Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Posting from New York

I finally got to meet Glenn Reynolds, Roger Simon and Charles Johnson and whole bunch of other bloggers last night in the run up to the Open Source Media.launch, which will be held in New York City on November 16. The Associated Press describes the Open Source Media enterprise in this way:

NEW YORK (AP) - A media Web site scheduled to debut Wednesday will seek to blend traditional journalism with the freeform commentary developed through the emerging Web format known as blogs.

Some 70 Web journalists, including Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds and David Corn, Washington editor of the Nation magazine, have agreed to participate in OSM -- short for Open Source Media.

The real news probably shouldn't be about Open Source media itself, but the kinds of changes to communication technology that have made it possible. To a certain degree something like Open Source Media was fated to happen; and the launch may mark the time when the lines between the audience and the players became so blurred that it took a new form to take account of the fact. The technical revolution underlying the development hasn't stopped yet; indeed it is likely to accelerate. For that reason Open Source Media is likely to represent a beginning rather than a closed event.

That said, it's been gas meeting these guys on the ground. What's striking is the sheer variety of backgrounds they come from. It's the invasion of the Day Job crowd and almost empirical proof that the "audience" has come on to the stage.

For those who are curious, Roger Simon really does wear a hat. Charles Johnson and Glenn Reynolds look like your unaverage nice guys, the sort of person you'd ask directions from when you're new in town and wonder later what they did for a living. I'll post more news as it becomes available.


Readers may want to visit the Open Source Media site for links to guys who are live-blogging the event.


Blogger Ball-of-Whacks said...

Well, good luck with your project.

And for God's sake's keep the Internet out of the hands of the UN!

11/16/2005 06:48:00 AM  
Blogger Voltimand said...

Down under to the Big Apple: quite a trip. You're now with and part of the new opinion elite.

11/16/2005 06:56:00 AM  
Blogger Wonder_Warthog said...

"A media Web site scheduled to debut Wednesday will seek to blend traditional journalism with the freeform commentary developed through the emerging Web format known as blogs."

I thought Free Republic already did that??

11/16/2005 07:24:00 AM  
Blogger Ticker said...

I think technology is making it impossible to create an elite. At the most I'll have a minor role as some sort of example of the kinds of unlikely outcomes that are now possible to create. But I have to say that the wide variety of guys I've met at the Opening, which includes executives from major companies who are keeping their identities secret, just plain folks who have found they have an audience, among other types, suggests that if this is an emerging elite, it will be indistinguishable from you and I.

11/16/2005 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This seems to be an outgrowth of democracy of the band width.
Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather were members of an "elite".
The folks I saw at grrl's link were pretty average looking folk, excempt for Atlas...

The free flow of ideas is what sets the new Age apart from the past. The entry hurdles are so much lower now than ever before that participation expands exponentially.

11/16/2005 07:50:00 AM  
Blogger Ticker said...

desert rat,

I did meet Atlas at the dinner. She has some pictures up at her site.

As you'll see most of the guy's aren't Hollywood types. Just ordinary guys and if you met anyone on the street you wouldn't give many a second look.

11/16/2005 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

Perhaps not elite, Wretchard, since the word implies a type of hermetic separation. Tenured would probably be more apt to describe it.

Tenured by time, trust, and a steady stream of excellence. It is a tenure that developed organically--decidedly not a tenure imposed from on high by a gatekeeper.

Congratulations. Congratulations, if only for illuminating a law and exposing its beauty.

11/16/2005 08:37:00 AM  
Blogger playah grrl said...

i'm listening to the live feed, and waiting rather desperately for someone to talk about social network theory and emergent behavior.
this is a whole, fresh, brand new paradigm!!
doesn't anyone get that?

11/16/2005 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

Damn, Wretch, if I'd known you were going to be there, I'd have gotten some Nubian slaves to carry my bed up there...shoot.

Boy, the Baron is going to be sorry that when all the hotels filled up for miles around he didn't get the Hole Motel in Jersey and commute in.


11/16/2005 08:45:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...


Google Base just launched.

This is a tool that allows you to drop your database onto google and makes it searchable.

Here's a link to the slashdot discussion of the new tool

I have wanted to search belmont club from time to time.

11/16/2005 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger THE said...

playah grrl

I'll talk about the paradigm.

It's worth trying.

The internet is so new that people are still working out how to use it, how to make it work, and above all how to make it pay.

Only the other day Rupert Murdoch was talking about how the newspaper as we have known it is dead.
The net is rapidly taking over as the text medium of choice.

