Monday, April 07, 2008

Bloggers: Killing Ourselves To Live? (Or: Death By Blogging!)

Over on the forums, Craig of Songs:Illinois posted a very interesting New York Times article about the work world of bloggers and how the constant demand for information is taking a toll on their mental and physical health and, even in two cases, possibly responsible for death.

Here's the lede:

They work long hours, often to exhaustion. Many are paid by the piece — not garments, but blog posts. This is the digital-era sweatshop. You may know it by a different name: home.

A growing work force of home-office laborers and entrepreneurs, armed with computers and smartphones and wired to the hilt, are toiling under great physical and emotional stress created by the around-the-clock Internet economy that demands a constant stream of news and comment.

Of course, the bloggers can work elsewhere, and they profess a love of the nonstop action and perhaps the chance to create a global media outlet without a major up-front investment. At the same time, some are starting to wonder if something has gone very wrong. In the last few months, two among their ranks have died suddenly

The article itself mostly focuses on bloggers in the field of technology, as well as explains the economics of blogging itself--that is, how blogs can make money and how bloggers themselves are compensated. The article then shifts its focus to the technology blog Gizmodo and its writers, who keep a grinding, sleep-deprived schedule:

(Gizmodo manager Brian Lam) is known to pull all-nighters at his own home office in San Francisco — hours spent trying to keep his site organized and competitive. He said he was well equipped for the torture; he used to be a Thai-style boxer.

“I’ve got a background getting punched in the face,” he said. “That’s why I’m good at this job.”

I, for one, would have thought that blogging>punched-in-face in terms of which one would be easier to cope with, but color me surprised! The article then concludes with Lam explaining that he encourages his writers to take breaks, and with a tragically ironic passage about one of the tech bloggers who recently died.

Read the article here

Naturally, the focus of the article was about tech bloggers. But here's a question: are music bloggers under the same kind of stress? Or is the climate different because most people regard music as entertainment or hobby? Since MFR only posts a few times a day and doesn't make any money, it would seem foolish or ridiculous to weigh in on one side or the other. But what sayeth you, dear readers?

(Jonathan Graef)



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do even unpaid music bloggers sacrifice sleep for their blogs? Yes. Do they stress out about how they're going to get all the bloggings made? Yes. Do they gut endless guff from their girlfriends because they check on their blogs each and every time their girlfriends leave the room for three minutes? Also yes!

You've been exposed, Graef.

5:48 PM  

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