Risking My Life To Deliver You Bloggy Goodness

You better enjoy Right Wing News while you can because according to the New York Times, I may be about to drop dead at any time,

“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.

A growing work force of home-office laborers and entrepreneurs, armed with computers and smartphones and wired to the hilt, are toiling under great physical and emotional stress created by the around-the-clock Internet economy that demands a constant stream of news and comment.

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.

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. There is also no certainty that the stress of the work contributed to their deaths. But friends and family of the deceased, and fellow information workers, say those deaths have them thinking about the dangers of their work style.

The pressure even gets to those who work for themselves — and are being well-compensated for it.

“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.”

“This is not sustainable,” he said.”

Many of you out there respect firemen, policemen, and other selfless public servants who risk their very lives to serve our country, but I think it’s time that you started acknowledging the heroes of a new generation: bloggers.

Sure, I know what you’re thinking: “Wow, you live a tough life, man. In fact, I’m surprised all the blogging isn’t done by illegal immigrants, because if there is any such thing as a job Americans won’t do, it has gotta be blogging.”

Yes, that’s very true.

But, those of us out here risking our lives in the field, bloggers, coal miners, lumberjacks, are cut out of a different cloth than ordinary people. Yes, we realize we have tough jobs, but because we exude manliness like an adorable puppy exudes cuteness, we can make it work.

PS: In all seriousness, it does take some long hours to put out RWN and CG, but that could be said of a lot of jobs. But, as a general rule, if you’re not putting in more than 40 hours a week at a job, you’re not putting in enough work to really excel at it.

Is it stressful? Honestly, I don’t think so. Being able to get up when you want, go to bed when you want, set your own hours, and work at a job you love without having to take orders from a boss? That is just a great way to live. If doing this gets you so stressed out that you’re about to have a heart attack or a nervous breakdown, I gotta tell you, either you’re just not cut out for it, you’re doing it wrong, or you’ve never worked at a really tough job.

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