Reading Response #2

In addition to reading Chapter 2 of the Briggs text this week, please read A Note To My Readers by Andrew Sullivan, a longtime blogger who just announced he’s calling it quits.

Question: Are bloggers destined for burnout? Compare Briggs’ recommendations for blogs and the reasons that Sullivan gives for why he’s stopping.

Respond in the comments section of this post by 9 a.m., Sunday, February 8.

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14 thoughts on “Reading Response #2

  1. I absolutely believe that bloggers are destined for a burnout. In any occupation within media, I feel that it always has a sensitive time frame. Especially when you’re working with something like a blog where you’re constantly having your own voice and sharing ideas that interest you, its bound to not only evolve but also one day die out. Your followers will always exist but like any other industry in the world, you’re constantly working against fresh new ideas and people that will soon acquire an interest to your fans. But I look at it as sometimes not a bad thing. If you’re successful enough to have a “burn out”, you already accomplished something from solely just that.

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  2. I think, like Andrew Sullivan said, that all things are finite. I wouldn’t say that all bloggers are destined to be burn outs, I think it’s safer to say that all things have to come to an end — including blogs. Sullivan wasn’t a burn out, he was successful until the very end, where he gracefully said goodbye. There was no fight in the end for recognition or web traffic. Like he said, The Wire never needed click bait.
    Blogging takes a lot of effort, as Briggs points out in the chapter about blogging. He suggest we post short passages to begin with, but the overall necessities for being a successful blogger are vast. If you want your own website and design for your blog, you’ll probably need to learn code. I remember when I used to play Neopets, there was a page for information about your pets. The layout was HTML, and while I was able to change the color and weight of my font, make paragraphs and indentations, and post photos from other webpages (mostly of the pets), but that was all. I found some really impressive pages. Some people had .gifs (which were less common in 2003) and others had beautiful backgrounds. I never got too good at code, and even the basic stuff I learned was difficult. So I give a lot of credit to anyone that is not only able to present the blog in an attractive way, but run it correctly. Blogs have always seemed too tedious for me, only because the amount of time they take up. I would rather experience the moment than have to look away and write about it. I have to work on that.
    Anyway, Briggs suggests at least once a day, a 6-8 sentence post is necessary just to start out. Sullivan’s last post itself was several paragraphs. There was also a lot of thought and effort put into it, with it’s many links (even if they were to more of Sullivan’s posts) was helpful.

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  3. I personally believe that bloggers are destined to blowout. Sometimes people don’t get the same spark about certain things like they use to. From my personal experience, I was a person who blogged on tumblr for 2 years. I went from 30 followers in one week to 1500 within two months. I talked about life struggles to love interests to posting videos and pics on blogs. Eventually, I got tired of it and decided to move on onto other things. For example, Andrew Sullivan, in his blog, “A Note to my readers” he explains how appreciative he is towards his readers for sharing their great stories with him for 15 years. He basically explained “I am Human”. They’re are other things in life that he wants to experience. He explains that he wants to live and embrace life and that he’s burnt out as being a blogger. In terms of Brigg’s recommendations for bloggers, he actually states how blogging isn’t easy and it takes a lot of dedication like; attracting an audience and committing a lot of energy and focus to the blog and sometimes most people can’t make commit to those type of commitments forever.

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  4. I do not believe that bloggers are destined for burnout because as long as they are passionate about what they do and enjoy coming up with content relating to their blog niche, then there will always be something to share and talk about. However, I do feel that sometimes you need to voluntarily walk away from something as did Sullivan. This does not mean you failed as a blogger or are a victim of burnout-blogging. This just means that you are ready for the next chapter – whatever that may be. Bloggers put in a lot of effort to maintain their blogs/members/viewers, etc., and as Briggs mentioned, you need to have dedication and determination, which are two traits Sullivan possessed or else he wouldn’t have been blogging daily for the past 15 years. Going back to blogging about something you enjoy, this also relates to what Briggs said on how to achieve a successful blog, starting with choosing the right topic, layout, customizations, and understanding the blogging language. When that’s set, then you can build a virtual community, as did Sullivan. It takes time and a lot of perseverance to achieve the level of blog prestige that Sullivan clearly had – but when it’s time to go, then it’s time to go. I don’t call that burnout, I call that growth.

