John Battelle has his own plan for riding out the holiday ad-buying slump. The founder of online-advertising network Federated Media, which brokers ads for sites like Boing Boing, GigaOm, and Dooce, can't fire writers, but he can cut the price of their ads. John, be careful. Your inbred network is made up of bloggers who are also endorsers, who also shill their own products. Your list of clients is months out of date — it includes Digg and Fark, who long ago dropped Federated. Cut ad rates too carelessly and your Rube Goldberg business model may backfire. I mean this as the highest compliment: If anyone can lay himself off by accident, that someone is John Battelle. Here's the spam that Federated sent to bloggers this morning:

————— Forwarded message ————— From: Federated Media Date: Thu, Nov 13, 2008 at 9:05 AM Subject: A Holiday Gift from FM, $5 CPM's To: Believe it or not the holidays are already fast approaching! To make planning your holiday advertising campaign quicker and easier, we've created a Holiday Shopping Federation that includes the best gift and shopping related content in the Federated Media family of sites. Sites in this category include Uncrate, Mighty Goods, The Bargainist, and many more. The Holiday Shopping Federation reaches the savviest of shoppers. They are avid readers of product reviews, and hunt down everything from the best in fashion to the coolest new tech gadgets. This is where engaged shoppers peruse gift guides, and look for suggestions for everyone on their list. Here's the best part, for a limited time only, we're offering access to these high-quality sites at a low $5 CPM. Reserve your campaign now through November 28th to lock in this low rate, and get access to readers on some of the best content on the web. Start Planning and take advantage of these low CPM's before holiday inventory gets booked up! Cheers and Happy Holidays, Federated Media FM Self-Serve Homepage Online Marketing Idea Exchange