The Bloggers Union (or Association)

By Daniel Scocco

Should we create a bloggers union? This idea was floating on my head, so I decided to share with everyone.

Sometime ago there were already rumors on the Internet that some bloggers on the U.S. wanted to create such a union. Their purpose, however, was completely different from what I have in mind.

Basically they wanted to unionize the blogger profession, just like you have the dentists or writers union. Their main concern was health care and similar issues.

Now while this could be a good idea, I think that we need something more practical on the Web. That is, a union focused on helping and protecting bloggers with several problems, including:

1. Copyright infringement and content scraping
2. Online scams
3. Legal threats from companies and third parties

The union would be able to provide help for bloggers with similar problems in different ways. First of all it could have a fund, based on donations of members and other volunteers, to help bloggers facing legal issues.

Secondly, it would also provide advice on those issues. Ideally we would have some attorneys aboard, counseling the members on what action to take on the different situations,

Finally, the members itself could help each other to solve potential problems by blogging about them. Suppose one day the union grows to 2,000 members. If one of the members gets scammed by an online company, he would forward the problem to the union, and upon verification that the problem is real, we could ask all the 2,000 members to write a post outing that company.

I am not sure about you, but if I were an online company, I would think twice before messing around with such large group of bloggers. Combined we could reach millions of people on a matter of days, and probably hurt the reputation of some small businesses for good.

Obviously all matters would need to be taken seriously and not lightly. Each problem would need to be evaluated by a board before actions were to be taken.

Still I think it could work. Right now small bloggers are just too isolated to be able to fight for their rights. You see pretty every day a case where someone is getting scammed, someone else is getting threatened by a company just because he expressed his opinions and so on.

Should we get together, I am sure people would think twice before messing up.

What do you think about the idea? Would you be interested in joining? Any suggestions on how it could work?

I have created a private mailing list on Google to discuss the idea (the mailing itself come evolve to become the union). If you want to join just use the contact form and let me know in what email I should send you an invite.

Update: The union would work for all bloggers, regardless of their location or in what language they blog.

Update 2: Looks like many people are misunderstanding my idea. When I used the word β€œunion” it was not on the strict sense of the term. This has nothing to do with getting people to pay money or anything like traditional unions. Perhaps it is more a kind of association or simply a group.



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64 Responses to “The Bloggers Union (or Association)”

  • Lenin Nair

    Man, one more thing I need to add is like bloggers and news media organization found earlier in a comment, this union should not be one with paid membership. It should be completely free and open, like Wikipedia. But for selecting members, I have guidelines such that we avoid all scammers and spammers. Those honorable members of the blogosphere should be members.

  • Lenin Nair

    I have an idea in mind. In fact, searching for and finding this post is quite timely I guess. There are quite a number of ad networks, affiliate programs, payment systems etc. that screw ordinary bloggers and help only professional bloggers just because they have enough reach and popularity and hitting them will be bad for these networks too.

    There is quite a bit of injustice floating in the blogosphere. some affiliate programs do not count affiliate incomes, some of them do not count clicks, impressions, etc. For instance, for the same placement of ads for adsense on my blog, I would get for each thousand impression an average of 20 clicks. But when I used bidvertiser, they gave me only one click for those impressions. clearly they didn’t count 19 clicks. And clicks are badly paid.

    What I think about is starting a network for all bloggers, and asking each blogger to post about any problem faced by any member of the group. And digg up the stories to get more public attention. This way, nobody will try to scam or malpractice with anyone in the union. And as the union grows further, the number of bloggers will increase, and that will cause any scammer to fear touching bloggers. If you think this is good, then we can work on starting a bloggers union. I currently don have a website or anything, so I am thinking about starting it as a free social network or community and then having a dedicated website to it. What do you think Daniel?

  • Nur Sarah Lam

    I truly support your idea of creating a blogger union or association or group..whichever that suits the most..the most important is to fight for the legal rights and protect ourselves from threats..
    In Malaysia, a blogger has been charged in court for the so-called ‘defamation’ and I find it totally useless to waste of time and money as there is no such thing at all and I think that some people take it too serious..some people labelled bloggers as monkeys..it happens in my country..

  • Aravind

    Daniel,
    this is a great concept and needs serious attention.
    Whenever I’ve thought about this, I felt the need of someone like you to coordinate the programme.

    Now that you’ve put forward this idea, I’m joining this with all my heart.

  • Des Walsh

    Daniel

    As a person who has lived in several countries with different cultures, you will be the first to know that what you are proposing is a fairly tall order. So congratulations on promoting the big picture and on attracting discussion about these issues.

    A couple of people here have asked about the International Blogging & New Media Association – IBNMA. – http://www.ibnma.org/blog. IBNMA has certainly been quiet but I would suggest that you will be seeing some signs of concerted action from that direction very soon.

