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A Matter Of Opinion

Mon., April 7, 2008, 1:17 p.m.

Does blogging kill?

Here at The Spokesman-Review, blogging is still a fairly optional process. Those who are interested can usually blog. But except for Dave Oliveria, who works full time at his wildly popular Huckleberries blog, the rest of us have taken blogging on as an additional duty.

We do get daily and weekly reports, courtesy of Dave, on blog hits, but so far, our jobs don't depend on the number of hits. For many bloggers, this isn't the case. They blog to make money. Is it killing some of them? Matt Richtel of The New York Times raised the question in a Technology page article:

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.

To be sure, there is no official diagnosis of death by blogging, and the premature demise of two people obviously does not qualify as an epidemic. There is also no certainty that the stress of the work contributed to their deaths. But friends and family of the deceased, and fellow information workers, say those deaths have them thinking about the dangers of their work style.

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