Death by blogging

April 13, 2008 at 2:00 am 3 comments

Kim photoApparently, our always-on, hectic, global blogosphere has caused the recent deaths of three high profile bloggers – all from heart attacks and ranging in age from 40 to 60 years. I didn’t think of death by blogging when I took a recent look at the many ways we could snuff it off this planet. Didn’t really occur to me. I’m not really an obsessed blogger.

When I started out in January 2007, I admit that for the first few months, I would look at the stats to see if anyone was actually reading my rantings and ravings. Now, I rarely look. I simply blog about what I’m interested in. It’s a way for me to say what I want when I want. If people read and enjoy, okay great. If not, well I’ll remain as obscure as I already am. I have no desire to be a world famous blogger or be in the dizzying ranks of top bloggers. I don’t have the time, energy or patience to spend hours beavering away, hunched over my beloved Mac, turning myself into a new breed of information worker, who rakes in millions through advertising revenue. Hold on! Millions did I hear myself say? Let me rethink!

According to a recent article in The New York Times, Michael Arrington, the founder and co-editor of TechCrunch, a popular technology blog, says his blog hauls in millions through ads. But this has been at a cost to himself. Over the last three years, he has gained about 13 kilos (30 pounds) in weight, suffers from a severe sleeping disorder and his home has been turned into an office for four employees. He feels: “At some point, I’ll have a nervous breakdown and be admitted to the hospital, or something else will happen”.

Advertising has followed publishing to the internet. Some bloggers blog away for the money but from the rates I’ve seen, it sounds a bit like a digital sweatshop. And then there’s the whole competition thing. Trying to beat blogs like BoingBoing (which I love) with the scoop or trying to bring the world news of an Enron-like debacle. Perez Hilton started off his blog because (he says) it seemed an easy thing to do. Now, he’s a celebrity in his own right, rubbing shoulders with the Hollywood glitterati. But to me, sometimes the blogosphere is populated by viciousness, nasty competitiveness, testosterone-fuelled types, bleary-eyed people slaving away to bring the latest, breaking news and so on.

Speed of course is of the essence. Often, I’ve thought “oh must include that on ThinkingShift” only to find that I’ve been scooped by BoingBoing (oh yes: I’ve been ahead of them occasionally) because I delayed a day or so whilst I was busy taking photos! If you read the article, you’ll find that some poor dudes only sleep 5 hours a night, existing on coffee and protein supplements. Some guys drop off over their computers or they faint over their mouse. So it seems this pay-per-click economy sounds way too stressful for me. I think I’ll keep taking photos and quietly blog away (well, rant) about the things I want to rant about. No millions to me, but I won’t suffer the stress of the digital sweatshop environment.

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Entry filed under: Blogging, Journalists & journalism, News opinion, Reflections, Social problems, Society.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Carol  |  April 16, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    Nice….

    Yes – The Pay-Per-Click economy IS too stressful.

    interesting what’s happening with Googles profits with the recent news. They money is pulling back from online ads and per-per-click. On the one hand, I like this because I think Google is too powerful. On the other hand, I worry for you bloggers and how this will impact you. It’s already so hard to make money from this…

    Reply
  • 2. Marc  |  June 10, 2008 at 9:34 am

    Hmmmm…
    Hi Kim… just shooting the breeze, but maybe it’s so nice to read your stuff BECAUSE you don’t have one eye on your stats and you’re not trying to please anyone but yourself. Trying to 2nd guess what someone else might want to read somehow sounds like a death knock to me.

    I knew a guy who made $60 off Google ads once. That’s US dollars, back in the days when they were worth slightly more. It took him a year, which might have been because his site was slow to load (because of the advertising). Still, there’s a posh dinner for one there, if you choose a mid-priced restaurant.

    Maybe there’s an opiod hit (http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB120527756506928579-3wNdJRXhkpLqY4EDBt4j3ly1foo_20090312.html?mod=rss_free)to be had looking at stats graphs or from getting the scoop? Addiction is a weird thing. I want to feel sorry for these 3, I do, I do, but I just can’t.

    =) Marc

    Reply
  • 3. thinkingshift  |  June 12, 2008 at 12:05 am

    I’m with you Marc! You have to be authentic about this – talk about what you are passionate about or find interesting or curious. Not worrying about how many readers (of course, nice to have readers!) or whether you’re making enough for a sandwich out of Google ads!
    Loving your latest photo series BTW.
    Kim

    Reply

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