Sunday, April 6, 2008
They work long hours, often around the clock. It's a job that estranges them from family and loved ones -- not only becasue of the demands of their work but also because the experience so alters them that they can no longer relate to people who have not shared their trauma. No, I'm not talking about military veterans. I'm talking about America's other heroes -- bloggers. Today's New York Times reports (on its front page!!) that bloggers 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." According to the Times, "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."
Consider my case. The picture of me at the lop left was taken before I started blogging. A bit nerdy, yes, but otherwise a fine physical specimen. At left, we have a picture of me taken today, after only 18 months of blogging. The weight gain is palpable; the droopy eyes suggest severe sleep disorders and exhaustion. Yup, all the symptoms of bloggerrhea are clearly visible.
As the Times notes, "[b]logging has been lucrative for some." For example, Blog Emperor Paul Caron (left) seems fit as a fiddle. But others toil away hoping to hit their bonus target of 100,000 page views a month. Matt Buchanan, who works for Gizmodo, pretty much sums up my day. According to the Times, "he sleeps about five hours a night and often does not have time to eat proper meals. But he does stay fueled — by regularly consuming a protein supplement mixed into coffee." His editor shows the compassion behind the blogging industry: “If I don’t hear from him, I’ll think: Matt’s passed out again,” said Brian Lam, the editor of Gizmodo. “It’s happened four or five times.”
Why do we do it? Because of the high we get when our efforts are appreciated by our viewers and by our colleagues. As one of my senior colleagues put it, "What's the Internet?"
Now, if the caffeine will just kick in, I can crank out a few more stories before I crashshshzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
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