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Do Bloggers Need To Unionize?

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There have always been pro-union people and anti-union people, and you can usually guess who’s what depending on their individual caste. In this case, though it carries with it the same arguments, it will have to be decided first if an industry has emerged from nebulous existence and into a viable, thriving industry.

Do Bloggers Need To Unionize?
Do Bloggers Need To Unionize?

The burning question: Is there a need for a blogger’s labor union?

And your first thought, like mine, is quite likely, "huh?"

Labor unions are for steel workers and teachers, underpaid, over-skilled and overworked, who need collective bargaining power just to avoid a return to the 19th Century sweat-shop economy – that, and the ability to feed their kids.

(Note: I chose steel workers and teachers as examples only because the two make up about two-thirds of my own family. So that means, in general, I am pro-union, and by default, pro-American-made automobile.)

In the past two years, blogging, as a profession, has grown from geeky obscurity into a direct challenge to the journalism industry, even with bloggers’ reputation for being unruly, unvetted, grammatically and syntactically insufficient, and above all, a disorganized mess. 

But that is sort of what (okay, completely what) made the medium so appealing. They answered to no one and therefore were accountable to no one; the individualist, populist, no-truth-barred approach both what propelled it and what held it back. Abused, sometimes inaccurate, sometimes out and out wrong, but for the most part, a development for the greater good, for freedom of speech, for information exchange, for the free market of ideas.

But organized? Isn’t that a kind of bloggers’ code sacrilege? Wouldn’t this be the same disorganized collective that railed against the idea of a Blogger’s Code of Conduct?

Don’t answer that. It’s too restrictive. Bloggers are all creeds, all different kinds of people.

So back to the real question:

With whom are bloggers bargaining, and why is there a need for them to bargain collectively?

The winning answer to that is blog publishers and blog network owners, who pay on a percentage basis rather than a per-post basis. Entrants to the "profession," and yes we must call it that now, claim to make pennies for hours of work, without health insurance and other benefits afforded to other workers.

I’m not taking sides here, just stating the crux of the matter. The issue was billed as a "liberal" movement, as you might imagine, as no business-minded, robber-baron conservative type would support unionization. I might have taken a side there, though. Again, I am generally pro-union, as it seems to me it’s either that or indentured servitude and tenant farming.

It’s billed as a liberal cause because it was "left-leaning bloggers" that brought it up, according to the Associated Press, but that might have been a disingenuous way to characterize it, by invoking the spirit of Norma Rae. It may have been better to hearken back to freelance writers unions and actors guilds, which isn’t mentioned until the second paragraph, thus producing the desired gut reaction from the anti-camp.

But let’s move away from the writer’s opinion, as he already has health insurance (much appreciated, boss). We should consult the blogosphere, where the stakeholders are, instead.

"The idea of a blogger labor union seems to make as much sense as having a union for people who sing in the shower," says Mike Pechar of the Jawa Report. "Typically, a labor union has some leverage by threatening to strike against management. Bloggers threatening to strike would probably be greeted with a ho-hum or maybe even applause."

That’s the cynic’s viewpoint, and a witty one. But there are pro bloggers out there the world (and publishers) would miss.

Marketing Pilgrim’s Andy Beal weighs in, numerically. The short and skinny of his argument is that the blogosphere is still too ill-defined, bloggers difficult to identify, difficult to assess on a quality basis. And again, the idea of a blogger picket line might be one that is not easy to get behind.

Ryan Caldwell though, at the Performancing blog, is more open to the idea, saying the blogosphere (and the real world) can make room for an organized blogging collective:

I don’t think that the goal should be to improve the quality of life for *all* bloggers who want to join a labor union.

Rather, I do think that the free markets could willingly support and encourage the development of a "Premium Blogger Collective" that organized the very best bloggers on the internet into a union-like collective and then served as an authoritative central location for businesses and high quality publishing firms to find quality bloggers at premium rates.

