There’s some talk going around the blogosphere, being pushed by David Krug of Telegraphik, of unionizing blogging. Krug makes it sound like this is the predominant sentiment in the blogosphere, but in reality, reading the backlash in the blogosphere, it seems that most bloggers are overwhelmingly opposed to the idea.
b5media founder Jeremy Wright offers his ensight, er, insight on it, explaining that the economics of turning bloggers into traditional employees simply wouldn’t work. My fellow b5media blogger Mark W. is a little more vehement about it, calling the idea freaking insane. I think Shane of Zoomstart, commenting on Ryan Caldwell’s post, said it most succinctly:
Blogging is an entrepreneurial endeavor and a creative endeavor.
Here’s my take on it. The way I see it, bloggers fall into five categories:
- Rock stars – the handful of people who can make a living at it in the free market purely on their own merits.
- Corporate bloggers – people who blog as a small part of their corporate (or small business) job.
- Professional writers – people who write for companies that can’t blog for themselves.
- Experts – people who use blogging as a way to build their personal brand, demonstrate their expertise, grow their business and advance their career.
- Hobbyists – people who are passionate about their topic and blog as a way to express themselves and share their passion with others.
Group 1 doesn’t need a union – they’re already doing fine financially.
Group 2 doesn’t need a union – they’re already on salary and benefits.
Group 3 is maybe the only group that could use a union, but even so, in the vast majority of these cases, they’re being paid just fine.
Group 4 doesn’t need a union – the blog is a marketing vehicle for them. The fact that they’re getting paid to market themselves, rather than paying to market themselves is more than compensation enough. Those of us in this category make our money from selling products and services, speaking engagements, etc.
Group 5 doesn’t need a union – these people would already be blogging anyway. The fact that they’re getting paid for it is icing on the cake. And basically all they have to do is commit to posting volume.
So you either do it because you love it, or you excel at it and make some decent money from it. What I certainly don’t want to do is be supporting a bunch of half-assed hacks on basically some kind of blogger welfare.
Those who blogging doesn’t work for economically should go find another job. It’s not like anybody is sticking bloggers in a sweatshop and forcing them to write for pennies for blogging networks.