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Fan Blog FAQ

For those of you interested in the fan blog we announced yesterday, you still have time to apply. Fill out this form by 11:59 p.m. ET Sunday to be eligible. We'll contact the top candidates next week to ask for a sample blog post; the blog itself will launch in September.

Also, we have answered some of your frequently-posted questions about the new blog over on The Early Lead. Check it out, and ask more questions in the comments there if you have them. 

By Mitch Rubin  |  August 20, 2010; 6:35 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Calling all Wizards fans
Next: Kwame Brown back with Michael Jordan, both in different places

Comments

I agree with the skepticism voiced in the previous round of posts.

On the one hand, I suppose it's innocent enough to give a "fan" his/her own blog. But there's already plenty of opportunity for Wizards fans to post their views. We don't need more venues for fan opinion, in my view.

If we need anything it's more high-level, in-depth source-based reporting into the team and the league. The Post dedicates most of its resources to the 'Skins and, Michael Lee's efforts are solid, but it really struggles with the top-to-top access reporting on the Wiz.

My take is this is in reaction to the success of Truth About It, Bullets Forever, etc.

Posted by: jweber1 | August 21, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

"My take is this is in reaction to the success of Truth About It, Bullets Forever, etc.Posted by: jweber1"

Both those bloggers produce some interesting reading, but most of it comes from the two principals. The readers aren't that active.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 21, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Ho-hum!!!!

Posted by: glawrence007 | August 22, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

ESPN.com links to a bunch of fan sites in order to supplement its own content. Even if ESPN isn't paying the person a fee (I would be surprised if it wasn't at least something -- $50 to $100 a month), the blogger is getting increased ad revenue thanks to the higher visibility that ESPN affords. Not exactly clear why a stringer, free lance writer for the print publication will get paid a fee, but someone who writes strictly for an electronic format doesn't.

I guess the rationale here is probably that the Post is giving the writer visibility and that visibility has some potential value for the writer beyond just seeing his or her name in print. For the Post the cost of the experiment is close to $0, so any realized revenue is likely to be a net gain.

Of course the potential value to the Post might be higher if there was a stronger incentive for prospective bloggers.

Posted by: JPRS | August 22, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

NEXT. Let's bring SINGLETON and that summer league guard on board and start the season.

Posted by: glawrence007 | August 22, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Not exactly clear why a stringer, free lance writer for the print publication will get paid a fee, but someone who writes strictly for an electronic format doesn't.

Posted by: JPRS | August 22, 2010 12:04 PM |

Bingo! You just pointed out the 800 lb gorilla in the room, they hope you wouldn't see. I just blogged about this on my blog if anyone cares to read:

Washington Post Now Hiring: Unpaid 'Non-Employees' to Produce Content
http://www.alterpolitics.com/politics/washington-post-now-hiring-unpaid-non-employees-to-produce-content/

Posted by: Independent11 | August 22, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Independent11,

Interesting question about the status of the hire as a kind of internship. I'm not sure what the legal standard is in this case. Even editorial staff at a typical college newspaper receive nominal compensation -- although most of the staff writers don't.

Yahoo Sports also has something similar to ESPN where they link to the blogs of local sports blogs. I'm curious to see what kind of payment arrangement is in place, or whether the compensation is 100 percent based the value of a link from a high traffic website. I also agree with your assessment about blogs like Bullets Forever, Truth About It, and even Wizards Extreme all offer good coverage of the team, analysis, and some behind the scenes coverage. It looks like the Wizards organization has even cultivated relationships with some of the bloggers by giving them press credentials and access to players. The market for the two main blogs (Truth About It and Bullets Forever) looks like a definite narrow niche with around 600-1000 unique visitors daily. Monthly ad revenue is a approximately $120 to $150 a month with a decent growth trend for something that's probably an avocation. Of course the site owners have some registration costs and time and investment in site design.

Posted by: JPRS | August 22, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Kindred’s history of The Post’s digital strategy portrays a newspaper that saw what was happening early on, wrestled with the opportunities and the coming threat, and then blew it, not once, but repeatedly.

from NY Times review of MORNING MIRACLE: Inside The Washington Post: A Great Newspaper Fights for Its Life

This fan blog looks like another example of the Post blowing it. Personally, I don't really care if fans get paid. It's just that the concept is pretty stale, and I doubt that a fan blog is something that the Post can execute well. I prefer the format of Room for Debate where a handful of writers respond to a topic. A sports version could easily include fan opinions along with professional ones.

Posted by: djnnnou | August 22, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

I think the problem as I see it, is they are treating this as a hiring process. They are collecting samples and announcing who gets the job (only they simultaneously want to pretend it's not actually a job, but just an 'opportunity for a fan to write articles' otherwise they'd have to pay them).

Now, if they just created an open forum, where anyone could post a new thread, and anyone could comment on it (which is basically the setup of most blogs open to the public) then that's entirely something different.

The point is: what is the actual difference between these "fan blogger" hires and Michael Lee, outside of the fact that Michael Lee is getting a paycheck, insurance, and a large profile as a Washington Post journalist?

The Washington Post Sports Editor announced in the comment section on FAQ that they will be scheduling these 'hired' writers (say, to write a Capitals article each Tuesday, etc.).

For a for-profit corporation to schedule any worker automatically designates (by Federal Labor Laws) as an employee entitled to compensation. The term 'Fan blogger' is just a term they're using to try and conflate the fact that they are actually employees with actual assignments/responsibilities, which will generate ad revenues for the Washington Post.

Posted by: Independent11 | August 22, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Wow, what a response.

Posted by: glawrence007 | August 23, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

JPRS,

I won't reveal BF's numbers, but we get significantly more visitors a day that that.

And Samson, I encourage you to check out the FanPosts section, which is all reader content.

Posted by: Pradamaster | August 23, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

USA v Spain was a fun game. IMO, Billups is a weak link and so is Iggy. Durant is a transcendent player.

Rubio had some nice steals on Rose, but also had his own pocket picked a few times and committed a critical TO in the final minute while trying to unnecessarily go behind his back for the highlight play. If he comes to the nba, he'll be on Sportscenter top10 every night.

Posted by: divi3 | August 23, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

"The point is: what is the actual difference between these "fan blogger" hires and Michael Lee, outside of the fact that Michael Lee is getting a paycheck, insurance, and a large profile as a Washington Post journalist?"

Simple. Michael Lee (A) is a reporter who most likely has a degree in and certainly has background/training in journalism; the fan bloggers will likely not have that and thus will not be asked to actually cover or report news from a journalist's perspective (B) entered into his contractual agreement with the Post with the understanding that he would get paid; whoever signs on for the blog will be doing so with the understanding that they won't be getting paid.

"For a for-profit corporation to schedule any worker automatically designates (by Federal Labor Laws) as an employee entitled to compensation. The term 'Fan blogger' is just a term they're using to try and conflate the fact that they are actually employees with actual assignments/responsibilities, which will generate ad revenues for the Washington Post."

Wrong. If someone willingly enters into an arrangement whereby they're providing content/labor/product with the understanding that there will be no pay for their services, then they're not "entitled" to anything. Interns and volunteers are often unpaid. Do you think their work isn't "scheduled"?

(Nice try though, esp. the part where you toss in the words "by Federal Labor Law" in an attempt to give the impression there was some actual force of fact or logic behind your rant.)

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 23, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

"And Samson, I encourage you to check out the FanPosts section, which is all reader content.Posted by: Pradamaster"

That's what I was unimpressed with. For all its inherent craziness, I thought WI was better. OK, maybe it's just a few regular posters, but for an amateur like me, they're pretty high quality.

Maybe I just missed the really good fan posts...

Posted by: Samson151 | August 23, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

"Maybe I just missed the really good fan posts...Posted by: Samson151"

To be fair, I went back just now and had a look at the fan posts. Nope, they're pretty boring. Not much interaction.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 23, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

One last thought: the main problem for blogs like Bullets Forever and Truth About It is that 90% of the stuff worth reading comes from the principals (who by the way do a very nice job). Compare that with footballoutsiders, where you've got a raft of very accomplished stats geeks writing articles that draw some pretty sophisticated argument that follows each article. Maybe it's just maturity -- I mean, Redskins Insider is consistently less interesting than WI, so it probably isn't the sport -- but BF and TAI are definitely not up to that standard.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 23, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to see the WI be written by a local person with lifelong interest in the team being covered. Perhaps a genuine interest would result in more updates and enthusiasm for the job. Bloggers here take it upon themselves to run french webpages through Google Translate and get the latest on Seraphin, imo, a paid reporter should have been on stuff like that from the get-go

Posted by: divi3 | August 23, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

blogging about how we're gonna blog, Mike Lee's done it again. Who's betting this thread stays up for 3 days striaght with no update. WizInsider, can we please have some hoops to talk about?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 23, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Kwame Brown, Bobcats agree to deal

I wonder if this has anything to do with Diaw. He looked obese in NY.

Posted by: djnnnou | August 23, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

"I'd like to see the WI be written by a local person with lifelong interest in the team being covered.posted by divi3"

I guess I don't care who writes it and what his bonafides might be. I just would like to read interesting commentary and some sports arguments that are worth reading.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 23, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

I mean...what exactly is Michael Lee supposed to talk about?

It's the off-season...months before training camp.

Shouldn't be too much news going on anyway.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | August 23, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

kolarama,
You do NOT have a clue what you are talking about on Federal Labor Laws. You are literally making stuff up that simply is NOT TRUE, just because it seems to make sense to you.