Not only do I think that a free-market would support such an endeavor, but Google itself has now put in place the infrastructure to encourage the economics of quality. As a friend of mine put it, they’ve turned the "authority" and "quality" buttons way, way, way up on their search algorithms.

My opinion? Thanks for asking. I think it will happen and some won’t like it. I think it will be necessary in some instances and some won’t like it. I think not everybody will be admitted and many won’t like that, either.

Do Bloggers Need To Unionize?
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  • David A. Utter

    This sounds more like a pitch for forming a blogging equivalent of WGA/WGAE rather than a Teamsters for bloggers.

  • http://www.brane.com.br Peter (IMC)

    Kind of doesn’t make sense. Sounds more like the jealous blogger that wants to be his own boss but still thinks like an employee.

    A guild would be a better word indeed.

  • http://www.carmelolisciotto.com Carmelo Lisciotto

    No they do not.

    However a standard code of ethics is definitely in order.

    “Hate Bloggers” and those trying “overly” hard to present unwarranted controversy should be avoided.

    Carmelo Lisciotto

    www.carmelolisciotto.com

  • Bil Bahooka

    If this does come about, there will have to be strict guidelines for ‘professional bloggers’ and they will have to be held accountable for what they blog about. I have been blogging for 5 years, have climbed to about 1,000 visitors a day – but I would not consider myself a ‘professional blogger’. It is my form of ranting (which is all alot of blogs are – rants), just there are people out there that are interested in my rant subjects.

  • Jeffrey

    This article is proof that I need to get off you mailing list. How freakin stupid could you be. The reason people have unions is because they’re afraid they’re gonna get screwed by the employer… in the case of the blogger….DUH… who’s the employer?

    Who’s gonna pay dues on something they are already doing for FREE?

    This just hits me as what could be one of the most asinine ideas I have ever heard of.

    Just so you know I couldn’t swallow much more of the article then the first few paragraphs… which in my opinion… were a complete waste of my time.

    You’re a TOTAL IGNORAMUS….

    • Mike Sachoff

      By not reading the whole article you are not even giving the writer a chance to make his point.  So who is the ignorant one here?  Its fine to take issue with an article you have read and have a healthy exchange of ideas but posting just to rant wastes everyones time.

    • http://www.hades.com ElDiablo

      Hey

      There are quite a few large blog based news groups and organizations who EMPLOY bloggers.

      Those people would then negotiate with the EMPLOYER.

      This then would make you look like an ignoramus and should slap the taste out of your mouth ;->

      Don’t be such an ignorant person yourself!!

    • http://www.coleman-cartoons.com Ron Coleman

      I would be careful about calling people a total ignoramus if you are not completely aware of all the facts yourself. There are many self-employed people who belong to guilds and even unions. For example, I am a cartoonist and have the option of belonging to groups such as the Graphic Artists Guild, the National Cartoonists Society and others. Clint Eastwood belongs to the Screen Actors Guild even though he has reached a point in his life where he is no longer an “employed” actor but rather runs his own production company, as do many other top stars. Same thing goes with writers and directors. Producers are employers, yet they belong to the Producers Association.
      There are advantages to organizing even if you are not an employee.

      Ron Coleman
      www.coleman-cartoons.com

  • http://roadtomanhood.com Dan Baker

    Okay, I’ve never been very good at spotting dry humor. So I’m just going to respond to this as if you were not trying to be funny.

    You are obviously the product of a unionized world: unionized education, unionized family, and oh my god – unionized American made cars. (Was that you stalled in the number 2 lane this morning. Geez! I didn’t get to work until nine.)

    Yeah, lets get rid of the independent spirit wherever it raises it’s ugly head. Let’s make sure that blogs turn out the same high standard product that the American automobile industry is so famous for. Or even better let’s shoot for really high standards and try to emulate the American educational system. Oh yeah baby! Excellence in blogging. That’s what I’m talking about!

