Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet Businesses The Almighty Buck

A Proposal For Unionizing Bloggers 259

Posted by Zonk
from the lots-of-signs-saying-frist-psot dept.
mikesd81 writes "Coloumbia Journal Review writes about the possibility of unionizing bloggers. Chris Mooney writes 'Yes, dear reader: the Bloggers Guild of America may be on its way. The dispute between screen and television writers and media conglomerates has its roots, after all, in the Web.' He says, then, they get zero compensation for their products being distributed over the Internet. 'Bloggers often earn that same salary. There are exceptions, of course, those fortunate few who have become quasi-celebrities in their own right and found themselves, and their sites, snatched up by major media companies,' he goes on to say. He also adds that a bloggers guild could protect a blogger's intellectual property and help ensure they're compensated for it."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

A Proposal For Unionizing Bloggers

Comments Filter:
  • by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @05:44PM (#22112168) Homepage Journal
    Its the best idea ever.
    That way we can abuse their rights and they can go on strike!!!

    • Three words (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      What. The. Fuck.

      Honestly, you make up a word for "people writing regularly writing online and letting others comment on it" and all of a sudden you think you're something special.

      Am I missing something?

      • Re:Three words (Score:5, Insightful)

        by abigor (540274) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @06:02PM (#22112350)
        Nope. The ability of certain people to invent new ways of making themselves seem important is astounding.
        • No surprise there (Score:5, Insightful)

          by countvlad (666933) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @07:46PM (#22113192)
          Well that's the trick, isn't it? Blogs are the new soap box, and there's no shortage of people preaching to anyone who will listen (although ironically this is usually just to other bloggers). Sure, most of them are elitist pricks whom, much like many politicians, believe that they serve some vital role in our lives and without which modern society would collapse in on itself like a dying star.

          Like modern unions, this is a scam so that a few select people can wield power while deceiving everyone under them into thinking that they are necessary.

          Unless someone is paying you to blog, blogging isn't a job. Shit, you certainly don't have to come home from your 9-5 job at Starbucks and blog about every fucking aspect of your life. Saying you want to be compensated for what you produce is like me asking the County to pay me for what I flush down the toilet. If you really do want to make a business out of it then charge for your content. I'm sure within a few, short days you'll realize how completely useless and trite the crap you spew out of your pie-hole is and exactly how little anyone really cares: 0.

          I completely blame the media outlets for letting bloggers' egos get so ridiculously inflated to think that the trash they produce is somehow useful or important. People don't care what the 'blogosphere' is saying as they aren't a sample of any group but themselves. For fucks sake, if you want to write something meaningful, become a scientist and publish!
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by mdwh2 (535323)
            Unless someone is paying you to blog, blogging isn't a job.

            Some of them do, and presumably he is in that article. But yes, the article is odd in that he seems to primarily be talking about people who don't get paid at all. The point of unions is to ensure rights for employees. There is some argument for capitalising on what you do - getting people to pay you - but that's not what I would call a union in the "worker's union" sense.

            But then again, later on he does talk about primarily a union for people blogg
            • Re:No surprise there (Score:4, Interesting)

              by rtb61 (674572) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @11:08PM (#22114312) Homepage
              I though there was already a union for bloggers, it is called being a citizen. As for comment that blogs are the new soap box, that is completely false, as people who stand on soap boxes generally force themselves into public places and you have to visit a bloggers site.

              Bloggers are just more expressive versions of regular people (excluding of course the marketdroid ass hats who are in it only for the money), either their writing is of interest and a lot of people read it or it doesn't draw much attention beyond their particular local and remote group of friends.

              Blogging does represents an interesting balance between expressing your private self and maintaining a level of digital privacy, writing about a subject you are interested in rather than writing about yourself and your family. Perhaps there will be a growth in private blogs housed on localised modem, firewall, router, switch open source web/mail servers. So will people start maintaining two blogs a public and a private blog, none of which they will maintain on data mined and privacy invaded corporate marketdroid servers like blogger, live spaces etc. (eww, data mining not only the blogs, but also readers comments and even who reads the blogs and how long they stay there and how often they return).