Read this article on this very subject:
The Unpaid Intern, Legal or Not
New York Times
By STEVEN GREENHOUSE

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/03/business/03intern.html?_r=2,

[...] "The Labor Department says it is cracking down on firms that fail to pay interns properly and expanding efforts to educate companies, colleges and students on the law regarding internships.

“If you’re a for-profit employer or you want to pursue an internship with a for-profit employer, there aren’t going to be many circumstances where you can have an internship and not be paid and still be in compliance with the law,” said Nancy J. Leppink, the acting director of the department’s wage and hour division. " [...]

Here is the report by the US Department of Labor, because of what For-Profit companies like the Post are doing as far as utilizing free labor to boost revenues:

http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.pdf

Look, if you personally want this unpaid job and feel honored to have it, then all the power to you. I've read your comments in the past, and consider you a knowledgeable contributor, but don't try and defend the indefensible simply for that reason.

As far as you comparing the 'fan blogger' to Michael Lee and ASSUMING that Michael Lee has a degree in Journalism and ASSUMING that these 'fan blogger' hires won't, you know what they say about those who assume? There are so many millions of people (journalists/writers) unemployed that it's an excellent opportunity for the Post to pick up some real talent to provide coverage for FREE.

Besides, there are many journalists/writers who work all over the established media without Journalism degrees. DO they automatically disqualify for a paycheck?

You're also using this faulty assumption held my some out there that a paid journalist is somehow better informed, more talented, and harder working than a blogger. Look at the bloggers running BulletsForever and Truth About It and your contention goes up in smoke. I get more Wizards info. from those 'unprofessional bloggers' than I get here at the behemoth, Washington Post, when it comes to the Wizards.

I read Glenn Greenwald (paid political blogger) each day on Salon and he has more talent, more insight, and better analysis than most of the neo-con 'beltway journalists' who shovel idiot opinions for the Washington Post each day.

Don't be so quick to discount bloggers as a bunch of talentless idiots who'd be lucky to work for free.

Posted by: Independent11 | August 23, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

kalo_rama,
You do NOT have a clue what you are talking about on Federal Labor Laws. You are literally making stuff up that simply is NOT TRUE, just because it seems to make sense to you.

Read this article on this very subject:
The Unpaid Intern, Legal or Not
New York Times
By STEVEN GREENHOUSE

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/03/business/03intern.html?_r=2,

[...] "The Labor Department says it is cracking down on firms that fail to pay interns properly and expanding efforts to educate companies, colleges and students on the law regarding internships.

“If you’re a for-profit employer or you want to pursue an internship with a for-profit employer, there aren’t going to be many circumstances where you can have an internship and not be paid and still be in compliance with the law,” said Nancy J. Leppink, the acting director of the department’s wage and hour division. " [...]

Here is the report by the US Department of Labor, because of what For-Profit companies like the Post are doing as far as utilizing free labor to boost revenues:

http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.pdf

Look, if you personally want this unpaid job and feel honored to have it, then all the power to you. I've read your comments in the past, and consider you a knowledgeable contributor, but don't try and defend the indefensible simply for that reason.

As far as you comparing the 'fan blogger' to Michael Lee and ASSUMING that Michael Lee has a degree in Journalism and ASSUMING that these 'fan blogger' hires won't, you know what they say about those who assume? There are so many millions of people (journalists/writers) unemployed that it's an excellent opportunity for the Post to pick up some real talent to provide coverage for FREE.

Besides, there are many journalists/writers who work all over the established media without Journalism degrees. DO they automatically disqualify for a paycheck?

You're also using this faulty assumption held my some out there that a paid journalist is somehow better informed, more talented, and harder working than a blogger. Look at the bloggers running BulletsForever and Truth About It and your contention goes up in smoke. I get more Wizards info. from those 'unprofessional bloggers' than I get here at the behemoth, Washington Post, when it comes to the Wizards.

I read Glenn Greenwald (paid political blogger) each day on Salon and he has more talent, more insight, and better analysis than most of the neo-con 'beltway journalists' who shovel idiot opinions for the Washington Post each day.

Don't be so quick to discount bloggers as a bunch of talentless idiots who'd be lucky to work for free.

Posted by: Independent11 | August 23, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

And kalo_rama and any others,
I, myself blogged about this issue where I outlined my POV on this. Feel free to read it there: http://www.alterpolitics.com/politics/washington-post-now-hiring-unpaid-non-employees-to-produce-content/

Posted by: Independent11 | August 23, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Independent11,

Ever since this Fan Blog thing popped up, I've been checking your comments here and on the other thread and I kinda like what you have been posting and your style as well.

But unless, I have been just missing your handle, I don't recall you being a regular on the WI or the RI. That being said you seem to be well aware of whats been going on here.

So whats the 411 on Independent11, just blogusphere info that is.

I like when a fellow comes strong to the page.

And did you say that Kalo_rama did not have a clue and was making stuff up?

LMAO.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 23, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

LarryInClintonMD,
Thanks for your comment. :)

I come here to WI just about every single day. I tend to give my two cents when there's some sort of decent newsworthy item that gets me excited or pissed. Though I don't think I've ever had many contentious spats with anyone -- not like DCMANN and some others who always are debating this issue or that. :)

Admittedly, some here are much more knowledgeable than I am on the fundamentals of the game and keep up more on the competition, so I learn a great deal from this comment section alone.

I'm just a huge Wizards fan (God knows why), but I personally would be more apt to write political articles than Wiz articles for the reasons I mentioned above.

And this economic situation has really got to me and my family on a personal level, and so I've very tuned in to what's happening -- and have thus, probably been transformed into a populist, Ralph Naderite. LOL!

This new program they are offering here just strikes me as taking advantage of talented, knowledgeable Americans. Many who comment here, including you and Kal_orama probably have a lot more talent as a Wizards journalist/blogger then you'd give yourselves credit for, and the Post would love to take advantage of your apprehension.

Don't sell yourselves short.

Posted by: Independent11 | August 23, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

I agree with you, Independent 11, that the Post is skirting the law to boost its online talent pool. Oh, yeah, there are a number of knowledgeable, literate Wizards' observers on this blog, and many of us would happily blog about the Wizards for free, as long as it doesn't take away from our paying jobs.

But the Post is taking advantage of the big free-wheeling social network here, the little tended Insiders Blog. We're all very interested. That's why we're here putting up with drivel from many who are not paying attention, except to their own opinions and egos.

I'm willing to see where this goes. Which of us does the Post pick to be its Everyman Blogger, the sideline observer, the armchair quarterback, the cracker wise? Hopefully, we'll have Independent 11 to make sure the Post doesn't break the law,

Posted by: zinger1 | August 23, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Thank you zinger1. I appreciate your comment.

Hopefully the Washington Post is taking greater consideration into the legal implications, then they obviously did before they came up with this idea.

Or perhaps they are just banking on -- like the NY Times article points out -- (most unpaid interns are so terrified of burning bridges and hurting their opportunities within such small industries, that they won't report these law breaking corporations to the DOL).

In an economy like this, an employer's market, this kind of activity becomes the norm, so if you care anything about the American worker and our ability of a nation to keep a middle class you must be vigilant to some degree.

The battle is bigger than you or me. It's about an American way of life eroding due to corporate greed.

Posted by: Independent11 | August 23, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

"I mean...what exactly is Michael Lee supposed to talk about?It's the off-season...months before training camp.
Shouldn't be too much news going on anyway.
Posted by: SDMDTSU"

Well, he could talk about how it's the off-season, months before training camp, and there shouldn't be much news anyway.

Or maybe Albert Haynesworth...

Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

Listen, I can't prove it, but I've always suspected Larry is paid by the word...

Just kidding.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

"As far as you comparing the 'fan blogger' to Michael Lee and ASSUMING that Michael Lee has a degree in Journalism and ASSUMING that these 'fan blogger' hires won't, you know what they say about those who assume? There are so many millions of people (journalists/writers) unemployed that it's an excellent opportunity for the Post to pick up some real talent to provide coverage for FREE."

Here's what I don't understand about your argument: why would a real journalist/ writer volunteer to provide content for free?

Especially the desperate -- wouldn't it make more sense to get a job in a gift shop?

When you point out that Kalorama makes an assumption, that doesn't invalidate the assumption. It's still reasonable. Why would the Post have hired Mike Lee if he had no training or credentials? OK, maybe if it's Bristol Palin, but that's for laughs.

It does sound like you have an axe to grind here.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 12:29 AM | Report abuse

"Here's what I don't understand about your argument: why would a real journalist/ writer volunteer to provide content for free?

Especially the desperate -- wouldn't it make more sense to get a job in a gift shop?"
Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 12:29 AM |

-- Because journalists HAVE been laid off in huge numbers and many probably ARE now working in fast food restaurants, but they are still writers -- that's their chosen profession they love and miss. And with so few job opportunities, they have little choice, but to take the bait -- and work for free for these behemoth profitable corporations -- in the hopes an opportunity might arise from the situation, and they'll finally get their asses out of that fast food restaurant.

But that opportunity I cited doesn't in any way invalidate a single point I've made about violating Federal Labor Laws -- the exploitation of writers and workers desperate to pull themselves back up into careers of their chosen fields.