    By the way, lest anyone visit my website and see that I taught high school for five years and think me a hypocrite, you should know that I taught computers and business through the ROP which is the vocational arm of the California education system and it is not unionized. However, teaching full time in the high schools did give me a front row seat to the kind of quality academic instruction we are talking about here.

    By all means let’s unionize. GO UNION!!! WooHoo!

    • http://MadeInUSA.org John Beaman

      Yeah, I almost forgot about the teachers union. Great example.

      If the money we paid was related to the quality of education, then if we cut the taxes toward education by 60%, our childrens test scores would go up by 200%.

      That is what it was before the surge in donating money to our schools. Unfortunately, 98% of the increase in money went to the buracracy, and internal empire building, and very little to the teachers. (my son is a teacher, and a good one)

      With tenure added to this, you could be worthless and keep your job and position, thereby blocking a good teacher from being hired. As they say, once you get tenure, the only way to lose your job was to come to school drunk or rape a student. Other than that, your job and pay is secure.

      Unions + Tenure = Disaster to education.

      Yeah, let the bloggers try that route.

      • Bud Hovell

        It’s an interesting exercise to consider the annual cost of “free” public education of a student ranges from ten to twenty thousand bucks a year, all-in, and what that implies.

        Teachers complain (with some merit) that they aren’t “paid” enough (choosing to ignore above-average pension benefits which private workers have long since kissed goodbye). But from a customer’s point of view, the dollars don’t make any sense.

        Consider: a classroom of thirty kids has an annual all-in cost of $300,000 — $600,000. And the teacher doesn’t get paid enough? What’s wrong with this picture?

        Put another way, how many kids would a teacher have to tutor privately to make a decent living of, say, $100,000 gross? Answer: 5 to 10, depending on current local cost of “free” public education.

        The problem isn’t a lack of funds owing to miserly taxpayers. The problem is unbelievable and wasteful bloat.

        Until the function of education is weened away from the state and taxpayers know their funds are going into teaching kids rather than floating a grand and wasteful bureaucracy, the quality of education will continue to erode and the costs will continue to rise.

        Parkinson’s Law says the growth of an institution will continue to increase regardless of its productive output. There cannot be a better example of this than modern factory-style, unionized education directed by the welfare state.

  • http://www.madeinusa.org John Beaman

    Unions were necessary when the workers were so seriously abused they needed to band together to force employers to be reasonable. That was around 1900. Since then, the unions have built organizations to feed money to the managers, and very little goes into benefits for the membership.

    With increasing demands of the unions on the employers for raises, to also gain more skim of that money in dues and other charges, they became a major factor in inflation. The other part of unionization is that people get paid based on their job-title and very little consideration to their talent or productivity. This goes against the free-enterprise system based on incentives, which encourages people to do better work or improve themselves.

    So, with unions, you get the same pay busting your butt as the lackey that works next to you, thereby discouraging you to bother trying. The end result is that you need more high priced workers to get the same work done, costing the employer more in labor to get his product to market. They then need to raise the price, thereby increasing the cost of everything and the unions had to then demand more increases in salary for their members to keep up. On and on = inflation.

    No, unionizing is not a good thing in my opinion because you pay a higher price with less guarantee that you will get better work than that done by the other union workers. Having an organization, and paying dues to belong to it, and to support it is a good thing if it’s goals are to provide standards. By belonging, you certify that you follow the standards set by the organization. This way, customers would be assured of getting some semblance of quality for their dollars.

    Remember the people that had two hours of html experience calling themselves webmasters and getting a thousand dollars per web page? Well, this is still going on since the buyer is dumber than the so-called webmasters. Unionizing these people with ten years experience, with the same demand (extorsion) of payment is
    not a good thing, and that is what most people want out of unionization, to be paid the big bucks like the talented people get when you don’t know your ass from a hole in the ground, just join the union.