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  5. Brigg’s mentioned a lot of recommendations for blogs/bloggers, which include being dedicated to a blog if one is planning on starting one. Brigg’s mentions how blogging isn’t easy and in order for a blog to be successful, there is a number of things one must do. For example, learning the language of blogging, making a plan, customizing the site, attracting an audience, using photos and posting often. Though some of these tips seem fairly easy, it takes a lot of time, focus and commitment to truly make a blog successful.

    In Andrew Sullivan’s latest blog entry, “A Note to My Readers,” he tells his readers that he is going to stop blogging after fifteen years of doing so. Within his post, Sullivan included a lot of emotion and dedicated this post solely to his readers, reminding them how special they are to him by being there for him through every one of his blogs from the very beginning. Sullivan said in his blog, “I’m a human being before I am a writer; and a writer before I am a blogger, and although it’s been a joy and a privilege to have helped pioneer a genuinely new form of writing, I yearn for other, older forms.” Sullivan says to his readers how he basically wants to embrace life and, as much as he loves to write, he wants to take time to do the things he’s yearned to after his “fifteen years of daily, hourly, always-on-deadline stress.”

    In my opinion, perhaps some bloggers are destined for a burnout no matter how passionate one is about it. Andrew Sullivan is an example of this because he loves to write and had a blog for fifteen years. Even with the deep passionate Sullivan had for his blog and has for writing, he decided that it was time to let blogging go. As for me, blogging every day at a specific time can be extremely stressful and time-consuming, which is why I’m not sure if I could be a full-time blogger like Andrew Sullivan was. Some people have what it takes and the love for full-time blogging like Andrew Sullivan did, however, I feel that there comes a time where bloggers make the decision to discontinue.

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  6. I think that bloggers at some point will experience a burnout and after reading Sullivan’s reasons for leaving the blogging world I can see why he stopped. I think that bloggers at some point will experience a burnout and after reading Sullivan’s reasons for leaving the blogging world I can see why he quit. He pretty much made it perfectly clear that blogging took over a large amount of his life and began to have negative effects on his health and social life with his family and friends. Looking at Briggs’ recommendations for blogs such as thinking about your next topic for your blog or making a schedule on when your next post will be due can be taxing on a person whose entire life revolves around this.
    Near the beginning of Chapter 2 there were a few lines from John Cook that I think explains what Andrew Sullivan’s life as a blogger was like “I am constantly on guard for the next story, blogging on Thanksgiving Day, checking e-mails on Christmas and waking up in the middle of the night with a good lead on a story” this shows that blogging can take a person away from family holidays something that Andrew brought up in his note to his readers. Cook goes on to say “Guess you could say I am a bit obsessed. There’s never a break. It is hard work, but I love it” showing that the blogger knows how their job is affecting them and their social life but their dedication to their audience outweighs the negatives.

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  7. I do not think that bloggers are destined to burn out. Keeping a blog is a lot of work, as we are learning first hand through this class. However, while reading “A Note to My Readers” by Andrew Sullivan, I couldn’t help but notice how much his blog meant to him. As he was saying goodbye, he said “How do I walk away from the best daily, hourly, readership a writer could ever have? It’s tough. In fact, it’s brutal.” As he spoke about moving on from blogging, he also reminisced on all of the great stories, reader conversations, support he received from readers, and breaking news topics that he shared over his 15 years writing this blog. His love for and dedication to this job was obvious. Although his reasoning for leaving was because he felt “burnt out,” I don’t think that is automatically the case for anyone who begins writing a blog.

    Blogging is a completely personalized experience. In “Journalism Next,” Mark Briggs discusses all that goes into creating a blog. From choosing a blog topic to write about to selecting or creating themes, the creation of a blog is entirely up to the writer. I believe that as long as a writer has a passionate interest for the topic they’ve chosen for their blog, can put time into creating content, and can find enjoyment in creating that content, they won’t tire of the work that they’re doing. It may be my optimism, but I believe the quote that if you “choose a job you love, you will never have to work a day in your life.”

