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Writers Find Blogging To Be a Stressful Method of Reporting 199

Posted by Soulskill
from the get-your-bloggercise dept.
Andrew Feinberg points out a New York Times story about the stress put upon prolific bloggers to maintain a constant flow of content in order to satisfy both consumers and advertisers in the information age. When breaking a story first can generate thousands more page views and clicks, many bloggers are finding themselves chained to their computers, worrying that they'll miss something important if they step away. Quoting: " '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."
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Writers Find Blogging To Be a Stressful Method of Reporting

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  • by SRA8 (859587) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @09:58AM (#22979818)
    Reminds me of Maddox [xmission.com]. I check his page almost everyday for updates and get angry every time he hasn't posted new content. I only abstain from complaining due to fear of having my email posted!
    • by PlatyPaul (690601) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @10:19AM (#22979978) Homepage Journal
      Yeah, I know you were being funny (and linking to Maddox which, for the record, is a practice I wholly support), but there's truth to what you're saying.

      When you can see the news any moment, you expect the news every moment. When people read newspapers primarily, it was considered acceptable to not be up-to-date until the next day. Then came radio, then TV news, then internet news sites (with full-length articles), then blogs. Now, microblog [wikipedia.org] services like Twitter [twitter.com] are pushing the boundaries of what we consider "up-to-date". When 9-11 happened, I knew people who didn't found out until late afternoon. If the same happened today, it would be a shock if someone hadn't heard within the hour.

      I'm not surprised that it's exhausting to be a news blogger; it's hard enough just being a paper reporter. But, then again: those who love to do it will continue to do it.
      • by TubeSteak (669689) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @11:09AM (#22980388) Journal

        I'm not surprised that it's exhausting to be a news blogger; it's hard enough just being a paper reporter.
        I think the problem with bloggers is that so many of them are making solo efforts.
        More bloggers need a sister site or blog-ring which will is updating during their 'off' hours.

        But, then again: those who love to do it will continue to do it.
        It's funny that society accepts this excuse for workaholics, but not alcoholics.
        It doesn't matter how much you love what you do if it burns you out or ruins your health.
        • by Original Replica (908688) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @12:08PM (#22980774) Journal
          I think the problem with bloggers is that so many of them are making solo efforts.

          I think the problem is:"The site has brought in millions in advertising revenue...in the last three years...turned his home into an office for him and four employees." Millions of dollars in three years and he's only got four employees and is working out of his home? Get an office and hire some more people you penny pinching fool! Or cash out, put the money in high interest savings, and work part time to supplement the $80k+ a year that $2 million will earn in interest. Look at the decades it takes to gross a few million as a plumber or mechanic or teacher or police officer and then tell me how hard it is to write a blog. Sure it might be more intense it the short term to maintain a highly successful blog, but it it allows you to retire in five years instead of a career of forty years, your sum total of stress and difficulty is going to be far far less in the end.
    • by nmb3000 (741169)
      Reminds me of Maddox. I check his page almost everyday for updates and get angry every time he hasn't posted new content. I only abstain from complaining due to fear of having my email posted!

      The biggest difference is that Maddox doesn't, and hasn't ever, placed advertisements on his site. From what I understand it is hosted essentially for free by Xmission because they rock. His updates have become more and more sparse, but I figure that's what happens when Real Life catches up with you and demands atten
  • fat and rich (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thegnu (557446) <thegnu@gmailLION.com minus cat> on Sunday April 06, 2008 @10:00AM (#22979834) Journal
    if he's made millions of dollars, can't he just move to a small island off the coast of Mexico and have young women make him ceviche, bring him beer, and blow him for the rest of his life?

    I gained 30 lbs once, and I've since dropped the weight, but I have nothing to show for it. I wonder if we'll get an article here soon about how executives making millions of dollars are stressed out.
    • Re:fat and rich (Score:5, Informative)

      by jhoger (519683) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @10:14AM (#22979946) Homepage
      I doubt "millions" refers to earnings. It likely refers to revenue. So after a few "millions" in revenue he has to pay tax and any expenses including salary, benefits of staff. It divides up pretty quick. Plus the owner has been drawing salary and dividends in the meantime.

      Plus if you think you can retire on what's leftover there I think that is a bit unrealistic. Say he has 1M leftover. Assuming a risk-free rate of 5% that's $50,000 per year. That used to be a starting California programmer's salary in the late 90's. I don't know about anyone else but I didn't feel rich. You definitely cannot support a family on that supposing he has one. Certainly you won't be renting an island, a chef and prostitutes for $50K/year.

      -- John.
      • Re:fat and rich (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Peter Cooper (660482) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @10:33AM (#22980096) Homepage Journal

        Assuming a risk-free rate of 5% that's $50,000 per year. That used to be a starting California programmer's salary in the late 90's. I don't know about anyone else but I didn't feel rich. You definitely cannot support a family on that supposing he has one.
        You most certainly can, as long as you own your own home (no rent or mortgage to pay) and you live in the 99.9% of the world that isn't Manhattan or SF :) Heck, my family's expenses are far less than that and we pay a mortgage and live well.