Writers in this economy are a dime a dozen. Just because you may have no background in writing doesn't mean that every single person they actually hire for these positions won't. They will most certainly pick the cream of the crop, and most likely those selected WILL have writer backgrounds who are also very knowledgeable about the Wizards.

What is the minimum wage these days? $7.55 per hour? What's a small fee per weekly column? All to remain compliant with the labor laws. This is the Washington Post, for Christ's sake! Why are you supporting slave labor? I just can't comprehend that POV, though you are most certainly entitled to one that differs from mine.

As far as Kalorama's assumptions: assuming Michael Lee has this or that background is irrelevant since we don't know. Assuming those hired for these positions have or don't have similar backgrounds as Michael Lee is irrelevant, because -- again -- we just don't know.

What we do know is they will select the best writers with the greatest knowledge of the Wizards. That person, we can thus be assured, will have writing talent and vast knowledge of the team.

As far as an axe to grind -- you can call my little soapbox rant whatever you want. I think my points have been valid and I believe I've supported my points pretty well with supporting links.

Posted by: Independent11 | August 24, 2010 12:53 AM | Report abuse

But to be fair to Michael Lee and the staff here, my viewpoint is clear, and I've made it over and over - no need to keep reiterating it. So anyone who wishes to discuss it further can go to where I posted about it:

http://www.alterpolitics.com/politics/washington-post-now-hiring-unpaid-non-employees-to-produce-content/

For those who win these new 'jobs': congratulations. I suspect I already know who some of the contenders are just from coming here everyday. You hopefully know the rights accorded to you as American workers, and you have the freedom to make your own choices.

Now, hopefully, we'll get some new news on the Wizards before the season starts ...

Posted by: Independent11 | August 24, 2010 1:02 AM | Report abuse

Quoting djnnnou | August 23, 2010 3:04 PM |

Kwame Brown, Bobcats agree to deal

I wonder if this has anything to do with Diaw. He looked obese in NY.
_____________________________________________________________
Nothing to do with Diaw. It's MJ who recognizes great talent when it's available......Again!

Posted by: phil27 | August 24, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

"As far as an axe to grind -- you can call my little soapbox rant whatever you want. I think my points have been valid and I believe I've supported my points pretty well with supporting links.Posted by: Independent11"

I'm sympathetic to the plight of the laid-off in any industry -- it's an inherently unfair process. And I'm aware that corporations have used the economy as an excuse to trim payrolls and increase margins. None of this, IMO, is the issue here. WaPo isn't offering a contract to a contest winner -- as they've done on several occasions in the recent past, right? -- but are simply giving fans an opportunity to represent their views in a new fan forum. A very few of the more articulate will be relied on to provide regular content. This is standard practice on many Net forums, in a variety of subject areas. It confers a certain status on the selectee, but rarely involves $$. Anybody who is looking to develop income on the Net is encouraged to try a different approach -- the way BulletsForever has apparently done in that blog.

Maybe some talented writer would sign up to provide content in the hope that he or she would gain a following and eventually move on to a paying position or (more likely) their own site -- but going into it, there's no promise on the part of the Post.

So when I say it sounds like you have an axe to grind, I don't mean that as a criticism. Just that you're speaking from your experience or somebody else's, and that experience includes being laid off.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

By the way, I'm not applying for the 'position' of content-provider LOL.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Alright, I thought I was off this topic, but I felt that there needed to be some clarification on the blogosphere since Samson is making some generalizations here:

"[The Washington Post] are simply giving fans an opportunity to represent their views in a new fan forum. A very few of the more articulate will be relied on to provide regular content. This is standard practice on many Net forums, in a variety of subject areas. It confers a certain status on the selectee, but rarely involves $$. "

Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 10:24 AM

In actuality TWO writers per sport will be relied upon to provide regular content. That defines employee according to federal guidelines. And guess what? I'm guessing Michael Lee is also a fan of the Wiz. Does that fact mean he shouldn't get paid to write on them?

Usually there are two formats for blogs. There are open forums where anyone can get an ID, post a thread, and get their posts commented on, and these types of open forums obviously don't pay, because no one has been hired to write on an ongoing basis.

The second format are blogs who hire people as bloggers to post ongoing content. You find a lot of profit and non-profit political blogs who do this, and YES they do ALWAYS pay the ones they hired to post regular content, and the process for hiring is much like what the post is doing here.

Many of these sites try to sell ads, but make little off them, so they often have special links on their sites where they state outright to their readers: "if you enjoy the content here, please help us to pay our staff of bloggers/writers by making a small contribution." They then show their financial target in order to pay their overhead, and they then show where they currently are in raising that money, and how much further they need in order to pay their staffs. They usually state that they will have to make cuts in staff or worse if they can't meet their target.

Now there have and always will be busy/popular (usually news/letters to the editor type sites) -- sites that accept people's individual article submissions, and say in advance, we can't afford to pay for the articles we accept, and we get so many submissions that we may not be able to even respond to you unless we accept yours. And there are others who will pay something for the ones they accept. This is treated more like a "Letter to the editor" -- a one off article. Fair enough. There's no ongoing employer/employee relationship in these cases, and thus no expectations, no regular assignments, etc.

But even those sites, when they bring on regular writers, who are to produce content on an ongoing basis ALWAYS pay them something -- even if it's a small amount.

The Washington Post, by using the term 'fan blogger' is trying to conflate 'something for a fan to do for fun' with a real employment position as they will be expected to produce content on a weekly, ongoing basis. That alone defines employee according to Federal guidelines.

Posted by: Independent11 | August 24, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

And by the way, to all of you who win these writer jobs, if I can convince the Washington Post to do the right thing and pay your a$$es, I'll be expecting a 10% commission off the top of each of your paychecks, as I've been working my ass off here as your unauthorized agent.

LOL! Just kidding. ;)

Posted by: Independent11 | August 24, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

"The Washington Post, by using the term 'fan blogger' is trying to conflate 'something for a fan to do for fun' with a real employment position as they will be expected to produce content on a weekly, ongoing basis. That alone defines employee according to Federal guidelines."

The only one doing any "conflating" here is you. To wit:

"This new program they are offering here just strikes me as taking advantage of talented, knowledgeable Americans. Many who comment here, including you and Kal_orama probably have a lot more talent as a Wizards journalist/blogger then you'd give yourselves credit for, and the Post would love to take advantage of your apprehension."

Contrary to what seems to be at the heart of your rant, "journalists" and "bloggers" are not the same thing. Journalists are required to work withing a set of rules and adhere to agreed upon standards, and understanding of which requires training and experience. Any moron with an opinion and an internet connection can log onto the web and start blogging. A "blogger" is simply someone who posts opinions on a web site. Period. A journalist is (or at least should be) more than that.


"As far as Kalorama's assumptions: assuming Michael Lee has this or that background is irrelevant since we don't know. Assuming those hired for these positions have or don't have similar backgrounds as Michael Lee is irrelevant, because -- again -- we just don't know."

Ah, I see. So you're the only person allowed to make assumptions. How did you apply for that permit, exactly?

We know Michael Lee is a reporter with a background in journalism, if for no other reason than because he's been working as a credentialed journalist for the Post for several years. And there's little logical reason to think that a professional, credentialed journalist would agree to work for free, so the odds of anyone with a parallel background accepting this gig are slim at best.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 24, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

@Independent11

First a small quibble,

Why are you supporting slave labor?

I know it's intended as hyperbole, but since slave labor is still an actual, real problem in the world, it's probably better to dial that one down.

What we do know is they will select the best writers with the greatest knowledge of the Wizards. That person, we can thus be assured, will have writing talent and vast knowledge of the team.

This is intended as no disrespect at all to Michael Lee, who I generally find to be a solid, knowledgable writer and reporter, but we actually don't know that. What we do know is that in today's economy corporations will frequently find the cheapest or at least, most cost-effective way to get a job done, not necessarily find the best talent to do it.

I am absolutely NOT saying this is the case with Michael Lee, just making the general point.

Furthermore, it's my understanding that all reporters, including sports reporters, get shifted to beats where they don't necessarily know anything about the subject coming in, they learn as they go. But it is generally true that they do try to find people with writing and reporting skill.

---

Beyond all of that, I can't speak to the legal points you're making, but if they are true, it puts the Post in an interesting position. As Samson pointed out, there are plenty of websites who do use a lot of 'free' talent as their content. Presumably some of these websites are for-profit as well.

So the Washington Post finds itself on some level, competing for revenue with content providers who can link to WaPo's content or at least use it as a resource. They can do it without the overhead, and maybe without the same restrictions you're citing. Or at least, being so low on the radar that no one will bother to call them on it. While at the same time, WaPo won't be allowed to use the same formula to provide their own content?

Also, a reasonable part of any sports reporter's job these days is culling other sites for information others might have developed. If they are following the traditional journalistic model, they might have to try to confirm that information before rolling it out, even online, under the WaPo masthead.

Meanwhile, a goober like me can sit at home, find the same info, tweet it, facebook it, post it on my own website, blog it, what have you, unedited and unconfirmed, without the same restrictions, and then watch for a hour while people complain about how someone else got the info before the WI if it happens to be true. Remember the false rumor about Gil tearing his ACL earlier this summer? Or the other big one I remember was the one report from one Greek website about Childress planning to sign with the Wizards (reported before the FA period had begun).

It creates an interesting dilemma for the Post and news outlets in general as they try to transition to a different revenue model.

Posted by: ts35 | August 24, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

"You do NOT have a clue what you are talking about on Federal Labor Laws. You are literally making stuff up that simply is NOT TRUE, just because it seems to make sense to you."

