Sunday, April 6, 2008

Can you die from over-blogging?

The Time has a piece today about the burdens of blogging for those that do it professionally or at least get paid for it. The question posed, is blogging coming at the expense of our health, mental stability and, gulp, life?

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.

I love blogging. I love social media. I love following the trends. I love writing about them. I love interacting with smart people online. That's why I do it. Not because I get paid to do it (though I think that would be cool). I guess if I was in the "I get paid to blog" category, I would want to be the type that visitors were interested in my style of writing, my online personality, my wit, my jokes, my honesty, etc. I wouldn't want the pressures of being a breaking news blogger. No more are the days that you pick up the newspaper and there is "breaking" news in it. Breaking news happens all the time and by the time it's actually covered by the print media, it's old news. If any outlet has it the easiest, I guess it's broadcast. They can shoot and throw on the tube within seconds. Then again, they have to have the footage. If not, then we're just looking at talking heads.

Same goes for the social media reporters. It takes them a little time to gather their thoughts, write the post, quickly edit, and then go live.

However, micro-blogging sites like Twitter have now changed the game completely. All you need is a good story and 140 characters and you're breaking news. Check Mashable for an example of that. They are always breaking tech news. Steve Garfield and Steve Rubel are two other examples.

So while blogging is fun, informative and a great source for all the news that's fit to print, I don't think it's a real cause for people kicking the bucket. It might lead to unhealthy eating and abnormal sleeping habits. People just need to get a grip. Let's be smarter about what we are writing instead of always trying to beat the other guy. Yes, we need people to cover breaking news, but there has to be a balance of writing smart posts that really add to the value of the story versus pumping out 140 characters just to gain ad revenue.


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