              Nowdays you also have to wonder how much effect stumbleupon is having upon blog visit statitics. I end up visiting a lot of blogs often return visits to different entries on the same blog, but never by choice, it is just a random stumble event.

          • Re:No surprise there (Score:5, Informative)

            by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Sunday January 20, 2008 @07:41PM (#22121022) Homepage Journal

            Like modern unions, this is a scam
            Here comes the anti-organized labor FUD.

            Pal, I don't know if you're an American, but if it wasn't for unions, there wouldn't be a middle class in this country.

            Pick up a history of labor in the US and see what working conditions here were like before the organized labor movement. Any of you have a nice relaxed day yesterday? Well, if it wasn't for labor unions, you'd have been working a full day yesterday. If you've taken a sick day in the past few years, you can thank the Union Label.

            How about health insurance? You guys like that you can go to the doctor and an insurance company picks up the tab? That was the labor unions, too. I don't know if any of you have ever been seriously hurt on the job and gotten disability pay, it's because labor unions fought like hell to get that protection. Did you get Christmas off with pay? Guess who?

            You may not realize it, but when miners, factory workers, truck drivers, etc were getting ground into dirt by an ownership class that was pissed off over the loss of slave labor, those workers got together and talked to one another, and stood together and got their heads beaten in for their trouble. A lot of them were killed by hired goons that worked for the factory owners. It took a lot of years of work by some really stand-up folks to make sure young women wouldn't get burned to death in a shirt factory that kept the doors chained so the girls wouldn't step outside for fresh air. And now we've got some check-pantsed pansies who think that if they just lick enough ass their bosses are going to take care of them, talking about how organized labor is "corrupt" but don't blink when Circuit City fires their best trained and most experienced workers just because they happened to have gotten a raise, then offered to hire them back at entry-level wages. Just wait until a few of them get laid off: Instant Progressive!

            If it wasn't for labor unions, this country would be made up of a few owners and a lot of very poor workers. With the concerted anti-union effort that started with that doddering wrinkled prick Ronald Reagan, we're headed back in that direction right quick. You better believe the ownership class is organized, via lobbies and PACs and huge political contributions. I bet you "free-market" zombies don't mind that one bit. But as soon as a few factory workers get together and decide to look out for one another, it's demonized as "socialism" or worse.

            Do bloggers need a union? Who the fuck knows. Does the US need an organized labor union? Only if you don't want to see your kids grow up to be serfs or indentured slaves, and want them to have a decent chance at the middle-class lifestyle that's becoming little more than a distant memory to you and me.

            The next time you try to forget about the fact that your 401k is dropping value like a stone by reading Investors Business Daily, take a few minutes and google "Wobblies" or "IWW". Learn about how the US became an economic and industrial powerhouse. Just as it was for Poland and many other European countries, the labor union in America was a big part of our most productive era. And how the decline of our economic standing in the world coincides neatly with the defeat of the Union Movement at the hands of "pro-growth" "free-market"-types like the ones that now call themselves "Republican".
      • Am I missing something?
        Unions make a great deal of sense when there is significant worker exploitation afoot, e.g. the Industrial Revolution.
        That's what's missing.
        Other than that, unions quite often seem a solution in search of a problem.
    • You could always create a blog about how to harass bloggers thus forcing their hand and going on strike; however, you would then have to join the strike and may not be able to maintain the intensity of the harassment. Although this paradox appears unresolvable at first, but if you join me and my good friend Mr. J Hoffa behind the supermarket tomorrow night, I will let you know how to get around the problem.
    • It's pretty sad when the Worst Idea of the Year is guaranted in mid-January.
    • No, No, Please No! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Bruce Perens (3872) * <bruce@perens.com> on Saturday January 19, 2008 @07:14PM (#22112986) Homepage Journal
      You mean I have to take all of the problems that come with being a blogger and have a union too! Ugh! The pain and legal load of protecting myself from my own union would be much greater than any "intellectual property issues" that they percieve.

