April 6, 2008 @ 11:08am
The New York Times has a story today about bloggers working themselves to death:
They work long hours, often to exhaustion. Many are paid by the piece — not garments, but blog posts. This is the digital-era sweatshop.
Marc Andreessen makes fun of their sensational, over the top angle with a list of his own alternate headlines.
They document two recent bloggers who died and one that survived a heart attack: Russell Shaw, Marc Orchant and Om Malik. I am happy that they included Om. First, I saw him a few weeks ago and he looks better than ever. Second, Russell and Marc worked with us at Weblogs, Inc. and if Om hadn't been on the list the Times might have drawn the conclusion that working for me and Jason kills people -- and that's just not true.
They also mention that "those on the lower rungs of the business can earn as little as $10 a post" which is a trip. In the early days of Weblogs, Inc. we paid $3.50 per blog post. Bloggers could do four posts an hour, so that was effectively $14/hour or $28K/year as a 40 hour/week freelance writing job. Nearly two years into the business we set a per post minimum of $10 across all of our sites with some earning much more.
Doing the same math, $10/post at four an hour is $40/hour and $80K/year. Of course, no blogger is doing four posts an hour for eight hours a day five days a week. Like Mike Arrington says in the article, it's not sustainable. It's just funny to see someone call that the low end when I can remember it being much lower.
Anyway, congrats to the NY Times for their successful exercise in blogosphere link baiting.