Change every instance of "you" to "I" in that paragraph and then you'd have something.

Of course, the issue was never whether there was a difference between an employee and an inter/volunteer/whatever. The issue was how that difference was defined. The crux of your argument was that the crucial definition of an employee was that his/her work was "scheduled." Well, guess what? There's not a damn thing in either of those links that supports that argument. Hell, the word "schedule" doesn't even appear in either of them. It's not among any of the determining criteria discussed. So, as I said, you argument about what defines an "employee" is bunk, and your own "evidence" simply underscores that. (I love it when that happens.)

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 24, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

"So when I say it sounds like you have an axe to grind, I don't mean that as a criticism. Just that you're speaking from your experience or somebody else's, and that experience includes being laid off.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 10:24 AM

Well, speaking as someone who has, in fact, been laid off before (many years ago) can I say I find his axe grinding quite grating?

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 24, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

"Besides, there are many journalists/writers who work all over the established media without Journalism degrees. DO they automatically disqualify for a paycheck?"

Sniff! Sniff! Hmmm . . . smells like an assumption to me.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 24, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

kalo_rama,

A for-profit corporation can relabel any job position it wants to, to save money.

People are hiring unpaid 'interns' to work as full time receptionists and secretaries. According to your logic, just because they are being referred to as 'interns' they are somehow different than the job titles of those whose work they are actually doing -- only for free.

For this very reason, federal and state authorities saw what was happening -- slave labor -- and so the Department of Labor issued their six new guidelines this April about what defines an employee, because of the evasiveness you are addressing -- job titles -- and how those job titles affect one's pay despite the activities they are actually performing.

Paid Huffington Post bloggers today are sitting side-by-side, so called professional 'journalists' at the White House Press Corp. everyday, breaking news that the journalists then write about after the news was broken by the bloggers.

For instance, who found out that Obama cut a backroom deal with Big Pharma (and published the terms of the agreement online)? A paid Huffington Post Blogger. After which the Post, the Times, and every so called 'professional journalist' made it their front page stories the following day.

'Bloggers' according to you defines: a free source of online content provider.

'Journalist' according to you defines a well educated, well connected, professional deserving of a big paycheck.

Trust me, the paid bloggers today are as well known, and break just as many stories as the 'journalists' writing for the Washington Post and NY Times news divisions.

Blogger is someone who writes content whether it's news, opinionated news, political rants, etc. online. True, anyone can set up their own blog in five minutes, but that has more to do with the medium itself than anything.

But consider that that same person could just as easily create a local published political pamphlet tomorrow and drop stacks of them off at every coffee shop in his area. Suddenly, he's a journalist?

A journalist is someone who has traditionally provided the exact same thing bloggers do online today, only for the print medium (printed newspapers, magazines, etc).

Well the printed medium is dying and falling by the wayside. Before long everyone will be a blogger in some capacity. More people probably read the Post's Ezra Klein's -- whom I highly respect -- online Washington Post blog, then they read in print. Does the fact that Klein is a 'blogger' somehow devalue his work, his expertise, his background? He most definitely gets paid well, and he appears on TV all the time, because of his expertise on subjects.

You'd be best to stick to your Wizards coverage, which is actually pretty damned good, if I must say so myself.

The blogosphere is obviously something you are still coming to terms with.

Posted by: Independent11 | August 24, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

"'Bloggers' according to you defines: a free source of online content provider.

'Journalist' according to you defines a well educated, well connected, professional deserving of a big paycheck."

Wrong. I never said anything even close to that. However, the fact that you felt you could go online and write something with no basis in fact without fear of oversight or censure in the absence of professional standards does, in fact, provide a very abject lesson in what separates "bloggers" from "journalists."

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 24, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

"So the Washington Post finds itself on some level, competing for revenue with content providers who can link to WaPo's content or at least use it as a resource. They can do it without the overhead, and maybe without the same restrictions you're citing. Or at least, being so low on the radar that no one will bother to call them on it. While at the same time, WaPo won't be allowed to use the same formula to provide their own content."
Posted by: ts35 | August 24, 2010 12:15 PM

This is a point being raised by Rupert Murdoch a lot these days, that bloggers are using information gathered by the more established media to make convincing arguments, etc.

Well, I'd respond to Murdoch that The Washington Post (as does the Times, etc.) has its own bloggers: Ezra Klein, The Plum Line, etc. who also quote other sources (and they source them appropriately as is standard blogger protocol).

I think this fact benefits the public. The internet has allowed people to aggregate news in a way that truly can get to the truth. It can be used to show when journalists got something wrong, when they have contradicted themselves, etc. It helps to keep journalists themselves more accountable.

Posted by: Independent11 | August 24, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Wrong. I never said anything even close to that.
Posted by: kalo_rama | August 24, 2010 12:55 PM

Really? Consider your quote:

"Contrary to what seems to be at the heart of your rant, "journalists" and "bloggers" are not the same thing. Journalists are required to work withing a set of rules and adhere to agreed upon standards, and understanding of which requires training and experience.

Any moron with an opinion and an internet connection can log onto the web and start blogging. A "blogger" is simply someone who posts opinions on a web site. Period. A journalist is (or at least should be) more than that."

Posted by: Independent11 | August 24, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

As for the rest . . . more bull, spin, and self-satisfying nonsense.

The issue is not what they do (writing stuff for people to read). The issue is how, under what circumstances, and according to what standards and guidelines they do it. Journalist are required to adhere to certain standards of accuracy and are subject to professional (and even legal) penalties if they don't. Bloggers can say whatever they want without much concern for truth or accuracy (witness the recent Shirley Sherrod flap), often in order to further an agenda. Are there some bloggers who endeavor to be more scrupulous fair and accurate? Sure. But (A) they represent a shockingly small percentage of the unregulated online airspace and (B) they do so under the aegis of their own conscience. If they choose to go rogue, there's no one to reign them in. That's the crucial (and obvious, to anyone who knows even a modicum about either medium) difference between the two.

But hey, don't let little things like truth and fact impede your crusade. All good zealots ignore such minor issues.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 24, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

kalorama,
The more I read your comments on this the more I realize you are just speaking around me. When I prove you wrong about which constitutes a 'blogger' -- considering they are now a part of the White House Press Corp., you just ignore it and rant something else.

Not worth discussing. Stick to what you know, my friend.

Posted by: Independent11 | August 24, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

"The second format are blogs who hire people as bloggers to post ongoing content. You find a lot of profit and non-profit political blogs who do this, and YES they do ALWAYS pay the ones they hired to post regular content, and the process for hiring is much like what the post is doing here.posted by independent11"

This is a slippery sort of argument. The fact remains that lots of regular content on Internet sites is posted by people who aren't getting paid. I've certainly done that, by agreement, for extended periods on other sites, when I was interested enough in a particular subject. And stopped when I wasn't. And known others who've done the same thing.

Never occurred to me to go back later and petition them for payment, because no such understanding existed.

So as far as I'm concerned, your statement simply isn't true. It's hard to counter an argument that's based on a misstatement of fact, as yours seems to be.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

"Really? Consider your quote:"

Happily.

I said 9and you quoted me as saying):

"Contrary to what seems to be at the heart of your rant, "journalists" and "bloggers" are not the same thing. Journalists are required to work withing a set of rules and adhere to agreed upon standards, and understanding of which requires training and experience.

Any moron with an opinion and an internet connection can log onto the web and start blogging. A "blogger" is simply someone who posts opinions on a web site. Period. A journalist is (or at least should be) more than that."

Where, in those two paragraphs did I say anything about:

"'Bloggers' according to you defines: a free source of online content provider.

'Journalist' according to you defines a well educated, well connected, professional deserving of a big paycheck.

I never made any mention of "paychecks" (let alone "big" ones), or connections. I mentioned education elsewhere, but not in the context of bloggers not having one.

So, again, you were wrong (or you flat out lied). Six of one, I suppose.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 24, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

BTW, I hope you're wearing a back brace. Moving that goalpost all over the field can put a real strain on the lumbar.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 24, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

" The internet has allowed people to aggregate news in a way that truly can get to the truth. It can be used to show when journalists got something wrong, when they have contradicted themselves, etc. It helps to keep journalists themselves more accountable.Posted by: Independent11"

Oh, please. The Internet could as easily be described as a font of misinformation on an unprecedented number of subjects. It's always been that way, and the explosion in blogging hasn't changed it. Much of the blogosphere is devoted to outright propaganda.

I think you had a point when you began and the more you defend it, the weaker it seems.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

"The internet has allowed people to aggregate news in a way that truly can get to the truth. It can be used to show when journalists got something wrong, when they have contradicted themselves, etc. It helps to keep journalists themselves more accountable."

And who keeps your precious "bloggers" accountable when they contradict themselves or get it wrong (or flat out lie)? There are standards and methods of oversight backstopping legit journalism (whether they always work is, of course, a different issue). Who (other than the rest of the ranting mob) endeavors to ensure the accuracy of what spews from the million clacking keyboards on the Internet?

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 24, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

"I've certainly done that, by agreement, for extended periods on other sites, when I was interested enough in a particular subject. And stopped when I wasn't. And known others who've done the same thing.

Never occurred to me to go back later and petition them for payment, because no such understanding existed.