        The greed behind thinking "I *must* make $100k+ to survive" is one of the many factors sending this industry down the toilet.
        • Assuming a risk-free rate of 5% that's $50,000 per year. That used to be a starting California programmer's salary in the late 90's. I don't know about anyone else but I didn't feel rich. You definitely cannot support a family on that supposing he has one.

          You most certainly can, as long as you own your own home (no rent or mortgage to pay) and you live in the 99.9% of the world that isn't Manhattan or SF :) Heck, my family's expenses are far less than that and we pay a mortgage and live well.

          The greed behind thinking "I *must* make $100k+ to survive" is one of the many factors sending this industry down the toilet.

          Every blogger should want to make $100k. It's good for the internet economy and for the blogging community if bloggers make $100k and up. Doctors, Lawyers, CEO's and other professions make over $100k, and I don't see you saying "It's because those Lawyers make over $100k that the legal system is going down the toilet."

          The more money you have coming in, the better off you'll be, it's that simple, and if you want to live cheap, then you probably wont be able to afford private school for your kids, and you mi

          • by Overzeetop (214511) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @10:52AM (#22980268) Journal

            Doctors, Lawyers, CEO's and other professions make over $100k
            Congratulations, we've finally identified that professions with high barriers to entry (intelligence, schooling, well placed parents, etc.) make higher salaries. Blogging requires, um, a keyboard and an ability to type. Oh, sure, there are probably PhDs out there blogging. Okay, okay, I'm kidding - I sincerely doubt it - unless they were useless in their fields to begin with.

            I'll agree with you that they should all strive to make six figures, but the reality is that the supply far exceeds the demand, and the talent pool is relatively shallow on average. I know people working just as hard, for just as many hours, usually at multiple jobs, to barely make ends meet. They do it because they don't have the training or ability to perform work that has a higher value in society. Heck, I could make more as a doctor or a lawyer, but I really like being an engineer and I spent my college money to become one.

            As for finding a mate, they one's who are primarily interested in the size of your wallet are much more likely to leave you if that wallet ever deflates. I recommend finding one who would marry you if you lost every penny you had in the world. You'll be a lot happier than if you make $100k and had someone who constantly griped about not having enough money to live the way he or she likes.
            • by Belial6 (794905)
              While I cannot say they don't exist, there certainly are not enough women that don't date and marry for money to go around. Your advice is about as good as telling a kid he should be a pro football player when he grows up. It is possible, and there are lots of examples of it happening, but you are going to end up with a lot more failures than successes if even small percentage of the boys go for it.
            • by tomhudson (43916)

              Blogging requires, um, a keyboard and an ability to type.

              The "ability to type" is purely optional. Cut-n-paste from [ other blogs | teh InnerToobs | whatever ] seems to be the norm.

              Scratch a blogger, find a copyright violator.

            • "Oh, sure, there are probably PhDs out there blogging. Okay, okay, I'm kidding - I sincerely doubt it - unless they were useless in their fields to begin with."

              Holy crap, that's a mean thing to say. Maybe, some of these PhDs are useful in their field because they are a blogger. Shit man, almost everyone in the tech industry has an online presence of some sort somewhere. Many of them, I'm sure, consider themselves professional bloggers regardless of the amount of income they might derive from the status.

              As for finding a mate, they one's who are primarily interested in the size of your wallet are much more likely to leave you if that wallet ever deflates.

              I think this is a little unfair also. I prefer a woman that works, doesn't mean I'll leave her if she CAN'T work. You're talking about something like a trophy

            • by proxima (165692) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @12:17PM (#22980838)

              Oh, sure, there are probably PhDs out there blogging. Okay, okay, I'm kidding - I sincerely doubt it - unless they were useless in their fields to begin with.

              Actually, there are quite a few PhDs out there blogging. They are hardly "useless in their fields", at least the ones I read; they tend to be some of the more high profile people (and the blogs simply give them an even higher profile). Two cases in point for economics: Greg Mankiw's blog [blogspot.com] and Marginal Revolution [marginalrevolution.com], a blog by two George Mason profs with occasional guest bloggers.

              Blogging is actually fairly amenable to the goal of many academics: to share information and debate about it. The biggest downside that I see is that blogging is fairly time consuming. Mankiw turned off comments to his blog because he didn't have time to moderate them, so his blog became more of a one-way street.

              Of course, econ is just one field; I honestly don't know how prevalent blogging is in other fields.
            • "Oh, sure, there are probably PhDs out there blogging. Okay, okay, I'm kidding - I sincerely doubt it - unless they were useless in their fields to begin with."

