Sunday, April 6, 2008

Blogging is risky but you can do it in a Sybil Sage

I wasn't aware that blogging is high risk until I read that bloggers complain of weight loss (good for a link to Jenny Craig) or gain, sleep disorders (link to Ambien?) and exhaustion from the strain of keeping up with the all-consuming appetite of the Internet. Though there is no official diagnosis of "death by blogging," bloggers, mostly those writing about technology and news, have been dying prematurely.

For me blogging is a marked contrast to the demands of writing for television, but that' clearly because I get no compensation from it, regardless of whether 80 or 800 people read my postings. Rubin Carson, an LA writer, once remarked, "When money changes hands, all fun goes out the window." This obviously applies to blogging, giving me reason to appreciate that I'm a pro bono blogger.

If once I aspired to attract advertisers to the blog and be introduced as "the next Arianna Hufftington, the one without the accent," invited to appear on talk shows when she was unavailable, that's over. Better to be introduced as "the world's oldest surviving blogger." Though I've been blogging for almost a year, I've learned little from the process other than readers comment directly by e-mail rather than on the site, and a hot word in the title spikes readership. "thong" or "g-string" is sure to attract additional hits, though not enough to have Dateline ask to monitor my postings so they can ferret out perverts.

Supercharged bloggers say they sleep only a few hours a night and don't eat properly, which I did when writing on sitcom staffs in Los Angeles. Bloggers aren't paid enough to warrant this sacrifice. Even Hollywood writers get more respect and they're widely recognized as the bottom feeders in the creative community, thus the joke, "The starlet was so dumb, she fucked the writer." Even so, they belong to a union that provides a health plan and retirement benefits, none of which is available to bloggers.

Underscoring the low status of this form of writing is there are no bloggers' bars, islands (not even Staten Island) bragging about being frequented by bloggers, golf clubs whose members are well known bloggers or a hotel with a round table reserved for bloggers. Unless maybe if you're a Matt Drudge (and there's only one Matt Drudge) or an Andy Borowitz (see Matt Drudge), bloggging won't get you into Rao's or Elaine's. The best we bloggers can hope for is a pajama company or maybe Lipitor will ask us to appear in a commercial.

The article refers to a "blogger community," which must be a desirable demographic as the members, given the dismal life expectancy, have to be young, the age bracket targeted by TV advertisers. Don't bloggers deserve recognition? So far we've been overlooked by the Kennedy Center Honors people. No blogger has yet been named as "Time person of the year." Where are the roasts and award shows for this deserving group, taking greater chances than astronauts? Hey there, Google, how about honoring the bloggers?

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