So as far as I'm concerned, your statement simply isn't true. It's hard to counter an argument that's based on a misstatement of fact, as yours seems to be."
Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 1:10 PM

I'm sure it is most probably done, just as you can find violations of laws anywhere in the world committed by this individual or this company. If I said it is NEVER done, then I retract that, though I don't recall having said that.

What I was stating was that for a for-profit company to schedule people to do work which they -- the for-profit company -- benefits from, and doesn't pay those employees then this violates federal labor laws. Period.

That's what I was saying. And I gave examples of how many for-profit and non-profit political blogs raise money to pay their staffs of bloggers who are scheduled to write for them -- often by asking for donations from their readers.

And I brought up the 'letter to the editor' format where writers were not commissioned to write about anything in particular -- as a freelancer would be -- but just propositioned a blog or newspaper to publish something they'd already written and how there are many many times when these writers go unpaid, which is fair and legal.

Posted by: Independent11 | August 24, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

"Oh, please. The Internet could as easily be described as a font of misinformation on an unprecedented number of subjects. It's always been that way, and the explosion in blogging hasn't changed it. Much of the blogosphere is devoted to outright propaganda.

I think you had a point when you began and the more you defend it, the weaker it seems."

I agree there is plenty of misinformation on the internet, just like in the Washington Post and NY Times. Think about how Times reporter, Judith Miller, and New Yorker journalist (now at the Atlantic), Jeffrey Goldberg, helped to mislead us into war in Iraq by reporting flat out lies by anonymous sources that were later discovered to have been just that -- made up.

And there are plenty of newspapers out there, television stations out there (Fox News, anybody?) that spreads propaganda and misinformation. The internet is no different than other media in that regard, there's just more of it, so the reader has to be more vigilant about finding reliable sources.

And this is often accomplished online with hyperlinks which aid in supporting a blogger's opinion/editorial. He can literally document every fact with links to legitimate news sources for every single thing he says. That's how a blog earns credibility, by how it sources and documents its content.

Where on the other hand the Glenn Becks on TV, and Charles Krauthheimers in print can just spew off whatever they want, because of TV time constrictions and the inability for hyperlinks in print, they don't have the capacity to prove with links to legitimate sources a single thing they assert.

Just some food for thought.

Posted by: Independent11 | August 24, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

And who keeps your precious "bloggers" accountable when they contradict themselves or get it wrong (or flat out lie)? There are standards and methods of oversight backstopping legit journalism (whether they always work is, of course, a different issue). Who (other than the rest of the ranting mob) endeavors to ensure the accuracy of what spews from the million clacking keyboards on the Internet?

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 24, 2010 1:23 PM

If you blogged regularly you'd find bloggers constantly eating each other up, and taking issue with their stories. It is truly a group that eats its own in trying to get to the truth.

You've got Glenn Greenwald of Salon calling Jeffrey Goldberg (who blogs for the Atlantic), a flat out propagandist, and outlining EXACTLY why, proving without a doubt that Jeffrey lied in this post or that post about something he asserted, and Glenn will provide links to earlier Goldberg posts, to NY Times articles, etc.

Respected bloggers do a much better job of getting to the truth than mainstream media these days, because of aggregation, because the internet puts information at everyone's fingertips.

Politicians hate the blogosphere, because everytime they lie now, a freaking video clip of it is up within the hour and all the bloggers have reported on it and exposed the politician for the pandering lying SOB he is.

That kind of thing never happened in the old days of newspapers. Politicians could say one thing to Wall Street, then go say the opposite thing to a labor union, then go say something else to another group, and it rarely got called out. Politicians HATE the blogosphere -- it keeps them more accountable.

Posted by: Independent11 | August 24, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Independent11

I'm kinda with Samson on this one. I think you had a valid point somewhere in there, but you've lost it. Because basically you just posted that all news institutions are on some level suspect, but that bloggers can gain credibility by linking to some of those same institutions. I'd drop that particular discussion area.

But back to the issue of WaPo profiting from free content. It may indeed be a violation of the letter of federal law. I'm willing to go with you on that. And I'm no fan of corporations profiting off the backs of the individual for nothing. But I don't think this particular case rises to the level of a violation that needs to be addressed.

Contrary to your connection to 'slave labor', it isn't. It's not even an internship, where some benefit is lost if you quit. If it's a voluntary activity that some people are willing to participate in because of their interest in writing, or the team or all of the above, go for it. Because what's the harm? It's not like people are missing out on paying jobs because of it. Kind of seems like if the WaPo has to pay the contributors, they won't do it because it stops being worth their while.

Now if WaPo does this and two weeks in, one of their contributors bails because he realizes it's too much work, and then WaPo tries to sue that person for breach of contract or other nonsense, then I'll jump onboard with two feet.

Otherwise, I think you're making a mountain out of a molehill.

Posted by: ts35 | August 24, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

On top of that, you seem to skip over the part where the WaPo has continued to provide their online content for free to the public. They may be generating a revenue stream from a fan forum, but as a fan it still costs you nothing to use it.

Posted by: ts35 | August 24, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Respected bloggers do a much better job of getting to the truth than mainstream media these days, because of aggregation

Ahh, the joys of aggregation...you mean like wikipedia? :)

Because if something is repeated often enough, it must be true.

Again I refer to the 'Childress' story. One Greek website posted that Childress was likely to sign or interested in signing with the Wizards. It was eventually picked up as a rumor by every website that reports on hoops. Some of them cited each other as sources, while meanwhile, if you traced it all the way back, it was all based on one rumor on one website. No comment from Childress (because he couldn't), no comment from the Wizards (because they couldn't). Was that accuracy through aggregation or just merely content propagation?

Posted by: ts35 | August 24, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

"I'm sure it is most probably done, just as you can find violations of laws anywhere in the world committed by this individual or this company....What I was stating was that for a for-profit company to schedule people to do work which they -- the for-profit company -- benefits from, and doesn't pay those employees then this violates federal labor laws. Period."

That's what I mean by slippery. You've interjected terms like 'schedule' and 'employee' that color the argument. Since I never asked for or expected payment, and the 'schedule', such as it was, involved a weekly column submitted by me -- I'm not at all certain any Federal law was violated. And suspect there are courts of law out there who would agree with me.

What's plain is that you don't.

Now, funny thing is, just this AM I happened across an article by a syndicated columnist at a major newspaper that was a virtual copy of something from a series I did for a website back in 2001 --- something I imagine the columnist didn't know.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

"I think you had a valid point somewhere in there, but you've lost it. Because basically you just posted that all news institutions are on some level suspect, but that bloggers can gain credibility by linking to some of those same institutions. I'd drop that particular discussion area."

Posted by: ts35 | August 24, 2010 1:57 PM

Well, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree then. But just consider all the "anonymous sources" being used today by the established media.

Example: Dick Cheney's office told Judith Miller a lie, told her that she was to report that it came from an anonymous Congressional Staff member, and then to report it in the New York Times on Friday. Just in time for Dick Cheney to appear on Tim Russert on Sunday to tell Russert that "The NY Times is now reporting that Sadam is ..."

His office supplied that lie to Judith Miller, she reported it on a Friday by an anonymous sources (as requested), so he could quote the New York Times on a highly watched Sunday talk show to make his case for war.

How's that for journalistic integrity? She helped Cheney's office mislead us into war.

Respected bloggers despise 'anonymous sources' for that very reason -- it's used by politicians to manipulate news coverage, and it is something the Washington Post engages in every single day in its reporting.

On all the other stuff, I'm just trying to inform the Post of its responsibilities under Federal Labor Laws. I suspect some of you are debating me here, not because you disagree, but because you think it will help your chances at getting these positions. :)

Either way, all the power to you. Yes, in America, you have the freedom to do whatever you want. You can choose to go pick vegetables for $2 per day in the South West if you'd like, or you can write for the Post for free if you like. Fair enough.

Unfortunately, wages have been dropping now for over ten years, and so there is a side effect of agreeing to work for free.

As far as the term 'slave labor', perhaps 'free labor' would have been more appropriate. My apologies on that. :)

Posted by: Independent11 | August 24, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

"On top of that, you seem to skip over the part where the WaPo has continued to provide their online content for free to the public. They may be generating a revenue stream from a fan forum, but as a fan it still costs you nothing to use it."

Posted by: ts35 | August 24, 2010 2:07 PM

Online newspaper ad revenue for the Washington Post was up 14 percent.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/06/AR2010080602125.html

That's their business model. They never really made serious money on print subscriptions. They made their real money on ads.

Posted by: Independent11 | August 24, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

'Respected bloggers despise 'anonymous sources' for that very reason'

"Respected blogger" is an oxymoron about 95% of the time.

Posted by: divi3 | August 24, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

"Ahh, the joys of aggregation...you mean like wikipedia? :)

Because if something is repeated often enough, it must be true.

Again I refer to the 'Childress' story. One Greek website posted that Childress was likely to sign or interested in signing with the Wizards. It was eventually picked up as a rumor by every website that reports on hoops. Some of them cited each other as sources, while meanwhile, if you traced it all the way back, it was all based on one rumor on one website. No comment from Childress (because he couldn't), no comment from the Wizards (because they couldn't). Was that accuracy through aggregation or just merely content propagation?"

Posted by: ts35 | August 24, 2010 2:08 PM

No, I don't mean like wikipedia. I could go on wikipedia this very instant and rewrite history if I chose to do so.

