Death by Blogging

Also in the New York Times (“In Web World of 24/7 Stress, Writers Blog Till They Drop,” by Matt Richtel), a report on bloggers who are dying on (or near) the job. I know the feeling: tightness in the chest, shortness of breath….

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.

I really don’t mean to make light of this. Fortunately, the demands of book blogging aren’t anything like those of tech bloggers. But I’m sure many of us can relate to the feeling that, in this wired world, it can be hard to turn work off. So let’s all take this as a wake-up call, so we don’t end up like this guy:

"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.

And now, I’m going out for some fresh air. Just as soon as I finish blogging and updating Booklist Online.

(Thanks, Donna!)

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About the Author:

Keir Graff is Executive Editor of Booklist Publications and the author of five books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Other Felix (2011). Follow him on Twitter at @Booklist_Keir.

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