Pajamas Media Goes Belly Up

The Pajamas Media ad network is going away, although the portal and nascent “television” network will remain in operation. Joe Gandelman has an excellent roundup of news and reactions, fairly contrasting the views on an emotional topic.

As I noted back in the day, I was part of the beta discussion on the network but ultimately decided not to join as the founders split up over contrasting visions of what the network would do.  When push came to shove, I feared being lumped in with a network and being pressured on a content front. That they were offering a guaranteed payment schedule that was less than I was earning on a non-guaranteed basis with BlogAds didn’t help.

Still, I’m disappointed to see the venture collapse.  There are some very talented people out there putting a lot of time and effort into their sites.  It was nice that there was a model for making a steady income out of it.

I’ve been with Henry Copeland’s BlogAds network for going on five years now and am pleased with their efforts.  But it’s a hit-or-miss proposition:  They get a percentage of what they sell, giving them excellent motivation, but sales fluctuate wildly.  And they peaked during the 2006 election cycle, having dropped substantially since.  They don’t look to be going up any time soon.

Then again, the New York Times and Slate and dozens of other established, high quality sites are having trouble figuring out a model for making money on the Internet.  There’s so much information out there wanting to be free that it’s hard to sell access to it.

Most of us started blogging as a hobby, never expecting to make any money from it.  For most, it may never rise beyond hobby. That’s the marketplace, though, and nobody owes any of us a living.

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. CotC (CotC) says:

    Pajamas Media ends ad network part of business:

  2. Bithead says:

    Your headline, James, is misleading.
    As I gather it, PJM isn’t ‘going under’, just a piece of it is going away… the ad network. As I gather it, the pages, the exclusive content, and the vid portions are active, and will remain so.

  3. James Joyner says:

    Bithead, that’s made clear in the first sentence of the post. The fact remains, however, that for 99 percent of Pajamas Media bloggers, the ad network WAS PJM.

  4. steve says:

    Joe the Plumber couldn’t stop the money leak?

  5. John Burgess says:

    …nobody owes any of us a living

    James, please. That’s so 2008-think! Time to get with the program.