11/16/2005 09:05:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

How did I not hear about this? Was it invitation only? I would have liked to stop by and hear you guys talk. Is it too late? I'm only a couple blocks away.

11/16/2005 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger THE said...

And by the way there's nothing that new about grassroots cooperative structures.

Analogous concepts were tried with some success in late 19th early 20th century, for instance in retailing in the UK and many other countries.

The new element is whether this is the appropriate structure for news and editorial comment in the age of the web. And there only time will tell.

I will say this though, if it shows any sign of succeeding, the big media companies will likely buy it out, but at least that will make you guys some serious $$$$'s.

11/16/2005 09:43:00 AM  
Blogger Red River said...

Good for you Wretchard.

All of you have worked very hard for this.

11/16/2005 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Uh it's called Open Source Media but check out the official abbreviation: OSM™. That's right, they have trademarked the abbreviation for "Open Source Media". Ironic or what? Frankly, they are not going to earn much open source street cred with moves like that, but I guess that was never actually the goal, was it?

And what's up with the privacy notice?

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.

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.

How Open Source™ is that?

Just like in the end we all found out that it wasn't really about the WMD's in Iraq; with Pajamas Media, it's even less about the OSM™, it's just more recycled MSM corporate propaganda.

11/16/2005 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger Alexandra said...

Trackback by All Things Beautiful Blogging To Differ at Pajamas OSM Media

11/16/2005 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger playah grrl said...

ummm...i think they're using open source in the intel sense. open source is everything accessible, not protected by denied or classified sources. it doesn't make a lot of sense to think of open source in the linux sense, that is, free software.

11/16/2005 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Congratz Wretchard!

I think you have achieved "elite" status through the quality of your writing, analysis and insights. That's why all of us come by, to learn, to see things differently. That's sorta elite, I'd say.

Tell the crew all your frequent posters say "G'day, mate!"

Just don't tell them that Desert Rat was right all along about our politicians "declaring victory."

11/16/2005 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Uh playah grrl, nice theory but why dont I let Roger Simon and Charles Johnson (aka "The Founders" launch a big fat Willy Pete shell at it:

In 1985, that’s how the Free Software Foundation first described an idealized world wherein innovative ideas would flow freely though the collaborative environment of the internet. In casting about for a term that would denote freedom, not freebies, those who followed FSF coined the term "Open Source," intending it merely as a reference to the "source" code in which they programmed. It turned out to be much more than that.

The open source ethos helped drive the great boom in information technology that made the internet ubiquitous in the 90s and led to the creation of over 20 million personal weblogs--or blogs--in the first half of the oughts. But the term "Open Source" had a ring to it, as did the idea behind it, and the notion quickly spread, leaping to other fields. Linus Torvalds, the father of the open source operating system Linux, once said, "The future is open source everything."

At OSM™ (Open Source Media), we believe that to be true—that freedom, openness and transparency in media is an inevitable result of the technological advances that have given every citizen the chance breathe deeply of the news, thought and opinion that hovers in the ether between us.

Readers unfamiliar with blogs are sometimes puzzled by the concept, thinking that they are mere online "diaries," where egoists and sentimentalists record their thoughts and feelings. But the phenomenon of blogging is much more than that; it’s the modern equivalent of the Gutenberg revolution, a way of putting not just published material in the hands of the public—but publishing itself.
Where journalists once gave us "experts say," blogs give us the experts themselves. And where faceless, "objective" editorial boards once handed down opinions and endorsements, bloggers sound off, the numbers on their public sitemeters lending them unassailable credibility as voices for the rest of us.

OSM™’s mission is to expand the influence of weblogs by finding and promoting the best of them, providing bloggers with a forum to meet and share resources, and the chance to join a for-profit network that will give them additional leverage to pursue knowledge wherever they may find it. From academics, professionals and decorated experts, to ordinary citizens sitting around the house opining in their pajamas, our community of bloggers are among the most widely read and influential citizen journalists out there, and our roster of will be expanding daily. We also plan to provide a bridge between old media and new, bringing bloggers and mainstream journalists—more and more of whom have started to blog—together in a debate-friendly forum.

In the 1960’s, the medium may have been the message, but in the new century, it’s time for the medium to get out of the way. Call it the blogosphere, call it citizen journalism, or call it (we hope) Open Source Media—but the next phase in the democratization of ideas has begun. Stick around, read some blogs, and come back often. Our door will be open.

Charles Johnson
Roger L. Simon

Nice try anyway.