              You sir, are a pompous idiot. There are plenty of PhDs blogging. Doctors, physicists, constitutional lawyers and others. You lead a sheltered blog life.
            • by jollyreaper (513215) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @01:32PM (#22981334)

              Congratulations, we've finally identified that professions with high barriers to entry (intelligence, schooling, well placed parents, etc.) make higher salaries. Blogging requires, um, a keyboard and an ability to type. Oh, sure, there are probably PhDs out there blogging. Okay, okay, I'm kidding - I sincerely doubt it - unless they were useless in their fields to begin with.
              Yeah, and all painters require is some oils and canvas, anyone can paint, right? Heh. There's a world of difference between what I could make pushing paint across a canvas vs. someone who knows what he's doing. The same goes for writing. There's low financial barriers to entry but there's a huge barrier when it comes to your chops. Stand-up comedians don't even need a keyboard, the microphone is provided by the house. Think anyone can do it and make money at it? Heh, think again. You have to be really, really funny to make it in that business, or be Jerry Seinfeld. (Yes, I said it, I don't think he's funny. Watch the rest of the world disagree with me.)
            • by sorak (246725)

              Doctors, Lawyers, CEO's and other professions make over $100k

              Congratulations, we've finally identified that professions with high barriers to entry (intelligence, schooling, well placed parents, etc.) make higher salaries. Blogging requires, um, a keyboard and an ability to type. Oh, sure, there are probably PhDs out there blogging. Okay, okay, I'm kidding - I sincerely doubt it - unless they were useless in their fields to begin with.

              Um...P.Z. Meyers [scienceblogs.com], Phil Plait (the Bad Astronomer) [badastronomy.com], Dr. Steven Novella (NeuroLogica) [theness.com]...Those three exceptions just came to mind.

        • by Otter (3800)
          You most certainly can, as long as you own your own home (no rent or mortgage to pay)...

          Well, yes. If someone gave me a free house, I definitely could live on $50K. And if it had a river of money flowing through the yard, I wouldn't have to work at all.

      • by scubamage (727538)
        If you have a million dollars and you invest it thats still a pretty hefty sum. In fact, investing it in a stock which gives 1.20 annual dividends will yield more than 90,000$ a year in dividends alone, not to mention regular capital gains. More than enough to live on for the rest of your life and cover your tax obligations.
        • by jhoger (519683)
          To get $1.20 dividend, what's the share price of the stock? Let's say the yield is a relatively high 5%. So to yield $90K, that's $90,000/.05 = 1.8M. Hmm... that's pretty close to 2M, not 1M. With the volatility of the stock market I wouldn't count too heavily on capital gains after retirement.

          Personally I'd consider the "Money Problem" safely solved at $3M or $4M, and I wouldn't be heavily invested in the stock market. Government treasury bonds more likely. Once I make that $4M in retained earnings I'll be
          • by scubamage (727538)
            Actually there are a surprising number of high dividend yield stocks which sell for relatively cheap. For instance, Fidelity has averaged about 15$ a share for the past year. If you were to sink a full million in, that would leave you with over 65,000 shares (obviously you'd have to find that many, but this is hypothetical). At 1.20$ per share thats an annual yield of close to 80,000$ from dividends alone (before taxes). Not massive, but easily something an average person could live on.
      • REBUTTAL (Score:3, Funny)

        by thegnu (557446)

        Certainly you won't be renting an island, a chef and prostitutes for $50K/year.

        Certainly you've never been to Mexico. ;-)

        I never said chefs and I never said hookers. The exchange rate on personal relationship is way better in Mexico anyway.
      • by SRA8 (859587)
        OK, lets continue. $50k/year after taxes would be ~ 38k (if you live in a high tax state and/or city, even less.) Health insurance for a family is about $1000/mo if you aren't going through a group plan, so now you are down to $26k/year. (And this is all assuming you can actually get 5% yield consistently on your money.) Now, you can easily live on $26k in Charlotte NC or low-cost but still nice areas. There are even cute women if you are single. But forget NYC or SF ($70k is poverty level for living
    • by v1 (525388)
      Glad I'm not the only one that questions why this guy is complaining about a few tradeoffs he had to make to become a millionaire.

      So all I need to do to become a millionaire is to lose some sleep, gain a little weight, and use my home as an office for a few years? Hey, I'm cool with that.

      My next question would be, so... if you've made a ton of money, and are starting to feel the backlash, why haven't you handed the torch off to someone else to go retire somewhere and enjoy a relaxing, stress-free early ret
    • by couchslug (175151)
      "if he's made millions of dollars, can't he just move to a small island off the coast of Mexico and have young women make him ceviche, bring him beer, and blow him for the rest of his life?"

      Your ideas intrigue me and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
  • by Poromenos1 (830658) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @10:04AM (#22979858) Homepage

    The site has brought in millions in advertising revenue, but there has been a hefty cost.
    Bloggers are complaining that making millions wasn't as easy as they'd like? Cry me a river...
    • by garcia (6573) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @10:08AM (#22979892) Homepage
      Bloggers are complaining that making millions wasn't as easy as they'd like? Cry me a river...

      I don't think that's the point they are trying to make. I think that what they were trying to get across was that blogging has become just as difficult to keep up with as traditional media but instead of having a team of researchers working around the clock to handle news feeds, fact checking, etc, you have less than a handful of people doing the work that used to take many many more.
      • And I think the grandparent's point was that if they are making millions, they can hire that "many many more" you speak of... If they want to keep a tight control and do all the work themselves, then it's their own fault! Taco doesn't check and post every story on slashdot because he knows that's not possible, he has however many people he needs to help him.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by kv9 (697238)

        this is what happens when normal people start pretending to be geeks. the drama starts. I expect a FOX special report on this pretty soon. "Blogs: The Silent Killers of People Prone to Getting Fat After Sitting on Their Ass for a Long Time"

        I don't hear the Slashdot crew whining about reporting news for over 10 years. I guess they really like what they really do and don't feel the need for guilttripping themselves

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by drsquare (530038)
        But bloggers copy most of their news from elsewhere anyway, so why do they need all those people?
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by tomhudson (43916)

          But bloggers copy most of their news from elsewhere anyway, so why do they need all those people?

