Posted August 6, 2007 10:08 am by with 14 comments

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It appears some left-wing political bloggers are trying to form a labor union in hopes they’ll receive health insurance and better working standards. Here are five reasons why this is a stupid move.

1. Where do we draw the line?

It seems we can barely agree on how to define a blogger, so how do we decided who gets to join the union?

2. What about other citizen journalists?

Blogging is more of a platform for publishing than the actual profession. Do we include those that publish video online or record audio podcasts?

3. Not all bloggers are created equal.

There are some bloggers that only really put in minimum effort while others are geniuses at the keyboard. Shouldn’t we just let the market decide which bloggers are worthy of better pay and benefits?

4. Do we want blogging pickets?

Are bloggers really going to set up a picket line and stop blogging until some guy gets the ergonomic keyboard he’s requested?

5. Blogging isn’t large enough yet.

Good grief, we’ve barely gotten to the point where blogs are making money, and now we want to unionize the workforce? There aren’t that many blog networks that make more than six figures annually and paid bloggers are few and far between. Shouldn’t we wait until we’ve actually built a workforce before we look at a union for it?

What do you think? Did I miss anything or perhaps you have your own list of why blogging does need a union.

  • Receive “better working standards” from whom?

    Seems to me that most bloggers are pretty much in control of their own working conditions (and if they aren’t, it’s probably because they’re not making enough money, so who’s going to provide better working standards?).

    I think this is a crazy idea.

  • @Will – It would apply to those bloggers that are hired by others – such as TechCrunch, Mashable, even us. 😉

  • Mike

    Those bloggers may join the Writers Guild, an affiliate of the AFL/CIO! If your a freelancer writer and derive income from such, the solution is already there!

  • ahhh the Writers Guild…that is a good idea.

  • I’m with Will on this. From whom? Andy I know you and others do hire bloggers, but the majority of bloggers are self employed or blogging for fun. If I were to join a union would I be paying dues for the privilege of having the union negotiate with me about me?

    I think of bloggers for hire as freelance writers or writers for hire and I think Mike’s suggestion of joining the Writer’s Guild would work.

    Your point #1 sums up a lot of this in that we still can’t define what a blogger is.

  • Jordan McCollum

    Unions get money from dues-paying members. I, for one, am not volunteering.

    Way to give ’em the old quid pro quo, Andy!

  • @Jordan – phew, the whole point of my post was to make sure you weren’t about to join. 😉

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  • I’ve never been a big fan of unions anyway. I think they had enormous value at one time but I think that time has long since passed. The age of company loyalty to their workers and vice versa is dead, at least in my corner of the world.

  • If you ask me, I think this is crazy. Bloggers don’t need a union though I would like to see a blogger code of ethnics in place.

  • @Rose – don’t get me started on a blogger code of ethics. 😉

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  • Unions are for those who cannot stand alone. But also making group stronger but why here?

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