    Unionize, no, organization for standards, yes. Oh, I forgot to tell you there already is one, it’s called the HTML Writers Guild. Look it up, and support it so it can become the known standard. (IMHO)

    • http://www.coleman-cartoons.com Ron Coleman

      I would not disagree with you that historically there have been many abuses in unions. However, if you compare it to the abuses from corporations, especially in the past 10 or 20 years, it pales by comparison. Something like 10 or 15 percent of the population has all the money and controls politics in this country. Big business is exporting all decent American jobs so they can save a buck and in the process is destroying the middle class. This, of course, makes the politicians happy because the way you gain power is to keep the people poor, uneducated and struggling. Corporations can afford to buy politicians and do all the time. The poor working man is lucky if he can afford to buy postage to write to his Congressman who simply ignores his letters anyway.
      Unions are a check and balance and unfortunately this country is badly in need of more checks and balances.

      Ron Coleman
      www.coleman-cartoons.com

  • Clint Dixon

    Well with the fact that bloggers are world wide and the variances in acceptable pay scale working conditions and such it would seem to me almost impossible to unionize.

  • http://standoffsystems.com scott adie

    Labor unions are for people who want to export our jobs to China, Indonesia, Taiwann, Burma, India and other such locales. They’re for people who want rampant political power and meglamaniacs. I guess from this you might be able to tell my answer is an emphatic NO!

  • StateTheObvious

    Good points, but in reality, aren’t bloggers just freelance writers?

    See: http://www.nwu.org/nwu/

  • http://www.byubookstore.com Steve Lawyer

    Blogging is a disease that feeds on itself. Often (like Hollywood), no one really cares about blog — except the blog. So the bloggers inflate and stroke the blog…(feeding on itself). Any no-name wanting to see their opinions in print can now see their opinions in print — thus the blog. Every one but the bloggers see it for what it is. Its the bloggers who have built the tower. Forming a union or organizing in any way would, by definition, be the antithesis of blog. If blog is spattering my mindless opinions on the screen for all others to see (not that anyone looks), then organizing it into something intelligent (now organized mindless spatter on the screen) would make it “not” blog — I can get that in the NY Times.

  • Hoffa

    They are fools if they do. Pay union dues to a union for what? What precisely will the union do for them? The only thing more more corrupt than big business is big labor. Union presidents and staff at the international make huge salaries, squander members’ contributions and are guilty of the same fraud and abuse they accuse big business of. Ever been to an AFL-CIO convention in Florida? Wonder where all that money for hookers, lavish dinners, fishing trips and limos comes from? Unions served a noble purpose during the industrial revolution but no longer. Unions are worse than big business because big business makes no apologies for capitalism while unions claim they’re working for the little guy – yeah, right. Let me translate what’s really going on; unions are losing members so here’s a way to scam some union dues out of some slacker freelancers who want a steady paycheck, rich benefits, and a 35 hour work week but none of the rules that go with a steady job. Next, service providers offering everything from health insurance to discounts on office supplies will cut revenue share deals with the union so they market this stuff to the membership as the “exclusive approved supplier.” Next comes the “bloggers beneficial fund” to benefit the profession and provide benefits to retired, disabled, or injured bloggers and you’ll have a recipe for another Teamsters or UAW pension fund scam. Have at it, bloggers but don’t say you weren’t warned.

  • http://www.union-organizing.com Jim Lowery

    Might I take the liberty to suggest that bloggers visit “Resources for Labor Union Organizing,” www.union-organizing.com, a site that is chock full of information for workers (including professionals) that wish/need to join together for improvement for their profession, their families, and needless to say, themselves.

    I developed the site some years ago, as a former union representative, to help those find their way. When I organized my own profession, I looked in the yellow pages because there was no “one-stop” information online site for labor information that I found helpful to those needing assistance.

    Many professionals form associations, which in essence are unions. I believe the term “association” tends to be more palatable to professionals because some hear the words “labor union” and unfortunately imagine negative scenarios.

    Bloggers deserve the rewards for their work!

