"The Blog?!" Sounds like something that just climbed out of the swamp in a bad B-grade, Steve McQueen movie. Yet that's exactly what I find myself faced with as I wrestle with this monster I've created. And just like Frankenstein, my blog came to life with a bolt of lightning on a dark and stormy night. Aquascape's first ever reduction-in-force occurred, scarily, right when my blog was coming to life--unveiling the dark side of my creation.

What was conceived with so much hope and promise quickly morphed into a mud-slinging forum for anyone and everyone to air their feelings. Yes I know a little due diligence or SWAT analysis ahead of time could have easily brought to light the potential risk of creating such a prominent public forum to reveal the inner sanctum of a privately held company. Yet I've never felt the need to allow outside critics or commentators to dictate how I make decisions or live my life. Now I'm wondering if having thick skin -- a trait that has previously served me well, is on its way to becoming my Achilles heel?

But here's what I do know: Family, friends, co-workers, business associates, and even (gulp) customers have questioned the sanity of my continuing with "The Blog?!" What good could come of it they ask? What's your longterm strategy? Why give people a forum to spew their venom? All of these are good questions. I acknowledge that I don't have equally compelling counter arguments for those questions. Clearly, from a business perspective, or from a rational approach, the sane thing to do would be to shut down "The Blog" and go back to my comparatively "boring" business life where all I have to worry about are things like meeting payroll, hitting bank covenants, and making sure Aquascape stays a viable, thriving organization.

Yet there's another side of me that doesn't feel clean about that either. What I'm saying in my blog is the truth as I see it. It might not be pretty, flattering, or sexy, but it's real world. As are the visceral responses it generates.

Of course, there are people who have become angry and hurt, as a result of Aquascape's recent changes -- just as there are people who understand and are eager to move the company forward as a result. Some people like CNN (hard to believe, I know), and others like FOX. My blog is not going to change that, and it's not intended to. It's up to each and every person to come to their own conclusions, based on their interpretations of what I write and what others write in response. That's the real world. And here's the deal from my end. I stand by every blog entry I've posted, every sentence I wrote, and each word in them. Yes, we reduced our labor force to get our spending in line with our sales. So why bother to spin it any other way?

Here's the ultimate blog question to all of you in blog heaven or hell. Should I just button up and close this blog down? Or should I continue to reveal the good, the bad, and the ugly that comes with running any business? You tell me.