      Bruce

    • If one can figure out how to lock-out the union blogger. Harassment of the scabs might prove difficult... Denial of Scab Service Attack?
       
  • Methinks someone has been dealing with too many jolts at work recently...
  • Not too surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blueg3 (192743) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @05:46PM (#22112196)
    It shouldn't come as a shock that people who simply post their opinions publicly so that someone will listen to them would only be paid what those opinions are worth.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 19, 2008 @05:58PM (#22112312)
      I'm sure that the blogger in question was just being sarcastic... It would have been much more amusing if he also suggested that the people who leave comments should unionise into the Trolls Guild or something, though.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by serutan (259622)
      In the same light, when will forum posters unionize? The content for sites like Slashdot and Fark is written almost entirely by volunteers, yet it's that discussion content that brings readers to the sites to click on the ads or pay for subscriptions. According to the common logic of today they deserve a share of the profits.

      I question the whole idea that people have an inherent right to be paid when something they did turns out to have value because of the efforts of someone else. A great actor can stand o
    • by ivan256 (17499) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @09:45PM (#22113868)
      It shouldn't come as a shock that the people who simply post their opinions that nobody reads would want a cut of the action from the revenues generated by the successful bloggers.

      When the local factory is the only way to earn a living, organized labor helps a lot. It's monopoly of labor balancing out monopoly of employment. In cases like this it's merely the people who suck at their "job" wanting to ride the gravy train of those that succeed. If they can't make a living at blogging, they should go get one of the countless other jobs that pay fairly.
  • by MeanMF (631837) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @05:47PM (#22112206) Homepage
    they get zero compensation for their products being distributed over the Internet

    The vast majority of them earn every penny of that.
    • by eclectro (227083)
      Don't forget, residuals are extremely important. That way readers can get paid for the time they waisted reading the blog.
  • Another money-grubbing group wanting to milk anything creative for any possible dollar it may earn, while making use of and promoting imaginary property. What happened to unions being for the working class person getting stepped on by big business?
    • by s20451 (410424)
      What happened to unions being for the working class person getting stepped on by big business?

      Well, say NBC wanted to use some of your blog posts as the basis for an episode of a sitcom. Without doing a lot of research on your own, and/or hiring your own lawyer (out of your own pocket), how would you ensure that NBC was offering fair compensation and not screwing you over? That's generally what these collective contracts are about.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by JesseL (107722) *
        I'd rather take my chances with NBC than add the extra complication of the union screwing me over. The worst problem with unions is that if they had their way, I wouldn't even get that choice.
      • by russ1337 (938915)

        Well, say NBC wanted to use some of your blog posts as the basis for an episode of a sitcom. Without doing a lot of research on your own, and/or hiring your own lawyer (out of your own pocket), how would you ensure that NBC was offering fair compensation and not screwing you over? That's generally what these collective contracts are about.

        Post on any reputable legal forum with some links, some basic proof and your story, and you'll have lawyers coming out from the woodwork. Those lawyers will probably w

      • Well, say NBC wanted to use some of your blog posts as the basis for an episode of a sitcom. Without doing a lot of research on your own, and/or hiring your own lawyer (out of your own pocket), how would you ensure that NBC was offering fair compensation and not screwing you over?
        As soon as you're providing material for a major television network, you've left the realm of being a random idiot with a web site and entered the realm of the Writer's Guild.
  • by Metasquares (555685) <slashdot@nospAm.metasquared.com> on Saturday January 19, 2008 @05:52PM (#22112256) Homepage
    Blogging is a voluntary activity generally conducted solely by the individual doing the blogging. Whether to charge or not is an individual choice.

