The blogging business has been in a serious slump lately, as overcapacity fed by easy credit and illusions of perpetual growth has led to a collapse in the price of blogposts. Meanwhile, growth in internet participation has stalled as people get sick of hacking their way through pop-ups and spamspray just to read the same old crap over and over, who needs it anyway and at today's prices. However, with winter approaching many readers are working through excess inventory and orders for blogposts are expected to pick up in the fourth quarter. This has put at least a temporary floor under blogstock valuations, though whether the next big breakout will be to the upside or the down remains to be seen.
A recent frenzy of mergers and acquisitions has seen larger blogs swallowing up smaller ones for pennies on the dollar, scaling up to make it through the next round of consolidations, leveraged buyouts and bankruptcies. Size is everything these days. Many smaller bloggers appear to be blogging at a loss and are therefore at the mercy of (being whipsawed by) fluctuations in the credit markets; even a small rise in interest rates could set off a chain reaction as blog after blog collapses under impossible debt loads and financing dries up for the remaining blog blogger bloggy blog-blogs. This could frustrate many serial bloggers who, having published only the first four installments of a story, suddenly find themselves prematurely in Chapter 7.
Accusations of dumping shoddy posts at below cost have been hurled at the usual suspects, who for their part argue that the US safety net, by providing money and food stamps to the poor and underemployed, is actually an illegal indirect subsidy to the US blogging industry. The case will be brought before the WTO soon and the ruling may very well not be in the US' favor. Clearly the feeding of people who are not working at traditional jobs gives them the time and energy to get on the net and wail away. Whether the judges will see it that way is another thing that cannot yet be observed, or to borrow a familiar phrase, remains to be seen.
Of course the fundamental fallacy here is the notion that blogs should compete on cost. Blogs should compete on quality – the quality of the phrases and ideas they deploy, the quality of their breakfast buns, the quality of their ham-fisted attempts at satire and their daft bigfoot-hunting tips, not only the number of clicks they attract but the quality of the clicks, the quality of the readers of the blog and the thought that they put into every click, the temperature of their finger and the meaning of the click, that is really where the value of a blog resides and must continue to reside if we are to continue blogging our way forward towards world domination (with, however, a somewhat light touch).
For our part, this blog is a family run business. It has been in the family for three generations and it ain't for sale at any price. We don't take no government handouts and we certainly ain't lookin for no overseas tax shelter loophole thingies. All we want is a level playing field, decent officiating, mandatory testing for performance-enhancing behaviors, an open-minded freedom-loving audience and no funny business at the weigh-in.
But the business climate and the overall economic environment of today present unprecedented challenges. The proliferation of mobile devices offering ubiquitous high-speed internet access combined with global warming and the depletion of fisheries is creating a climate in which only through carefully controlling cost structure and taking advantage of efficiencies of scale can a blog hope to survive in this difficult economic environment, with topsoil depletion and ocean acidification presenting unprecedented challenges to the modern blogger.
Gotta run, looks like the cheese grater is free. Thanks to our studio audience, and to our musical guests The Substantive Issues. See you next time everyone, good night.