Its content can be changed by anyone at anytime. I don't consider that a source I would ever use to prove a point in a blog, which isn't to say wikipedia isn't a very useful, informative thing. Readers just won't respect your info. if you rely on it as your source.

As far as the Childress rumor, at HoopsHype they actually have a section (as I'm sure you know) entitled "Rumors". It is the Rumors page.

That means when you are on that page you are hearing insider rumors, that are floating around, which may or may not be true. Nothing wrong with that.

To define something as a 'rumor' pretty much sums it up perfectly. If Michael Lee says that insider rumors are saying that Childress may be coming to Washington, he should track down the origination of that source. But to state it is in fact a rumor, and that no one from the Team or none of Childress's reps could confirm the info, is absolutely acceptable. It's a rumor -- we all know what that is.

Posted by: Independent11 | August 24, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Journalists are required to work withing a set of rules and adhere to agreed upon standards, and understanding of which requires training and experience. Any moron with an opinion and an internet connection can log onto the web and start blogging. A "blogger" is simply someone who posts opinions on a web site. Period. A journalist is (or at least should be) more than that.
This string is off on one of the stranger vectors I can remember and therefore I 'd like to add my two cents.
It should be clear that print media journalism is morphing into something new. Hard and fast rules about journalists as differentiated from bloggers are not sustainable. Neither are newspapers or weeklys sustainable, venerable or at least once prominent Newsweek was just sold for a dollar to someone who is going to try and re-invent the newsweekly.
Those wishing to elevate journalists to would be truth tellers and denigrate bloggers as, any moron with a keyboard and an internet connection or simply someone who posts opinions haven't been paying attention. There are informative, reliable blogs written by all manner of highly educated experts as well as the ever abundant morons.
There is also a lot unreliable journalism. I was about to cite Judith Miller and Times and Fox News but was beaten to it. There is a long history of scurrilous journalism and pamphleteers, antecedents of today's allegedly high minded journalists. Many practice "He said, she said" reportage, mimicking conventional wisdom instead of facts. Some are more determinedly misleading, hence the US excursion into Iraq and the emergence of the accepted wisdom of deregulation and efficient markets and the ensuing economic meltdown.
The business model for newspapers and therefore journalism is changing and blurring into something new, perhaps not better, though think the Washington Times or the New York Post, tabloid journalism, et al.

Posted by: midlevex_ | August 24, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Kwame Brown and Micheal Jordan together again... Two peas in a pod...John Thompson's response was a belly laugh...

Think Jordan will do an undershirt commercial with Kwame?

Kwame to MJ,"Look Micheal, my new Lay Flat Collar didn't bunch up even after Larry Brown tried to choke me to death last night! With our new Lay Flat Collars we're exactly alike..."
MJ,"No we're not..."

Actually if it weren't for the history here, Kwame might not have been a bad fit. But his coming back to Washington would never happen.

I just can't believe that he hooked up with Jordan again, or that Jordan signed him to provide a constant reminder of what turned out to be one of the worst #1 picks ever...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | August 24, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

"That's what I mean by slippery. You've interjected terms like 'schedule' and 'employee' that color the argument. Since I never asked for or expected payment, and the 'schedule', such as it was, involved a weekly column submitted by me -- I'm not at all certain any Federal law was violated. And suspect there are courts of law out there who would agree with me."

Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 2:08 PM

Perhaps. Read this NY Times article. It state that whatever the employee/intern is willing to do, and for free, is really irrelevant to the labor laws.

You, as an employee, can agree to work for free, and the for-profit corporation could still be fined and punished by the Federal Authorities against your very wishes. You may testify in court for your employer, and they still may be in trouble.

Fascinating article: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/03/business/03intern.html?_r=2

"Now, funny thing is, just this AM I happened across an article by a syndicated columnist at a major newspaper that was a virtual copy of something from a series I did for a website back in 2001 --- something I imagine the columnist didn't know.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 2:08 PM

Do you mean to say the columnist plagiarized your work?

Posted by: Independent11 | August 24, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

midlevex_,
I agree completely. Well said!

Posted by: Independent11 | August 24, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

It is quite obvious to me to see that the Post gains some benifit in these blogs. Why else would they or any newspaper pay journalists to host them, such as Mike Lee.

It is also, astounding not to understand that when the Post offers this Fan Blog thing, two Posters per sport, that they also get some benefit from that as well.

You think that the Post is offering this just for the mere exchange of info for the Fans and nothingelse??? Funny.

I think not.

So what is all this taking down of Independent11 and his point of view???

Is there some ulterior motives going on here? Is there some backroom hidden agenda here?

So Kalo_rama, Samson 151, Divi3, Ts35, What is up??? You'd think you guys are already on the payroll and have to justify what the Post is doing...

I listening???

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 24, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

"Respected blogger" is an oxymoron about 95% of the time.

Posted by: divi3 | August 24, 2010 2:25 PM

When you consider there are probably several million bloggers out there, that 5% ends up being a fairly significant number.

Just be sure to avoid the other 95% and you'll do just fine.

Posted by: Independent11 | August 24, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Independent11

I think you missed my point, I wasn't defending the mainstream media. But it seemed like you were presenting the paradox that the 'respected bloggers' are more credible because they 'document' their blogs with references to 'legitimate news sources', which are often the things you just cited as being fallible. So I'm not sure how bloggers somehow gain more credibility by referencing fallible sources.

It all sounds like a giant house of cards to me.

In my experience, bloggers tend to often reference the same reports from the mainstream media that use anonymous sources. I think it's also important to note that "respected blogger" is a highly subjective term. I think any assertion that somehow bloggers, even 'respected' ones somehow hold the high ground on accuracy, is imo laughable.

I suspect some of you are debating me here, not because you disagree, but because you think it will help your chances at getting these positions. :)

In terms of the letter of the laws, pretty sure I haven't disagreed. In terms of the application of the law in this case and the surrounding issues, well, I didn't apply for any positions, so I guess I must just actually disagree. And in terms of elevating the 'blogger' to a heightened status of accuracy or integrity, I decidedly disagree. Because in virtually every blog I've read, including some of your posts here today, there comes a point where they stop standing on facts and leave the reservation, but still keep writing like they are standing on facts.

Posted by: ts35 | August 24, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Kwame Brown and Micheal Jordan together again... Two peas in a pod...John Thompson's response was a belly laugh...

Think Jordan will do an undershirt commercial with Kwame?

Kwame to MJ,"Look Micheal, my new Lay Flat Collar didn't bunch up even after Larry Brown tried to choke me to death last night! With our new Lay Flat Collars we're exactly alike..."
MJ,"No we're not..."

Actually if it weren't for the history here, Kwame might not have been a bad fit. But his coming back to Washington would never happen.

I just can't believe that he hooked up with Jordan again, or that Jordan signed him to provide a constant reminder of what turned out to be one of the worst #1 picks ever...
GM


Posted by: flohrtv | August 24, 2010 2:45 PM

Good stuff. Ironic and Funny as hell.

Butchaknow' once Larry Brown puts Kwame on the straight and narrow, Kwame might work out this time around.

If Larry can't do it knowbody can.

Collins was the wrong coach for Kwame and the wrong one for Michael as well, donchaknow'.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 24, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Thanks LarryInClintonMD for the word of support.

Posted by: Independent11 | August 24, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

To define something as a 'rumor' pretty much sums it up perfectly. If Michael Lee says that insider rumors are saying that Childress may be coming to Washington, he should track down the origination of that source. But to state it is in fact a rumor, and that no one from the Team or none of Childress's reps could confirm the info, is absolutely acceptable. It's a rumor -- we all know what that is.

Posted by: Independent11

And you've pretty much summed up the exact problem with the blogosphere. Appearing on a web page, pretty much anywhere, now qualifies as a legit source. As long as they can say so-and-so.com is reporting. Even if so-and-so.com is just some guy down in his Mom's basement.

It wasn't 'floating around' until everyone decided to report/repeat it, and then through the repeating gained credibility. "I read it on ESPN.com", 'I saw it on CBS Sportline" "Hmm, two credible websites, there must be something behind it."

As for accuracy via aggregation, I see a lot less of that than I do assumption via repetition and certitude via volume (yes, even in print).

Posted by: ts35 | August 24, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

"Thanks LarryInClintonMD for the word of support.Posted by: Independent1"

Make sure he gets at least minimum wage.

Just kidding.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

"But it seemed like you were presenting the paradox that the 'respected bloggers' are more credible because they 'document' their blogs with references to 'legitimate news sources', which are often the things you just cited as being fallible."

Posted by: ts35 | August 24, 2010 3:10 PM

I have to say that this point you bring up happens to be the very best point, yet, against my 'soapbox rant'. I've considered this paradox myself many times, since I do blog.

I guess one thing bloggers have to consider is the credibility from those they source in the mainstream media. If Dana Priest from the Washington Post uncovers something, I trust her reporting, and I'd quote/source her without a second thought.

If Judith Miller (from NY Times, now a talking head at Fox News) were to report that Iran was ramping up their efforts for nuclear arms, I'd immediately assume she was lying again, as she did with Iraq.

I'd also take into consideration whether the mainstream sources I'm citing are info. obtained by "anonymous sources" or whether someone from the administration/capitol hill has gone on the record. That is key.

You can help to avoid actually spreading the lies and propaganda just by deciding -- whether you're quoting the Times or Post -- you will only do so if they aren't using an 'anonymous source'. Or if you use it, stress the fact the source is anonymous, and the implications of that fact.

