Is this really the future of blogging?
November 16, 2005 5:56 PM   Subscribe

Open Source MediaTM: Gathering shedloads of [mostly right-wing] bloggers together under one umbrella, that is supposed to encourage advertisers to buy space, and us to click through, right? I, for one, welcome our new citizen journalists. Just like the old ones...? Wonder if they've heard of Open Source Media Project?
posted by dash_slot- (44 comments total)
Good idea, bad contributors. It's basically a neocon fast food outlet, headed up by Charles 'Muslims under my bed!" Johnson of Little Green Footballs, Glenn "Don't talk to me about torture till the War's over" Reynolds of Instapundit, and La Shawn "Terrorism is God's punishment for Americans being too nice to homosexuals" Barber. Any centrist or liberal-leaning contributors are just there for window dressing.
posted by slatternus at 6:01 PM on November 16, 2005

Dunno about it being a neocon outlet - Steven Den Beste seems a natural ally, but he seems fairly disparaging here. [He doesn't seem to have individual datestamps for entries]. But it sure is an unbalanced line up - I use the word advisedly, referring to it's unequal spacing across the political spectrum.
posted by dash_slot- at 6:09 PM on November 16, 2005

So, this is like the wing-nut Indymedia? We all know how much the right hate Indymedia. Makes you wonder why they're trying to do their own version. God knows, the world lacks conservative opinions in the media.
posted by Jimbob at 6:11 PM on November 16, 2005

The Poor Man on OSM aka Pajamas Media.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 6:14 PM on November 16, 2005

Wonderful misuse of the words Open Source. It's another prefix that'll end up like the eXtreme marketing fad.
posted by IronLizard at 6:19 PM on November 16, 2005

Their ideological bent is antithetical to mine, so I'll never hang out there. And it really seems their ultimate goal is to cross-polinate right wing TV/radio pundits with blog pundits, which I'm not all that interested in. And I think their choice of name is lame, as their's nothing open source about it.

Other than that, I wish them the best.
posted by teece at 6:20 PM on November 16, 2005

Wonderful misuse of the words Open Source.

Yeah, surely if it was Open Source, we'd be able to modify their articles and correct the numerous bugs.
posted by Jimbob at 6:21 PM on November 16, 2005

According to the Free Online Dictionary Of Computing, Open Source is defined thus: The term "open source" is now more widely used than the earlier term "free software" (promoted by the Free Software Foundation) but has broadly the same meaning - free of distribution restrictions, not necessarily free of charge. So - free as in speech, rather than free as in beer. But I sure don't see how a group with such a commercially oriented Terms of Use Agreement can in good faith call itself open source. Hmmm.
posted by dash_slot- at 6:25 PM on November 16, 2005

Jimbob writes 'Yeah, surely if it was Open Source, we'd be able to modify their articles and correct the numerous bugs.'

Indeed. Are all their bloggers going to switch over to wikis?
posted by mullingitover at 6:27 PM on November 16, 2005

Wow. It's called "Open Source Media", yet there's a closed-door policy on membership. Well done. Why didn't they hop on this month's bandwagon and call it "Citizen Journalism Media"? Or "Podcast Blogosphere RSS Feed Web 2.0 Wifi Firefox Media"?

Fuck them and their blogosphere. When will they realise that if there was "MSM", they wouldn't have any stories to link to?

Good call Jimbob. My new nickname for this shit is "wingnut Indymedia".

I can't wait until Uncle Rupert sacks Shill O'Reilly so he can podcast via an RSS feed with blog ads onto his website and be the anti-MSM's new figurehead.
posted by tapeguy at 6:28 PM on November 16, 2005

Also, they seem to be associated with the sale of a lot of communist propoganda!
posted by mullingitover at 6:29 PM on November 16, 2005

Over on Rodger Jacobs' blog they're having a lot of fun with this story, going after the OSM contributors for bias, failed fiction careers, diseased uterine symbolism, poor spelling and the presumptuous use of the .org suffix. Meanwhile, Martini Republic has cleverly renamed the new network Open Sores... which the former PJ-wearers might want to seriously consider, since it seems Open Source is taken.
posted by Scram at 6:32 PM on November 16, 2005

My letter to the editors:

Thanks for bringing OSM to the public and truly redefining the term vapid. What a gorgeous collection of prosaic myopia that is only overshadowed by its own self-righteous flatulence.

Bravo Editors, and America thanks you.

Yours truly,

Your Mother's Undies. (Was the Undies part a bit too much?)
posted by Mr Bluesky at 6:32 PM on November 16, 2005

Is Eric Raymond involved in this, or are they just appropriating a popular term?

It seems like a rather dick-ish thing to do. but I'm sure they're all convinced they are soul light in the world filled with liberal media and thus deserve the label.

