Ali’s blog

Mostly quant stuff with occasional digressions

The perils of blogging

Posted by alifinmath on April 6, 2008

Interesting article in the NYT on the hazards of being a (professional) blogger:

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.

“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.”

It seems to me there’s a deluge of low-quality “content” on the Net. It takes time to write a well-thought-out piece — though it may not be commercially viable in any sense. In some subsequent post — if I can remember to do so — I’ll write a post on the virtues of idleness. I’ve never believed in “hard work,” and am convinced it’s just another ruse to con people into working harder and longer. The fledgling American republic produced some excellent idlers in its time — Thoreau comes to mind most prominently. Stevenson (The Englishman who wrote “Treasure Island”) wrote an essay on idleness, titled “An Apology for Idlers,” over a century back. But discussion of this essay, of Thoreau, and of a couple of recent books on idling will have to be in some subsequent post.

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