In the last few months, two bloggers-ages 50 and 60-dropped dead of heart attacks. Times for a trend piece! "Other bloggers complain of weight loss or gain, sleep disorders, exhaustion and other maladies born of the nonstop strain of producing for a news and information cycle that is as always-on as the Internet." Whoa, sucks to be them. But who are the evil bastards that drive this infernal machine? "Some sites, like those owned by Gawker Media, give bloggers retainers and then bonuses for hitting benchmarks, like if the pages they write are viewed 100,000 times a month. Then the goal is raised, like a sales commission: write more, earn more." D'Oh!

Take, for instance, the tragic case of a 22-year-old Brooklyn-based blogboy Matt Buchanan, who writes for something called Gizmodo. "He says he sleeps about five hours a night and often does not have time to eat proper meals. But he does stay fueled-by regularly consuming a protein supplement mixed into coffee."

"But make no mistake: Mr. Buchanan, a recent graduate of New York University, loves his job. He said he gets paid to write (he will not say how much) while interacting with readers in a global conversation about the latest and greatest products."

"'The fact I have a few thousand people a day reading what I write - that's kind of cool,' he said. And, yes, it is exhausting. Sometimes, he said, 'I just want to lie down.'" And so he does-on the job! "'If I don't hear from him, I'll think: Matt's passed out again,' said Brian Lam, the editor of Gizmodo. 'It's happened four or five times.'" But will these bloggy sweatshops really kill a nerd?

"To be sure, there is no official diagnosis of death by blogging, and the premature demise of two people obviously does not qualify as an epidemic. There is also no certainty that the stress of the work contributed to their deaths. But friends and family of the deceased, and fellow information workers, say those deaths have them thinking about the dangers of their work style." [NYT]

Oh snap... I'd better post this shit before everyone beats me to it! But... getting... diz