Friday, June 5, 2015
Fighting for Fair and Just Compensation and Treatment of Bloggers?
These days, almost everyone can easily become a blogger. With so many sites offering free blog platforms, anybody (young or old, student or professional) can quickly setup his or her own site and publish whatever they want, may it be personal or sponsored.
Just as there are various themes and ways to design, many have their own smart ideas of what a blog, or blogger, should be. It seems many have realized how influential blogs can be, and how it has distinguished itself for being more reliable and less biased as compared to the official sites that sugarcoat what they have to offer.
There has been also a continuous debate on how bloggers should be compensated, or not. Many are arguing bloggers do not deserve to complain for what they are getting for bloggers are not real journalists that have years of educational background or experience. Unlike journalists that have paychecks from their publications, most bloggers are freelancers who established their own sites. Bloggers don't normally get a stable monthly source of financing to help them pay their bills, unless they have a day job.
The years of hard work bloggers put into our blogs deserve better and more rewarding incentives or privileges/benefits. As compared to newbies who are still learning the process or just newly setup their blogs, the bloggers who were ahead have attained authority and the power to demand better compensation. For those who just joined the blogging community, let the rewards become a motivation for everyone to work their way up.
As a fellow blogger have said, "Nothing is FREE. It takes a lot of time, electricity, energy, and brainpower to write a blog post." Then we should be fairly compensated for all our efforts, as compared to some bloggers who do otherwise..... and when we say fair it should be commensurate to our site's status.
But don't you just feel humiliated when you hear a top blogger saying "Talk to my handler" when we approach them for a photo or video ops? .... You can't blame them for reaching celebrity status that gives them the right to question what is it for. You can't really persuade them to attend events that do not offer a considerable amount in exchange for their appearance or participation. They are already at a level that elevates them among the elite.
We might also cry foul if all our efforts and hard work were disregarded. Just like celebrities, the "talent fees" of bloggers improve to encourage everyone to excel. If that is not implemented, we will be seeing a lot of poorly managed blog sites.
The reality is, not everyone of us are perceived with equal status as per our site's brand recognition, followers, quality of content, ranking, impressions, etc., This is not limted to the blogging community as the real world requires us to be competitive as well.
Every PR, event organizer, company, etc., should realize that influence and reach varies depending on the blogger/blog. Numbers or statistics such as hits. views, ranking, etc., matters but they should be aware about deception tactics of some sites who put scandals, viral issues, etc., to attract more readers but actually veer them away from the intended promotion of products, services, events, etc. A company would rather advertise in a site that has a few readers but is assured of greater turn-out of buyers as opposed to a site that is largely visited mainly because it has plenty of showbiz or celebrity news, or is full of intriguing or damaging issues, ...or write-ups about "cutie boys spotted all over' marketing gimmicks. Companies should be smarter enough to identify which sites can really make a difference, and which sites are just there for the cheap thrills.
Though a blog is supposed to be an online journal about our experiences, thoughts and ideas, (from it's origin word weblog or web log) it matters very little if we generously allow press releases (whether rehashed or posted as is) to be included in our blog especially if our site is a collaboration among many contributors including PRs and other event organizers. Just as we allow ads or advertorials, as long as we have an arrangement with the PRs that is mutually beneficial to both parties, then why not.
Many are saying bloggers have forgotten the real meaning of what a blog should be. Whether we like it or not, blogs have evolved into something more other than personal. It has become a promotional tool. As long as we still continue to put in our personal write-ups, do we really believe it should remain to be called a blog? Our site, our rules, our credibility?
Learning that some bloggers get bigger tokens, freebies or compensation is fair if the said bloggers have made significant efforts throughout the lifetime of his or her blog - brand recognition, followers, quality of writing, collaborative efforts, etc. What could be unfair is if we found out about bloggers that get the same even if their blogs are not deserving. In this case it is not our fault but the event organizers who neglected to do the appropriate research, or intended to ignore such for less work. It's not our loss so just be happy some bloggers got a taste of the better "goods". Who knows, maybe it will motivate them to level up.
But don't worry, everyone will have a time to shine. We need to work hard for it.... and remember that our blogs' overall look and content should be generally determined by us and not solely dictated by our critics.
....and if only the leading bloggers would be there as shining examples, and not to look down on us newbies for every little issue, but instead lift us up again when we fall or stumble.
*Photo credit to owner