Yes, you've read that correctly, at the DailyKos' annual convention – named YearlyKos – some of the leftwing activists put the idea of unionizing bloggers out there. They didn't just put it out there, they also identified all the "Rights" that they demand. Without actually going into the definition of "Rights", let's stop and consider this one a moment…
First, from a blogger's perspective, TechCrunch knocks it out of the park with this one:
Most content creators do not work under employer/ employee relationships, most are paid without tax being deducted; in the most these are not regular style jobs. There is a reason for this, because in the vast majority of cases bloggers or content creators take these jobs as hobbies; the income earned being additional pay to existing employment.
Completely and totally correct. While I don't know every blogger out there, I have some contacts among numerous A and B listers in addition to the rest of us on the Z-list. I know many that are blogging contractually, many that are blogging as a part of their regular jobs (aka on the clock), and many that are just getting ad revenue.
The one common thing that ties all of these people together is passion. You can't write about something every day – or multiple times each day – if you're not passionate about it. When someone is passionate about a topic, mission, etc, the money becomes a secondary motivator. More than anything, blogging often serves as a person's creative outlet… and the money goes into their coffee fund.
Second, from a network's perspective, MJ on Valleywag nails it with this one:
A cut of advertising? We wish that were the case. Most large blog networks pay by the post precisely so they don't have to share their advertising revenues. And if a cut of the advertising isn't enough to pay a blogger's way, where on earth do you think a blog publisher's going to come up with the dough to pay you an hourly wage?
Well, is there anything else to say on that one?
Finally and unfortunately, this reminded me of my Blogging Predictions post from early this year:
Various governments will get involved… and not in good ways.
Likely: Watch for various governments – especially those with poor human rights records – continue their efforts to regulate, register, and interact with bloggers to "help protect them".
The original hip-ness that came from being a blogger is cooling off and will be completely gone soon.
When I mentioned "various governments", I was thinking predominantly of countries like Iran, China, or Saudi Arabia. I didn't imagine that the attendees of the YearlyKos would be among that list.
But this also demonstrates my second point. The shine and excitement are gone. Obviously, I didn't expect it to last forever, but I would rather see blogging become a natural extension and outlet of our daily and professional lives rather than a job with benefits, organization, etc. If you want to kill blogging, that's the way to do it.
Therefore, I wish the NetRoots luck in their unionization effort… as long as it stays over there and leaves the rest of us alone.