It is now possible to say “I was blogging before blogging was cool!”
Take this as a sign that not only is blogging considered acceptable in the mainstream, but it’s about to get commercialized to death. Ars Technica, ever the harbinger of doom, today asks if bloggers need their own union. Of course, this was brought up at a conference in Chicago.
Just great. We really needed Cement-Truck Vinnie and Jimmy the Ching governing our blogging lives. What happens if I blog during a strike? Do they send somebody out to break my typing fingers, or do they just impound my keyboard? And I bet no matter how dumb this idea is, there’s ten ninnies out there who will pull the strings to make it happen. Because it’s the Internet; there’s ten ninnies out there to enact anything! Especially if they can collect membership fees for it.
The thing is, the whole attraction of blogging is that it is a less formal method of media. Turning it into a profession will make it just another newspaper column job, or website pundit. Of course, it’s something we do for a living, some of us more than others. But the lack of an organizing hierarchy and corporate official fiat attached to every word is why people read blogs in the first place. Otherwise, you’d be reading Newsweek right now.
It’s kind of a catch-22, then. The better blogs get, the more important they will become to the media. The more important they get, the more commercialized they will become. The more commercialized, the more they’ll suck. If it catches on globally, it could gum up the works. Will there eventually come a time when I can be fined for publishing an opinion that doesn’t meet with the approval of my local representative? Will there be a quota I have to make so I don’t lose my permit? Sure, Chicago is far away from me, but the U.S. still has ICANN.
Of course, that’s the far end of paranoia. More likely, it will be like other industries: a few groups get together and unionize, the majority of the rest of the world looks at then and says, “Yeah, whatever, fruitcake.” and goes on with what they were doing. Isn’t the Internet efficient that way?
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