    In Unity,
    Jim Lowery
    Resources for Labor Union Organizing

  • Karen

    I think this is the silliest thing I have ever heard of.

    • http://www.coleman-cartoons.com Ron Coleman

      It’s not as silly as you might think. When you have rich people like Rupert Murdoch trying to control the news media, trying to control the flow of information, do you think for one minute they won’t try to limit the ability of the small time blogger to voice his opinions? The best protection small time bloggers have against this is organization.
      And that opinion of the small time bloggers is vital to the interests of freedom in our country.

      Ron Coleman
      www.coleman-cartoons.com

      • Don Lowrey

        Your concept… ? “the best protection against controlling organizations”, is a controlling organization… are you smoking something ?

  • http://www.FAWT.org Brian Tate

    Bloggers do need to unite, for the sake of Internet freedom.

    There is an attempt I have heard about among mainstream media giants to charge users a small cent fee for every blog they post. This might seem ridiculous but so are the many detestable attempts to regulate and profit off of our freedom.

    We are a Nonprofit organization, Free All With Truth, working to build a free work, and keep a free world. The Internet should be free, as well as made available to all. Freedom of speech must be maintained through all available venues. This is a serious issue as the Internet is one of, perhaps soon to be the most, important venue for the spread of information in the world today, right behind the TV.

    Anyone interested in this cause do contact me at www.FAWT.org.

    Cheers all.

  • http://www.coleman-cartoons.com Ron Coleman

    I would suggest that bloggers may want to consider organizing not into a union, but a guild. This guild should be open to all, rather than a closed shop arrangement such as the Screen Actors Guild. The need to organize is brought about by the inequities in our society between the haves and the have-nots. In politics, for example, probably less than 15 percent of the population have all the money and basically control who leads our country. This is a problem that needs to be fixed. Without some organization on the part of bloggers there is a real danger the big money people, who don’t want others to have a voice, will try to bully them out of existence. We need this free voice in our society.

    Ron Coleman

  • Jason Lee Miller

    This is an awesome discussion about the benefits and drawbacks of unions and I commend all of you (well, most of you) for your thoughtful responses.

    I just want to make a couple of points.

    We can talk about globalization as an inevitability, but I don’t think we can blame unions for American jobs going overseas. We can look at things like NAFTA, but mostly we can look at American corporations who show no loyalty to their home country and actively seek loopholes in order to not hire American workers. We can look at the Wal-Marts out there that, after driving out smaller outfits, and thus decent paying jobs, from local communities, say that a 28-hour work week is full time so they don’t have to offer benefits. Yet, they have $4 generic prescriptions, a sort of roundabout apology for busting everybody’s block.

    Speaking of healthcare, how many more Americans couldn’t afford it without belonging to a union that ensures they have it? You know, growing up, my parents probably couldn’t have afforded to pay for me to have braces — cosmetic, I know — or maybe they’d have had difficulty paying for my asthma medication. But this isn’t some kind of sob story, they could afford it, and made sure I had those things, mostly due to union-ensured benefits.

    Because many employers see bottom lines and not people — and we’re not discussing small business owners as much as we are major corporations that can afford it but have shareholders to answer to, who don’t know the people affected and don’t care if a kid in Kentucky gets asthma meds and braces. And that’s kind of a sad state of affairs, really, when neither employers nor the government seems willing to take care of their own.

    As for teachers, and remember this is coming from a person who has many teachers in his family, it seems to me that it is not unions that keep the rotten ones in the system, but two other things: a system that allows them to be hired in the first place, and non-competitve wages. If we raise teacher’s salaries, more would be interested in teaching, and thus would create a more competitive market where better teachers are hired.

    Just my speech, for what it’s worth.

  • Labourious

    You may say you are pro-labour but you sure don’t know anything about it. Try talking to your family and then do some fact checking. You may want to add your corrections at a later date.

    Fact correction: Employers pay the funds for benefits and the union administers them for their members.