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  8. “Are bloggers destined for burnout?”

    This is a very interesting question to pose and after reading Chapter 2 from Briggs as well as Sullivan’s note to his readers I have to say that I think that bloggers are destined for burnout- but only the really good ones.

    One section in Chapter 2 talks about how bloggers need to find what their passion is because it will help them be much more involved and motivated with their blogs. This is a very true and solid point because if you blog about something that truly interest you and you have knowledge on you will be much more successful. You will actually want to look for other blogs to follow, to find more information on that topic and it will be much easier to be able to update your blog on a consistent basis. Briggs also notes that one should comment on other blogs, talk to the authors, that you should compliment them and notify them that you linked them in your post.

    This circles back to being interested in your topic and it allows for you to immerse yourself into the blogging community. That being said I think this is partly what leads to getting burnt-out at some point. You get so immersed in what you are writing that at some point it might become too much. You might begin to lose sight of whatever else is going on around you.

    This seemed to happen with Sullivan as he writes “although it has been the most rewarding experience in my writing career, I’ve now been blogging daily for fifteen years straight (well kinda straight). That’s long enough to do any single job. In some ways, it’s as simple as that. There comes a time when you have to move on to new things, shake your world up, or recognize before you crash that burn-out does happen.”

    Because of the passion that is involved with blogging I do think that eventually really good, dedicated bloggers do get burned out. At that point its time to just take a break and enjoy life.

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  9. I think when Briggs mentions how Blogging is not magic and how it takes time and dedication is completely justified in the sense that we live in a digital world now, and constantly being on technology and surrounding yourself with the media can be overwhelming and draining. If you were to blog all day long, and not have a chance to detach yourself from the digital world, than a sense of burning out can occur. To elaborate more, when Sullivan talks about the trials and tributes it takes to be a full time blogger, he explains how easy it is to become burnt out. However, after reading the entire blog by Sullivan, I realized he doesn’t want people to be discouraged by his statements. Sullivan enjoys grabbing the readers attention and taking the time to read and write and grow as a person. Furthermore, I think he was trying to emphasize the dedication it takes to update your blog daily and do it effectively, which is exactly what Briggs was getting at in Ch.2. To have a successful blog, one must truly dedicate themselves and understand times will get tough, but regardless, you have to keep pushing forward and try to regain the attention of your readers. In my honest opinion, I do not think I could be a full time blogger, mainly because i think I would get burnt out, and I am someone who has a hard time being surrounded by technology for too long.

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  10. In chapter 2, Briggs mentions that “a good blog is a continuing conversation…if it works, your audience may dominate it.” Sullivan has been blogging for 15 years. That is a long conversation to have with your readers. He has been able to talk about 9/11 in real time, various political campaigns, and controversial issues such as gay rights. Because his audience has responded to so many of his thoughts on these subjects he is a successful blogger.

    Regarding what Briggs says about blogging being a conversation, even in face-to-face or phone conversations have to end somewhere. There is only so much one can say before becoming exhausted. There will always be news and there will always be something to talk about but like Sullivan, I believe that all bloggers and writers are destined to burn out somewhere and that is ok.

    I don’t think burning out means you were unsuccessful. It means that your inspiration has carried you as far as you are able to go and that it is time to live life, not just talk about it. Sullivan says in “A Note to My Readers”, “And we lived through history with the raw intensity of this new medium, and through a media landscape of bewildering change.” He was able to witness history and express it through his writing. No truly passionate writer wants to put down the pen or close the laptop, but there is more to life than purely speaking about life itself. Once you’ve said as much as you can or as much as Sullivan has said it is time to let go before you crash.

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  11. By all accounts, Andrew Sullivan was maintaining his blog exactly how Mark Briggs recommends to do so. Over fifteen years, his readers came to know him and his ideas almost as soon as he conceived them. In his post “A Note to My Readers,” Sullivan describes blogging through countless political and global events, and being candid with his readers about his illness and his ideologies, letting them know when he was “deeply wrong [on Iraq].” Sullivan posted daily as is recommended by Briggs. He developed a community with his audience and with other bloggers, as indicated by his post. So, if blogging perfectly leads to burnout, is the end of every great blog inevitable? Can you live by the Briggs model of blogging and not get tired? If you continue blogging forever, is your blog not perfect?

