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What happened to Pajamas' $3,500,000?

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Pajamas Media, an online neocon aggregator founded by fedoraed Academy Member Roger L. Simon, will stop paying people soon.

Pajamas was founded by Simon with a generous gift of $3,500,000 by AIPAC supporter Aubrey Chernik and a few SV types with various ties to the Levant. It claimed its business model, however, was based on ad revenue and "citizen" blogging.

Unbelievably, some bloggers unfamiliar with Excel bought this.

The math: three-million five spread out over a hundred bloggers over four years would generate a median of, click click, $8,750 per blogger per year, even without garnering any advertising revenue at all.

Those making significantly south of that should have had questions early on. Lots, in fact, did. Many more will, I'm sure, as the trainwreck unfolds. Elizabeth Scalia aka the Anchoress confesses she "finally reached a point where I was breaking $1,000 a quarter in earnings."

Another PJM blogger says:

I'll tell you a little secret -- most quarters I don't get quite enough traffic to get a check anyway, and when I do, believe me, the amount isn't earth-shattering. When they changed their terms some time back I went with the "non-exclusive" option (which allows me to add other display ads if I choose) -- the trade-off being that I would get half of what I would have had I gone for the exclusive option.

Simon now calls what bloggers received a "stipend."

Simon's claim that the media entity "was losing money from the beginning"---an aggregator site that somehow found a way to lose $875,000 a year over four years---suggests fuzzy math and fuzzy promises both at the startup and the finishdown.

UPDATE: A summary of PJM alumi complaints are up at a Village Voice blog.