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A Proposal For Unionizing Bloggers

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the lots-of-signs-saying-frist-psot dept.

The Internet 259

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."

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Unionizing (1, Troll)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112156)

Who first reads that word as something to do with electric charge?

Re:Unionizing (1)

Edie O'Teditor (805662) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112806)

Are they going to start with Roland Piquepaille? We can hope...

Oh god yes, the best idea ever (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112168)

Its the best idea ever.
That way we can abuse their rights and they can go on strike!!!

Three words (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22112246)

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 (4, Insightful)

abigor (540274) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112350)

Nope. The ability of certain people to invent new ways of making themselves seem important is astounding.

Re:Three words (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22112358)

Hey fuckface, I've seen you around before. I recognize the style of your flaming. Get a fucking account and post with it.

PKB (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22112428)

Hey fuckface, I've seen you around before. I recognize the style of your flaming. Get a fucking account and post with it.
Hey fuckface, I've seen you around before. I recognize the style of your flaming. Get a fucking account and post with it.

Re:Oh god yes, the best idea ever (1)

weak* (1137369) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112474)

I disagree. I think it is a terrible idea, and so would you if you thought it through. Can you imagine a beach in Hawaii crawling with pasty-white blogger union delegates once a year?

You will have to be careful how to do this... (1)

irtza (893217) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112480)

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.

WIOTY award (1)

Roadkills-R-Us (122219) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112908)

It's pretty sad when the Worst Idea of the Year is guaranted in mid-January.

Re:WIOTY award (2, Insightful)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112926)

Bad News: This won't be the worst idea this year. Probably not this week. And every week after that will top the week before.

Coloumbia? (1)

solafide (845228) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112174)

Methinks someone has been dealing with too many jolts at work recently...

Blog? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22112178)

WTF is a blog?

Re:Blog? (2)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112208)

You know what i journal is right? Well a blog is a stupid name for the exact same thing but on the interwebs...

The human who coined this term should be shot.

Re:Blog? (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112426)

You mean intertubes.

Re:Blog? (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112504)

I go out of my way to say 'web journal', 'web blog', or even, 'web site' and I encourage people to do the same. I think that I'm doing my small part to end this stupid fad buzzword. But society seems to have an unlimited amount of new ones to annoy me with...

Re:Blog? (1)

kingturkey (930819) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112720)

'web blog' is redundant, at least in part, since it's a portmanteau of 'web log'. On an unrelated note, 'blag' [slashdot.org] is also an alternative.

Not too surprising (5, Insightful)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:Not too surprising (1)

cbart387 (1192883) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112292)

In that case ... shouldn't they be paying us? Joking aside, how are the bloggers' writing any better then what is found here?

Re:Not too surprising (1)

sentientbeing (688713) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112694)

Slashdot IS a blog. Choose any definition you like.

Re:Not too surprising (1)

cbart387 (1192883) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112786)

Only helps my point of the quality of 'blogging'.

Re:Not too surprising (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#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:Not too surprising - anti-free speech (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22112370)

Except when they get kicked outta the union for criticizing Israel, banks or women.

Re:Not too surprising - anti-free speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22112444)

and black listed from unionized web sites.

Troll in deed.

Truth-if it'll set you free, then a lie will usually hold a person captivate (I guess the question is "why do you hate these people, they only crime was being born?"

As well as (1)

oncehour (744756) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112894)

McDonalds, Walmart, Target, Lowes, The Bush Regime, Kane & Lynch, Eidos, Sony, etc.

Honestly, this unionizing idea is just plain stupid. How can you unionize a very loosely connected group of people? Most of these people barely even know eachother, much less interact. What is the benefit of unionizing beyond being able to use the union for pressure which can not currently be applied?

They could always go with a Blogging Guild similar to the Writer's Guild, another group of self-important windbags, but the point of this all is kind of moot. Blogging is about freedom. Post whatever the hell you want. If people like it they'll buy your products, click your ads, make comments or whatever else. You can't really expect readers to stick around purely on account of your seniority.

