Bloggers demand working software, strike threatened


Above: Members of United Bloggers Local 107 demonstrate near the Enterprise Record office on Monday

Tuesday, Feburary 20th, 2007

Some are finding the working conditions making it impossible to keep up

Chico, CA – (BP)

Bloggers toiling in unpaid slavery for local media giant the Enterprise Record, recently found themselves without working blog software for an entire weekend. The problem brought to light something each blogger knew individually, but not collectively. The tool they were given, Moveable Type, is as outdated and unwieldy as a Gutenberg press or a hot lead Linotype machine.

Some bloggers who got the software installed early in the game, such as Dan Nguyen-Tan, have few problems, and his features such as scheduled publishing work flawlessly. He is one of the elite few whose seniority gets him special perks. Others such as newcomers Jack Lee and Anthony Watts, find the software often breaks down or doesn’t work at all putting them dangerously close to falling under the wheels of the Media News Group behemoth.

Watts, whom is often thought of as the most technically capable member of the group because he runs his own computer enterprise with dozens of servers and websites was quoted as saying “This software has been broken for some time. We are forced to make our quota, and yet the tools we are given often break down getting us even further behind. I fear that soon I’ll be called into Wolf Rosenbergs office and given 20 lashes”.

Jack Lee, whom tries to Blog every day was quoted as saying that the company that produced the software, SixApart “should be called FallingApart, because the software is not user freindly and breaks often”.

Problems with the software such as features that don’t work for many bloggers, templates that don’t work, a non-existent spell checker, a broken scheduler, and nearly impossible to read 8 point composition font has made keeping up with the blogging quota nearly impossible.

Blogger burnout has been all too common.

Some bloggers who joined in recent months, such as Monte Hill, made just a few entries, and were ever heard from again. Some disappeared even before they got started, such as “Dependency Update”. Liberal Blogger John Drzal, found the problem of keeping his quota so stressful, that he’s been spending his remaining days on a farm hoping to eke out a living.

Talk of a bloggers strike has been circulating around the network. Watts was quoted as saying “We don’t get paid, and they won’t even give us the tools to do our job effectively. Many bloggers have gone missing, and the remaining few are beginning to fear for their sanity because they get chastized for spelling errors constantly. We don’t even have a spell checker, and this is the 21st century!”.

He added “We may ask the Mayor to join our cause and help us stand up to this unfair and uncaring media giant, but if that fails, we may have no choice but to do a blogout”. “A lot of people will suffer needlesly if that happens but its the only tool we have.”

Enterprise Record officials were unavailable for comment as of press time.

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February 20, 2007 11:06 am

What, you all don’t get paid?
This is news to me.
I get a livable wage, health insurance, a pension – and the E-R even guarantees a laptop after retirement age.
But then again, I’m lucky to be one of the “elite few.” 🙂

February 20, 2007 11:45 am

Well then I guess you won’t be joining us for any rallies? Do you think maybe you could speak to the mayor on the behalf of us downtrodden slaves?

February 20, 2007 7:48 pm

I would just point out two things.
1. The ballot I received to unionize seems to be biased towards forming a union. I think the E-R might challenge the election over this.
2. Bloggers in India and China have no qualms about using substandard software. If we push too hard the unpaid local bloggers could be replaced by unpaid bloggers outsourced to other countries.
Power to the people brother! And when the negotiations start could we ask for some cool Star Trek mouse pads? Unpaid bloggers in L.A. get free mouse pads, I THINK WE SHOULD GET THEM TOO.
BTW: I have the old software and it seems to work fine unless somebody tries to update it.

February 20, 2007 9:16 pm

I’m suspected the ballot your were given which you linked above may be the wrong one.
I got a very personal message from ER publisher Wolf Rosenberg today, and while I’m bound by bargaining rules not to reveal that message, I can say with certainty that Big Als is not on the ER staff lunch list. They don’t have an advertising trade there.
They do have a trade agreement with the “Crazy Dog” CSUC campus vendor though, so I’d take your ballot over there tomorrow to see if he’ll honor it. The Bloggers in China and India get paid in US food stamps as I understand it, so I don’t think we need to worry about their lunch.
I’m also beginning to see a pattern here, since you an Dan NT both have no trouble with the software that runs this blog, but Jack lee and I have nothing but trouble.

Jimmy H
February 21, 2007 6:40 am

I better not see any of yous trying to cross the picket line when its setup. We have ways of takin care of SCABS in this town.
And any perks that workers get, so do union leaders. So Glazner if anybody at the ER gives you mouse pads to help you shut yer yap, yous better bring ’em by the 107 office and spread ’em around.
Oh and Dan NT, if that laptop you were promised isn’t union made you’ll need to hand it over.

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