          Because one blogger accidently copied his own shit and disappeared in an infinite loop.

    • by Overzeetop (214511) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @10:17AM (#22979970) Journal
      For that kind of money, he can rent an office, hire a staff (sounds like he has one), and be a real small business owner. Heck, most small companies (i.e. 5 employees) would kill to have a seven figure annual budget, and without physical inventory to turn, no less! Even more, blogging can be run from an $8/SF office space in a small town. Sure, there's lot of time and stress involved - welcome to the world of small businesses. You're growing or you're dying.

      I'd like to feel bad for him, but - as a small business owner with 5 employees and noticeably less than a million dollars in annual revenue - I just can't seem to get the tears going while I browse the 'net at lunch from my office.
    • by Reziac (43301) *
      Which makes it sound sortof like spammers' similar complaints, except in this case, readers seek the spam rather than having it thrust upon them!

  • by bigsmoke (701591) <bigsmoke@gmail.com> on Sunday April 06, 2008 @10:06AM (#22979880) Homepage Journal
    I once wrote a rhyme about this. Maybe you'll like it: http://www.bigsmoke.us/bloggers-block/ [bigsmoke.us]
    • by DeadChobi (740395)
      I just wanted to let you know that having a redirect to a smarmy, condescending tirade on how IE is the worst broswer known to man is a very bad way to get people to read your website. Especially if the person reading your website is using a computer which he has no control over. Perhaps, in the future, you will consider letting people choose which browser they use to access your website since it most likely consists of code which will render just fine in IE. Unless you do online banking or some other type
      • by Dutch Gun (899105)
        I launched the page in IE (I normally use FireFox) just to see that. Much more entertaining than the actual content.

        BTW, I thought this was the best part:

        Not only is IE insanely insecure, it doesn't even support the international web standards without which there would be no World Wide Web.
        Ironic, no? Complaining about W3 standards in a page that blocks users based on their choice of browser.
  • Also in the News (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday April 06, 2008 @10:07AM (#22979886) Journal

    Writers Find Blogging To Be a Stressful Method of Reporting
    Readers Find Blogging To Be Most Ridiculous Form of Reporting News Yet

    Seriously, does anyone get their 'news' from blogs? Granted they can be interesting and helpful, they are often written with no editing and read more like "On the Road" than The New York Times.

    Congratulations on developing income through traffic but it pains me to see people use this as a way to stay informed.

    If you never leave your basement you're not reporting, you're aggregating or spinning.
    • by Robert1 (513674)
      I don't know anyone who gets their news from blogs. Not a soul. The only times I've ever seen people read them is when actual journalists from established news organizations are at some technology conference of some sort and post as it happens. I can't imagine using a blog or even several blogs as a replacement for the multitude of legitimate news organizations.
    • Re:Also in the News (Score:4, Interesting)

      by value_added (719364) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @10:28AM (#22980052)
      Seriously, does anyone get their 'news' from blogs?

      I'm sure a small minority do (in the same way that some get their news from the John Stewart Show), but the real question is why those chanting Old Media is Dead haven't yet noticed that news comes from, and will continue to come from professional reporters. You know, the folks that took the time to study journalism and are typically employed by newspapers, news organisations, and a dwindling number of media companies that can still afford them?

      Granted they can be interesting and helpful ...

      Indeed. They do have a contribution to make, but usually that's in the form of commentary, added background or trivia, or even some personal insight. At their best they also provide links to some authoritive reporting, and at worst, incestuous links to other blogs.

      Bloggers complaining about stress should visit a real news room. They might discover that the act of reporting (or the writing part of it) is a lot harder than sitting in a Starbucks with a Mac waxing poetic while contemplating current events.
      • by DeadChobi (740395)
        I met someone who did use blogs as a way to get updates in science news at an open forum. I couldn't resist pointing out that blogs typically get their news from other blogs who get their news from other blogs who get their news from legitimate news organizations.
      • by dave1791 (315728)
        I've got an RSS pull of Arringtonâ(TM)s blog. About every tenth article is worth more than a headline scan for me, but I can see where it has its place. Tech crunch is basically where start-ups pimp their stuff. Arrington writes glowing reviews of web2.0 thingees and his 50k or so readers run off to sign up. In short, if you just have to attach twitter to your mobile phone, then you probably read his blog. The thing is, blogs make good subject specific grapevines for niche markets. Arrington mark
        • by dave1791 (315728)
          geez... that formatting got messed up. Considering that I can't just post blind anymore, I should catch these things... /sigh
    • Granted they can be interesting and helpful, they are often written with no editing and read more like "On the Road" than The New York Times.

      On a related note, you're missing a "but" or "however" after the comma, highlighting that even the best of us have the occasional problem with grammar. You do get bonus points for citing Kerouac and for capitalizing "The" in "The New York Times" — up until researching it just now, I wouldn't have guessed that "The" is actually part of the newspaper's name.

