Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How blogging makes you crazy -- if you choose

If I hesitate to resume blogging, it is the knowledge that it can consume your life -- if you allow it to. Always-on journalism, where writers use web-based software to report and publish stories, means you can work 24/7 -- unless you establish boundaries and sensible work hours. Last April, for example, I posted 310 times to one of my other sites, Gannett Blog -- an average of more than 10 posts a day. That's nuts. But not so uncommon.

In the new movie Julie & Julia, a young journalist in Queens nearly destroys her marriage when she becomes convinced that her blog's readers had become vitally dependent on her for something ultimately inconsequential: kitchen recipes. Nikki Finke, the powerful blogger about the film industry, is portrayed in a New Yorker magazine profile in October as a vengeful woman who rarely leaves her home to meet any of the industry titans she so often attacks. Ditto for writer Emily Gould, whose controversial New York Times Magazine cover story last year shows that she, too, cycled through two relationships as she allowed herself to be drawn too-deep into her job as a blogger for leading media gossip site Gawker.

Readers: What's it like to be a 21st century worker, where BlackBerries and other devices mean you are expected to work anywhere, anytime? Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write jimhopkins[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green rail, upper right.

[Image: the NYT cover for Gould's "Blog-Post Confidential" article]

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