Supply & Demand 101 (5, Funny)

MeanMF (631837) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112206)

they get zero compensation for their products being distributed over the Internet

The vast majority of them earn every penny of that.

Re:Supply & Demand 101 (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112700)

Don't forget, residuals are extremely important. That way readers can get paid for the time they waisted reading the blog.

Unions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22112214)

Unions in the United States are messed up. Totally beyond repair. Utterly unrecognisable as something that actually works to protect workers. The last thing anyone should be doing is thinking of creating a new Union in the United States.

The US needs to look at how Unions work in Europe, particularly places like the UK and Ireland. No closed shops, no ridiculous hold over employers, no work to rule ethic. They have modern unions that achieve a sensible balance between workers and employers. And no Teamsters.

Just what we need (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112226)

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?

Re:Just what we need (1)

s20451 (410424) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112284)

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:Just what we need (2, Interesting)

JesseL (107722) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112348)

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.

Re:Just what we need (1)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112404)

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 want around 50% get in settlement, but the union is likely to want more - if not all of it.

Re:Just what we need (1)

vorstyles (813336) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112408)

If your blog was featured on a tv show without you having to pay a product placement fee, you're going to be upset?

A blog, website, vlog, etc is about views. If you have some sort of revenue-generating system, the more viewers you have, the more potential money you make. So, you should be happier having it freely distribute out into the world, attracting back more readers.

Instead of demanding compensation, I'd imagine bloggers should hope more that their blogs are properly attributed, or at least the referral is understandable.

Re:Just what we need (1)

NewbieProgrammerMan (558327) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112526)

I think the grandparent poster was referring to a situation in which they used an idea or story from somebody's blog without attribution.

Why not unionize music & movie consumers? (1)

VampireByte (447578) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112954)

Now that's a group getting stepped on.

Raiding party! (1)

TheSpengo (1148351) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112250)

Now they can go questing and conduct raids against their greatest foes! In all seriousness though, this seems rather silly to me. Does this mean that people making their emo blogs on livejournal or something are going to demand compensation for the traffic they generate? The article speaks of IP, but the vast majority of blogs definitely don't deserve the "intellectual" part of it, hehe. Also, the whole point of these blogging sites is that they can make a profit, they wouldn't exist otherwise... The host is not going to give bloggers free hosting and *pay* them for their work as well. If someone has a popular blog, I suggest they host it themselves and make money off ads or something.

Re:Raiding party! (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112464)

The article speaks of IP, but the vast majority of blogs definitely don't deserve the "intellectual" part of it
The "I" is for "Imaginary", remember?

What about scientists? (3, Interesting)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112256)

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.

Re:What about scientists? (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112962)

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.

Unions - are they needed? (3, Insightful)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112262)

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.

Re:Unions - are they needed? (3, Insightful)

realmolo (574068) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:Unions - are they needed? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112396)

funniest of all, the only new union growth is in government employees.

Re:Unions - are they needed? (1)

Dutch Gun (899105) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112456)

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 a desire to increase employee compensation. Other demands may be a part of the equation, but salary and/or other compensation and benefits are nearly always a factor.

In general though, the idea of bloggers forming a union smacks of someone wanting to collect union dues from others.

Re:Unions - are they needed? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112500)

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 bargain as part of the union... This has many disadvantages, especially if you are more ambitious and want to further your career. Unions are great if you plan to keep the same job and position for a long time, hence their popularity and effectiveness in manufacturing, where they in general receive good public recognition, because the work is so specialized and employed by a lot of people who prefer to work an 8-9 hour shift and go home, and continue the trend for the rest of their life. But in other areas (white collar) Unions really get in the way. Unions are part of the reason why a college Grad student with strong Math and Science skills cannot start teaching at 50-60k a year (similar to a starting engineer) because the unions will not let someone come in at a high level without having everyone else get the same salary.