      If y

      • It's all in the ratios.

        Lets say for argument sake that 1 in every 4 professional reporters are crap, that might be a little low (lets even say it's 1 out of 2) but I'm just making a point. With blogs, about 1 in 50 is half-way solid and the rest is complete and absolute garbage. It's probably more along the lines of 1 in 100.

        The signal to noise ratio makes blogs worthless. Even if you know where to look.
        • "The signal to noise ratio makes blogs worthless. Even if you know where to look."

          Which means, of course, you're missing some of the finest on the ground reporting coming out of the Middle East, for instance. The Mesopotamian, Iraq The Model and Micheal's Yon and Totton. No MSM reporting holds a candle.
    • Seriously, does anyone get their 'news' from blogs?
      Where exactly do you think you're posting right now?
      • by DeadChobi (740395)
        This isn't a blog, it's a news aggregation site with a message board. The difference is that the aggregator links directly to the source instead of just writing about what's going on. Oh, and they're honest about being an aggregator.
    • by saitoh (589746)
      Couple of things:

      1) I agree with you that it's sad that people use blogs as a source of real information. People who don't have any formal training or education in journalism sometimes miss how to construct a story in a manner that does not lead the reader in a certain bias-direction (hell, some journalists miss that as well, a journalist I know complains, it seems perpetually, about this). Grammar, spelling, factual presentation. These are things that people seem to be willing to trade in search of a faste
  • by elucido (870205) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @10:10AM (#22979918)
    Bloggers need both better technologies and better business models so that people can make a decent income blogging. It's a decent career but there's just not enough money in it yet to make it worth the pain and stress. We need alternative business models to increase the value of the blogsphere. Anyone got ideas?
    • Learn to live on less than a million dollars a year. That would free up some of that income to capitalize the infrastructure.
      • Learn to live on less than a million dollars a year. That would free up some of that income to capitalize the infrastructure.

        The global economy is never going to be fair or become more efficient. The strong(rich) always exploit the weak (poor), and the only thing you can do is make sure you aren't the weak(poor) by trying to make as much money as you can make in your lifetime.

        I don't know about you, but I want my time to be worth the absolute maximum amount of money possible. I value my time, and I love my life, and I don't want to waste my time and my life making somebody else rich. I want to make myself rich.

        And women prefer p

        • by Miseph (979059)
          Hate to burst your bubble, but no woman I would describe as "good" is more attracted to a guy with money than, say, a guy who's likeable and isn't a douche. At least I give you credit for observing the warped nature of our social values, though I'm perplexed by your apparent embrace of it and exhortations to participate in a clearly unfair system.

          To each his own, I suppose.
          • Hate to burst your bubble, but no woman I would describe as "good" is more attracted to a guy with money than, say, a guy who's likeable and isn't a douche. At least I give you credit for observing the warped nature of our social values, though I'm perplexed by your apparent embrace of it and exhortations to participate in a clearly unfair system.

            To each his own, I suppose.

            No woman wants to raise kids with a bum. A woman wants a man who can make her feel safe, because the world is a scary and dangerous place. Women also want a shoulder to cry on when times are tough, so ideally women want BOTH likeable and rich.

            However when women have to choose between the rich/powerful/strong asshole, and the weak/bum/jobless asshole, which asshole is she going to choose?

            Most of us are either very likeable and very poor (myself included), or rich jerks. The majority of women still go for th

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by esper (11644)
          I want my time to be worth the absolute maximum amount of money possible. I value my time, and I love my life, and I don't want to waste my time and my life making somebody else rich.

          I'm with you so far...

          I want to make myself rich. ...but we diverge here.

          I want my time to be worth as much as possible not so I can be rich, but so I can live comfortably while selling as little of my time as possible because "I value my time... and I don't want to waste my time and my life".

          Given the opportunity to work as mu
          • by Zerth (26112)
            I don't know about you, but I'd much rather work 5 days/week at $650k/year for 4 years and live off the 100k/year interest thereafter.

          • But when you have a wife and kids, then you'll have to pay for private school, and college, and whatever the kids need to be as successful as you are, and the wife will expect that because it's a mans job to provide for his family.

            That's what being a man is all about.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      It's a decent career but there's just not enough money in it yet to make it worth the pain and stress. We need alternative business models to increase the value of the blogsphere. Anyone got ideas?

      Content may be king but in this world, that content is user supplied and nearly anonymous. In order to make money off of content, you either have to be in the distribution side or form a cult of personality. In other words, build brand. In viral fashion, I have blogged [blogspot.com] on this.

    • Why don't they do their blogging live, in the form of public speeches?

      Then they could charge people to attend, and also make money off merchandise and selling drinks and snacks.