    It certainly seems like a Catch-22, and I’ve witnessed it happen with numerous daily vloggers whom I follow. Something has to give. That something might be an eventual end, as was the case with Sullivan, or it might be reducing the frequency of posting or length and quality of posts. A professor once told me that journalism sometimes means accepting B work. With the constant deadlines and pressure of journalists and bloggers, it’s hard to always get it 100% right. The amount of time and energy required to do so would mean little chance for anything else, for “walk[ing] around in [your] own thoughts” and spending quality time with your family, as Sullivan described. Fifteen years of high quality daily blogging is certainly destined for burnout, but if you divert from Briggs’ blogging model just a bit and perhaps sacrifice some esteem, you can certainly see a blog through greater longevity. As long as, like Briggs said, you love it.

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  12. People whose sole job is to blog I think will burnout over time. I was amazed to find out that Andrew Sullivan had not only kept his blog on going for 15 years, but says he published a new post every day. That has to be some kind of record. I read a lot about bloggers burning out after a few years, either taking a break or leaving it for good, it seems common. After reading chapter three in “Journalism next” and Andrew Sullivan’s last blog post it seems that the price of becoming a successful blogger it also what burns bloggers out. It seems that bloggers create their own little bubble with only themselves and their readers. That bubble can be very rewarding, but it takes a lot time and effort to keep that bubble from bursting. Sullivan says that he feels that special bond with his readers since they have gone through so much together, from before he met his husband until the day they got married. Briggs goes into it by saying that creating a successful blog will demand determination and dedication, and Sullivan seems to have had that determination since he seems to have sacrificed a lot to keep that bubble from bursting. I seem to be very hard to leave that bubble and I think therefore it’s easy to get burnt out if you create a successful blog.

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  13. Andrew Sullivan being a long time successful blogger makes a valid point to how a blogger eventually becomes burnout. Over the past 15 years, Sullivan has informed subscribed readers to many events that have occurred as well as his thoughts and feelings. Sullivan talks about how the September 11th attack had started a dependence on bloggers and him in particular. Many people turned to him to share their feelings on what had happened as well as starting a conversation. In chapter two of the reading, Briggs mentions how blogs had changed the publishing world. As Sullivan had mentioned, citizens everywhere shared their thoughts on the terroristic attacks. Because of the accessibility to publishing a blog post, Briggs mentions how media companies have emerged due to the number of participants, which is exactly what had happened to Andrew Sullivan.

    Andrew Sullivan had spent years updating and carrying out information to his participants, that he had mentioned how much time had been spent on blogging and taken away from family, friends, and life in general. Sullivan basically makes a point that if you put your mind to something and want to be successful, that it’s worth putting your all into it. Sullivan felt that the digital world had taken over his life. Briggs mentions, “Love it or leave it.” Some people want to spend every second reporting, and some need to take a step back, which sounds like Andrew Sullivan.

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  14. In Briggs’ Chapter 2 he writes: “Blogs are not magic. Be warned writing a successful blog take dedication and determination.” I think this is evident after reading A Note to my Readers where Andrew Sullivan goes into the trials and tribulations of being a full time blogger. It takes hard work and often takes a way from your real life. Sullivan says he will take time in his life to appreciate the art of reading and writing and taking your time. I think it’s interesting how he mentions living in a digital world and wants to get back to reality, in A Note to my Readers it says, I am saturated in digital life. I feel this can be a reason that bloggers get burnt out. You are constantly on the computer and writing to your readers that it is all consuming. Sometimes when I am in class all day on my laptop doing work the last thing I want to do when I get home is blog.
    Briggs’ goes on to share a quote from John Cook the co-founder and writer for GreekWire, “I was working hard before as a print journalist, but nothing like what I do now.” In the end, Sullivan says the blogging has been one of the most rewarding experiences in his life. This is why I will not and others should not get discouraged when they hear of getting burnout and blogging.

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