I’m still catching up from being out of town last weekÂ which makesÂ this my first chance to react to a discussion on TechCrunch about efforts to unionize bloggers. The discussion was provoked byÂ articles such asÂ an (clickÂ here) Associated PressÂ accountÂ thatÂ suggested there is a labor glut in the blogosphere:
“About 11 percent of American Internet users have created Web pages or blogs for others while eight percent have created their own online journals or WeblogsÂ . . . 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 . . .”
The post drewÂ many dismissive comments butÂ German-born, Los Angeles-based freelancerÂ Janko RoettgersÂ observed inÂ hisÂ riposte thatÂ a union for work-from-home scribes could begin with subtle but effective moves:
“One example: Iâ€™m a member of the German Verdi union that offers freelancers a simple online forum to anonymously post their wages, which proves to be a great tool for negotiations. “
The German exampleÂ is interesting and I wish the U.S. organizers every success.
That being said, I thinkÂ the shortest path to increasing one’s labor power is to team up with other people who can add value to your work or vice versa. Put your energy into cooperation rather than confrontation and I suspect more of the output of time and labor will redound to your benefit. (I have written one, two, three postings on how aÂ producer’s coop or guild would enable independent operators to combine their efforts to better their circumstances.)
Â If you didn’t stop to scan itÂ earlier,Â the AP article is quite good. Here is anotherÂ chance to click through to it.