'Sweatshop' Bloggers Drop Dead

After two notable commentators die, blogosphere faces lifestyle toll
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2008 6:10 AM CDT
Chak Sopheap, a Cambodian Web log user, or blogger, surfs her blog during the Cambodian Bloggers Summit in the capital Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Aug. 31, 2007. Many young, tech-savvy Cambodians are now...   (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)
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(Newser) – The news cycle never stops, and neither do the bloggers who relentlessly chase stories, enduring a sweatshop kind of life stressful enough to apparently induce heart attacks. Two prominent web commentators have died in the last few months, and the community is reflecting on the toll of its hardcore, caffeine-fueled, take-no-prisoners lifestyle, the New York Times reports.

The founder of a popular tech blog complained that the write-to-exhaustion situation "is not sustainable,” and predicted a nervous breakdown in his future. Bloggers can be paid, if they’re paid at all, as little as $1000 a month. Writers who get the scoop get more hits, and potentially a bigger payday. So it’s no surprise that on the eve of his demise, tech blogger Russell Shaw wrote his editor: “Resting now, posts to resume later today or tomorrow.”