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Death by Blogging




Starting to blog can sometimes seem like finally meeting the hot girl (or guy) you always wanted to date. You get so mesmerized and involved so very quickly that you pursue the relationship at an unsustainable level. Not only can the double flower bouquet every other day start to bust your wallet (if you’re a guy), the emotional cost can be high too – especially if you’re not turning in until 3AM!

Blogging can follow the same pattern and it can be deadly if you’re not careful. The recent death of two high profile bloggers is bringing this point home. Now, understand, anything taken to the extreme is going to have deathly consequences. But, this one hits home because I can identity with the “pressure” which comes with blogging.Here is what The New York Times reports regarding the two deaths:

Two weeks ago in North Lauderdale, Fla., funeral services were held for Russell Shaw, a prolific blogger on technology subjects who died at 60 of a heart attack. In December, another tech blogger, Marc Orchant, died at 50 of a massive coronary. A third, Om Malik, 41, survived a heart attack in December.

This same article highlights the most common blogging related health complaints as the following:

  1. Weight loss or gain
  2. Sleep disorders
  3. Exhaustion
  4. Strain from the pressure of constant non-stop production

I can’t say I have experienced any of these symptoms, but if you have then I suggest you see a medical professional as soon as possible. Like any relationship your blogging relationship needs to be balanced. If you’re approaching blogging any other way and turning your life upside down then you’re headed in the wrong direction.

Writer for national real estate opinion column, focusing on the improvement of the real estate industry by educating peers about technology, real estate legislation, ethics, practices and brokerage with the end result being that consumers have a better experience.

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  1. Chris Griffith

    April 6, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    I often wondered about the physical deterioration we can all suffer from from sitting so much, staring at a monitor. I feel inspired to run tomorrow.

  2. Maureen Francis

    April 6, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    I need a tread mill with a laptop tray so I can get exercise while I blog. That will solve my problems 😉

  3. Mike Farmer

    April 6, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    I see Bloggers Anonymous in our future. “Hi, my name is Mike F. and I’m a recovered blogger.”

  4. Bill Lublin

    April 6, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    SHailesh- I suffered from all of the above before I started blogging!

  5. Shailesh Ghimire

    April 6, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    Bill –

    That is funny. I guess you have too much stress and should not take up blogging! 🙂

    Marueen –

    I hear ya’, sometime in the future that too will become a reality…

    Maybe we all need to read more fitness blogs!

  6. Benn Rosales

    April 7, 2008 at 8:58 am

    Serious subject and all, but I want to thank you for the laugh- especially when I saw Russel Shaw, I damn near fell off the chair, a new victim of blogging.

  7. Russell Shaw

    April 7, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    The “Russell Shaw” who passed away was not me, but he was a *very* nice man. Very. He and I shared the same name and as a result he would from time to time get email intended for me. He owned the URLs, and, so people doing searches for me would sometimes land on one of his sites. We wound up developing a friendship and from time to time the “other Russell” would send me an article he had written that he thought I would be interested in. Even though we never met face to face I was quite saddened by his passing.

  8. Andy Kaufman

    April 7, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    Realizing that I was spending too much time behind a desk prompted me to start walking and riding mass transit to work. I realize that it’s a bit easier for me being a single, UNrealtor living in California, where it’s sunny most of the time and I rarely have to show houses, but that extra hour of walking each day helps out a lot.

    Not only do I get some exercise, but I get to plan my day out on the way in and decompress on my way home, all while listening to kick a** tunes or the Jim Rome podcast (yes, I’m a hard core clone)

    It works out so well that I even ended up selling my car and signing up with Zipcar (Which freakin rocks BTW).

  9. Jay Thompson

    April 7, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    Excellent, a new excuse for my 240ish pound frame. So it’s NOT just double-double’s at In-n-Out!!

    I knew it.

  10. Andy Kaufman

    April 7, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    It’s the animal fries that put you over the edge. 😉

  11. Missy Caulk

    April 8, 2008 at 7:15 am

    Yea, put on a few pounds since I am in the computer more, but went back to WW so will get them off. Sorta snuck up on me. Yikes….

  12. Susan Zanzonico

    April 8, 2008 at 8:08 am

    Blogging, reading blogs time flies by and many nights I am turning the computer off at 2 a.m. I won’t give up exercise, the gym or a run. It gets me away from the computer for a much needed break and sometimes I even pick up a client. I take my phone with me during the run and my calendar or a real estate periodical as well while at the gym. Maybe the future will have treads and stationary bikes with built in computers. 😉

  13. Matt Scoggins

    April 8, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    Glad to hear your alive and kickin’ Russell! Even though I don’t personally know you, it shocked me to think that was you.

