Friday, March 4, 2011

Go ahead, go on strike

The Huffington Post blogger brouhaha has descended from farce into...whatever the heck is one step stupider than "farce."

Here's the most recent bit: "Arianna Huffington: 'Go Ahead, Go on Strike -- No One Will Notice.'" (Practical question: Can you really go on strike from a job that you weren't even paid for?)

Sorry, bloggers-for-nothing: You've been pwnd. You voluntarily chose to work for free, in the naive hope of getting famous. Nobody forced you to do it. Your boss-owner may not be the most gracious person in the world, but she made a zillion dollars, and you'll see none of it, regardless of the lamentations of The Newspaper Guild, California Media Workers Guild, and National Writers Union of how unfair it all is.

You cut your own deal, and it was an epically crappy one from a business perspective. And quite frankly, you pretty much piss me off, since your lack of business acumen devalued what freelancers do.


  1. Excellent rant. I write for free for a hyper-local type news site occasionally, but it's because I LIKE what the site does. I don't expect to be paid for it now or ever, even if it became a money-making site. And you are right, they devalued what freelancers do. grumble.

  2. Exactly, Dava. If you choose to do something for free, do it for the right reasons. And don't expect anything on the back end if you haven't cut a deal for it on the front end. If you put yourself in Huffington's shoes, why would you believe you owed these people anything?

  3. How is entering into an agreement to give bylines and exposure on a huge web site, all along with everyone understanding that there is no payment involved, "exploiting" the writers? Huff was right, unpaid bloggers and paid journalists are not the same, from day one. If you want to be paid, go ahead and get that contract.

  4. Thanks for the comment, Kristine. Somehow you ended up in my spam box and I didn't see it till now -- my apologies!

  5. Totally agree with you. When a writer (or anyone) makes a bad decision and agrees to these types of terms, that person has no right to blame anyone else for the terms that were agreed on.