Apr 07, 2008

Death From Blogging: New Workplace Hazard?

Many of us have probably heard or read articles about employees who have been "dooced" -- fired for what they write in their personal blogs. But until I looked at the Sunday paper, I hadn't heard of blog writers making the ultimate sacrifice. In a front-page story in The New York Times, "In Web World of 24/7 Stress, Writers Blog Til They Drop," Matt Richtel covers the recent deaths, by heart attack, of two bloggers, and the health concerns of others.

The article points to a number of factors that contribute to the stressful lifestyle of many bloggers, including the 24-hour news cycle; the competition to be the first to break a story (and garner the most readers, incoming links, and ad revenue); the ability to write a post from home or anywhere else, at any time; and pay structures that reward quantity of posts and page views. One blogger quoted in the article says that he has gained 30 pounds, developed a sleeping disorder, had to fit four employees into his home office, and sees a possible nervous breakdown in his future.

Food for thought, whether you blog for wages, pay employees to post, or are a self-employed blogger.

Lisa Guerin