    Also, scientists generally contribute far more intellectual energy to submitting their publications and they aren't paid for it either (although it is considered somewhat of a job expectation). As for protecting their IP, their articles generally cease being their own IP once a journal gets ahold of it, upon which it controls distribution and very often ransoms access to the public, making a profit for the journals - but not the scientists who wrote the paper. I think researchers may need to unionize earlier than bloggers if abuse of IP is what you're concerned about.
    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @07:12PM (#22112962) Journal

      As for protecting their IP, their articles generally cease being their own IP once a journal gets ahold of it, upon which it controls distribution and very often ransoms access to the public
      Almost every journal or conference I have even looked at submitting papers to has allowed me to post a copy of the PDF on my own site. There have been two exceptions. One allows you to post the content of the paper, but you have to use your own formatting (they take the LaTeX and apply their own styles and claim copyright on the final version, but not the version it is derived from). The other makes papers available for free download (no registration or anything) in PDF form and allows you to link to their version.

      I put PDFs and BibTeX for all of my peer-reviewed papers online. You can read and cite them without going near a for-profit journal, even if that is where they were originally published. If other scientists don't do this, you should complain to them for not exercising their freedoms in a way that benefits you (or just bounce your connection via an HTTP proxy hosted in a university IP range, which gets you access to most things).

      Also, bear in mind that the writings of a researcher are typically not regarded as having intrinsic value, they represent something which has value (the research) and are intended as advertising rather than a product. In contrast, the writings of a blogger are their product.

    • by Rudolf (43885)
      Yes Blogging is voluntary. So is being a Scientist. Or did someone put a gun to your head?

      • I never said it wasn't, though perhaps the term "voluntary" didn't quite convey the meaning that I wanted. Blogging is not a method that most people use to make a living, whereas scientist is an actual occupation. If the scientists haven't unionized yet, I don't see why the bloggers consider it necessary to.
  • by Eightyford (893696) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @05:53PM (#22112262) Homepage
    Are unions even needed these day? Don't new laws protect workers in the way unions did a hundred years ago? If you don't like your job, find a new job! If you aren't getting paid enough, find a new job! If your employer is discriminating against you, or the workplace is unsafe, then let existing laws take care of it! Unions for the most part suck IMHO.
    • by realmolo (574068) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @06:02PM (#22112354)
      Yes, but the problem is, if ALL employers are equally awful, then simply "finding a new job" doesn't do you any good. That is the case in much of the U.S.

      Now, there are some really good employers. They are few and far between. The VAST majority of corporations are more than happy to screw their employers at every opportunity. That's what unions are for. Yes, many unions are corrupt and greedy and irrational. But so are many corporations. You NEED a union as a check on the power of the company/employers. Period.
    • by Dutch Gun (899105)
      I do agree that unions are increasingly becoming more irrelevant given the protection afforded to modern workers. But in some sense, I think the right for a union to exist is perhaps the most valuable thing for workers, in case those protections are ever rescinded, or are not sufficient. For the most part, today's unions' primary roles today are collective bargaining - that is, ensuring their workers get paid as much as possible. From what I've observed, most modern union-issued strikes occur because of
    • Well Yes and No...
      Right now Unions have a general negative impact on the United States, forcing us to be uncompetitive in a world environment. But they are needed as well because non-union company will treat their employees well so they don't feel the need to Unionize. In general people think being in a Union is a good thing but much of the extra wage they make goes to union dues. Employee who perform better then others will not get rewarded, as easily. You cannot bargain on your own you can only bargai
    • by Ajehals (947354) <a.halsall@pirateparty.org.uk> on Saturday January 19, 2008 @06:30PM (#22112602) Homepage Journal
      The reasons many of these laws exist is because of the work done by unions in the past. Moreover the fundamental problem that an employer usually has more power and resources than an employee still stands, this means that if you are subject to unfair or illegal treatment it is still a case of you (with limited resources) against your employer (with more resources), a fight that you may find hard to start let alone win. Unions are supposed to address this imbalance by providing you with the resources and support you need to take an errant employer on.

      It should also be noted that there are still issues that unions are fighting on, obviously what these issues are depends on where you look, but they exist. A simple situation that unions can and do address is pay, employers often do not want to pay employee's (especially at the lowest level) what they are worth, sure they will pay the minimum legal wage, they may even pay more than the minimum possible wage, however for an employee to take unilateral action (i.e. protest or demand extra pay on threat of leaving) would be pointless, they would be dismissed and the situation would remain the same, the dismissal serving as a disincentive for any other employee considering the same path. Obviously a union makes it possible for the entire workforce (or the group affected) to take action.