11/16/2005 01:51:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Wretchard - I hope you have time to make the trek to Ground Zero.

And then tell us about it, from your perspective from the other side of the world.

11/16/2005 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger playah grrl said...

At OSM™ (Open Source Media), we believe that to be true—that freedom, openness and transparency in media is an inevitable result of the technological advances that have given every citizen the chance breathe deeply of the news, thought and opinion that hovers in the ether between us.
'zactly whut i said. ;-)
mebbe a better name would have been OSI (open source information)--but that's definitely taken.

11/16/2005 02:24:00 PM  
Blogger ex-democrat said...

kevin - tell me, is "all property theft"?

11/16/2005 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger playah grrl said...

ha ha, Open Source Ideas.
kev, mebbe you are confused by the mention of Linus Torvalds.
i think, in OSM, Media doesn't just mean software and guis.
Charles and Roger mean the medium of information and ideas; print news, radio, tv, books, blogs, 'zines....
and that is no different than my intel example--all the information, the data, that is accessible.

11/16/2005 02:33:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

X-dem, the whole concept of open source is in direct opposition to the concept of proprietary rights. Both concepts are great in my opinion, I own my house but I sure don’t call it an communal facility; I call it my house. I also like Wikipedia and Red, but I would never call those things mine; they are in fact communal properties. If the pajama party people are so worried about preserving their property rights, they shouldn’t use the term “open source”.

Now check this out:

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

This means that Google will not be able to list anything from Closed Sources MediaTM (sorry I follow the 9th commandment) within their search engines (not that they would really want to anyway). This is beyond sick, it is the antithesis of the spirit of the internet. The “founders” of CSMTM have seen their precious MSM being threatened by the true open source nature of the Internet and are hell bent to put the elites back in charge of the information flow. Good luck guys!

11/16/2005 03:14:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...


I think it's even worse than that. This whole thing REEKS of Capitalism!

These guys are working on Maggie's Farm, man.

Yeah. I'm jealous, too.

11/16/2005 03:18:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Military Videos

11/16/2005 03:52:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Poor Kevin.

11/16/2005 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger Sparks fly said...

Sounds like fun! Wish I was there.

Anyway, someone has to own it. Someone has to work it. Someone has to pay for it. Reality 101.

So what exactly is new? Historically speaking the internet is new. And....

This particular grouping could just as easily constitute a bottleneck or a chokepoint as a freeway or highway.

How it is run will help determine that and if somehow it starts to spit cash emotions will swell up as well. So what's new. It sounds and looks like a marketing enterprise plain and simple.

Big parking lots for the Mercedes Benzes of the marketing execs. looks in order. Quick, invest in tar laying machinery. Those parking lots use lots of smooth tar.

Tricky business.

Jump in y'all the water's fine.

11/16/2005 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Wretchard -

Congrats. I think beyond your usual dead on-commentary, you are one of the favorites to be linked by other premier bloggers, which has helped your rise. Tom Bevan's Real Clear Politics clearly makes you a peer of the top conservative-moderate columnists out there.

Nahncee - I hope Wretchard does something more interesting than visit the Pit when he's in NYC.

11/16/2005 04:02:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Great job Wretchard. Wishing you continuing success with the Belmont Club. Have fun in the Big Apple.

11/16/2005 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger jim said...

Kevin's pointing out a genuine problem in product packaging. I also had mentioned this issue months ago when one of the principals asked for possible new names for PJ Media. Like Kevin, my thinking was that if they named the media venture "Open Source", there should be no proprietary issues involved, no royalties, fees or restrictions and that everything on its site should be free for distribution, reproduction and revision as others might see fit, in the tradition of open sourcing. Didn't mention the other obvious objection- how "Open Source" is a virtual homonym for something more objectionable, but another commenter did. Whatever. Something about a rose by any other name works here.

The important thing today is that the panel discussion on blogging and journalism was the highlight of the listening audience's day. Richard/Wretchard made some terrific points, not the least of which was how reasoned argument tends to trump author authority in the sphere, unlike how a writer's name is normally his/her cred in the MSM. Still, one has to wonder whether this blog virtue will continue to hold as some bloggers attain star status. And, isn't Richard/Wretchard the well-known and respected brilliant thinker already there? People take notice of what he says because his analysis and writing voice are superb, but increasingly they listen because his reputation precedes him- dilemma! On top of everything, he has a nice speaking voice, too!

Anyway, congratulations on the launch and the best to you all.

11/16/2005 05:24:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

When He said:"I have given power to the people!" you, Wretchard, are one of the people to whom He gave power.

