Pinpricks in the blogging bubble? Perhaps. Last week, Nick Denton of Gawker Media announced that he's laying off two bloggers
at top properties Gawker and Gizmodo, putting the Sploid and Screenhead blogs up for sale (which I guess makes sense, since I've never heard of either), and reshuffling staff and management all over the place. Denton describes it, basically, as a cold-eyed attempt to get out ahead of possible shifts in advertising spending and to cut the ties with underperformers.
Meanwhile today, the Internet is abuzz with a video of Rocketboom host Amanda Congdon apparently reporting her, uh, firing (note: the sites are getting hit pretty hard, and the video may not work on first clicking). Now, Rocketboom has been among the top video blogs in the world almost since its inception (despite recent waning), so I'm still holding forth the slight possibility that Miss Congdon could be pulling a little Star Jones satire on us all. But I stress slight--the good-bye video seems pretty real.
So, all this, combined with last week's musings that YouTube might be doomed to the lack-of-business-plan graveyard has an all too familiar year-2001 feel about it. And I don't like it. Come on, everybody! Let's go click some banner ads!