This year alone, the top two global blog networks had a rough time with balancing their budgets. Both Gawker Media and the AOL-bought WeblogsInc. saw numerous pay cuts and retirements of less-performing blogs. Is this a sign that problogging is at a decline?
Gawker Media alone saw at least 3 successive pay cuts of its bloggers since January. They started out at about $7.50 per 1,000 pageviews, then it was reduced to $6.50. Then, another cut brought it down to $5.00 per 1,000 pageviews.
Sites like the ValleyWag, Gizmodo, Consumerist and LifeHacker are under Gawker Media. It has recently pruned off lesser performing blogs like Wonkette, Gridskipper and Idolator.
On July 22, erstwhile Editor of Engadget Ryan Block announced his resignation from the network. On July 24, AOL was reportedly making budget cuts on some of its blogging properties. Several blogs were ordered to stop posting until August 1, 2008 so not to exceed budget allocation. Several blogs affected were The Unofficial Apple Blog (TUAW) and LifeHacker.
On July 25, b5media CEO Jeremy Wright wrote an open letter to the founders and bloggers of Know More Media offering them of a buy-out or something after hearing that the KMM network will be closing down in the following weeks.
These blog networks are the ones being emulated by dozens and probably hundreds of other smaller blog networks as well. Is it the slowing economy in the US? Is it the online ad spending space? Is it the internet advertising industry? Or is the blogging business model already failing?