      I mean, people expect other content producers to do this, why not bloggers as well?
  • 8 solutions (Score:3, Funny)

    by tomhudson (43916) <barbara.hudson@NOSpAM.barbara-hudson.com> on Sunday April 06, 2008 @10:12AM (#22979932) Journal

    he has gained 30 pounds in the last three years, ,,, This is not sustainable,'

    [_] Go hunting with Dick Cheney - problem solved!
    [_] Dude! If you've gained 30 pounds, sustenance isn't your problem. More like "sustenance abuse."
    [_] Get a bigger chair - it'll sustain your additional weight.
    [_] Get up and go for a walk. There's a reason the dot-com boom had lots of dogs in offices - it forced people to get up and walk their dogs! This got them away from their computers for a bit, so that when they came back, they were refreshed, and more productive.
    [_] Set your site up as Yahoo!'s "ugly sister" for when Microsoft is looking for more "sustenance".
    [_] More typeing and less eating.
    [_] Move to a real office instead of working from home - or LOCK THE FRIDGE!
    [_] Profit from it - start a blog about how blogging makes you fat. Lots of fat people will then take up blogging, as their "excuse" for being fattarded wankers.

  • You're going alone? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Aaron_Pike (528044)
    Could it be that blogging is not a solo sport?
  • by Dutch Gun (899105) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @10:20AM (#22979988)
    Bloggers talk incessantly about blogging... News at 11:00!

    I get a bit tired of people who complain about their job or life, yet never take the steps necessary to alleviate the cause of said complaints. It's your life. Take some responsibility for it. Exercise more. Take a well-needed vacation (and leave the damn computer at home)! Spend some quality time with family and friends. I'll bet that when you look back at your life, you won't regret spending a bit less time at the computer, staring at updating blogs.

    I also tire of how certain media industries talk about themselves as relevant news... I see this happen in the mainstream media all the time (stories about the media), and I find it somewhat annoying. Blogging has the same sort of problem - many bloggers talk incessantly about blogging and other bloggers, since that's the topic they know best.
  • by v1 (525388) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @10:21AM (#22979998) Homepage Journal
    Close to 50% of the page space is ads. Very slow loading ads. And annoying javascript popups. Just start moving your mouse around and hover-triggered popups start going off like landmines.

    How can people stand to go there on a regular basis?
    • by tomhudson (43916)

      Close to 50% of the page space is ads. Very slow loading ads. And annoying javascript popups. Just start moving your mouse around and hover-triggered popups start going off like landmines.

      How can people stand to go there on a regular basis?

      Try this as a simple answer - people don't - or if they do, they don't go back; thus most of his traffic is probably bots or other bloggers doing a circle jerk.

      • by Reziac (43301) *
        "Bloggers have learned all they know from reading one another."

        (Apologies to Jack Vance... the original was about critics, but bloggers are much the same thing.)

  • There is a simple solution... Do something else...

     

  • Overall I look forward to making money by telecommuting and working from home. Nothing good comes from getting dressed up each morning to go to work and be around people I probably don't care to be around in the first place.

    However, blogging has to actually be making people rich. If a site is bringing in millions in ad revenue, and the individual blogger guy is making under $100,000 a year, of course somethings wrong with that.

    Now, if you make $100,000 a year working from your home, yes it's worth having a
    • Just one minor nit to pick:

      Getting dressed up to go to work should be a thing of the past.

      Part of the problem with many people working from home is it "doesn't feel like work", so they slack off. They work in their kitchen instead of a dedicated room / home office. They use the same computer for work and fun. They slack off on their personal appearance. Etc. Etc.

      Getting dressed instead of sitting in your undies is part of the mental preparation for "Now I'm going to work!" I don't know how many times, when I was working from home, people would call and assume that I had all this "free time". I'd usually let them talk for a minute or two, but if it went longer, I'd tell them to call me at night - I'm working and don't want to "lose the momentum | thought | zone | whatever".

      They'd be miffed the first few times.

    • First off, I'm a chemist and don't have access to $500k worth of equipment at home, so I couldn't telecommute if I wanted to, but even if I could, why?

      I don't want to be at home all the time. I like to leave the house and I'm generally not productive when at home. I go to work to be at work and I go home to be at home. I would rather never mix the two.
  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @10:32AM (#22980084) Journal
    If you are a blogger, set your hours. Sure, you'll violate them once in a while (I'm posting from work on a Sunday...I'm in a crunch time in my business - it happens). But seriously, if you don't post for 14 hours a day, the world will not stop. Provided that you have people to do the shifts to keep the information flowing, people will not abandon the blog forever. Taco doesn't spend 20 hours a day posting dupes - he's hired people to do that.

    This isn't really about blogging, it's about small business. Small, one man shops really are a drain on your life. You fear that if you close too early or open too late you'll miss that one big customer. Until you get big enough to spread the load, that will be the case.

    A note for bloggers - you might want to move. There were two in that story - one in SF, one (I believe) in NY. Note: you're bloggers, nobody cares where you live and you can source from anywhere in the (US/NA/World). Based on the "all day and night at the keyboard" comments, these folks aren't getting their inside scoops from wandering the streets of the big technology cities. Might I suggest somewhere inexpensive, somewhere relaxing from which to blog. Make it within 100 miles of an airline hub if you do a lot of conferences. Office space in small towns is often $8/SF (per year) or less, and really good housing is actually affordable on 40k-50k/yr.
    • If you are a blogger, set your hours. Sure, you'll violate them once in a while (I'm posting from work on a Sunday...I'm in a crunch time in my business - it happens). But seriously, if you don't post for 14 hours a day, the world will not stop. Provided that you have people to do the shifts to keep the information flowing, people will not abandon the blog forever. Taco doesn't spend 20 hours a day posting dupes - he's hired people to do that.

