Hey, fair enough. It’s an “us against them” type of atomsphere since this is the first truly political blog advertising consortium to break onto the scene. And let’s be honest, with Charles Johnson at the helm, many bloggers are understandably making hay that this is just a right-wing attempt to capture the blogosphere. Of course, our own Michael Totten is part of Pajamas/Open, but it does seem the majority lean right.
So what to make of it? Well, I think the criticism is more targeted toward the business model more than anything. When bloggers like Ann Althouse are shouting about the lack of control over their own blogs, you have to understand that this is not just a left/right arugment.
Essentially, bloggers are bloggers because they don’t want to be controlled. OSM wants to provide ads to blogs with little or no control in the hands of the bloggers. That’s a significant change from what we’ve encountered with the BlogAds/AdSense revenue models we’re used to, but eventually blogs will move into the traditional mediasphere because they are really the only outlets that can be subjective yet still provide authoritative data.
People want this. They yearn for this. And the CNNs of the world should take note. In fact, Time is already taking notice by including Andrew Sullivan’s content on their site.
However, no traditional media outlet should be afraid for they are as objective as you can get in real time. Do note that most of what the blogosphere writes about is based off of the objective reporting of the traditional media sources. I definitely anticipate a future where politicians test their messages in the blogosphere first and then move onto traditional media, but the gatekeepers will stay the same. That’s just the reality of information. That is unless a bunch of bloggers want to get together and start to be objective. Unlikely? You bet.
But what does this mean for a company like OSM? Well, not much. They’ll continue to grow and make hay in the blogosphere and beyond. Of course they’ll encounter criticism, but that’s par for course. Whenever somebody tries to financially benefit from a new medium created by concerned citizens, a backlash is imminent.
But do know that this was inevitable. Whether it will be succesfull, though, is anybody’s guess…