August 6, 2007

OK, There’s a Punch Line Here, and I’m Missing It (Lefty Bloggers Want to Unionize)

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy — Tom @ 11:56 am

This is NOT from The Onion. It’s from the Associated Press via USA Today (“Bloggers consider forming labor union”):

CHICAGO — Do bloggers need their own Norma Rae?

In a move that might make some people scratch their heads, a loosely formed coalition of left-leaning bloggers are trying to band together to form a labor union they hope will help them receive health insurance, conduct collective bargaining or even set professional standards.

The effort is an extension of the blogosphere’s growing power and presence, especially within the political realm, and for many, evokes memories of the early labor organization of freelance writers in the early 1980s.Organizers hope a bloggers’ labor group will not only showcase the growing professionalism of the Web-based writers, but also the importance of their roles in candidates’ campaigns.

“I think people have just gotten to the point where people outside the blogosphere understand the value of what it is that we do on the progressive side,” said Susie Madrak, the author of Suburban Guerilla, who is active in the union campaign. “And I think they feel a little more entitled to ask for something now.”

Maybe I’m missing something, but when you want to form a union, isn’t it sort of necessary that there be a mean, oppressive employer, or a group of them?

“Realtiy-based community” bloggers wanting to unionize are also going to have to work on the reality economists call “barriers to entry”:

With pages focused on everything from bird watching to celebrity footwear, more than 120,000 blogs are created every day and more than 58,000 new posts are made each hour, according to data from Technorati, which tracks more than 94 million blogs worldwide.

Related post is at


Update: Here’s a thought — Maybe the diarists at Daily Kos could be the first to stage a digital walkout. After all, Markos Moulitsas has gotten quite rich, and largely from their labors.

Update 2: Hmm — The idea is growing on me. After all, Markos IS mean (“screw them“). And he has bouts of oppressiveness (“deleting topics and comments wholesale”). Perhaps there should be a digital picket line in Kos’s future.

Update 3: Taranto at Best of the Web is going in a similar direction –

So who exactly is “management”? What do the aspiring unionists plan to do, picket Markos Moulitsas’s home to demand better “working” conditions?

Update 4: Oh great. Now Atheist Republican at NB is agitating to get commenters in on the unionizing action. Well, there’s already comment moderation here; it wouldn’t be too difficult to convert that into a lockout. :–>



  1. I for one wouldn’t mind if the Lefty bloggers went on strike.

    Comment by Mark_McNally — August 6, 2007 @ 12:22 pm

  2. Great idea! Let’s do the same! We can band together and…force…somebody to…do something! Yeah! w00t!

    Comment by S. Weasel — August 6, 2007 @ 1:43 pm

  3. Unfortunately, even in a strike they just might Outsource the picket line.

    Comment by Porkopolis — August 6, 2007 @ 1:48 pm

  4. I needed this “joke” — Wait it’s in a NORMAL publication?! Nah – Joke article. You’ve made my “collective” day! What is this – go on strike if you can’t get people to read your “stuff” – OR is this just an indicator that people are getting paid to pretend their opinions are their own and not being paid for?! YEP – pretty sure you need to be working for someone before you can go on strike?! McNally has it right!

    Comment by chrys — August 6, 2007 @ 3:06 pm

  5. [...] Check out the new hilarity over at BizzyBlog. [...]

    Pingback by » Lefty Bloggers Want to Unionize? — August 6, 2007 @ 5:16 pm

  6. [...] Here’s an intemperate point to ponder: how does one bargain with employers, collectively or individually, when one does not actually have employers? Do I bargain with WordPress, who hosts my blog? Do I bargain with the Libertarian Party? As Bizzy notes, “‘Reality-based community’ bloggers wanting to unionize are also going to have to work on the reality economists call ‘barriers to entry’.” [...]

    Pingback by Moonbat bloggers want to unionize « Crush Liberalism — August 7, 2007 @ 9:19 am

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