But that's a good point, you bring up, that all bloggers contend with.

You wrote: "I think it's also important to note that "respected blogger" is a highly subjective term. I think any assertion that somehow bloggers, even 'respected' ones somehow hold the high ground on accuracy, is imo laughable."

Posted by: ts35 | August 24, 2010 3:10 PM

Then you're obviously foreign to the blogosphere as far as news content is concerned. I follow both the blogosphere and the main stream press equally, so I have strong convictions on my opinions on that matter.

You wrote: "well, I didn't apply for any positions, so I guess I must just actually disagree."

Posted by: ts35 | August 24, 2010 3:10 PM

- I'm sorry, what is is you exactly disagree on, again? The Federal Labor Laws are clear. I didn't write them, do I'm not sure what else there is left other than my POV on bloggers versus the old media. Fair enough, we'll just have to agree to disagree, then.

You wrote: "And in terms of elevating the 'blogger' to a heightened status of accuracy or integrity, I decidedly disagree. Because in virtually every blog I've read, including some of your posts here today, there comes a point where they stop standing on facts and leave the reservation, but still keep writing like they are standing on facts."

Posted by: ts35 | August 24, 2010 3:10 PM

Most of those debating me here have offered NO FACTS on anything. Just 'piling on' really, whereas I've taken the time to provide links, and attempted to ferret out the facts from those sources. So not sure I understand.

Posted by: Independent11 | August 24, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

It is a funny question, though: who did submit applications for these two Wiz fan positions?

I'm pretty sure it's not ts35, Kalorama, and I already promised it wasn't me (doesn't pay enough, y'know).

Independent11 can IMO be eliminated on philosophical grounds.

Divi3? Larry (if they buy him a spellchecker)?

I guess we'll know soon...

Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

"Do you mean to say the columnist plagiarized your work?Posted by: Independent11"

Probably, but I'm not sure he realized it, and would quite possibly be startled once he saw exactly how close the two pieces were.

Maybe it was like George Harrison and "My Sweet Lord." I must have listened to that song a thousand times without ever realizing it was actually "He's So Fine" by the Chiffons. John Lennon's point was that had Harrison realized it, he would simply have changed a few bars. The fact that he didn't was evidence he hadn't known.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

"Those wishing to elevate journalists to would be truth tellers and denigrate bloggers as, any moron with a keyboard and an internet connection or simply someone who posts opinions haven't been paying attention. There are informative, reliable blogs written by all manner of highly educated experts as well as the ever abundant morons."

The difference (as I've said more than once already) is that legit journalism has mechanisms in place to try and identify, regulate, and minimize the damage dome by the morons. No such controls exist online. Anyone can say anything and, if they can get enough like-minded idiots to nod along, claim that that what they say has value by "virtue" of the fact that a lot of people agree with them. That's not reporting. That's not news tracking. That's not journalism. It's agenda-based editorializing. Which is fine by the way, as long as people recognize and digest it for what it is. But that 9as much of the dialogue here confirms) is the problem. People have lost (or abandoned) the ability to make such not-so-fine (but very crucial) distinctions.

Is every blogger an idiot with a keyboard, and Internet connection, and an opinion? Of course not. But there's absolutely no reasonable argument against the fact that those are the only baseline qualifications needed to become one.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 24, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

So what is all this taking down of Independent11 and his point of view???

Is there some ulterior motives going on here? Is there some backroom hidden agenda here?

So Kalo_rama, Samson 151, Divi3, Ts35, What is up??? You'd think you guys are already on the payroll and have to justify what the Post is doing...

I listening???

LarryInClintonMD.


Because we're expressing strong opinions? Hmm, Larry, does that mean Shaun Livingston had you on the payroll?

You think that the Post is offering this just for the mere exchange of info for the Fans and nothingelse??? Funny.

I don't think anyone has actually said anything like that. Just debating the issues around unpaid bloggers and whether it literally rises to the level of a federal offense.

And honestly, I would probably have left the whole thing alone, but at some point I felt like Independent11 got a little carried away.

Posted by: ts35 | August 24, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

ts35,
The old media is over. Printed papers will probably be obsolete within several years, IMHO.

At that point everyone in journalism will be a blogger. Every reporter from the NY Times and the Washington Post will be quoting and sourcing and aggregating from each other (as many already do now -- the ones they refer to as bloggers, like Ezra Klein), and their news will improve as a result, for the reasons I mentioned.

No longer will George Will be able to contest that scientists agree that Global Warming doesn't exist (without sourcing where the hell he found that 'fact', thereby giving the reader the opportunity to check his link/source and see if he's full of it or if respected scientists are really stating this). And from the link/source and Google they'll probably be able to quickly determine whether these scientists are on Exon's payroll. That's the beauty of the blogosphere.

Your ideas on the media are a bit antiquated, and probably that's just due to the hyper-quick transformation from print to online content. You obviously place a lot of trust in the printed word, when on paper, and you've obviously visited quite a few extremist/propaganda blogs that have left you with strong impressions as well.

But, as I said, one day the distinction of journalist and blogger will disintegrate. There will be propagandist bloggers just as there are now propagandist journalists. But the public will be better served by the new medium, for the reasons I already outlined.

Posted by: Independent11 | August 24, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

"It is also, astounding not to understand that when the Post offers this Fan Blog thing, two Posters per sport, that they also get some benefit from that as well."

No, what's astounding is that you would trot out such an obvious flaming straw man and expect that no one would piss on it.

Who exactly claimed that the Post was not getting any benefit from the deal. Not just names, but quoted posts including timestamps. (Hint: In journalism, that's a little thing they call a "source.")

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 24, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

"Probably, but I'm not sure he realized it, and would quite possibly be startled once he saw exactly how close the two pieces were.

Maybe it was like George Harrison and "My Sweet Lord." I must have listened to that song a thousand times without ever realizing it was actually "He's So Fine" by the Chiffons. John Lennon's point was that had Harrison realized it, he would simply have changed a few bars. The fact that he didn't was evidence he hadn't known."

Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 3:40 PM

I love that Harrison song. I remember hearing about that, but I admittedly haven't heard the Chiffon's version.

As far as the plagiarist, what you might do is email him and tell him he needs to at least quote you and source back to your original article. That's totally appropriate, and if you did it nicely, you might get yourself quoted, and sourced in a major publication. -- Which would be awesome for your resume.

Posted by: Independent11 | August 24, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

The notion that a move to fully digital media will somehow usher in a magic era of information transparency is pure, unrefined wishful thinking. Whatever flaws that exist in print media aren't the fault of imperfections in the actual paper. They're the fault of flaws in people, and those same flaws will be resident in the people running the Web (if, of course, there actually were anyone running the Web) as they are in the people running the Post, the Sun, the Times, or AP. The idea that technology can circumvent (or, even more wacky, transform in some curative fashion) human application of said technology is a futurist wet dream.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 24, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

No, what's astounding is that you would trot out such an obvious flaming straw man and expect that no one would piss on it.

Who exactly claimed that the Post was not getting any benefit from the deal. Not just names, but quoted posts including timestamps. (Hint: In journalism, that's a little thing they call a "source.")

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 24, 2010 3:51 PM

So from your comment, I'm going to infer that you agree that the Post is benefiting financially from the deal.

Now read number 4. on the Department of Labor Department's list as to what constitutes a paid employee:

http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.pdf

Posted by: Independent11 | August 24, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

"I love that Harrison song. I remember hearing about that, but I admittedly haven't heard the Chiffon's version."

Here you go:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpAcQrt8-SE

Recorded in '63; My Sweet Lord was in '70. A judge later ruled Harrison had unintentionally plagiarized the tune.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Most of those debating me here have offered NO FACTS on anything. Just 'piling on' really, whereas I've taken the time to provide links, and attempted to ferret out the facts from those sources. So not sure I understand.
Posted by: Independent11

For the third time now, I don't think I've ever disagreed with your assertion that it violates the letter of the federal law.

I don't think I even got into the discussion until you likened the Post using free bloggers to "slave labor"

You wrote: "well, I didn't apply for any positions, so I guess I must just actually disagree."
Posted by: ts35 | August 24, 2010 3:10 PM

- I'm sorry, what is is you exactly disagree on, again? The Federal Labor Laws are clear.

I'm sure they are. And I'm sure the application of those laws in this case could quite easily be muddied if someone chose to take the time to do so. Laws exist to protect individuals and entities from harm, and so I guess my general take on this WaPo fan blog idea remains, what exactly is the harm WaPo is generating by doing this?

And then I definitely disagree that somehow 'respected bloggers' are fundamentally more accurate than mainstream media. And trust me, I read my share. Your point essentially is that there is a class of bloggers who strive to be accurate. Ok. There are members of the mainstream media who do the same. In today's environment, no one can claim the high ground, though some in both worlds have staked a strong claim on the low road.

Posted by: ts35 | August 24, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

"So from your comment, I'm going to infer that you agree that the Post is benefiting financially from the deal."

Which is a fancy way of saying that you're going to take something I said and interpret it as something I didn't say to further another wan attempt at a point. Or, as I like to call it, more of the same.

