For those of us who are trying to come up with interesting things to blog about on a daily basis, (thanks, Jane) and who may be wondering if we want to put in the effort to make a blog profitable, the NYTimes offers this:
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.
The article lists a couple of heart attacks, a near death and this:
“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.
Indeed. The technology and entertainment blogs would seem to be the most competitive, with the spoils going to whoever gets the latest info up first, so I imagine their casualties would be high.
But what about those of us with more modest aims, who use our blogs as a form of therapy or mere communication? I haven’t made the commitment to blog every day, although I try to, and sometimes, if something comes up, I blog more than once during the day. (And I’m just about ruling out any income from this meager effort, particularly since WordPress is a little stinky on that point.)
I guess I don’t want this to become one of those sites that I sometimes find when I google a topic. The topic is still there on the blog, often written in lively prose by an interesting blogger. But the site has been long abandoned, with the last post dating from December 2005 (or some forlorn date). Sometimes it’s the clear the blog has evolved into something else, but often it just dies. From what? A lack of interest? A motocycle accident? A stroke? A jealous spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend?
I’ve worked in news/media/PR for 25 years, and perhaps when I started this blog I understood the terror of the blank page (or the blank screen) better than most. It’s difficult to sustain a conversation without reverting to the latest cute thing my toddler said or a complete travelogue of my trip to the beach/mall/hospital/bar. But I also remember someone once saying that anyone who has made it through four years in an American high school probably has enough material for several books. True enough.