Yesterday, I reported how the numbers behind the demise of the PJM ad network didn’t seem to add up, and now a very angry Jeff Goldstein digs into Roger Simon’s reasoning too.
First, I think it’s important to reprint what Simon said because without it you probably won’t understand what Goldstein is saying.
Actually that part of our business has been losing money from the beginning, so the people getting their quarterly checks from PJM were getting a form of stipend from us in the hopes that advertisers would start to cotton to blogs and we could possibly make a profit. Didnâ€™t happen. No wonder those people are kicking and screaming now that they are off the dole. I might too. [What’s their beef? I thought most of them were free marketeer libertarians or something.-ed. Go figure.]
“That part of our business”? What other part was there? PJM was set up to sell advertising. Only later was the portal launched. And that’s free.
In any event, while Goldstein’s response reveals a lot about what was going on behind the scenes…
Hereâ€™s the thing, Roger: you never once told us that the blog network you kept insisting was the next great thing â€œhas been losing money from the beginningâ€ â€” at least, not to our faces, and certainly not in any way that would suggest that you were carrying us like welfare recipients.
And really, if that was truly the case, why not let us know and offer us a chance out of contracts rather than blow sunshine up our asses? And donâ€™t tell me you were keeping us on out of the goodness of your heart, either. Because thereâ€™s simply no way a big businessman like you would feel the tug of conscience. Itâ€™s all about the bottom line, after all.
The fact is, Roger, not everyone was given millions of dollars of venture capital to blow through. So before you go comparing people YOU SOLICITED TO JOIN YOUR ORGANIZATION to people taking welfare (you ever try paying a hooker with food stamps?), you might want to think about where it is â€œyourâ€ money is coming from.
We free marketers arenâ€™t complaining that the business model failed. Weâ€™re upset (well, I am, at least) that the outfit was run into the ground by those who, to this day, canâ€™t even articulate what it is they hope PJM to become, and who wasted the talents of a lot of popular average Joes in order to pay marquee names to post choppy versions of already syndicated columns â€” all in a complete 180 from what we were told PJM was about when we signed on.
Personally, I still think Simon is lying to his bloggers. Because with PJM’s CPM rates, there was plenty of money to pay bloggers a decent wage to make it worth their while and still have profit left over. It wouldn’t have been a massively lucrative enterprise, but this blogging thing is young yet and eventually you’d have to think that a network like PJM could be sold to some bigger media entity.
Oh well. No tears shed here. Well, except for the ill will that Simon has created around the idea of a blogging network that could pool resources and make more money as a result.
Good luck with PJTV!