You and I know blogging is a job — and a genetic obsession — and now, thanks to The New York Times, everyone else knows blogging is killing us all.

Here’s April 6, 2008 The New York Times article:

SAN FRANCISCO — 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.

Of course, the bloggers can work elsewhere, and they profess a love of the nonstop action and perhaps the chance to create a global media outlet without a major up-front investment. At the same time, some are starting to wonder if something has gone very wrong. In the last few months, two among their ranks have died suddenly.

I wrote about this blogger burnout phenomenon on March 28, 2008 in my — Out of the Ashes — article:

There’s nothing wrong with burning out. It eventually happens to every personal blog by the very nature of the beast we are exposing — the questions then become: Do you retire your blog, do something else, or do you just keep your blog on life support as it slowly dies from your self-inflicted neglect?I get the sense most people have a year’s worth of really important personal things to share — that’s 365 blog posts — and anything beyond that is either yabbering to fill space and time or a determined change in the direction of the blog that moves it from the world of personal reflections and bounces into the larger, reflexive, world of iteration and public exposure. Some people write those 365 blog posts in six months and burnout — others write less frequently and burnout the 365 over a few years.

People who blog have obsessive personalities because they realize what few in the world ever acknowledge: Publication is proof of life, evidence of accomplishment, and on-the-record preservation of a life lived — along with a Google forbearance against immortality.

Does it matter we’re giving up our good health and our strong hearts to nefarious publishing platforms?

No, because that is the purpose of living and the intent of dying. We can stop at any time — but we continue to move our fingers to connect our thoughts to words.

Writing is the ongoing propagation of dreams into the virtual forward and never-ending future.

Who would want to miss that opportunity to be heard beyond their voice and to be seen afar from the reach of their eye?

If there is a verifiable heartbreak cracking across the “blogosphere” — it is happening not in us — but within those that love us despite our unflinching dedication to the keyboard and the dancing pixels we manipulate with a wink and a touchpad.

We’ll all die trying to fill a bottomless cup to overflowing even though that task costs us more blood and bone than Sisyphus’ entire boulder rolling career.

We blog because we must… not because we want to…


  1. Join Me at RelationShaping

    I’m pleased to announce a brand new blog that I think you’ll enjoy reading. David W. Boles’ RelationShaping and this is our new semiotic logo that suggests the intention of the website: How technology Re-Forms and Re-Shapes our Mind-Body memes…

  2. RelationShaping with David W. Boles

    It is my honor and delight to announce today the creation of a new blog I’m writing — RelationShaping — where we try to give form and meaning to the way technology re-frames and transforms the human body in a…

  3. Hey, it worked! I’m signed in here, too using the same information as like you siad. This is a scary place. Bloggers are unhappy people, huh? What’s this design called?

  4. That’s a great question, Janna. I don’t know if this site is scary or just blunt — maybe there’s no difference?
    It does take a certain, obsessive, quality to keep a blog alive — you just need to know how and when to take a break once-in-a-while and part of making that happen is not letting the blog make or break you financially. That way, the blog remains a valuable tool without becoming a strangulation. I prefer a pulpit over pennies.
    This theme template is called “Hemingway” and it looks great and runs well on Movable Type 4.1 as you can see!

  5. Hi David. I like the new blog, as well as the subject. I’ve been struggling for blog ideas and don’t want all of my posts to be about American Idol, so I think I can turn here and get some inspiration.

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