    Des

  • arun

    nice idea
    if u can fight against those blogspot scam sites , i m with you

  • wande

    This is a very good idea, and I am fully in support of this idea.

    keep me informed about its take off date

  • Michael

    This doesn’t make any sense, why would we need a union? Who are we trying to protect ourselves from, Google treating us poorly. Most bloggers work for themselves and therefore a union wouldn’t make any sense, it we had some issues at the “workplace” are we going to strike against ourselves?

    It would make more sense if we had a “code” which would be more like a bloggers best practices, something that would keep things fair without seeming very dumb. It would almost be an etiquette that we would all follow.

  • Devaki Khanna

    I think the idea of a bloggers’ group or union or association sounds great. Since I work as a freelancer, it’s very difficult getting any kind of response from anyone other than my clients!

  • SEO Genius

    I have read some more of these comments and still feel the idea is great but think the term “union” perhaps should be changed to an association or group, so it sounds more like a community rather. Union to me just gives of the wrong impressions, still a great idea though πŸ™‚

  • John Ti

    Hello, this the first time I’m reading your blog and you are good. The idea of a Bloggers’ Union or Association sounds like a really really good idea. Given that I am new to blogging, such Union or Association would be really really helpful for a person who just started blogging, like me.

  • Muhammad Siyab

    I think it’s a great idea, Daniel.

    Cases of bloggers getting into trouble are on the rise and such a union would be great to help defend bloggers’ rights. I’m in!

  • Dave Konig

    This is a very interesting concept. While I generally like the idea of an association type organization as opposed to a union, and considering that personal blogs generally outnumber professional blogs, I am left wondering what type of benefit it would have for Personal Bloggers?

    Union organization in the United States requires a majority vote of eligible workers/members. Union leadership is generally determined by a vote of the cumulative dues contributing membership. While each union differs on how the collect dues, most opt for a contract clause that has the Company pay the union directly either a flat rate or a percentage of salary. Would a professional blogger want to be in mixed company with personal bloggers who’s income does not rely on their blogs when it comes to deciding the leadership?

    I think an association would be much more successful. Similar to the success enjoyed by those who formed BlogHer.

  • Kurt

    This is a good idea man. Just let me know when you start it and I’ll be glad to give my share of help.

  • Corey Freeman

    That’s an interesting idea you’ve got there. I think it would be an interesting spectacle to see a whole union of thousands of bloggers standing up for themselves. Strength in numbers, as they say.

  • mmhan

    I’m a Myanmar blogger and there’s such a loosely defined “society” for Myanmar Bloggers. Because of all the restrictions of Internet access controlled by Myanmar Government, it hasn’t grown pretty well though.

    Union or Association, this could turn out to be great, if the members really look out for each other.

    Being someone who only blogs for fun, the fees to join the association might be something that would hold me back.

    Personally, I’d love to join this association, if I could afford. πŸ™‚

  • Rick

    Perhaps “union” is the wrong word but I do like the idea of bloggers looking out for one another. There are a number of us who would be happy to lend advice, and help, to bloggers starting out. Instead of the word “union” which can stir passion or negative feelings (depending on who you are) a better word might be “association” or “society”. I would love to hear more if this idea begins to gel.

    Rick

  • Ben

    The International Society of Online Publishers who adhere to a set of standards. Hmmm, sounds like it would work and be easier to organize. Might be something worth starting.

  • Alistair

    What about limiting to posting frequency rather than the age of the blog. At least once a week, for example?

  • Ari Herzog

    How is your idea different from the pre-existing International Blog Association, Media Bloggers Association, UK Food Bloggers Association, and other such groups that may exist in the blogosphere?

    If you compare bloggers to writers (and there is much overlap), the journalism industry already has such groups as the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the South Asian Journalists Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, etc.

    In that vein, sure, why not create another blogger association to provide supplemental/supportive content to every other blogger association.

    The biggest question in my mind, echoed elsewhere online, is that of elitism. Why should someone join this association idea of yours, and what does the association say to the free enterprise of the Web and to those bloggers who choose not to join? Are they looked down on? Are they not provided information otherwise provided by other groups?

  • Dan Cole

    The domain Association of Bloggers is available.

    A union would help if comment ownership became a problem for bloggers.

    I think another post going into more detail about what a blogger union would mean would be helpful. All in all I think the idea would work. Bloggers need help with protecting there content, identity, domain (Ex: David Airey), as well as other things.

  • Winning Startups

    Recently I’ve been researching the idea of putting a contest on my blog. I’ve been signing up for other people’s contests, and realize this could be a scam, as it’s not regulated at all that I know of. Also, there’s no way of knowing now what’s fact or fiction. I like the idea of some sort of regulation in this regard.

  • SEOGURU

    This is not new idea… And that very hard to bring it into live
    But strongly recomended to be together with blogger, to help in many questions

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