No Free Server Space, No Peace


I guess I can sorta' see the left-wing appeal of a "Unionize the Bloggers!" cry. It's got that "let's carry this important leftist institution into the 21st Century" kind of vibe.

I guess the question is, against whom would they be unionizing? Moveable Type? Google? Right-wing blogs? The article suggests they'd be agitating for health insurance (paid for by whom?), better ad rates (bloggers set their own rates!), and press credentials. The latter is especially odd. If I only give press credentials to traditional media for my event, left-wing blogs are going to protest by, what, not attending an event they couldn't have attended anyway?

"Collective bargaining power" sounds all righteous and stuff, but again, who would be at the other end of the bargaining table? There is no corporate overlord from whom to demand better wages and benefits. Yes, many bloggers toil away at their keyboards for long hours and little pay. But um…it's a hobby, folks. If you're working too hard at your blog, stop working at your blog. Want a longer vacation? Take one!

Perhaps this passage clears things up:

Sitting at a panel titled "A Union for Bloggers: It's Time to Organize" at this week's YearlyKos Convention for bloggers in Chicago, Burgard said she'd welcome a chance to join a unionized blogging community.

"I sure would like to have that union bug on my Web site," said Burgard, a blogger who uses the moniker Bendy Girl.

Madrak hopes that regardless the form, the labor movement ultimately will help bloggers pay for medical bills. It's important, she said, because some bloggers can spend hours a day tethered to computers as they update their Web sites.

"Blogging is very intense—physically, mentally," she said. "You're constantly scanning for news. You're constantly trying to come up with information that you think will mobilize your readers. In the meantime, you're sitting at a computer and your ass is getting wider and your arm and neck and shoulder are wearing out because you're constantly using a mouse."

In other words, she wants someone to pay her for her hobby. Me too!

I'm also puzzled as to what sort of bargaining power a lefty bloggers' union would actually have. Will they wage de-linking campaigns? Boycotts? Strikes? If all the left-wing bloggers went on strike tomorrow, I'm fairly sure the Internets would survive. Factories would still churn out widgets. The subways would still run. Hell, a strike might marginally speed up load times. Also, where would they picket?