Re:Unions - are they needed? (4, Insightful)

Ajehals (947354) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112602)

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).

Re:Unions - are they needed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22112610)

Don't new laws protect workers in the way unions did a hundred years ago?
That depends. Do you live in France?

Graphs and Charts Say: (1)

copponex (13876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112682)

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 are so many factors it's impossible to give exact reasons. However, I think the lack of corporate oversight, bloated war (not defense) spending, and fat, no-bid contracts, and a lack of strong unions are part of the reason. You basically have rich friends helping themselves get rich all over the top rungs of corporate America, and as everyone knows, trickle down economics is a figment of Karl Rove's imagination.

Re:Unions - are they needed? (1)

kvezach (1199717) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112784)

Are unions even needed these day?

Yes. Checks and balances are a good thing. The executives have the power to act in concert, and that power needs to be balanced. Unions do that (or rather, should in the ideal case; the real world is rarely that perfect).

A Union Doesn't Make Any Sense... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Something smoking in Hollywood... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112274)

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?

Re:Something smoking in Hollywood... (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112508)

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:Something smoking in Hollywood... (2, Insightful)

QuasiEvil (74356) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112712)

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.

Re:Something smoking in Hollywood... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22112764)

The union gets a contract with the well known blog sites and the blog sites will only publish content of those that are union members on that site.

Re:Something smoking in Hollywood... (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112872)

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.

forget the bloggers (4, Funny)

MacarooMac (1222684) | more than 6 years ago | (#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?! (2, Funny)

doofusclam (528746) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112294)

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:What?! (2, Funny)

yada21 (1042762) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112736)

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.

Re:What?! (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112804)

1. Your sarcasm detector must be broken.
2. /. is (or at least was) a blog.

Once a union (2, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112308)

Then forget independence.

Unions had/have their place, but this isn't one of those places.

What a bunch of idiots... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22112310)

Unionize? To what purpose? Do you work? Nope.

Your pitiful little blog may get a pitiful amount of ad revenue. If you don't like what your free blog hosting service gives you, you are welcome to go elsewhere.

Servers, rackspace and bandwidth isn't free.

Set up your own hosting & blog software, and make a deal with Google or someone else to provide ads.

unionizing (5, Funny)

mistersooreams (811324) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112314)

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.

Unionizing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22112316)

But how did they get ionized in the first place?

what intellectual property? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22112322)

I really don't think there's much IP to protect. I mean, sure, that first blogger who actually summarized a news story and posted a link to it did something original, but in the intervening fifteen years I don't think a single blogger has been able to duplicate that feat--the second generation merely summarized the original blogger's summary and posted a link to his blog, the third generation did away with summaries and just quoted the most interesting bits from the second generation's summary while linking to second generation blog, and the fourth (current) generation has managed to dumb that down even further by slathering their blog with ads, limiting their summary quotes to no more than half a sentence (preferably a DISJOINT half sentence with ellipses in the middle), linking to the third generation blog, and maybe throwing in a wikipedia cite if they're intellectual.

The problem is... (1)

Urger (817972) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112332)

The problem is that when other unions go on strike they're trying to make life more difficult, not less so.

Would this be mandatory? (3, Insightful)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 6 years ago | (#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?

Re:Would this be mandatory? (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112892)

Most unions work because membership is mandatory for workers in a field covered by the union.

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

Reputation first, then Money (1)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112360)

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 certify and regulate bloggers could boost professionalism and disavow/sanction childish misbehavior.

The challenge, though, is in making union blogs better, more readable, and more insightful than non-union blogs. Why would anyone join a blogger union (assuming that there are union dues) unless it means getting more pay, more respect, and more access? And why would a union accept a member, unless that member brings something to the table (other than dues, presumably). And why would readers pay more (or suffer more intrusive advertising) unless union blogs are better than non-union ones. All of those issues would be addressed if the union represents a professional organization with high standards for membership.