The time for an elite kingly-caste or an elite priesthood telling We, the People what to think or believe... is OVER!

Today We, the People have the power to observe for ourselves, think for ourselves, educate ourselves, engage in constructive dialogue with ourselves, critically examine concepts and assertions for ourselves and choose beliefs for ourselves!

THIS is the 'power' given us by Baha'u'llah, when He seized power from the 'kings and ecclesiastics'.

11/16/2005 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger Deany Bocobo said...

Hope the FUN doesn't go out of it because of COLLECTIVIZATION, or as you said, "...having to be too careful about what you write..."

11/16/2005 05:50:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

It is amuzing, as you guys step up, the Tribune Company and Knight-Ridder fall back.
'L.A. Times' to cut 85 newsroom jobs

I was just reading that a Mr Sheerer, I believe, a columnist for the LA Times that promoted an anti Administration posture had been let go. He blamed "Chicago bean counters".

11/16/2005 06:40:00 PM  
Blogger heather said...

I still have no idea how this OSM will work, but I DO know that through Belmont Club, I came upon a marvellous site, It seems that the same ghastly environmentalists are swooping down on the Philippines, like they have (more successfully) in northern Canada. He told us about the crowbar greeting the enviros got down there; and I cheered him up, by telling him that up here, the enviros are eaten up by bears.

What IS interesting is that he sees this imperialist attitude of the "Rainbow Warriors" in light of the Philippine poverty, relative to that of the US and Europe. However, they have the same attitude when dealing with Americans and Canadians.

11/16/2005 06:56:00 PM  
Blogger Bob Smith said...

It's funny. The evidence does seem to support some significant paradigm changes - in the Kuhnian sense. The loss of distinction between audience and newsmaker versus the object and the observer of quantum mechanics is maybe too precious, but it is out there.

And yet the party of change - the Democrats - are still trying to decide if they want to eject the socialist Left; while the party of stasis - the Republicans - is struggling to find a position of relevance in the new world order.

I expect that 'elite' is on the verge of obsolescence. And I have no opinion about the future of conservatism in the new world.

11/16/2005 07:08:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

ex-dem and Kevin:
Not being a lawyer, or even familiar with copyright issues,
(I kind of had a clue after doing some reading, then I talked to a lawyer who re-puzzled me!)
I am curious if the notice pasted by Kevin is more, less, or equally restrictive to the NY Times in terms of Linking and copying small amounts for the purpose of articles "not for personal use only" ie, like bloggers do all the time with MSM articles.

11/16/2005 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

Congratulations Wretchard. You have earned your place at the OSM. Now you will have to make it work.

I do realize the OSM is a business venture (and hopefully a profitable one). And, it does have terms of service contracts. I am not sure exactly how it will all shake out. I assume the Digital Millennium Act plays a role in this. But, I think Charles Johnson is a smart and honest guy. He will handle the copy write stuff in a fair manner.

I my view any news source except the MSM is a step forward. They are heavily encrusted in liberalism and the Bar Association. They just can't change their "good old boy" mind set.

You do realize that there are going to be some in MSM who will attack you. You must be prepared for that. As Desert Rat has noted, your new group will cause the loss of jobs in the MSM. But, that's just life.

[Tribune lays of workers]

The Times was one of five papers owned by Chicago-based Tribune Co. to announce cuts... The company's other flagship paper, the Chicago Tribune, said Wednesday it would eliminate fewer than 100 jobs in and out of the newsroom, while the Orlando Sentinel announced an unspecified number of cuts... the Los Angeles Times announced Wednesday it is cutting about 85 newsroom jobs, or approximately 8 percent of its editorial staff.

See: Job Cuts

11/16/2005 09:57:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Web Site to Blend Journalism With Blogs:

Although Simon and co-founder Charles Johnson are often described as conservative, Simon said the site will transcend labels and include bloggers of all political leanings.

OSM was founded last year as Pajamas Media, a play on bloggers' ability to opine from home at all hours, day or night. It has raised $3.5 million from venture capitalists.

Journalism/Blog Blend

11/16/2005 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...


Use by bloggers of the MSM copyrighted n work is covered by the Fair Use Doctrine which allows use of portions of attributed copyrighted material for uses such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, research, and parody. For example when the MSM, as they are want to do, lay a big stinking turd like this one from the Washington Post, an enterprising citizen blogger can clean up the mess by slapping the MSM propaganda around the block with facts. While performing this public service, the blogger may quote (with attribution) portions of the MSM turd.