    Fact correction: The only restriction which would be incorporated into a collective agreement would have to be bargained in and ratified by the members of the union or bloggers in this case.

    There are many more, but you should probably take the time to do some research and learn.

  • http://www.kelley.ws Michael

    Jason,

    The history of unionized power brokering has been fraught with abused ideals. Quite frankly union

  • Gary

    Having lived on both sides of this argument, having been a steelworker, an employer and a corporate executive reliant to a certain degree on union labor, I think I can safely say that I have objective experience in the matter of unions.

    If we were in the 1800′s and if employees had little choice of where to earn their keep and if a trade (blogging in this case) had a limited number of employers to choose from and if those employers were known for being Robber Barons then I think the idea of a union would make a lot of sense… However the year isn’t 1850, I prefer to work and live by my own rules and set of standards and I don’t need a union negotiating my life for me.

    The matter is quite simple, if you are a hack blogger (and the vast majority of bloggers are hacks, with little or no credentials to lend credence to their writing) then the chances are small that you will ever make enough money to support yourself, let alone make the big bucks by writing a blog. Maybe you think you deserve to be paid well for your blog output but thinking and truly deserving are two different matters. On the other hand, if you are truly a gifted writer whom has the insight and ability to write about subjects that people really want to read about the money will find you.

    The poster who mentioned something about those having a “unionized mentality” was dead on, you don’t need anyone limiting your options, unless of course you prefer to be led around by the nose. We have enough lawyers and litigation in our society already, you’d be a fool to invite even more into the mix.

    So quit whining, write good content and write something original and quit worrying about unions, you don’t need a mutual back slapping club to whine about how the man has got you under his thumb, you can do that right now… If you want to be under the mans thumb then you should join a union!

    Lastly, think about what those Blog Employers are doing with the content you write for them for pennies an hour… If you haven’t figured it out yet then maybe we should talk, I have a bridge in Manhattan that I’d like to sell you… DO you really think that millions of bloggers are going to make a significant income simply by typing a few words onto a blog page? Start charging people to read your blogs and see how many pay, because that is where a union will lead you too… If you really believe we need a Bloggers Union then like I said earlier lets talk about that Bridge friend!

  • lee

    unionize for what purpose? demand benefits from whom? Bloggers are independents! If they demand benefits they will be demanding from themselves. This is a most ill thought out question. If the blogger is being paid by some company to blog, they are not really a blogger, they are a PR divison. As a PR department, perhaps they should demand benefits. As an independent, the question is moot.

  • http://www.DemocraticTalkRadio.com Stephen Crockett

    Bloggers and Other Writers Should Unionize

    The benefits of unionization are frequent subjects for many Democratic, progressive and other reform-oriented Internet writers. Unfortunately, many of these writers are unaware that an excellent union is available for freelance writers like them to join. This union is the National Writers Union which is Local 1981 of the United Auto Workers.

    The National Writers Union (NWU) represents freelance writers of many types. They represent freelance journalists, book authors, and technical writers among others.

    The benefits of joining this enlightened union are numerous. The NWU operates a jobs hotline. It can help with contract negotiation and copyright issues of all kinds. The National Writers Union is a strong defender of free expression.

    Membership education is an important benefit. Members are able to increase their skill level thanks to workshops and other programs of the National Writers Union. The professional networking aspect of NWU membership is very important. The union has local chapters in many parts of the nation along with at-large memberships.

    Under the leadership of NWU President Gerard Colby, the union is actively reaching out to new members and expanding both member benefits and advocacy for independent writers. This writer highly recommends visiting the National Writers Union website to learn more about the union and/or to join.

    I have been a member of the National Writers Union for a couple of years. It has been a very positive experience. I personally recommend the union based on my personal experience. Every blogger should seriously consider membership if they take their writing seriously. Anyone even considering writing a book should start with joining the NWU. Personally, I believe in this organization.

    Union membership in general is a very positive and rewarding experience. My father has been a United Auto Workers, Local 1183 member for almost 50 years. I was briefly a member of that UAW local in my youth.

