by Timothy Lee
Fri, Jan 18th 2008 4:33pm
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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