      This isn't really about blogging, it's about small business. Small, one man shops really are a drain on your life. You fear that if you close too early or open too late you'll miss that one big customer. Until you get big enough to spread the load, that will be the case.

      A note for bloggers - you might want to move. There were two in that story - one in SF, one (I believe) in NY. Note: you're bloggers, nobody cares where you live and you can source from anywhere in the (US/NA/World). Based on the "all day and night at the keyboard" comments, these folks aren't getting their inside scoops from wandering the streets of the big technology cities. Might I suggest somewhere inexpensive, somewhere relaxing from which to blog. Make it within 100 miles of an airline hub if you do a lot of conferences. Office space in small towns is often $8/SF (per year) or less, and really good housing is actually affordable on 40k-50k/yr.

      If they move out of San Francisco and out of New York, then there will be less women to choose from, from which to marry. What if they like the women in San Fran and New York?

      I'm sure most bloggers wont be marrying professional women but if you actually WANT to, then the big city is the place to find these women and this could be the main reason some of them live in these places.

      I don't rule out the possibility that the guy living in San Francisco could be gay, but once again, you completely ignore the fac

      • I don't mean that in a negative way - there's nothing wrong with a small penis. But you seem very concerned about finding a woman who will have you, and you seem to feel that cash is the only way to "score" a good woman.

        And you don't need to move to Bumfuck, Idaho. Find a city with 50k-200k people and you'll have a pretty good selection, but still be where you can afford to live on a 5 figure salary. The outskirts of Charlotte or Greensboro, NC come to mind, or even larger like some of the 'burbs around Ra
        • I don't mean that in a negative way - there's nothing wrong with a small penis. But you seem very concerned about finding a woman who will have you, and you seem to feel that cash is the only way to "score" a good woman.

          And you don't need to move to Bumfuck, Idaho. Find a city with 50k-200k people and you'll have a pretty good selection, but still be where you can afford to live on a 5 figure salary. The outskirts of Charlotte or Greensboro, NC come to mind, or even larger like some of the 'burbs around Raleigh. Even better, and closer to my 50-200k number, find a town with a major college. Blacksburg and Charlottesville, VA, or Amhearst, MA, or Ithaca, NY. All small towns with great primary and secondary schools, affordable housing, and lots of hot chicks.

          It's not penis size that counts, it's wallet size.
          Women by nature are more attracted to powerful men.

          And it's a fact that there aren't a lot of good women on earth, so if you go to a small city you'll just have less of a selection of a scarce commodity.

          Would you go to the desert in search of water? No of course not. College towns are a good option, but college towns are near big cities, and most people don't stay in them beyond 4 years.


    • Actually, I've mapped the few hours of story arcs on /. a few times, and several of the editors have accounted for 18 hour spans of news.

      People with "Programmer's Ethic" work well from home, but other posts are correct that the types of people who subconsciously need the flow of people around them begin to drift when working from home.

      This is where non-time metrics can sometimes be fun if they're not too tightly calibrated. "I don't care what you do with your time so long as you post 137 stories on /. per w
  • DUH.

    Blog - 1 man newspaper.

    So of course if he and his 4 man team aren't writing content people aren't getting anything new. Traditional printed material (and their online versions) have lots of authors writing so if one writer (say in sports) goes on vacation someone else is there to tell me the Yankee's blew it again.

    I also wonder what percentage of bloggers actually do field research (ie: get away from the computer) rather than using online only resources.

  • by plopez (54068) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @10:46AM (#22980214) Journal
    A number of professions live under the 'publish or perish' gun. University professors, freelance journalists, freelance photographers, ad copy writers, script writes etc.

    Nothing to see here, move along....
  • 95% of all 'professional' blogging is bloggers quoting and pasting other bloggers, to either agree violently with them or talk shit about them.
    • by tomhudson (43916)

      95% of all 'professional' blogging is bloggers quoting and pasting other bloggers, to either agree violently with them or talk shit about them.

      And the other 5% is "google is ..."

      Get them together and get ready to puke. I have NEVER seen a group more obsessed over PageRank, google, and "recognition".

    • by Reziac (43301) *
      And since they all do so incessently, there is SO much shit to quote and paste, the work never ends!!

  • I'm shocked (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Yvanhoe (564877) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @10:54AM (#22980274) Journal
    You mean that gaining money through blogging means it has to be stressful like a real work ? really I'm shocked, I thought it was free money !
  • Bit Melodramatic? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ek-sistence (1244630) *
    The first few paragraphs of this article are so melodramatic that you might be able to convince me it came from The Onion rather than the NY Times. Was the writer bored; felt like being a little dramatic? Did all the editors have the day off? Either way, nice job, NY Times, you've at least amused me.
  • by afeinberg (9848) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @11:39AM (#22980590) Homepage Journal
    Dear Slashdot Editors,

    Please stop mangling my submissions. I did not submit to you the NYT article. I submitted the commentary to the NYT article which I wrote as a tech/public policy blogger reacting to the story. I find the way you guys now strip out submitters content and simply link to the "mainstream" article insulting and really makes me want to contribute to the discussions less and less. Why is my contribution less valuable than the NYT article? I think my commentary as an informed reader adds much to the discussion, and could have done quite a bit to improve the quality of comments here.

