why would you be so sympathetic to those who were "frozen out" of what you think is a train wreck to begin with? That's like being offended about people being excluded from the train to Auschwitz.

That does not compute. Further, DTP has stated very clearly that PJM is NOT the project he discussed with Simon. Therefore, PJM did not "cut him out of the deal". Simon simply did something else. That said, DTP may be the one person who actually has a reason for axe grinding. He's not pretending to be a purist guardian of blogosphere morality, like so many others in the PJM Carping Corps.

Gahrie said...

What offends me about Pajamas Media is the innate elitism it embodies. It takes a medium founded and predicated on equality of access and attempts to create a hierarchy.

That having been said, my problem is not with PJM, ot the bloggers who are a part of it. I have several of the most prominent on my blogroll. My problem is with the effect it has had on the blogosphere, dividing people into camps and creating ill-will. Some of that ill-will spilled over onto me, even though I was criticizing both sides of the argument.

Semantics aside, it is quite clear that Dennis was shafted, but as you say, that is his business.

What I don't understand is what the PJM defenders are so shocked and angry about. The blogosphere is nothing if not a forum for people to examine and criticize. I fail to see any difference between the examination, critic and commentary that PJM has received, and what the blogosphere did to CBS et al. It's what the blogosphere does, and I can't believe that PJM expected anything different.

Pablo said...

I don't seen anyone being particularly shocked or angered aside from those who have been the subject of attacks.

As for the effect on the blogosphere, has anyone PJM gone on any sort of exclusionary crusade? Any "If you're not in Pajamas, you suck!" sort of proclamations? Are any of the PJM people churning out venom over some "effect on the blogosphere" bogeymen?

The 'sphere, like any other place people congregate, is constantly changing. People can do as they like and associate as they see fit. If you think the business needs to include everyone who wants in, you should start the business that does that. Otherwise, those who have the business and have cash on the line should set its direction, no?

Of course, you can carpas much as you like. But it's unbecoming, really.

Pablo said...

Semantics aside, it is quite clear that Dennis was shafted, but as you say, that is his business.

Actually, that isn't so clear. It certainly seems that he was disrespected, but I don't see where he's been violated. I also don't see him arguing that he's been violated. Just disrespected, which seems to me to be an issue between he and RLS.

Gahrie said...

1) No one has ever said PJM doesn't have the right to exist. Some of us have said we think it is a bad idea, but that is not the same thing.

2)PJM by its very formation is stating that some blogs are better than others. This is further reinforced by its action in creating a pool of some 300 bloggers, of which 70 were chosen. No one is asserting this selection process was random. Therefore someone deemed those 70 better than the other 230 in some way.

3)My only complaint about PJM is the unhealthy effect it has had on the bloggosphere. And I hardly call a half dozen posts spread over several blogs and months carping.

4) Dennis expended valuable resources in creating a business model to be used by Roger and him. Roger abandons this deal without notification, and enters an almost identical deal with someone else. As far as I am concerned this is getting shafted.This story is as much the blogosphere's business as the fake National Guard papers and any other deal that has been examined by bloggers. I'm sure Mapes would argue that the fake documents are between her and CBS.