Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Times: "Death by Blogging"

When I first read this, I thought it was a joke:

"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...In the last few months, two among their ranks [bloggers] have died suddenly...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...."

Indeed, this comes from a NEW YORK TIMES article.

Just in case we weren't clear on the fact that 'death by blogging' is not an option for an autopsy result. Hah.

The article describes the new wave of people who make careers out of blogging, some making as many as six figures (clearly not in the realm of dance blogging...)! But because of the importance of timeliness online, apparently bloggers in certain genres are working too hard to break stories rather than keeping up with natural human health. "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."

Okay then.

I still can't get over that this is in the Times. "All that competition puts a premium on staying awake. Matt...is the right man for the job. He works for...a popular Gawker Media site...He says 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."

Coffee = the key to everyone's success, haha. In my book anyway. And the Times, apparently.

I have to laugh. I don't know that "death by blogging" or that kind of absurd work ethic is necessary for dance blogs. We haven't hit that height of importance, newsworthiness, or abundance of competition yet (will we ever?). BUT after considering this fact I did take pride in the fact that my post on Village Voice dance critic Deborah Jowitt getting laid off was a full 36 HOURS before Gawker (mentioned in article as one of the most timely of blogs) mentioned it, AND before the Times ran a blurb on it. Honestly I posted it hoping it weren't true, as my sources were 2 other blogs (Zimmer's and NAJP) but alas, it was true.

I think the only "death by blogging" is going to be the death of print, sadly.

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