Monday, January 07, 2008

Is it Blogging--or Chasing Popularity--that's Hazardous to Your Health?

First, let me say that I wish Om Malik a speedy recovery from his Dec. 28th heart attack at 41. Yikes! But for some silly reason, Dan Fost at the NYTimesseems to think that it's only bigtime bloggers like Om that could possibly get so stressed as to have a heart attack...

Well, Dan, get a clue. It's lots and lots of bloggers who get stressed--esp. about popularity and rank and all that stuff--esp. if you're trying to build some kind of career out here that is in some way linked to your online presence.

Which is why I'm totally against the idea of making journalists earn their keep by their pageviews....(which started becasue Penelope Trunk, someone who writes for an entertainment portal and not a news organization, got canned....)

Seriously...nobody understands the ratrace of online journalism/publishing/etc. better than bloggers. And I'm talking bloggers of *all* levels who desire to earn something from their blogging--whether it's creating a publishing empire, or income directly from their blogs, or furthering their careers through their blogs. Keeping popularity as well as creating content *daily* (if not several times a day) is a lot of work,....

Not to mention that, sometimes, popularity is contingent on *who* you are as much (sometimes if not more) than the quality of your writing....

Sometimes, too, popularity has something to do with on how quickly you can pounce on a link, if others see you as an expert or not, on who's willing to give you a lead, on how much hype you're willing to swallow as well as generate for yourself....

With so much riding more personality than on prose, is it any wonder that someone out here was bound to have a heart attack??

Is it any wonder that making reporters pay more attention to personality than to journalism is a bad idea?

just a thought.

6 comments:

Bill Dusty said...

I can personally attest to extended periods of high anxiety due to my blogging habits. Almost every time I hit the "publish" button my heart rate surges `:-0

Tish Grier said...

yeah...I know...there are days where I hit that button then think "oh, geeze, who did I just piss off??" or "I wonder if the search engines are going to pick up *this* one..."

some of us thrive on that kind of thing...but I'm beginning to think that yoga might actually help balance all that thrill-seeking stuff.

Rhea said...

I stress out about blogging and hope one day to experience the stress of a BIG TIME blogger. Is that heartless of me?

JackD said...

I too wish Om the best. I have no idea what caused his heart attack, but running a business can certainly be stressful whether it's the talent behind a top blog or your corner shopkeeper.

Your points are well taken. Individuals have to decide where the tradeoffs are for them.

We do know the Internet never sleeps.

Tish Grier said...

Rhea--wouldn't call it heartless, but I *would* call it insane ;-)

JackD--something I learned in spades last quarter was that when the stress gets to be too much, you're not *thriving* on it--it's actually eating away at *you*...

But our world, not just the Internet, has created a culture where being a workaholic and thriving on stress are the "cool" traits of the "successful" folks. And, from knowing people...I know that's not the case at all. Once again, don't believe the hype. In this case, it could save you a trip to the hospital.

Srivalli said...

wow..this is so true..blogging becames so compulsive...I am still not sure if its the popularity or just the thrill that when you hit your name on google your name comes first!...I check on my stats abt 5 to 10 times a day...try hard to post everyday!...god its bound to get hazardous...nice article..makes one think about prorities in life!