Now with the EULA that Closed Source Media is brandishing, bloggers will need to hire a copyright attorney before even linking to the site. Charles and Roger will have the choice to act as little Internet Hitlers going after any blogger who dares not toe their line and criticizes their work.. Instead of an open source commune, CSM is a gated community surrounded by armed copyright attorneys. Now I have nothing against gated communities, I just find it strange that someone would try to label their impenetrable fortress the equivalent of People’s Park Commune when it is anything but that

11/17/2005 02:02:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Thanks for that.
I knew a "normal" copyrighted work was covered by fair use, but to my untrained eye that little blurb you pasted above didn't look like the average notice posted by the "elite" MSM.
If you're right, that would sound like an odd attribute to give them given that folks are free to utilize their material under fair use whereas...
Maybe you could post what you wrote (or a cleaned up de-Kosed version,;-) at Roger's so we could hear his side of the story?
Also await ex-dem's response, since rumor is he's one of them.
Thanks again

11/17/2005 02:27:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Think how much heartache could have been avoided back in the 70's if homeowners foolish enough to entertain some commutarians at their domicile had had the foresight to get signatures on a similar piece of work prior to their taking up residence!
As you know, you had to experience it to truly "appreciate" the joys of communal life.

11/17/2005 02:45:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...


According to OSM, by entering their site you give up any rights under the Fair Use Doctrine.

I am literally risking a lawsuit to do this but I am going link and quote from their site

From their Privacy and Terms of Use page:

Welcome to OSM ("OSM" or "we"). By using Our Site you agree to be bound by all of the terms of this TERMS OF USE AGREEMENT ("Agreement").

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.

8. This Agreement may be terminated by either party for any reason at any time. Sections two (2), three (3) and five (6) through nine (9) of this Agreement shall survive such termination.

What is absolutely amazing is that OSM is taking full advantage of the Fair Use Doctrine by using other people’s copyrighted material on its website but it bans everyone else the same rights to use its material. OSM could quote and attack another blogger’s work (fair enough) but that same blogger would be sued if he then quoted OSM’s original attack while trying to respond! Talk about a one-way street. This is total hypocrisy.

11/17/2005 03:37:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

From the Poor Man's Institute,
bartkid Says:

To err is human,
To blog is to deride.

11/17/2005 04:39:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Lawyers inadvertently write godtalk:
"Please contact our Sales Department if you wish to have rights other than those stated above."

11/17/2005 04:45:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...


Hmm, I wonder how much conjugal rights with Michelle Malkin are going for...

11/17/2005 06:19:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

How about the right to that plus of course, to Bare Arms?

11/17/2005 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger jim said...

The right to bare arms is why we're fighting militant Muslim fundies. (Warning: not work safe)

11/17/2005 02:43:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

I agree with Wretchard on this subject.

But, Wretchard brings up Glenn Reynolds and then goes from there. Which is perfectly right.

Now, must people know there is a slight bit of friction between Wretchard and Glenn Reynolds on a trivial matter of email.

[Instapundit writes]

September 30, 2005

JEEZ, I HATE THESE THINGS: A reader sent me an email asking why I never link to The Belmont Club. Er, I do. But when I responded, I got this:

[from Wretchard]

I apologize for this automatic reply to your email.

To control spam, I now allow incoming messages only from senders I have approved beforehand.

If you would like to be added to my list of approved senders, please fill out the short request form (see link below). Once I approve you... Click the link below to fill out the request...

[Glenn Renolds]

I didn't click. Don't send me email if you have this service on your site, unless you've added me first. I don't have time -- or inclination -- to waste my time in order to save yours, and. I think the whole thing is rather rude.

On the original topic, I like The Belmont Club and have linked to it often, just not lately, I guess. No special reason. Same with IstaPunk and a long list of other sites. Usually, if I haven't linked a site in a while, it's not because of any special reason or because I'm mad (heck, I still link Junkyard Blog...)...

posted at 01:56 PM by Glenn Reynolds

See: Instapundit on Belmont Club

Now, I do read the Belmont Club much more than I read lawyer Glenn Reynolds. The Belmont Club is more indepth. Hence, I spend more time on it.

I think this whole thing is a failure to communicate. Although, I think the Glenn Reynolds is more liberal than Wretchard - he is still some what to the right.

Sure, Glenn is conservative on most issues - but he has to show some liberal traits for his University job. And, he does so. So, the two do not agree. That's is life.

11/20/2005 06:23:00 AM  

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