      Now that example in the context of the US is usually seen as negative, it is usually assumed that this pressure by unions for higher pay (and often job protection) is unfair on the employer, and in some cases it is, especially when an employer *is* paying a fair wage, or where an employer *Cannot* pay more. In these cases the union should always be looking to protect its members interest, that is to say to safeguard the jobs of its members and achieving the best possible collective agreements, not to harm its members by forcing an employer to become uncompetitive in the marketplace (leading to potential job cuts or insolvency).

      So in short, unions are valuable and useful, if, the members of a union have sufficient sway within it (so as to be able to present their views, usually by way of a ballot), and also if the union organisation is rational and reasonable when dealing with employers. Most importantly there should always be good communication between unions and employers, strikes should be avoided and used only as a last resort against uncooperative and abusive employers.

      Modern unions also generally provide additional protections and services to members, things like legal advice (not just related to employment) and insurance, due to the fact that they (generally) represent a large pool of employed individuals, they are also in a position to use their size to arrange preferential prices for goods and services (in some cases housing) for their members. Finally they are also a potential ally for an employer who has issues with a particular employee, they are after all a third party and therefore able to give (one would hope) rational and informed (and partially independent) advice and guidance with regard to disciplinary action.

      Anyway, unions are a good thing, as long as they are reasonable, every one I have dealt with has been professional and showed common sense in their dealings, although I must say some of the stories I hear coming from the US are that the unions that exist there are not quite set up in the same manner, in some cases apparently acting more a labour cartel than an organisation geared to protect vulnerable workers from exploitation (I hope that that is not a correct picture but simply that horror stories are more fun to tell than stories about successes).
      • by esper (11644)

        A simple situation that unions can and do address is pay, employers often do not want to pay employee's (especially at the lowest level) what they are worth, sure they will pay the minimum legal wage, they may even pay more than the minimum possible wage, however for an employee to take unilateral action (i.e. protest or demand extra pay on threat of leaving) would be pointless, they would be dismissed and the situation would remain the same, the dismissal serving as a disincentive for any other employee considering the same path.

        ...unless the worker in question is in the IT sector (as are the bloggers). In that case, the employee gladly finds a new employer who pays more reasonably and then the (former) employer complains about how difficult it is to hire and retain IT workers who don't demand the world from them. Or did you miss that story last week? (Young IT Workers Disillusioned, Hard to Retain [slashdot.org])

        • by Ajehals (947354)
          Very true, that isn't really related to unions though, in a market where there is an under supply of quality staff *and* a tendency to over pay people, unions don't tend to be popular, and frankly since the workforce have sufficient choice and opportunity, they are probably not needed. That's not true in most sectors now though and frankly even if it where there are still additional benefits to being part of a large group with some political and/or economic power.
      • by roman_mir (125474)

        Anyway, unions are a good thing, as long as they are reasonable,
        - no. Unions are a good thing if you prefer to work that way. I prefer to have to be competitive within my field of expertise and I would not want anyone forcing me into some collective agreement that levels the playing field with the rest of them slackers. Of-course if I was a factory worker 100 years ago, I probably would think unions were great, but today is not 100 years ago and I am not a factory worker.
        • by Ajehals (947354)
          Why is there this overriding assumption that people *must* join a union if they exist?

          If in any industry unions are mandatory then that industry (and especially the unions within it) are so broken as to be unfit for purpose.

          My point is simply that unions provide value and support, if your employer sues you tomorrow a union could probably (should) help you to fight back, without crippling yourself, not to mention that they will have experience doing it, that is potentially worth it. Obviously if you dont wa
    • In 1980 the average CEO made about 42 times the amount of it's average (AVG) worker. Now it is about 300 times more.

      Meanwhile, companies are moving jobs out of America and getting tax cuts to do it! American workers, the only non-unionized labor force in the modern western world, are non-coincidentally the only workers in the modern western world who are making less money, on average, than they were twenty years ago, due to inflation and taxes.