(I noticed a note about 'open source media' starting up on wonkette, at was hoping against hope they weren't pajama media with their new name. I didn't click the link)
posted by delmoi at 6:40 PM on November 16, 2005

Dennis The Peasant wishes them well.
posted by tellurian at 6:43 PM on November 16, 2005

I guess It Takes a Village to combat the Liberal Media
posted by Postroad at 6:57 PM on November 16, 2005

Isn't "Open Source" a trademark of OSI? Shouldn't they be suing these guys any minute now?
posted by muppetboy at 7:19 PM on November 16, 2005

You know, as a KLF-esque conceptual art stunt, this is fucking brilliant. It's like they boiled all the fatuous greedheaded hogwash of the Information Super New Economy down into one hyper-concentrated essence of stupid. They're probably not even gonna pump and dump, my guess is they want to set a record time from "Buy domain name" to "Footnote on FuckedCompany."

Anybody else nostaligic for the (metaphorical) 1993 of weblogs, the era when pie-eyed hippie change-the-world stupidity ruled and venture capitalist stupidity drooled? Not that the warblog realm is entirely free of pie-eyed change-the-world stupidity, of course; the "main stream media" strawman is proof of that.
posted by arto at 7:28 PM on November 16, 2005

the fallout is pretty funny.

when righty Ann Althouse dared criticize the pajama game the milk n cookie kids at LGF let her have it. Matt Welch captures the best moments here

luke ford is probably stoked tonight that he was dropped by this trainwreck just before the big meltdown that was today's launch starring Judy Miller as the keynote speaker.

ford escaped back to his far less icky world of reporting on the adult video xxx industry.
posted by tsarfan at 8:25 PM on November 16, 2005

If this stuff is Open Source, can I mirror all their content on MY page (giving them credit, of course) and make advertising revenue off of it?
posted by brundlefly at 8:25 PM on November 16, 2005

I don't understand why advertising initiatives raise venture capital. An umbrella org wants to do advertising rep for a bunch of high profile blogs, and they start by borrowing 5 million on the idea?

Doesn't that seem strange? A good advertising rep can basically start selling ads on day 1, then take a cut to survive. All the bloggers would take the money since they'd be getting new revenue as well. I don't see what the 5 million in seed funding is for.
posted by mathowie at 8:38 PM on November 16, 2005

what, you think those people *walked* to nyc? and then slept in a doorway?

you think roger simon's hats grow on trees?

you think Judy Miller presented her keynote for a carton of smokes and a skiny new shiv?

dude if these were fiscal conservatives they wouldnt be shilling for BushCo.
posted by tsarfan at 8:58 PM on November 16, 2005

As a few commentators have observed, this is Charles' bid for legitimacy. His only hope of ever being accepted by the media establishment was to drop the racist paranoid rabble that infect his site's "comments" quicker than a burning cross.

These guys are hoping to be taken seriously? Look forward to more stories along the lines of OMG-a-plane-just-got-shot-down-michelle-malkin-told-me-it-must-be-true - real media outlets have fact-checkers and reporters, these guys just have a bunch of chinese whispers, a few apocalyptic predictions about teh mooselimbs and some badly-thought-out politics.
posted by blag at 9:01 PM on November 16, 2005

"I don't see what the 5 million in seed funding is for." - cab fare and groceries. That's pocket change, walking around money.


There are lots of people devoting lots of brain space to concepts such as "open source" and "citizen journalism", but this venture seems to be mostly about marketing.
posted by troutfishing at 9:38 PM on November 16, 2005

Is Eric Raymond involved in this, or are they just appropriating a popular term?

He isn't, but it sounds like he'd fit in well with the rest of their media whores.
posted by gsteff at 9:44 PM on November 16, 2005

Check out the following, from their legal page:
2. Our Site and all its contents, which includes, but is not limited to, text, graphics, photographs, logos, video and audio content, is protected by copyright as a collective work or compilation under the copyright laws of the United States and other countries. All individual components of Our Site, including, without limitation, articles, content and other elements comprising Our Site are also copyrighted works. Additionally all of the weblogs linked to by us are likewise protected. You must abide by all additional copyright notices or restrictions contained on this site and our linked weblogs.

3. You may not reproduce, distribute, copy, publish, enter into any database, display, modify, create derivative works, transmit, or in any way exploit any part of this site. The only exceptions to this are that you may download material from Our Site for your own personal use, provided such download is limited to making one machine readable copy and/or one print copy that limited to occasional articles of personal interest only. No other use of the content of Our Site is permitted. Please contact our Sales Department if you wish to have rights other than those stated above.
Sounds pretty closed-source to me.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 9:49 PM on November 16, 2005

This is web 2.0. The traditional rules do not apply. They plan to undermine the dominant paradigm... by supporting the entrenched powers of conservatism... oh, crap.
posted by owillis at 10:03 PM on November 16, 2005

No! This is at least Web 3.0!

Marketing team action item: Should we switch to a year-based strategy like Microsoft? Web 2006?
posted by muppetboy at 10:12 PM on November 16, 2005

The future of news on the Web? More like where venture capital goes to die.
posted by lexalexander at 3:41 AM on November 17, 2005

Will Richard Mellon Scaife never run out of money to support stupid wing nut publishing ventures?
posted by nofundy at 5:58 AM on November 17, 2005

Pardon me, but who the fuck are YOU? Charles practically invented the blog concept
posted by blag at 9:23 AM on November 17, 2005

"Pardon me, but who the fuck are YOU? Charles practically invented the blog concept."

