Freelancer-helping website MediaBistro's upcoming conference, the unfortunately-named MediaBistro Circus, may not be coming along so well: boa-wearing propriestress Laurel Touby recently emailed, like, literally every single person she knows, begging them to register for "two days of inspired programming designed to bring very senior-level media people up to speed on what's happening in digital media." Another bad sign? Hiring circus freaks via Craigslist—on the cheap.

"Our budget is extremely limited, we're sorry to say, but we can pay you $100 per day." Those certainly are circus wages, and everyone knows that real circuses are full of depressed clowns and morning drinkers, not "very senior-level media people." Actually, never mind—the two groups aren't that different after all.

It looks desperate. Might this have anything to do with pressure from MediaBistro's parent company, Jupiter (the ones who bought the site from Touby for $23 million)? $3 million of the sale is subject to a two-year earn-out period, so Touby still has to earn her keep. Jupiter's stock is currently in the toilet at $2.25.