Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Could a Blogger's Union Help Us Negotiate Fair Wages?

On the issue of bloggers getting paid...Marshall Kirkpatrick suggested that bloggers should be paid between $5K - $8K per month for their work. This is about right, if you consider the time and research that has to go into creating relavent content; writing and editing that content; pinging search; and monitoring any comments and buzz emanating from daily posts.

But are we being paid anything near that amount? In most instances--no. And sometimes bloggers are asked to do a bit more than just blog...

Tom Abate at MiniMediaGuy wrote about the bloggers-starting-a-union thing, which raised the question of blogger compensation. What isn't widely known is that freelance writers have a number of different resources for comparing rates at various publications--and bloggers, at the moment don't (freelancers are also asked to do far less than probloggers.) I commented extensively on Tom's post, which he then turned into this post revealing a bit more about writer's unions and how bloggers don't have anything to really help them figure out whether or not their getting paid a fair rate for the amount of work they're being asked to perform.

So, when it comes to freelance article writing and problogging, problogging has the potential to be more time-consuming than freelance article writing, and have more legal responsibility (filtering for libelous comments *and* making sure your own posts go in without anything specious). Yet probloggers are in many instances being paid much, much less than the average freelancer.

If we think of blogging for a publication or organization as having more responsibility--and I don't mean responsibility for designing and implementing the back end--in the way in which they research and develop their own post content and how communication is maintained with commenters and other bloggers, then probloggers should probably be paid more for their work than most freelance article writers are paid. Marshall's figures are far closer to what reality should be than what's currently being paid out by most concerns looking to hire probloggers.

And maybe this is where a union might help...but is it possible to be part of already established writer's unions? or would bloggers be stepping on too many toes if that were to happen?

Just a thought....

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