Monday, April 07, 2008

Blogging A High Risk Occupation?

According to a recent report from the New York Times the stressful lives that us bloggers lead may put us into the same "dangerous jobs" category as coal miners and Alaskan crab fisherman. The article says the stress accumulated from long exhaustive hours of blogging can lead to serious medical conditions, even death.

Recently well know tech blogger Russell Shaw died at the age of 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 his heart attack.

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 can attest first hand that I often find myself spending hours reading through news and information looking for stories to post however I've never seen the types of stresses they are implying.

The NY Times is quick to point out there is no official diagnosis of death by blogging, and the premature demise of two people obviously does not qualify as an epidemic.

Michael Arrington, the founder and co-editor of TechCrunch is quoted as saying 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.”

Popular blogger John Chow has a different take on things. He writes "The only thing I have to say about this story is, you got to be kidding me? No wonder the mainstream media is losing ground so badly to the Internet. Some 60 year old has a heart attack. It must be caused by blogging! I guess the fact that Om Malik weighs something like 400lbs has nothing to do with his heart attack, right?"

Travis Hudson, from PC world writes "I'm not too surprised by this report, but it's pretty obvious. Most bloggers have the opportunity to work out of their home, which many would assume is stress-free, but it's quite the opposite. Working from home lets you work all day and all night. There is no way to easily separate yourself from work."

I would in know way put my experiences up there with Pro-Bloggers Michael Arrington or Om Malik, I don't have deadlines, I don't have advertisers breathing down my neck, I don't have any outside influences in the way I blog. The opinions of my readers is the only concern I have.

But work is what you make of it, it doesn't matter if you are at home, in the office or on the road. As John Chow once said "One of the best things about being a blogger is it gives you the option to do it from anywhere in the world." If working from home starts to be stressful find another place. If you need to get out of the office, visit a Starbucks

John made $31k in March so if it works for him it'll definitely work for me.

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