  14. Matthew Rathbun

    April 8, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    There was more than one, Russell Shaw!?!? That didn’t cause a some space flux thing? Nah, just kidding, I’ve recently read some great posts from him.

    I especially love the weight gain or loss. So not staying at exactly the same weight is due to blogging. Are there certain topics that will ensure weight loss? I’ll be sure to write those ALL day….

    Very cool post.

  15. James Boyer

    April 23, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    Wow, now that is some serious blogging. I cannot say that I put anything close to that kind of effort into blogging. Heck I can’t to many home buyers want me to show them houses and have to maintain my home listings as well.

    I would say a hour or two a day is plenty of blogging.

  16. Susan

    April 23, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    Chris, by all means go for those runs, it counters the physical deterioration. Its also a really good way to just clear your head, organize your thoughts and maybe even come up with something new and exciting to blog about.

  17. Maher Saleh

    June 30, 2008 at 12:17 am

    My main problem about blogging is sleeping disorders.

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Social Media

Twitter branches out into voice chat – what could go wrong?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) We’re learning more about Twitter’s forthcoming audio chat rooms, but what is Twitter learning about moderation?



Twitter open on a smartphone on table next to a cup of warm brown tea.

Twitter wants you to talk more with more people. Like, actually form words. With your mouth.

In November 2020, the micro-blogging giant announced it’s testing its new Audio Spaces feature, which allows users to create audio-only chat rooms – making it what Wired calls a copycat of the new and buzzy Clubhouse app.

Twitter itself hasn’t released many details, but tech blogger/app-feature detective Jane Manchun Wong has been tweeting some of the deets.

How it works

Here’s what we know about the private beta version, according to Wong: Users create a chat room and can control who is admitted to the group, whether it’s the public, followers, or followees. Group size is currently limited to 10. Members can react with a set set of emojis: “100,” raised hand, fist, peace sign, and waving hand. Spaces conversations are not recorded, but they are transcribed for accessibility. It uses Periscope on the back end.

One thing that’s not clear: The actual name. Twitter’s announcements have been calling it Audio Spaces, but the product’s handle is @TwitterSpaces.

It’s Twitter! What could go wrong?

The big gorilla in the chat room is moderation – as in, how do you keep humans from being terrible on Twitter?

We can all be forgiven for skepticism when it comes to Twitter’s aim to keep Audio Spaces safe(ish). Twitter can be a toxic stew of personal insults and even threats. Interestingly, Twitter is starting its test by inviting users who are often targets: Women and people from marginalized groups. Great idea! Who better to help craft community guidelines?

Requiring platforms to shut down hate speech and violent threats is having a moment, and Clubhouse is already in the controversy mix. Even as invite-only, the app has had some high-profile failures to moderate with threats toward a New York Times reporter and a problem anti-semitic conversation. It seems likely Twitter is paying attention.

Also on the safe(ish) side: The space creator is all powerful and can mute or kick out bad actors. Spaces can also be reported. Then there’s the transcription, which sets Audio Spaces apart from similar apps. Chat transcription was aimed at accessibility but, TechCrunch suggests that might help keep things civil and appropriate if people know their words are being written down. Hmm. Maybe?

Also… Why?

It doesn’t appear that there was a groundswell of demand from users, but Audio Spaces at least is something different from the feature pile-on making the social media big dogs start to look the same, as in Twitter’s also-new Fleets, Instagram’s and Facebook’s Stories, Snapchat’s… Snapchat. (See also Instagram’s Reels, Snapchat’s Spotlight, TikTok’s… TikTok.)

Clubhouse does appear to be hugely popular in Silicon Valley – and it has the investment capital to show it – so maybe there’s something to this audio-only chat thing. But we’ve already seen pandemic-fueled Zoom-happy-hour-fatigue, as users have gotten frustrated with too many people talking at the same time. Video chat can give users at least a few more clues about who is talking and who might be about to talk. Audio-only chat seems like it could quickly devolve into a chaotic cacophony.

But, Twitter says, conversation will flow naturally, and it advises users to “be present.”

“Just like in real life, the magic is in the moment,” it says.

It’s beta testers will surely have a lot to say about “magic” and “moderation.”

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Social Media

New Pinterest code of conduct pushes for mindful posting

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Social media sites have struggled with harmful content, but Pinterest is using their new code of conduct to encourage better, not just reprimands.



Pinterest icon on phone with 2 notifications, indicating new code of conduct.

It appears that at least one social media site has made a decision on how to move forward with the basis of their platform. Pinterest has created a brand-new code of conduct for their users. Giving them a set of rules to follow which to some may be a little restricting, but I’m not mad about it. In a public statement, they told the world their message:

“We’re on a journey to build a globally inclusive platform where Pinners around the world can discover ideas that feel personalized, relevant, and reflective of who they are.”