That's news to me.
posted by camworld at 10:57 AM on November 17, 2005

As a few commentators have observed, this is Charles' bid for legitimacy.

I'd like to third or fourth this sentiment. That's what this looked like to me on first sight. Some right wing bloggers want a seat at the table. They want the money and fame of professional propagandists pundits like Malkin and Coulter. They want to be consulted by Bush henchman about the Next Big Smear™. They want to get a call from Rush Limbaugh about who is next on the Enemies List. They want to be invited to the parties with the "Haves" and "Have Mores" that make up the Republican brain.

In short, they want to come in from the cold and be a legitimate, paid member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, rather than the unpaid amateurs that they are now. This is their bid.

It'll work, too. These guys will be treated with the same respect as any journalist, now, no matter how outlandishly or crazily they actually behave. Expect to see them on Fox News and CNN and MSNBC and radio spewing the talking points.

If they start to reach an audience, they'll be subsidized by some rich right winger, regardless of whether or not they make any money.
posted by teece at 11:20 AM on November 17, 2005

If they start to reach an audience, they'll be subsidized by some rich right winger, regardless of whether or not they make any money.

Moochers looking for a sugar daddy.

/random thought
posted by PsychoKick at 12:58 PM on November 17, 2005

The only good thing I've noticed aabout the launch of OSm, and the runup to it, is the LGF has not been posting quite so many hateful links lately. Heheheh. Silver lining eh...
posted by dash_slot- at 4:30 PM on November 17, 2005

Looks like their site now says that their tradename is OSM, not OPen Source Media. OK.
posted by cell divide at 5:30 PM on November 17, 2005

You make the name, the name doesn't make you.

A good point.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:43 PM on November 17, 2005

Their launch press release (still on site) makes sure to point out that OSM stands for Open Source Media.

I wrote a larger piece on this myself, but to summarize, their licensing, their embracing and extending of the words "open source", their use of models that have come before them and their lack of rss and feedback mechanisms, all rub me the wrong way.

I wrote ESR about it all, he happens to be a fellow Philly blogger, and he replied here.

I'm happy to see folks experimenting with different models to support citizen journalism - but the implementation so far smacks of either ignorance or marketing over spirt.

The worst thing about this all is the blogs that are participating in this DO have influence - it amounts to a tremendous, Google swaying, link farm.
posted by kmartino at 5:47 PM on November 17, 2005

Also, wtf? Is this really an FPP? Today?
posted by mrgrimm at 5:51 PM on November 17, 2005

From SadlyNo!: ...So for your enjoyment, I'm going to review some of these new-found treasures and grade them in various categories, including their blind allegiance to President Bush, their paranoid hatred of the media, and their belief that they're an oppressed minority despite controlling all three branches of the federal government. Bonus points will be awarded for poor spelling, punctuation and syntax. Let's get started! ...Makin' New Friends!
posted by amberglow at 6:07 PM on November 17, 2005

mrgrimm: you obviously missed this little gem. A shining example of The New Journalism, complete with spelling mistakes, tortured sentences - "...has been received by the blogosphere with a far greater amount of skepticism than it has where the mainstream media are concerned" - and a fistful of references to bizarrely-named bloggers unknown outside the wingut jerkcircle*.

It was also a day late, which is understandable. Their pundits need the dreaded MSM to report on the stories before they can inject them with partisan bile and rehash them as original "news".

The phrase "wingut jerkcircle" is © 2005 Blag Enterprises. Please contact our Sales Department if you wish to have rights other than those stated above.
posted by blag at 7:26 PM on November 17, 2005

Late update:

OSM (Open Sores Media) have on their list of OSM Blogs strangely enough, the owner of hasn't signed up to:
"OSM did indeed put me up on their website. A bit prematurely, I might add, because I haven't signed their contract yet. I had hoped - and still do -more lefties would sign up lest OSM makes the same mistake the MSM have, by encouraging group think, albeit of a different political brand. Thusfar, I've only counted two lefties. That's not nearly enough people to pick a fight with."

Arjan is a respectable, slightly righty blogger from the Netherlands who was incredibly informative during the events last year around the brutal slaying of Theo van Gogh. As such, he is a valuaable addition to the international side of the OSM push. I read him every day. Why, I wonder, do they claim him, when he hasn't signed up?
posted by dash_slot- at 3:27 PM on November 19, 2005

The controversy over the misappropriation of the Open Source Media brand by the OSM guys seems to have been resolved - in favour of the little guys who had the name first.

I guess there is justice at times, when ya don't back down.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:09 PM on November 22, 2005

Here's the OSM press release on the matter.

Ugh, I mean here.
posted by tapeguy at 5:22 PM on November 22, 2005

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