Saturday, July 10, 2004

Apparently, even bloggers suffer burnout.

"When it's fun and it's going really well, you feel (great), and when it's not fun, it starts feeling like ... when you have to go to a job every day from nine to five," said Jason Kottke, the author of and remaindered links, popular blogs about technology, culture, photography and other topics. "You start to feel like the readers are depending on you, and ... like you have to post something whether you feel like it or not, and that can be depressing."

Several bloggers contacted for this story noted that their readers seem to look at their regular, consistent posting patterns as somewhat akin to a sign of physical health. And any break in that pattern is sometimes seen as a cause for alarm.

"I know that if I go more than about five or six hours without posting, or telling people that I'm not going to be blogging for the rest of the day," said Reynolds, readers e-mail him and say, "You haven't posted anything in five or six hours. Are you OK?"

"There's always pressure to have new content up on the site," said Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, author of the anti-Bush blog Daily Kos (Moulitsas Zuniga is married to a regular Wired News contributor). "And it's not like my readers are calling me up and saying, 'What the hell?' But you can sense it. You can sense it when you post something new and 10 minutes later there's 50 comments. You can almost feel they were sitting there waiting." ...

"I never can post something and say I'm done for the day," said Zuniga, "because I'm always thinking about the next post. I'm always feeling like I'm letting people down if I don't have any new stuff up on the site." ...

"There are lulls where nothing seems interesting, where people are just talking about (blogging gadfly) David Winer again, and I say, what the fuck," said Kottke, .... "Sometimes it gets harder to find interesting stuff to talk about. There are 3 million blogs, and everyone is talking about everything. It's tough to deal with that sometimes, and you don't want to just be another person talking about the same stuff that everybody else is talking about."

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