Re:Reputation first, then Money (1)

Omestes (471991) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112564)

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 worthy of potential exploitation, thus worthy of joining a union. This would be like a pick-up union?

Most businesses, if unionized, can't hire non-union employees (unless your in an ironically named "right to work" state, like Arizona). How the hell would something like this work for this? Really, there are probably well over 10 million bloggers, of which less than one percent actually get payed, or reputation.

If they went on strike, would anyone notice?

Also... if they went on strike, and I finally updated my MySpace page, would I be a scab?

Re:Reputation first, then Money (1)

TykeClone (668449) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112702)

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?

Re:Reputation first, then Money (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112874)

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

Will it? (1)

Sylos (1073710) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112362)

Will this increase blogging related accidents? And can I sue the bloggers now?

Or ... (3, Funny)

mxs (42717) | more than 6 years ago | (#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 ?

Re:Or ...What did your dog do today (2, Funny)

MacarooMac (1222684) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112584)

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.

no value so no leverage (5, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 6 years ago | (#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!!!)

Re:no value so no leverage (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112482)

Also, the power of a union is such that when its members strike, it causes problems for society at large, but if every blogger went on strike tomorrow, the world would actually be a better place!

Re:no value so no leverage (1)

blhack (921171) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112498)

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.

Re:no value so no leverage (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112510)

I say "let them go on strike". That'll show people!

Re:no value so no leverage (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112660)

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

Re:no value so no leverage (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112740)

Dan Rather left and no one cared so it's not just bloggers but big powerful lying media too.

Re:no value so no leverage (1)

seifried (12921) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112776)

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.

Vega (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112920)

the delivery time from Vega is too long.

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

Falcon

misread... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22112468)

Did anybody else read that as:
A Proposal for Unionizing Burglars ?

I was WTF?? all over the place!

there's one problem with your cunning plan.... (5, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:there's one problem with your cunning plan.... (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112674)

I would think that telescopes and binoculars would be more useful for searching than goggles.

Bad, bad, bad idea!! (2, Insightful)

still-a-geek (653160) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112524)

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 very difficult to get rid of a crappy worker.

I'll be damned if I have to be forced to join a union because I write blogs. Unions were needed at the beginning of the 20th century because there were no laws to protect the worker. Today, there are laws in force that do protect the worker. Additional laws for bloggers would not be that tough to do. Plus, there wouldn't be any extortion fees to pay.

Re:Bad, bad, bad idea!! (1)

hauntingthunder (985246) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112582)

They are taking about people who are paid to write just like journalists who have unions

and there is a world of diference between Craft Unions and M&P Ones

Re:Bad, bad, bad idea!! (1)

trowlFAZ (131369) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112622)

so some loser who has an a@#h013 - oh sorry an opinion, should have get xxx dollars for his (not to offend - HER) blog???

at least with the auto workers they actually produce a product we all need - TRANSPORTATION. Has anyone actually noticed that the entertainment writers are on strike????? (if you have time to turn off the tube for at least one day) what pathetic and commie-red leftist do you have to be to think one can really get away with this? If they were to strike ("bloggers" that is) who would suffer?

OH MY GOD - I can't read about tech news! Where would they walk their picket lines - in front of their house???? HAHAHA

If the AFL/CIO is really this desperate ( or whoever is sponsoring this nonsense), maybe people should take a REALISTIC view of what a union actually DOES for people - except line the UNION's own pockets with union dues.

There are some people out there that really have to study at least a little history and figure this shit out.

If you buy into this - SUCKER!!!!!!!!! and you will get what you deserve.

Re:Bad, bad, bad idea!! (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112762)

Except the extortion fees you already pay government. ;)

Obligatory Douglas Adams reference (2, Funny)

Aging_Newbie (16932) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112558)

Why does this topic remind me of a certain philosopher's strike?

My Bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22112586)

I read it as "A proposal for unionizing BEGGERS !!" Right this is 21st bloggers matter more than beggers.

Re:My Bad (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22112672)

What about NIGGERS? I figure they'd form a COONion. LOL.

S.C.U.M. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22112590)

Life in this society being, at best, an utter bore and no aspect of society being at all relevant to women, there remains to civic-minded, responsible, thrill-seeking females only to overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation and destroy the male sex.

It is now technically feasible to reproduce without the aid of males (or, for that matter, females) and to produce only females. We must begin immediately to do so. Retaining the male has not even the dubious purpose of reproduction. The male is a biological accident: the Y (male) gene is an incomplete X (female) gene, that is, it has an incomplete set of chromosomes. In other words, the male is an incomplete female, a walking abortion, aborted at the gene stage. To be male is to be deficient, emotionally limited; maleness is a deficiency disease and males are emotional cripples.

The male is completely egocentric, trapped inside himself, incapable of empathizing or identifying with others, or love, friendship, affection of tenderness. He is a completely isolated unit, incapable of rapport with anyone. His responses are entirely visceral, not cerebral; his intelligence is a mere tool in the services of his drives and needs; he is incapable of mental passion, mental interaction; he can't relate to anything other than his own physical sensations. He is a half-dead, unresponsive lump, incapable of giving or receiving pleasure or happiness; consequently, he is at best an utter bore, an inoffensive blob, since only those capable of absorption in others can be charming. He is trapped in a twilight zone halfway between humans and apes, and is far worse off than the apes because, unlike the apes, he is capable of a large array of negative feelings -- hate, jealousy, contempt, disgust, guilt, shame, doubt -- and moreover, he is aware of what he is and what he isn't.

If a blogger goes on strike ... (1)

bizitch (546406) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112612)

... and it falls in the forest ... does anybody care?

rtfa, and then read it again. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22112726)

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 on those sites. The article is saying that those writers should be making a cut of the ad revenue. It then mentions a couple sites where that's already the case. And it ignores that the high-profile (read: already famous for some other reason) bloggers at the Huffington Post are certainly getting paid handsomely already.

My opinion of bloggers (and WGA writers) (0, Troll)

billcopc (196330) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112790)

Here's what I have to say to bloggers and WGA writers : stop whining or get a real job.

This may seem hypocritical as I am a blogger myself (just as a hobby / public disservice). What good could a blogger union possibly bring to the world ? What are they going to do, threaten Google with strikes ? Google doesn't give a flying fuck. They pay (or don't pay) their Adsense dues and that's the end of it. If you want more money, go back to your day job at Best Buy.

And how exactly do they plan on charging their dues ? Are they going to try and tax non-union bloggers too ? Are they going to kidnap and murder naysayers, then blame it on the Jewish community ?

Oh wait, did I offend a whole swath of lower humans there ? My bad. It's just that with any sufficiently large group of people with significant financial interests, corruption is inevitable. Bloggers are fine as they currently are, they already hold up together quite well through conventional networking. They don't need a formal union to smear its foul excrement all over the blogosphere.

Re:My opinion of bloggers (and WGA writers) (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112836)

Oh wait, did I offend a whole swath of lower humans there?
Are you referring to bloggers or being anti-Semantic?

Re:My opinion of bloggers (and WGA writers) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22112928)

Ya, the conspiracy of silence did wonders for civil rights, race relations, stereotypes and equality.

When the leaks appeared, dinosaurs were made. Get over it and modernize or get out.

bloggers are ionized? (1)

lisabeeren (657508) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112798)

bloggers are ionized? i had no idea. lets hope this initiative will unionize them in safe and predictable fashion.

Nice one (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112828)

As much as I think the term "intellectual property" is silly, "a bloggers [sic] intellectual property" is far funnier.

ZAP (1)

pifactorial (1000403) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112930)

I wasn't aware there was a problem of ionized bloggers...?
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