The economic downturn is a matter of public record now. I figure the first thing to go is luxury purchases like custom pornography. I know I've had to adjust my habits and be pretty critical of how much I'm spending on things that aren't rent and gas. I would not be surprised if we see an upswing in bartering between storytellers and artists and whatnot -- the "let's swap cheap thrills" approach has always been popular, way back to the mid-90s when I got involved. But while people can swap text files or JPGs with just personal effort and basic gear, the original video content in our community isn't something that's usually traded that way -- it's traditionally been pay content, and for good reason, with all the production and editing and props and equipment that goes into making that stuff. So I got curious as to whether that relatively new aspect of the community is established enough to make it through, say, a year or more of hard financial times. I visited both of the main purveyors of inflation video to find...very different situations.
Things look pretty healthy at TaylorMadeClips lately. Every two weeks or so there's been at least one new inflation clip, and usually more than one. They've got a belly prop now and they're using it often; it's not quite as slick as Bambi's gear -- you can see wrinkles in the belly prop in the early inflation stages, so it must be built differently -- but it's a pretty big jump from where Taylor was even a few months ago in regards to inflation vids. The close-up camera work is still a good trick, I think, and it helps sell the scenarios. I hope to see less food-oriented vids (and more logic -- why are Doritos a source of inflation?); I still don't like the mixing of weight gain with inflation. I know some folks don't have a problem with that, and there was certainly imagery and phrasing in those clips (like "Bunny Will Not Burst" and "Roly Poly Irresistible") that made me happy as an inflation fan. I still haven't seen the scene of my dreams from Taylor but I'm not sure what that clip would or should be, so I can't complain. As has been stated many times, they're open to ideas, so maybe I should get off my ass and offer some. But at least they're still in business and showing healthy signs.
Meanwhile, Bambi Blaze's network of sites have been quiet to the point of being worrisome. The clips have been infrequent (one BE clip and one belly clip in two months' time -- and since they appeared on different sites, that means there was an entire billed month with no content in each arena) and worse, no information is coming out as to the source of the delay or an ETA on new content. It's starting to get a little heated in the forums at bambiblazebelly.com. I was asked not to link to her sites so I will respect that, but you can find it yourself if you are curious -- it's the thread called "Goin on a month now...." I hope the economic downturn isn't to blame -- she'd just set up a new studio, which had to be an expense, so I wonder if that turned out to be bad timing. Maybe it's time to consolidate all the subscriptions into one site. No real insight here, as very little has been said. I hope it gets resolved soon. The good news is that there are new props in her videos -- a butt/thigh apparatus that makes for some killer hourglass shapes in the previews -- and that could spark some fun new creative stories. I don't think the slowdown is intentional; I'm betting it's some unfortunate circumstance. One forum post suggests that it may be a computer problem combined with a move into a new house. Certainly plausible, but still -- why not call someone and ask them to post on your behalf? Seems like the customer base just wants to be updated.
[EDIT: Good news. Bambi released a new video on the belly site on November 12. There still wasn't any posting to suggest what the delay was or if anything is wrong. With any luck there isn't, and I hope it's one of many regular releases in the works. But the lack of communication is still weird.]
Meanwhile, I do encourage people to keep circulating new content; if you make or write something original and release it, that can in turn inspire someone else to do the same thing, and the free cycle of smut continues on. I spotted several new stories at BodyInflation.org this weekend, which made me happy. I haven't taken my own advice, mind you, so I have no new stories to share, but I conveniently have excuses. I have been stupid busy with work and a second job, but I've got something unusual in the queue that will hopefully see the light of day next year.