A Blogging Union?

Color me intrigued in general, but before I get into the article too much, can I just say how cool it is that not only YearlyKos, but that the left blogosphere in general have made so large an impact that the traditional media has to pay significant attention to them, and not just to bash them? It must make BillO's head ready to explode, and anything that raises his blood pressure is a net good in my book.

But to the article.

It's in the earliest stages right now, but the gist seems to be getting bloggers together to form a guild or union in order to collectively bargain for health insurance, and one would assume, better ad rates, since that's how bloggers make money (the few who actually do, that is).

I support the idea, just as I support any labor organizing, and while I hope that sooner rather than later health insurance will cease to be a benefit bargained for by anyone, I certainly support bloggers who have turned this habit into a paying venture trying to get some stability into their lives.

I've thought about putting ads on the site from time to time, but I've never done it, largely because 1) I never wanted to feel beholden to advertisers to produce content just to make sure they were getting their money's worth and 2) because I don't want to deal with the inevitable crap that pops up when someone you dislike vehemently winds up advertised on your site. The second is a real problem--I'm sure I'm not the only one who's seen web ads for WorldNet Daily or TownHall featuring Ann Coulter or some other equally odious piece of human garbage show up on a liberal site. I know the person running the site doesn't have anything to do with selecting the ads--they're served from a third party--and that there's a wall between the editorial and the advertising arms, but I just don't want to deal with it, and since I do this as a hobby and not a job, I don't have to.

But the people who have really grown an audience, who have done significant work in building a readership and can mobilize large numbers to action with an online shout, ought to be able to turn that into a way to earn a living, and advertising is the way to do that right now. And if a union is a way to boost ad rates and bring a stronger sense of professionalism to the table, then I'm all for it.

The devil is, of course, in the details, and the people who are trying to put this together know what the potential pitfalls are, but the fact that it's being discussed at all (and getting attention in the larger media) is a big first step.

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