Wednesday 9 April 2008

Death by Blogging

or by Cupcakes?

Matt Richtel from the New York Times claims that the blogosphere is now the digital age sweatshop and it’s killing us. Check out his story Web World of 24/7 Stress, Writer Blog Till They Drop.

Matt’s article, which of course has been crucified by bloggers, came at the right time for me.

I think he could be right. It’s hard to get a balance. Especially when you don't quite know what you're doing.

Yesterday, I decided to put it to the test. I didn't go near the laptop all day. I felt a little guilty and threw it a few longing glances from time to time. I felt the urge, but resisted.

Richtel wrote about the recent death of bloggers from heart attacks and the complaints of other blogger survivors of weight gain and not sleeping well. Blogging is not necessarily a healthy past time, he asserts.

Blogging is absolutely addictive (as are most things in life when you think about it) and that can be unhealthy. I agree. And it’s not even my job. A sweatshop? Well I think it definitely could be if you are relying on it as an income. Writing posts for as little as $10 is harsh.

I don't find writing posts stressful. I love to write. In fact, readers may find my posts more stressful to read than I do to write them. But I do find the 'getting noticed' bit a little overwhelming.

How does your blog get noticed? I don't know. Sometimes I feel like I should be like one of those used car salesmen that have scantily clad females draped over their cars. What are they selling again? Sad thing is, I have noticed a few blogs that do just that. You know where the image looks as though it should be on an XXX rated site and the post on a Tech Blog. I guess there is a market for everything.

Does anyone else find blogging a complex game? We are all competitive beings. Everyone wants a bigger and better rank. The more I surf, and the more websites I click on I find more and more posts devoted to helping others gain that competitive edge. I’ve read the top 5, the top 10, the top 50 and the top 501 ways to optimise your Google rank, your Alexa ranking or your Technorati position.

My eyes just glaze over and I start thinking about other things. Like cupcakes.

You can easily get blogged down spending all your waking moments trying to weed out the blogging wheat from the chaff. Then you have to find time to network, socialise, spread your link love and click, click click. And don't forget the need to devise clever ways to get Google's attention and choose key words which are sexy, bold and searchable. Then, if you have any time left, you also need to live a life otherwise there's not much to talk about on a personal blog, is there?

I just cannot play the game. If it happens by accident then so be it. I haven’t got the stamina. Or the time.

I just want to blog and improve my writing. And find other funny, sincere and interesting people out there doing the same.

Yesterday, I baked instead. I chose death by cupcakes (gluten free ones at least, see image above) over death by blogging. See, I can never seem to do anything by halves. I think it’s called an addictive personality.

But I know that there’s more to Lilly’s Life than just numbers, whether they be measured by cupcakes or rankings.

PS For those who are cupcake obsessed and not just blogging obsessed, I found this blog called Cupcakes Take the Cake which has everything you ever wanted to know about cupcakes but were afraid to ask. May I suggest you eat something prior to visiting this site because it will be sure to make you crave something very sweet. And, the truth is, I don't want to be responsible for you becoming another blogger casualty.....


  1. Liiiillllllyyyy!! What are you doing to me? Maybe I forgot to tell you that I have an insatiable sweet tooth? Gosh, those cupcakes look good.
    Anyway, I want to commend you on another great post. I feel the same way you do about blogging. I am not actually selling anything (I have a link to my sister's store on my blog) but I have always loved to write and I can sit down and just start writing and before you know it...poof, a short story. A little secret, I have been working on a novella for my cousin, not to try to publish, just a story personalized for her. I'm up to 50 pages so I better get to the end pretty quick!! Sorry, I got side-tracked there; I just want to write what I feel and see if other people respond. It's just fun. Maybe I'll decide at some point to put some writings on my site, or make another blog just of my stories, but it is just for fun, not looking for monetary gain. I do agree that the "having a life" part kinda sucks when you spend your evening hours trying to improve your rank and adding to your blog. Oh, well. Friends are usually better than dates in my opinion anyway. Less hassle. Anyway, great job and I'll check back soon. Best wishes. Matt

  2. Matt - I am telling you those cakes would fix your sweet tooth forever! Good on you for writing stories. Thats impressive! You should put them on your blog when you feel comfortable to share them with the world.

  3. Good on you Mum for making great food like this - after I moved States!!

  4. I was only thinking of your figure and teeth, honestly!! Next time I see you I will have a cupcake or two in hand.

  5. Good morning Lily I thought I'd stop over for a cup of sugar. Thanks for stopping by Mature not Senile. I also agree with you about all the multitasking, there is no way that I can keep up with any of the above things mentioned in your post. I'm lucky if I get dropping finished, posts written, socializing a bit, checking all email accounts and commenting here and there. I gave up on SEO and just take everything as it comes now, okay enough from me, take care...Jude

  6. Jude, thanks for dropping by. Gosh you seem to fit in a lot in you day.

  7. Well, Matt and I are related and the sweet tooth runs in the family! Those cupcakes look devine and I am already starving!

  8. Boy, is this piece timely for me. I was just telling someone that I have to set some guidelines for this blogging. I too took yesterday off and hiked and made apple pie. I HAD HAD HAD to ground myself. The best part is a small handful of people I've met who are good honest people. Last night I was wigged out over this whole blogging thing so I got out pen and paper and wrote down my feelings about it....and wrote...and wrote. It was fun using good old fashioned paper and pen. I poured out my feelings and may post them in a few days. So thanks for this confirmation. I needed it. Like I said, you are one of the "gud uns". : )

  9. Hi there Lilly,
    Intresting point, I think that everything in life needs to have a measure a limit and a balance, I don't have a lot of time to write in the blog because I have two kids demanding and needed of love and atention and I like to give it to them, I think that the day I have time for myself and write something intresting that I am passionate about it, then I am even a better Mom for them because I am happier, I know I am not just a Mom but I am Me, and I have the chance to write positive things and try to help others somehow wich is what I like best, I know there is potencial danger of becaming adicted to this but again lets all try find the right balance :) I am already adict that is why I don't recognize I am haha just kidding...

  10. Rainforestrobin - Good on you. This bloggin can become all consuming if we let it.

  11. Macnelly Family Adventures

    Thanks so much for dropping by. Yes thoose cupcakes are sweet alright. Just a treat for every now and again.

  12. Shine
    Thats a really good point about being able to express your thoughts and do something for YOU given you are busy with your family. The balancing bit is tough but hey its something we all face. If it wasn't blogging it would be something else I daresay.


Thanks for your comments.