Sunday, April 06, 2008

Sunday Fools

April 6, 2008

In Web World of 24/7 Stress, Writers Blog Till They Drop

SAN FRANCISCO — 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.

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.

Other bloggers complain of weight loss or gain, sleep disorders, exhaustion and other maladies born of the nonstop strain of producing for a news and information cycle that is as always-on as the Internet.

To be sure, there is no official diagnosis of death by blogging, and the premature demise of two people obviously does not qualify as an epidemic. There is also no certainty that the stress of the work contributed to their deaths. But friends and family of the deceased, and fellow information workers, say those deaths have them thinking about the dangers of their work style.

The pressure even gets to those who work for themselves — and are being well-compensated for it.

“I haven’t died yet,” said Michael Arrington, the founder and co-editor of TechCrunch, a popular technology blog. The site has brought in millions in advertising revenue, but there has been a hefty cost. 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.”

“This is not sustainable,” he said.

It is unclear how many people blog for pay, but there are surely several thousand and maybe even tens of thousands.



Gee wiz, some taking this blog thing waaaaaay to seriously. Getting paid would be nice but not ten bucks a post, screw that! I lose more than ten bucks some days.

Soon modern medicine will assign a disorder name to blogging fever perhaps 'blogophobiaitis', a obsessive-compulsive behavior causing a myriad of clinical issues.

Whatever, I like to do something new everyday but not for money, for personal enlightenment and to keep what is left of my aged mind intact and functioning.

Drinking coffee, eating delicious pastries when available and chatting with folks around the World is far better than beating deadlines as a necessity to pay bills.

Blog on!


DEN said...

OK don't all stampede the comments to be first now!

HA! Happy Sunday wherever you are from DWF.

One last day to do fun stuff(or work) before marching back into the workplace, so take some time to do both.

Coffee in the corner and leftover pastries from yesterday on the side.

Hajji said...



This posting one blog Headline a day ain't gonna get us to retirement, early or otherwise!

And why aren't you constantly hounding your readers for donations?

What kinda blogger ARE you!?

I'll be fencing this afternoon.

Along with Epee, Foil and Sabre, is there a category for "48-inch 2x4-welded no-climb"?

MTP has every MLK appearance availible online... Played clips today...most notable was the "Sunday morning, 11am is the MOST SEGREGATED time in America..." something that may be sadly still true today...and the reason organized religion continues to woefully lack the ability to bring America together.

I now abdicate my soapbox...



micki said...

These stressed out 24/7 web writers need to organize a Society of Professional Bloggers so that they can get some rest.

In their organization's guidelines of professional ethics they should stipulate that posts are not allowed until a specified time, much like a NEWS EMBARGO. By doing so, their "competition" wouldn't get the jump on them.

They could call their version of an embargo, an EMBLOGO.

Or they could get a real job.

David B. Benson said...

Yes, we need more EMBLOGOs so the readers can catch up as well...


micki said...

For a look back...scroll down to Mike Wallace's interview with Eldon Edwards on May 5, 1957...Edwards was the Grand Wizard of the KKK

(Holy smokes! What pandering to Philip Morris in the commercial!)

David B. Benson said...

So I step outside into the sunshine and am rained upon.

While the sun continues to shine.

Most unusual around here...

carey said...

Hey pals, get a load of this.

By BETH FOUHY, Associated Press Writer
26 minutes ago

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Mark Penn, the pollster and senior strategist for Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential bid, left the campaign Sunday after it was disclosed he met with representatives of the Colombian government to help promote a free trade agreement Clinton opposes.


"After the events of the last few days, Mark Penn has asked to give up his role as chief strategist of the Clinton Campaign," campaign manager Maggie Williams said in a statement released Sunday. "Mark, and Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates, Inc. will continue to provide polling and advice to the campaign."

Communications director Howard Wolfson and pollster Geoff Garin will craft strategy for the campaign going forward, Williams said.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Penn, who serves as chief executive of public relations giant Burson-Marsteller, met with Colombian officials March 31 to help craft strategy to move the Colombian Free Trade agreement through Congress. Penn later issued a statement apologizing for the meeting, calling it an "error in judgment."

"Senator Clinton was disappointed that meetings with Colombians had occurred. She is a strong opponent of the trade deal," said a Clinton campaign officials speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not given authority to speak publicly. "Over the course of the weekend he recognized he needed to step aside as chief strategist."

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The manager of Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign says Mark Penn has asked to give up his role as chief strategist of the campaign.

Campaign manager Maggie Williams issued a statement Sunday saying the action comes after what she referred to as "the events of the last few days."

Williams says Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates, Inc. will continue to provide polling and advice to the campaign.

She also says Geoff Garin and Howard Wolfson "will coordinate the campaign's strategic message team going forward.

carey said...

The Mike Wallace interview with Eldon Edwards, that's gosh darn chilling, Mickereenos. God, we lived through that, watching on our TVs as it were. Not you Hajji, you're way too young. You still live through some of it daily.

All I can say, as we all watched and read the Martin Luther King tributes, is that we are reminded once again that the south is indeed, effin racist.

I never told you guys this, but at the get-together after Ken's funeral, Louisianan Gary Hickman, Brandon's uncle, sat and told us one racist thing after another. Brandon was not in earshot, thank God. I will never forget that. It was crudely, bombastically racist.

What did Brandon and I escape anyway, when Ken passed? Good thing, we'll never find out the whole story. Well, we kind of did find out some of it, forget I even brought that up.

Carey said...

to keep what is left of my aged mind intact and functioning.

That is our DWF motto--it's why we blog here.

Okay, got something else to ponder. I know we've all been doing it somewhat--wondering what the heck Cheney will do about Iran and the upcoming election.

I've considered writing about it several times, but we've covered this subject so, haven't we? Still, you might as well gander at this:

Petraeus Testimony Next Week Will Signal Iran Attack

By Paul Craig Roberts

06/04/08 "ICH' -- - April 5, 2008. Today the London Telegraph reported that “British officials gave warning yesterday that America’s commander in Iraq will declare that Iran is waging war against the US-backed Baghdad government. A strong statement from General David Petraeus about Iran’s intervention in Iraq could set the stage for a US attack on Iranian militiary facilities, according to a Whitehall assessment.”

The neocon lacky Petraeus has had his script written for him by Cheney, and Petraeus together with neocon warmonger Ryan Crocker, the US governor of the Green Zone in Baghdad, will present Congress next Tuesday and Wednesday with the lies, for which the road has been well paved by neocon propagandists such as Kimberly Kagan, that “the US must recognize that Iran is engaged in a full-up proxy war against it in Iraq.”

Don’t expect Congress to do anything except to egg on the attack. On April 3 the International Herald Tribune reported that senators and representatives have made millions of dollars from their investments in defense companies totaling $196 million. Rep. Ike Skelton, the Democrat chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, is already on board with the attack on Iran. The London Telegraph quotes Skelton: “Iran is the bull in the china shop. In all of this, they seem to have links to all of the Shi’ite groups, whether they be political or military.”

DEN said...

Those SOB's need to have their guns away, no bombing anyone in the last waning year of this effin piece of crap war monger chickenhawk collection of idiots, called an administration!

Effin money whores would sell their own Gramma's down the river for a buck!


micki said...

...on another matter...somehow, I missed it until just a few minutes ago, but Charelton Heston died.

Does that mean it's time to pry his gun from his cold....

Oh, nevermind.

DEN said...

Mr. Macho Moses man quit sucking air?

Other than some (who gives a rip anymore) Bible movies and movies with monkeys that made millions, he was a pompous ass.

Think he went to Hell?

Think I'll go to sleep.

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