    I tried to help the IAM (Machinists) unionize a General Electric appliance warehouse in Perryville, Maryland. Because the current unionization election process is grossly unfair, the effort was not successful. I remain a huge fan of the Fighting Machinists and recommend them highly. Anyone interested in the

  • SeanP

    Blogging is supposed to just be people writing about the things that inspire them in whatever way they do. At its soul, blogging is an anarchistic expression of free-form thought.

    Unions bring regulation and control. I suppose down the line only “Union” bloggers will be able to spout off on the major blog sites, right? And is this really an industry that has evolved to the point where it requires a union?

    If you don’t like what a blog publisher is paying you, start your own site, pay to market it, and keep 100%. Don’t get me wrong. My mother was a union president for 14 years, and my father a union steward for 8 years before he made management in a gov’t agency. But there’s a time and a place for everything. Unions are not appropriate in all cases. Example: The Screen Actors Guild would single-handedly kill off indie film production if it had it’s way. It has backed off a bit in recent years, but SAG has really put the screws to some undeserving people.

    Another Example: I bagged groceries when I was in High School. Made $4.50/hour at the time, and worked about 20 hours/week. It was union shop, as are most grocery stores. I was a part-time employee, ineligible for any benefits, and I paid about 25% of my pay in dues to a union that never did anything for me, nor ever intended to. I just got to pay dues. Oh, boy.

    The freedom to express ourselves any way we want to millions of potential readers is a freedom and a privilege. And bloggers, if your writing is really that good, you’ll get paid for it. Just get off your ass and actually PUBLISH something!

  • http://www.BudBilanich.com Bud Bilanich

    I am not a pro blogger. I use blogging as a way to build my coaching, consulting and speaking business. Therefore, I am not interested in a bloggers union.

    However, I find the idea of freelance unions in general to somewhat oxymoronic. I am in business for myself because I am an independent spirit. My assumption (and I know assumptions are dangerous things) is that most people who want to be self employed would not want to associate with a union.

    I realize that a pro blogger union may be able to set minimum wage levels and provide things like health benefits. However, I believe I can always command more than the minimum compensation. As for health insurance, I have found that there is no shortage of affinity groups — alumni associations and the like — where one can secure pretty good coverage.

    Having said all that, I come from a strong union family. I’m a liberal democrat, and I wish anyone who attempts to organize a pro blogger union the best of luck.

    Bud Bilanich
    The Common Sense Guy
    www.CommonSenseGuy.com (blog)

  • http://www.offbeatmom.blogspot.com Rarity

    Yes, I think it is a good way of supporting the blogging community if bloggers have some sort of a union group. I am in favor of forming a union group among bloggers but please make the objectives of the organization clear to all members as well as the benefits they can get from membership.

    http://www.offbeatmom.blogspot.com
    http://www.speak4money.blogspot.com
    http://www.coolkidsparty.blogspot.com
    http://www.everydaywear.blogspot.com

    Rarity

  • http://www.susankearney.com susan kearney

    I don’t know if we need unions but we need laws to protect authors. When books are resold and then sold again and again, authors aren’t paid for the extra reads. And that is hurting the entire publishing industry as well as authors. In other countries when a book is resold, a small amount is collected and paid to the author. We need to do this in the US.

    • David A. Utter

      You aren’t a real big fan of libraries.

      What laws do authors need beyond copyright?

      Can you put a price on the promotional value of lending someone a book and leading them to being a fan of future works by the author?

      Should William Gibson pay me every time I recommend Idoru to someone, and that person goes out and buys Spook Country after reading Idoru?

      I’m all for authors being paid but let’s not turn the print publishing industry into the fan-despising music business.

       

  • http://http://au.360.yahoo.com/cyganie2000 Anna

    What a Thought! And What Next?
    Wonder if anyone’s come up with ‘A Union for Clergymen’. Here’s one they should try – ‘A Union for Terrorists’! Let’s see how that would work – LOL!

