Blogging is a ‘killer’ business, says NY Times

The NY times reports on the intensity of blogging and how the 24/7 Internet world is taking an emotional and physical toll on bloggers’ health. The web workers are apparently,

"…toiling under great physical and emotional stress created by the around-the-clock Internet economy that demands a constant stream of news and comment."

It also cites how some prominent bloggers have had either died of heart disease or are at serious health risk.

"Two weeks ago in North Lauderdale, Fla., funeral services were held for Russell Shaw, a prolific blogger on technology subjects who died at 60 of a heart attack. In December, another tech blogger, Marc Orchant, died at 50 of a massive coronary. A third, Om Malik, 41, survived a heart attack in December."

I agree that blogging is intense but give me a break, how is this different or even as stressful as some journalist reporting from Iraq or Afghanistan? Now that’s intense.

There are some like Michael Arrington, the popular Techcrunch founder and co-editor/blogger, who NY Times says is close to a nervous breakdown.

Mr. Arrington says he has gained 30 pounds in the last three years, developed a severe sleeping disorder and turned his home into an office for him and four employees. “At some point, I’ll have a nervous breakdown and be admitted to the hospital, or something else will happen.”

Given that 13-15hr workdays are becoming typical (even outside the Silicon Valley), I would say blogging is probably no different than any other high-stress profession. The blogging community hardly has a monopoly on stressed-out, workalcholics with less-than ideal fitness and diet routines. I blog (infrequently) in addition to my 13hr-work day at my day job and it’s not easy. If I weren’t smart about it, I probably wouldn’t have a life. That doesn’t help my blog ranking either, but that’s just how it goes. No matter, what your profession, if you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen.

That being said, I completely agree that frenetic pace of the Internet makes the madness more so. The proliferation of social sites and tools like Twitter, Facebook, and feed aggregators have made incessant communication and consumption so easy. Constant demand for information has created extreme competition in the online world. Now that the blogs are competing with the traditional news media for content, bloggers have to keep running (blogging) to stay in the same place. The computer and the blogger/bloggee(?) have become the modern-day versions of television and the couch potato. If you don’t have something interesting to say all the time, you’re irrelevant.

And that reminds me, gentle readers… it’s time to go work out 🙂

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