Suspend Your Disbelief

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When to stop working for free …

Image Credit: Flickr

A few weeks back, I blogged about the AOL purchase of the Huffington Post and the questions and ethics of when writers choose to write for free.

Yesterday, GalleyCat reported that Visual Art Source publisher Bill Lasarow has ceased to post his content for free on the HuffPo site and calls for a more general bloggers’ strike. In Lasarow’s original manifesto on why he feels strongly about this issue, he states:

We think it is incumbent upon the many writers and bloggers to form a negotiating partnership with Huffington/AOL in order to pursue these and other important matters so as to professionalize this relationship. It is not entirely Ms Huffington’s fault that so many talented professionals have been willing to accept the company’s terms on an “in kind” basis. Surely most do so in the hopes of achieving their own fame and fortune thanks to the great exposure that Huffington Post potentially offers. Unfortunately, such participants are only complicit in a relationship that fails the ethical smell test.

With unionized labor a big topic in the news this week, and the general public scrutiny of who exactly is making a profit, Lasarow’s call feels very much in keeping with the zeitgeist. Organization: another path to professionalize the creation of content online?

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