Too Much Free Time

by Timothy Lee

Filed Under:
bloggers, unions

I Wonder If The Blogger's Union Will Deem Me A 'Workhorse'

from the silly-ideas dept

Chris Mooney's proposal for unionizing bloggers is pretty silly to begin with. There are absolutely no barriers to entry for blogging, so if a writer feels he's not being fairly compensated, he always has the option to jump to a new blog, or to start one of his own. And because a lot of bloggers work out of their homes, some common union concerns, such as workplace safety, just don't apply. But the thing that really irritates me about Mooney's proposal is the idea that the bloggers' union will "set up a structure that separates the workhorse bloggers from the pure hobbyists." It seems to me that this totally misses the point of blogging. Bloggers blog first and foremost because they enjoy it and are passionate about the subjects they're writing about. Some of us are lucky enough to make some money in the process. Many of us are not. But nobody is entitled to be paid for blogging. And we certainly don't need an official bureaucracy in charge of deciding whose blogging is "professional" enough to merit compensation. There's no reason to think that union's process for determining who gets a paycheck would be any less arbitrary than the system we've got now, but it would be guaranteed to generate a lot of needless bitterness and resentment.

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  • identicon
    nonuser, 18 Jan 2008 @ 5:33pm

    So if you guys went on strike...

    would we have to deal with "Best of Techdirt" for the next few months?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jan 2008 @ 5:35pm

    What the fuck?

    Unions are the death of America. And sense when do bloggers work for someone, after someone gets paid to 'blog' they become a bitch, not a blogger.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Walter, 18 Jan 2008 @ 6:29pm

    Weird (non-)logic

    I read Chris Mooney's "Blogonomics" article about his "Bloggers Guild of America" idea.

    He starts out talking about the Hollywood Writer's strike, which is, in large part, about their getting compensated for their material that appears "on the Internet". That may be a valid complaint, but then he essentially says - it's the same thing with bloggers.

    Say what?

    So, let me get this straight: A blogger puts his/her creation on the Internet, and... it appears on the Internet, and... he/she should, at that point, get compensated for it. Am I missing something here?

    As pointed out here at Techdirt, there are many ways to make money on the Internet. This idea of Chris Mooney's misses on all points. His concept boils down to simply "force somebody to pay".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Alfred E. Neuman, 18 Jan 2008 @ 7:21pm

    It's all about Control

    "They" want to control the blogosphere.
    If there were some sort of credentials, which a blogger had to be concerned about losing ......

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jan 2008 @ 8:32pm

    Unions tend to cause more harm than good in many industries. Just look at the public school system in America. Granted, there are a LOT of other factors as to why they are so shabby, but the fact that teachers can't be punished for being bad teachers, and can push new teachers that a superintendent or principal wants in their schools is disgusting.

    I've seen SOME good from SOME unions. At one of the grocery stores in a particular chain in my hometown its a good thing they have a union as the management really does try to take advantage and rip off their employees (with only a handful of exceptions).

    From the most part though they are a waste of resources. There is this attitude these days that just pisses me off, of people believing they are entitled to stuff for no reason. If you put in the effort, you should get the benefits. Being born doesn't mean you deserve a million dollars.

    Evidence of this pitiful attitude is rampant, just look at all the patent lawsuits. Easy money, damn morals. I suppose it would bug me less if I didn't see similar behavior every day with customers at stores of all types.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pro, 19 Jan 2008 @ 10:32pm

    that could start the end

    Unions served their purpose back in the day , now they are just a bloated bureaucracy that extorts is members and disenfranchises them into voting the way the union wants to vote. Its a shame that no matter how good the initial intent is eventually the well wishers are replaced with corrupt leadership that spends millions a year on Union "retreats" for the execs all the while striking its worker's for $.05 . then after they hurt the business they work for with a strike for a nickel they raise their dues on the union members over $.10, the people in the union for the most part have a good intentions but the union just manipulates them into submission. and how many bloggers would walk the virtual picket line if a "Strike" was called, they could do the same thing from a pseudo name, and if the management of the company paid them the same who cares. their still striking and getting paid.

    Ps. I agree with Anonymous(which is nothing new), they help in some industries still as long as no corrupt brother of a union boss gets in charge of it to make himself right. Plus we are entitled to nothing, that is what makes America great, if you want it go get it, if you don't then don't cry when your beneiftsget cut off

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    chris walker, 20 Jan 2008 @ 12:59am


    Some people obviously don't have the brains they were born with. A bloggers union is the single most ridiculous idea I have heard in a long time. For one, how would it work internationally? The world doesnt stop at the beach in California ... there are bloggers in those other little countries too you know. (I'm an Aussie). Like I said ... totally ridiculous!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Haywood, 20 Jan 2008 @ 6:49am

    As a long time Teamster

    I must agree with most of the comments here. back in the day the unions served a purpose, and made the American standard of living the envy of the world. What I have observed is; in a union shop the battle lines are clearly drawn, and the management / labor relationship is more adversial than a nonunion shop. The real winner today are the nonunion business that has a union competitor. Example Fedex vs UPS. Fedexers are payed nearly as much, have better working conditions and better equipment, and get to work with the business as opposed to against it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    BlackWidower, 27 Jan 2008 @ 8:06am


    People forget the real point of Unions, to make money. Ever wonder why those on a union pay dues?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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