Monday, August 6, 2007

United Blogger's Union

TechCrunch brought me an interesting article via my RSS Feed entitled Is Blogging Ready For a Unionized Workforce.

I've always lived in a Right To Work state, where unions have to work doubly-hard to get you to join. Additionally, I've never actually worked at a job where a union had a hold of how things were run, at least for the jobs I was part of. I did work at United Artist Theatres my senior year of high school, and the projectionists had a union that he was a part of, but us peons down in concessions and the ushers weren't part of that union.

Also, I have never desired to be a part of a union. When I worked for Wal-Mart, there was a big push by various unions (mostly the grocery workers union) to get Wal-Mart employees organized. I just didn't see the point of the whole thing. I made a great wage when one considers the fact that I was (by this point) merely moving packages across a laser and smiling at customers. I had no complaints about the benefits package (health, dental, eye, 401K, stock options, etc). Basically, for all my whining about Wal-Mart at the time, it really wasn't that bad of a job to have. Maybe it's nostalgia or hindsight coloring my memories, but I don't think so.

Then to top it all off, I've read horror stories where people were forced to put up stickers on company vehicles for candidates that they did not support because the Union supported them (this was back during the '04 election, if memory serves it involved plumbers, Kerry and a plains state).

So, ultimately, I have never liked unions. I understand the historical need for them, but I frown upon giving a portion of my money to a group that do not necessarily believe in the same things that I do (another reason to not like taxes!).

And that is something else to consider. When you're a Union-man, you're kind of expected to do what the union wants you to do.

Then consider that bloggers have often been, well, not that good at doing what they're expected to do.

So, I read that article, and followed the initial link on down to the original Wall Street Journal article, and discovered, well, it wasn't that suprising. Even, reading the headline about organized labor I knew which side of the aisle these people were on, but here's the text:
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.
So, surprise! it's the lefties at it again.

So, here they are, trying for health insurance (uhm, wouldn't blogging be considered basically freelance writing? Usually for free? Read that as self-employed contractor), conduct collective bargaining (I can only assume they mean for those blog co-opts, of which I'm not a part, and currently don't see myself joining one) and possibly set professional standards.

This last one kind of annoys me. Part of what I like about blogging is that ANYONE can do so. It's not hard to set up a Blogger site or a LiveJournal. Heck, I use Blogger as the CMS for my three primary blogs (this one, No Krakana and A Programmer's Dream) as well as the CMS for the main page of my family's website and my youngest son's site, and I'm working on converting my eldest boy's site to using it, but I must first convert his site's layout into a Blogger Template.

I'm not overly fond of some third party setting up standards (which can at times read just as easily as restrictions/regulations) about blogging.

I wouldn't even particularly like it if some group set up some arcane standards for my professional job as a Software Engineer that I had to live by in order to get work (we actually do have a set of Professional Ethics & Practices but for the most part they're common sense things, and it's not enforced, unless you join ACM or IEEE or some other computer society that makes you sign off on them).

Ultimately, I'm against this. Unilaterally and without exception. I don't see a need for this, nor the attraction. Additionally, I just view it as an effort for the Left to try and gain more control over Bloggers. Sure, that may mean I'm cynical, but you know, I'm fine with being cynical.

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