It's a little-known fact that Pajamas Media—the ambitious blog news site launched by Roger Simon and Charles Johnson—still exists. In one week it'll celebrate its second anniversary, actually. I was reminded of this when I clicked an Instapundit blog ad promising me "the deepest of presidential dish" from David Corn and Richard Miniter and got sent to the PJM splash page. A click on the "videos" menu connects you to the Corn and Miniter page, which does look extinct, so I cast my eyes southward to PajamasXpress, an odd name for the site's celebrity blogs. And there was a new one:
The new real democracy is online. Forget the pollsters. Hearing what individuals who do not make a living from pandering to one team or another, who do not need the assurance that their thinking is in accord with their colleagues of whom they're either afraid of or need reassurance from.
Hence Bloggo ergo sum – first offering.
That was on October 29. Silver hasn't clicked "post" since then.
This is sort of interesting to observe in the wake of Ron Paul's 11/5 "Guy Fawkes" fundraiser. The last time webbies (on this site, anyway) paid attention to PJM was when the site juggled its guidelines to boost Ron Paul out of its presidential poll. What happened after that? No one voted in the straw poll. Anyone who wanted to predict that could have: The political blogosphere is littered with the decomposing corpses of top-down sites that buy a warehouse full of bottles and try, vainly, to generate some lightning to fill them with. Remember HotSoup? Of course you don't. Has anyone chased down you down, grabbed you by the lapels, and shouted "Brother, hear the gospel of Unity08"? Here is my guess: No.
I don't think there's a hard-and-fast rule for bloggy success, but the bottom-up phenomena have this way of overcoming their lack of structure and outperforming the stuff designed by the smart guys. More people are online than were in 2003, but the smooth personalized communities of the Barack Obama site and the John McCain site aren't generating nearly as much energy for those campaigns as the Howard Dean sites did or the sprawling RonPauloverse is for its candidate. (It doesn't help that McCain's page looks like he's running for shadowy world dictator.)