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Journalist Blog Network Launches Today

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Thank God OSM (Open Source Media) launched today. Now I won’t have to decide for myself which blogs are written by the Internet’s brightest minds.

Since Pajamas Media’s stated goal is “to bring together the internet’s brightest minds and most compelling content into a single source that will, in turn, complement and re-define journalism in the 21st century,” all my blog reading will now be conveniently located in one place. After all, who needs blogs from regular people like Robert Scoble or Steve Rubel when you can turn to regular journalists-about 70 of them-will be blogging away on OSM?

OSM is touted as the “portal to the blogosphere,” launched by co-founder Roger L. Simon (a novelist and screenwriter) who along with partner Charles Johnson “knew there was enough expertise and investigative ability among bloggers nationally and globally to out-report the mainstream media on turf they had long controlled.” Maybe they have the same investigative budgets, too.

Okay, so I’m amused by the high ego reflected in the launch rhetoric. The site actually has promise, although it could still use some shaking out. For example, the list of blogs participating in the network is long, listed only alphabetically, with no clue as to who authors each blog or what it’s about. The blog posts highlighted on OSM appear below the fold. Pages are slow to load (although that could be the result of heavy traffic on launch day.) And, despite the proclamation that bloggers can out-media the media, a helluva lot of content on OSM comes from (you guessed it) mainstream media, including AP, BusinessWeek, PRN, and a host of others. The news items appear in long, scrolling pages. And the stories “complied by OSN staff” are summaries of news from the mainstream media. Maybe I’m missing something.

Other features include “Blogjams,” a kind of “Meet the Press” with OSM bloggers, and a tip line.

OSM kicked off this morning with a live “launch party” to which you could listen as a speaker pointed to a screen you couldn’t see.

One thing OSM has going for it is its PR firm. The always-excellent Voce Communications is handling PR for OSM. The folks at Voce should be confident they’ll get paid, since OSM snagged $3.5 million worth of private financing.

Shel Holtz is principal of Holtz Communication + Technology which focuses on helping organizations apply online communication capabilities to their strategic organizational communications.

As a professional communicator, Shel also writes the blog a shel of my former self.

Journalist Blog Network Launches Today
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