  • http://www.Todemmart.com troy merriam

    In my opinion NO there is not a need for a blogging union. If blogging is a Profession then these professionals should already have all the Knowledge and Tools needed to generate their Own Incomes. In which will and/or does provide any Necessary Benefits.

  • sofakingdabest

    Bloggers don’t produce a tangible product. Just hot air. Or should I say, hot html.

  • Brian Anderson

    Do we really need a union of nitwits, whose only qualification is that they own a computer and can connect to the Internet? What do they produce and who are they going to strike against? Indentured servitude and tenant farming, they are are not being forced to produce or is anyone forced to read their drivel.

  • http://www.leekaplandeconstrcutsleekaplanwatch.blogspot.com Lee Kaplan

    Absolute nonsense. Unless bloggers intend to create a policing system for who can join the union, it will only become a source for the less professional who are guilty of defamation or misinformation to hide behind the legitimate practitioners of professional journalism.

    I recently won a defamation and libel suit in court against a “Blogger.” Although we proved in court he intentionally fabricated libelous articles about me, to this day he insists it was his right to do so as a blogger. If this is what your union will be made up from, it’s not going to fly. Unions are made up of tradesmen with approved skills not available among the general public, and bloggers have no
    policing methods for such skills. Such a union would become a shieled for the journalistically incompetent and those who seek to do harm. It could however become a nice business for soomeone who collected dues under the guise of preserving professionalism. Despite thier claims, bloggers are not journalists.

  • http://wewebinar.com Shannon

    Unionize? I imagined when I saw the title that this would be a hot topic with opinions from all side. After reading the article and the various comments it seems I was correct in my thinking.
    I don’t mean to walk the fence on this one but there are really good points from both side being voiced. From a realistic viewpoint though I don’t see a “single” union being very productive. The global nature and ease of producing a blog make this seem unlikely. I could see guilds or associations making a better impact. While I’m all for structure and ethical behavior I would be afraid of wings being clipped and independent thought discourage to one degree or another. In my experience those that start the group want it run their way and are not agreeable to much change from their initial vision.
    I guess we’ll all have to see how this shakes out in the end…..

  • http://www.onlinepoems.net robert

    The internet was build on the fact that it was free to voice your ideas and to share with people all over the world. People of all ages use the internet to find answer to question that they have. And you want to destory this by unionizing, are you crazy. Destory the inertnet for greed I quess is the humans way.

  • http://www.elcivics.com Christina Niven

    Yes, bloggers need a union. ESL teachers need a union, too.

  • http://BangkokAtoZ.com Mekhong Kurt

    Generally speaking, Im’ not supportive of unions.

    However, I do believe trade unions served a useful social function when they first arose as a response to those I feel were robber barons, not the industrial statesman they postered as.

    And I do feel bloggers need to take steps to portect themselves, as I don’t believe they are any better off here in the early 21st century than ordinary tadespeople were in the late 19th century.

    I will openly state a strong prejudice. I’m an American resident in Thailand and run a website about the country, on which I do a weekly column. However, due to the stringent libel laws here, under which I can be bith civilly and criminally prosecuted even for merely repeating, for example, published/broadcast news reports, I have to exercise strict self-censorship. Not that I have a big readership or any genuine influence, but I do err on the side of caution — under legal advice from my local attorney.

    The atmosphere in the U.S., my dearly beloved homeland, is absolutely poisonous to public commentators generally, so I won’t blame bloggers in the slightest if they do decide to organize.

    Sincerely,

    Mekhong Kurt, Webmaster
    http://BangkokAtoZ.com, Bangkok’s Voice On The Web

  • http://www.evasoul.blogspot.com Eva aka EvaSoul

    I was just talking about this in a conversation the other day. I totally think that there should be unionization, benefits and protection to the working class not recognized in the traditional union world.

    I’m in support!
    Thank you

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