      America's middle class is undoubtedly disappearing, but there ar
      • fat, no-bid contracts
        Speaking as a Brit, if you find a solution to that one would you mind sending it our way? Our government seems to regard 'experience handling government contracts' to be a major benefit when picking a new contractor, even if this experience involves 400% overspends and failing to actually deliver a final product.
      • by xenocide2 (231786)

        In 1980 the average CEO made about 42 times the amount of it's average (AVG) worker. Now it is about 300 times more.
        The problem here isn't a matter of corporate America unfairly exploiting worker peons. It's executives exploiting shareholders through a club effect. A group of 20 people serve on 20 boards, each the CEO of one of the companies. The amount of chicanery going on in selecting a CEO and negotiating salary is so massive it deserves its own documentary.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 19, 2008 @05:53PM (#22112268)
    ...when it's members aren't actually employed. I don't mean bloggers don't have jobs, just that their job isn't generally blogging. A union exists to give workers collective leverage against their employers, who stand to lose economically if a strike is called.

    Who loses money if the bloggers go on strike? For that matter, if they weren't blogging, how would we even know they were on strike? By the lack of updates? I doubt the print media would care enough to inform us.

    A guild in the sense of a trade organization might make sense, but a union?

    You might just as sensibly organize the elephants and have them strike if ivory poaching continues.
  • Bloggers often earn that same salary. There are exceptions, of course, those fortunate few who have become quasi-celebrities in their own right and found themselves, and their sites, snatched up by major media companies,' he goes on to say.

    I had my website for ten years and I still haven't seen a salary yet. If I join the union, who's paying my salary? Where are these major media companies who want to buy my website?
    • by nurb432 (527695)
      No, you wont suddenly get paid, what will happen is you wont be able to publish any longer, due to union rules. Sort of like rules that say you cant work at a non union shop if you are a member of the UAW.

      If i was paranoid about conspiracies, id say this is being secretly pushed by the 'media' so as to pretty much wipe out the blog 'competition'.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by QuasiEvil (74356)
        Eh, say what? If I get paid, how exactly would union rules stop me from blogging? My server, my content, how exactly are they going to stop me? Not that I'd even consider joining any sort of idiotic bloggers union anyway, but I can't understand your comment.
        • by nurb432 (527695)
          If you are a member of the union, you wont be able 'give away' your 'work' according to the contract. ( it would be considered freelance, normally a no-no )

          I'm not talking about how practical enforcement will be, only the 'rules' that will appear.
          • And those "rules" will make absolutely no difference to someone who decides not to join the union. Surprisingly, a new organisation created for the sole purpose of pretending to be important does not yet trump either the law of the land or economic market forces!

  • by MacarooMac (1222684) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @05:55PM (#22112278)
    It's the hackers thatt need a union, what with all the negative publicity they get when they do naughty stuff.

    The Hackers Guild could then provide *protection* to the Bloggers Guild - for a small fee, of course... ;)
  • What?! (Score:3, Funny)

    by doofusclam (528746) <slash@seanyseansean.com> on Saturday January 19, 2008 @05:56PM (#22112294) Homepage
    They're taking the piss surely?

    OMG! The bloggers are on strike, oh noes!! Where will I get my random crap and aerated opinions from?!!!

    It's almost as ridiculous as the 'Students Unions' we have in Universities here...
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by yada21 (1042762)

      OMG! The bloggers are on strike, oh noes!! Where will I get my random crap and aerated opinions from?!!!
      CNN and Fox news. You could also try someplace I heard of called slashdot.
  • Once a union (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @05:58PM (#22112308) Homepage Journal
    Then forget independence.