    Is there a reason you no longer link to other people's submissions, only their mainstream media material?

    I have been a Slashdot reader since 1998-1999. I read less and less. This is why. While I took the time to format, edit, and submit a story containing links to both the original NYT article and my own commentary [capitolvalley.net] you found it OK to strip out my entire submission and bury it in your worthless "firehose" and instead simply use me as a tip-off instead of a contributor to a community which I have been on for over ten years. Check my UID.

    Is original (ie, not from "news sites") content no longer relevant on Slashdot? Hey Malda, Bates? Remember me? When did your site become a news aggregator instead of a place to discuss ideas, not just rehash articles from mainstream press? I don't feel like part of a community right now. I feel like I'm doing work just so someone else can take the credit. I spent a good amount of time writing that post that I linked you to, and you all but ignored it.

    Why?

    Andrew Feinberg
    Angry Slashdot Veteran
    • Hey, it proves they actually do edit the articles (sometimes).

      As to your question of "why" - the answer is obvious - you aren't the original source. You're also not the story. The real story isn't "what Andrew Feinberg thinks about bloggers dropping dead", it's about bloggers dropping dead.

      We've all (okay, many of us) submitted stuff and seen it mangled. Big deal. You didn't see me complain when they ran a copy of my poll [slashdot.org], stripped of my text,on the front page [slashdot.org]. And no, I didn't submit it - someone else must have. They didn't ask if they could use it (and it was 100% original, not a blog posting about an article someone else wrote), but I didn't go crying about it - I was glad to be able to contribute something people thought was worthwhile.

      You want to ear respect? Don't whine. I remember one time when a print reporter misquoted something I said - it came out in print the exact opposite, and she remembered what I had really said (this was in the middle of an election campaign). She promised to print a retraction, and I said "Don't bother - if anyone asks, I said it, and it was just a stupid slip of the tongue." From that day on, I was gold.

      People make mistakes. People have honest differences of opinion. Editors edit. Shit happens. You can always blog about it, if you feel the need to vent. Just stop with the whining - it comes across as very unprofessional, low uid notwithstanding.

      • by afeinberg (9848)
        Tom,

        If I felt like Slashdot was just a news aggregator, I wouldn't care. But it used to be where viewpoints were shared and yes, other people's blog posts on articles were linked. If you look at the original story, I submitted both the original and my commentary. They should have included both.

        As I've said before, this wouldn't have happened in the old days.
  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @12:52PM (#22981078)
    If he is drawing millions in revenue (since millions is plural, and it is three years, we will presume that is at least 1 million per year), and he has only 4 employees, AND his office is in his home... he is doing something wrong if he is still stressed and in ill health.

    First: four employees, if they are competent, should be enough to keep a blog going by themselves, relieving him of said stress. If not, he needs better people.

    Second: if this is not parts of California or New York, he should be able to find those employees for an average of $50k each, making $200,000. Hire them right out of college; they will be ecstatic to be making that much.

    Double that figure to cover things like office overhead and business expenses (he's in his HOME, and it is an INTERNET business!) and so on. Don't need very much in the way of benefits, either, in an office of 4 employees. That's $400,000.

    That leaves $600,000 for him.

    Okay, I have not figured in taxes and so on. But that should not make more of a difference than around 30% to 40% one way or another. I could live on an income of $360,000 a year. In fact I would probably be having a lot of fun.

    And if I wasn't, I would hire a goddamned manager for $80,000 to $100,000 of that, and go play with my $260,000. Maybe invest in another company with my money and now completely SPARE time, and do the same all over again... $520,000 / year, and still no stress.

    This guy needs a clue.
  • I like to cook. People tell me "Gee, you should become a professional chef." Heh, wrong idea, sparky. There's a huge difference between whipping up a meal for a few friends and putting out that kind of quality for a dinner seating 200. Likewise, there's a huge difference between doing a little bit of amateur writing for fun versus doing it for a living.

    I like to write. I would be terrified to do so in a professional capacity. It takes me sooo long to write anything I'm satisfied with and sometimes the muse
    • Not to mention that creative jobs don't pay much (unless you're in something like the top 1% of the top 1% or so), because so many people want to write, or paint, or act, or sing, or blog, or whatever. Nor is there any security. (A friend told me this is why so many actors do drugs: they make a lot of money, have absolutely no assurance that they will ever work again, and want anything that will give them even a slight edge so they might have work next month.)

      Anybody who can make millions blogging has

  • Physical inactivity and long hours at the computer have many physically unhealthy aspects.

    Another aspect, unreported in mainstream press asfaik, is the prevalence of blood clots that long hours at a computer can create in people. This once was only associated with long airline flights. Now it is occurring in programmers and others who sit in front of a computer for long periods of time.

    More information at Long hours at computers may cause blood clots [individual...munity.org].

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