The revamp of their system includes 3 separate changes revolving around the rules of the platform. All of them are complete with examples and full sets of rules. The list is summed up as:

  • Pinterest Creator Code
  • Pinterest Comment Moderation Tools
  • Pinterest Creator Fund

For the Creator Code, Pinterest had this to say: “The Creator Code is a mandatory set of guidelines that lives within our product intended to educate and build community around making inclusive and compassionate content”. The rules are as follows:

  • Be Kind
  • Check my Facts
  • Be aware of triggers
  • Practice Inclusion
  • Do no harm

The list of rules provides some details on the pop-up as well, with notes like “make sure content doesn’t insult,” “make sure information is accurate,” etc. The main goal of this ‘agreement’, according to Pinterest, is not to reprimand offending people but to practice a proactive and empowering social environment. Other social websites have been shoe-horned into reprimanding instead of being proactive against abuse, and it has been met with mixed results. Facebook itself is getting a great deal of flack about their new algorithm that picks out individual words and bans people for progressively longer periods without any form of context.

Comment Moderation is a new set of tools that Pinterest is hoping will encourage a more positive experience between users and content creators. It’s just like putting the carrot before the donkey to get him to move the cart.

  • Positivity Reminders
  • Moderation Tools
  • Featured Comments
  • New Spam Prevention Signals

Sticking to the positivity considerations here seems to be the goal. They seem to be focusing on reminding people to be good and encouraging them to stay that way. Again, proactive, not reactive.

The social platform’s last change is to create a Pinterest Creator Fund. Their aim is to provide training, create strategy consulting, and financial support. Pinterest has also stated that they are going to be aiming these funds specifically at underrepresented communities. They even claim to be committing themselves to a quota of 50% of their Creators. While I find this commendable, it also comes off a little heavy handed. I would personally wait to see how they go about this. If they are ignoring good and decent Creators based purely on them being in a represented group, then I would find this a bad use of their time. However, if they are actively going out and looking for underrepresented Creators while still bringing in good Creators that are in represented groups, then I’m all for this.

Being the change you want to see in the world is something I personally feel we should all strive towards. Whether or not you produced positive change depends on your own goals… so on and so forth. In my own opinion, Pinterest and their new code of conduct is creating a better positive experience here and striving to remind people to be better than they were with each post. It’s a bold move and ultimately could be a spectacular outcome. Only time will tell how their creators and users will respond. Best of luck to them.

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Social Media

Facebook releases Hotline as yet another Clubhouse competitor

(SOCIAL MEDIA) As yet another app emerges to try and take some of Clubhouse’s success, Facebook Hotline adds a slightly more formal video chat component to the game.



Woman forming hands into heart shape at laptop hosting live video chat, similar to Facebook's new app Hotline

Facebook is at it again and launching its own version of another app. This time, the company has launched Hotline, which looks like a cross between Instagram Live and Clubhouse.

Facebook’s Hotline is the company’s attempt at competing with Clubhouse, the audio-based social media app, which was released on iOS in March 2020. Earlier this year, The New York Times reported Facebook had already begun working on building its own version of the app. Erik Hazzard, who joined Facebook in 2017 after the company acquired his tbh app, is leading the project.

The app was created by the New Product Experimentation (NPE) Team, Facebook’s experimental development division, and it’s already in beta testing online. To access it, you can use the web-based application through the platform’s website to join the waitlist and “Host a Show”. However, you will need to sign in using your Twitter account to do so.

Unlike Clubhouse, Hotline lets users also chat through video and not just audio alone. The product is more like a formal Q&A and recording platform. Its features allow people to live stream and hold Q&A sessions with their audiences similar to Instagram Live. And, audience members can ask questions by using text or audio.

Also, what makes Hotline a little more formal than Clubhouse is that it automatically records conversations. According to TechCrunch, hosts receive both a video and audio recording of the event. With a guaranteed recording feature, the Q&A sessions will stray away from the casual vibes of Clubhouse.

The first person to host a Q&A live stream on Hotline is real-estate investor Nick Huber, who is the type of “expert” Facebook is hoping to attract to its platform.

“With Hotline, we’re hoping to understand how interactive, live multimedia Q&As can help people learn from experts in areas like professional skills, just as it helps those experts build their businesses,” a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch. “New Product Experimentation has been testing multimedia products like CatchUp, Venue, Collab, and BARS, and we’re encouraged to see the formats continue to help people connect and build community,” the spokesperson added.

According to a Reuters article, the app doesn’t have any audience size limits, hosts can remove questions they don’t want to answer, and Facebook is moderating inappropriate content during its early days.

An app for mobile devices isn’t available yet, but if you want to check it out, you can visit Hotline’s website.

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