    Unions had/have their place, but this isn't one of those places.
  • unionizing (Score:5, Funny)

    by mistersooreams (811324) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @05:58PM (#22112314) Homepage

    Coloumbia Journal Review writes about the possibility of unionizing bloggers.
    I didn't realise there was a problem with ionized bloggers, but I'm glad that it's being tackled early.
  • by BitterOak (537666) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @06:01PM (#22112346)
    Most unions work because membership is mandatory for workers in a field covered by the union. Would this be the case for a bloggers union? If so, does the Internet suddenly become a read-only medium except for those who've paid their dues, and been approved for membership in the guild?
    • Most unions work because membership is mandatory for workers in a field covered by the union.

      That's not the case everywhere [nrtw.org].

  • The short-term value of a bloggers union won't be about money and benefits -- the net will always have millions of nonunion bloggers to supplant the content of any union blogger strike.

    Rather, the value will be in legitmizing blogging and creating a source for reputation. The Gizmondo-CES prank confirms some people's worst fears -- that bloggers are not professional journalists, may not be worthy of admission into press events (or may not enjoy to the same freedom of the press laws). A union that helps ce
    • by Omestes (471991)
      First off, I'm generally a fan of unions. They can go bad, but for the whole they serve a useful function.

      But this is absolutely moronic. Does every blogger really have such an overinflated sense of importance? Any monkey can be a blogger, hell *I* have a blog, thus proving that it doesn't really take a huge amount of skill. Every emo kid on Facebook/MySpace/LiveJournal is a damn blogger, by definition. Journalists/writers are generally vetted by an employer to show that their worthy of pay, thus worth
      • by TykeClone (668449)
        Most businesses, if unionized, can't hire non-union employees (unless your in an ironically named "right to work" state, like Arizona).

        Not much into the freedom of association then? If a union must force its members to join, what does that tell you about its utility?
    • A union that helps certify and regulate bloggers could boost professionalism and disavow/sanction childish misbehavior.

      And censure those who don't toe the party line.

      Falcon
  • Or ... (Score:4, Funny)

    by mxs (42717) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @06:03PM (#22112372)
    ... they could just stop blogging if they are not getting paid for it and really want to be. Nobody would miss them, especially not those bloggers already making money. This self-important blabbering is great blog-content, but entirely uninteresting -- much like most blogs. What did your dog do today ?
    • I must admit he does spend a lot of time on his blog these days.

      After he won "Best in Show" at the 2006 Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show, his blog was serialized in Breeders Times and he just doesn't get time to go for regular walkies anymore.
  • by petes_PoV (912422) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @06:09PM (#22112422)
    A guild or union or whatever you want to call it only has power because they can do (or stop doing) something that society values - and whose wishes to retain that thing are more than the union members' pain at witholding it.

    Where, exactly would a group of bloggers create enough value that "we" would be prepared to pay extra to have them continue?

    They have no leverage as most of them are hobbyists and do it more for their own benefit and self-image than for anyone else. If they stopped, they would not be missed and there would not be a hole in our lives that needed filling (possibly the reverse!!!)

    • by blhack (921171)

      Where, exactly would a group of bloggers create enough value that "we" would be prepared to pay extra to have them continue?
      Furthermore, in most cases WE ARE the bloggers. WE submit content to websites, and then WE comment on it. If some big blogger shuts down their site....there is going to be 10 more that will pop up the same day and replace it.
    • I say "let them go on strike". That'll show people!
    • by mrmeval (662166)
      Dan Rather left and no one cared so it's not just bloggers but big powerful lying media too.
      • by seifried (12921)
        Huh? When did Dan Rather leave? I used to watch him every night when I was a kid. I guess I haven't watched TV news in a while.
      • the delivery time from Vega is too long.

        You didn't go anywhere, you dropped right through.

        Falcon
  • by timmarhy (659436) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @06:17PM (#22112502)
    ... no one gives a fuck if you go on strike. in fact i would propose that we help them form said union so that we can force them into a permanent strike so that all blogs dry up and my goggle searches can be useful again.
  • Unions are the cause of a lot problems in the U.S. In Illinois, you are required to join a union if your job function is unionized. They're huge bureaucratic entities that are corrupt, they waste time, and they especially waste money. I've been in a union (UFCW), and it sucked. Unions are always talking about striking while at the same time take a large chunk of money out one's paycheck. These "union dues" or extortion fees would never, ever be seen again. And the biggest problem with unions is that it is v

  • by Aging_Newbie (16932) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @06:25PM (#22112558)
    Why does this topic remind me of a certain philosopher's strike?
  • ... and it falls in the forest ... does anybody care?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Okay. The article is poorly written, but the responses here seem to nonetheless be missing the point.

    The article, in suggesting that bloggers organize to receive a cut of proceeds, is not talking about your next door neighbor and his diary-blog. The article is referring only to bloggers writing for websites that make considerable ad revenue.

    I'm not all too familiar with the scene, but, according to the article, much of Daily Kos' and the Huffington Post's content is supplied by smalltime bloggers who write
  • As much as I think the term "intellectual property" is silly, "a bloggers [sic] intellectual property" is far funnier.
  • I can't wait till they try to turn this into a closed shop system like the WGA, where you'd have to belong to blog. And then the net returns to what seems to be its lowest entropy state: Google, MS and/or Yahoo being sued.
  • Bloggers often earn that same salary.

    Yeah, unlike WGA members, bloggers earn exactly what they're worth.
  • Unionizing (Score:2, Funny)

    by Saberwind (50430)
    Isaac Asimov once suggested that if one needed to determine whether a person claiming to be a scientist on To Tell the Truth was really a scientist or just an impostor, they could write 'unionize' on a piece of paper, hold it up, and ask the person to pronounce the word.

    An impostor would probably say 'yoon-yun-ize' while a real scientist would more likely say 'un-ion-ize'.

    When I read the headline, I was thinking of ions as well.
  • by Aladrin (926209)
    Last I checked, Unions aren't free. You have to pay to join one because it costs money to run. Let's not even get into the lawyers' fees to protect this 'intellectual property' via the Union.
  • For many people, the whole point of publishing on the Internet is to be free from regulatory interference and free from the structural costs of top down media. So please unionize and suffer the same marginalization by everyone else who does not care.
  • There I was thinking that the year was speeding by, little did I know we had got to April 1st already!
  • I'm sure I've heard dumber things, but I'm trying to think of any.
  • My gut tells me this is nothing more than a way to draw in the more popular bloggers to a sort of pseudo-mainstream status. The media has long been searching for a way to contain blogging, podcasting, in short new media. This guy is a journalist. Probably a journalist first and therefore has more loyalties to mainstream media. Such is seen in his idea that there needs to be a way to separate those blogging for "fun" from those who essentially are popular:

    Were bloggers to organize, a threshold would have t
  • by 4D6963 (933028) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @09:06PM (#22113678)

    God damn. I know that in this era and country there is this cultural phenomenon which consists in discrediting exports/professionals with respect to amateurs, but could we at least remember the difference between an amateur and a professional?

    This whole 'blogger=journalist' movement is ridiculous and quite insulting to actual career journalists. I don't know how it's like in the US but here in France you need a license to call yourself a journalist (Disclaimer : my father was a French journalist), so if you want to be called that that's what you've gotta obtain. And don't get me started with the FUD some of you would like to give me about having the government/an organisation to decide who's a journalist, because here any journalist from the most Marxist to the most neo-fascist has their license.

  • Rather than threatening to go on strike if they don't get paid, the Blogger's Guild could offer to go on strike if they do get paid. That seems far more likely to produce income as far as I can see.
  • by tm2b (42473) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @03:39AM (#22115516) Journal
    MAJIKTHISE: We'll go on strike!
    VROOMFONDEL: That's right. You'll have a national philosopher's strike on your hands.
    DEEP THOUGHT:Who will that inconvenience?
    MAJIKTHISE: Never you mind who it'll inconvenience you box of black legging binary bits! It'll hurt, buster! It'll hurt!
  • by jcr (53032) <jcr@nOspAm.mac.com> on Sunday January 20, 2008 @10:16PM (#22122230) Journal
    So, let's imagine the bloggers form a union, and go on strike.

    Somehow, I think I could manage.

    -jcr

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming

Working...