"Now read number 4. on the Department of Labor Department's list as to what constitutes a paid employee:

http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.pdf"

You should probably read stuff before you post links to it. That document does not define what constitutes a paid employee. It is (quite clearly and specifically) meant to define what constitutes a legally acceptable unpaid internship and that's not what this position is.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 24, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

More specifically (and putting aside the functional inapplicability of the document to your actual argument), there's nothing in #4 that says an employer cannot benefit financially from the work of an unpaid intern, so arguing that bloggers are employees on the basis that the Post accrues financial benefit from their work is just plain wrong. What it does say is that a position qualifies as an unpaid internship if The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern. . . "

(A) the phrase "immediate advantage" is so broadly vague as to be open to endless interpretation and (B) there is no "immediate" financial advantage provided to the Post by fan bloggers, given that their work will be posted on a free to the public Web site.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 24, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

"And then I definitely disagree that somehow 'respected bloggers' are fundamentally more accurate than mainstream media."

Posted by: ts35 | August 24, 2010 4:09 PM

What I meant was that respected bloggers (who intend to retain their reader's respect) are less likely to lie, because it is common blogger protocol to ALWAYS source/link to things being cited as facts.

That is not commonplace in printed journalism. Especially in editorials where people throw around 'facts' that are flat out, provable lies. And I'm talking Editorials in the Washington Post and the NY Times. Whatever happened to simple fact checking we used to expect from big media institutions? It's disappeared.

And if you report their factual errors to the ombudsmen these days they rarely even correct the statements (i.e. George Will on Global Warming -- no retraction, no correction).

I agree that there are honest, hard-working journalists out there who strive for truth and accuracy. Dana Priest who works here at the Post is just one of many.

I've noticed that a lot of once-respected journalists, like former Washington Post Dan Froomkin, are turning blogger. He's now at Huffington Post.

Pretty soon, Washington Post and the Times will just be online sites with blogger/journalist titles being used interchangeably. I mean, how would you describe Ezra Klein right now? Is he a journalist or is he a blogger? He blogs many blogs each day for the Washington Post. He's on all the news shows as a well-respected journalist would be.

How about Andrew Sullivan at the Atlantic? He blogs daily for The Atlantic, writes some stuff that gets in their mag (as does Geoffry Goldberg), and they both appear on the news programs (Meet the Press) constantly.

This is the way things are moving ...

Posted by: Independent11 | August 24, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Your ideas on the media are a bit antiquated, and probably that's just due to the hyper-quick transformation from print to online content. You obviously place a lot of trust in the printed word, when on paper, and you've obviously visited quite a few extremist/propaganda blogs that have left you with strong impressions as well.

Clearly you have reading comprehension issues. If you had been reading carefully, I profess no faith in the mainstream media. I just also do not profess any faith in the blogosphere, whereas you have clearly drunk the Kool-Aid.

In that 'hyper-quick transformation' and the evolution of infotainment, truth (if it ever really existed) has been sacrificed to the need to be the first, the most entertaining, the most controversial, or the loudest.

To wit:

No longer will George Will be able to contest that scientists agree that Global Warming doesn't exist (without sourcing where the hell he found that 'fact', thereby giving the reader the opportunity to check his link/source and see if he's full of it or if respected scientists are really stating this). And from the link/source and Google they'll probably be able to quickly determine whether these scientists are on Exon's payroll. That's the beauty of the blogosphere.

No, now when George Will makes that statement, he'll provide links to a wide variety of sites filled with "facts" to support his assertions. Complete with 8x10 color glossy photographs with arrows and descriptions on the back. Ok, maybe 800x1000 pixels.

People who Google "Global Warming" (btw, they changed that to Climate Change a while back) are now bombarded with a wide variety of sites all claiming a firm grip on the truth, and all standing on the same slippery slope. And when people dig deeper to check out the scientists who support Climate Change, they'll find even more sites with more "facts" about why those scientists are lying or grinding their own axes or distorting the evidence. I'm not saying they're lying, I'm saying both sides have propagated more than enough evidence to muddy the water. And so how far do you have to dig to determine the truth? And how will people be able to recognize it when they see it?

The antiquated notion here is actually yours, that somehow the truth is out there on the Internet waiting to be found.

Posted by: ts35 | August 24, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

"That document does not define what constitutes a paid employee. It is (quite clearly and specifically) meant to define what constitutes a legally acceptable unpaid internship and that's not what this position is."
Posted by: kalo_rama | August 24, 2010 4:23 PM

That document distinguishes between a paid employee versus an intern. This is an either or scenario, and I guarantee that in a court of law: any for-profit company hiring individuals without pay, would legally constitute that position as an internship.

Otherwise, employers could attempt to evade this law just by not using the title 'intern' and instead calling them something else like 'fan blogger' or 'trainee'. Either you are a paid employee, or an intern when it comes to for-profit companies.

Now if this were a non-profit entity, you could come on as a volunteer.

Posted by: Independent11 | August 24, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

"And when people dig deeper to check out the scientists who support Climate Change, they'll find even more sites with more "facts" about why those scientists are lying or grinding their own axes or distorting the evidence. I'm not saying they're lying, I'm saying both sides have propagated more than enough evidence to muddy the water. And so how far do you have to dig to determine the truth? And how will people be able to recognize it when they see it? "

Posted by: ts35 | August 24, 2010 4:40 PM

I agree that there is propaganda coming from both political sides (though most of it, IMHO is definitely comes from the right), and the internet is the best source for sorting it all out.

I don't want to take George Will's word for it in print (as millions of Americans do), I want to see/click into his sources, because he's not always truthful on many issues.

He couldn't get away with that if
1. he were fact checked as he should be
2. he were a blogger who wanted to command any respect in the blogosphere. He'd be outed as a propagandist instantly.

Posted by: Independent11 | August 24, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

One thing that is very common in the blogosphere is having bloggers update their posts with new information, throughout the day -- some of which refutes/disproves their entire post.

This is very common, and bloggers' incentive to do it is to maintain their reputation for honesty and integrity.

To maintain that standing in the blogosphere, they can't be proven wrong, and not own up to it. Sincerity is a key ingredient to being a huge, well-respected blogger.

My favorite, happens to be Glenn Greenwald at Salon. Go over there and read his reporting, see his sources, updates, and then compare him to many on the editorial pages at the Post.

Glenn gets like hundreds upon hundreds of comments for each post and has sort of become the pinnacle of what every blogger hopes to emulate.

He's a former civil rights attorney, not a journalist.

Posted by: Independent11 | August 24, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I agree that there is propaganda coming from both political sides (though most of it, IMHO is definitely comes from the right),

I would argue that a healthy portion of the propaganda is not driven by the right or the left, but by the almighty dollar, which changes affiliation to suit it's whims.

and the internet is the best source for sorting it all out.

There was a slim window when that was true.....that window is closed.

---

Now to something more relevant....I just heard (source: Sportstalk980) that Rondo withdrew from Team USA?

Posted by: ts35 | August 24, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Here you go:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpAcQrt8-SE

Recorded in '63; My Sweet Lord was in '70. A judge later ruled Harrison had unintentionally plagiarized the tune.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 4:05 PM

- Now I remember. I definitely know and like that Chiffons song, and it is most definitely the same chord progression at parts of Harrison's "My Sweet Lord".

Thanks for the link. Hadn't heard it in years.

Posted by: Independent11 | August 24, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Rajon Rondo withdraws from Team USA
http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/olybb/news/story?id=5493184

Of course, I'm not sure I can believe it until I read it in someone's blog.......

Posted by: ts35 | August 24, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Of course, I'm not sure I can believe it until I read it in someone's blog.......

Posted by: ts35 | August 24, 2010 5:08 PM

Ok, I'm guessing you're just trying to be silly here. ESPN did a nice job interviewing Rondo himself, Krzyzewski, and others. Fabulous reporting! :)

You guys have a nice evening. It's been fun debating.

Posted by: Independent11 | August 24, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Night, '11!

Posted by: ts35 | August 24, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

I've always said I suspect the Post's motivation is simply to find fans to take the abuse from fans, instead of paid staff.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

"That document distinguishes between a paid employee versus an intern. "

Only in the vaguest terms. In fact, it says, quite clearly, that "This exclusion from the definition of employment is necessarily quite narrow because the FLSA’s definition of “employ” is very broad.. Your "argument" is based on the false assumption that anything that fails to qualify as a paid internship is automatically a paid employee position. However, it cannot be reasonably inferred (and for a guy who scoffs at people's assumptions you do a lot of inferring) that anything that fails to meet the definition of an unpaid internship automatically falls under the heading of paid employee. That's using the absence of a negative to infer a positive, and such arguments are pure sophistry.

Moreover, since the positions under discussion are not being promoted as unpaid internships, the definition of such is irrelevant to the issue under consideration.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 24, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

"I've always said I suspect the Post's motivation is simply to find fans to take the abuse from fans, instead of paid staff. "

See, now that would be an "immediate advantage."

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 24, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

BREAKING NEWS!

The post just sent me an email to inform me that I will be one of the new guest bloggers.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | August 24, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

"The post just sent me an email to inform me that I will be one of the new guest bloggers.
Posted by: bulletsfan78"

LOL, and the other starts with DC_..., right?

Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

I didn't realize Rondo had already asked to be excused from the US team prior to the game against Spain. That's apparently why he didn't play. So the roster's set.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

"The crux of your argument was that the crucial definition of an employee was that his/her work was "scheduled." Well, guess what? There's not a damn thing in either of those links that supports that argument. Hell, the word "schedule" doesn't even appear in either of them. It's not among any of the determining criteria discussed. So, as I said, you argument about what defines an "employee" is bunk, and your own "evidence" simply underscores that. (I love it when that happens.)"

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 24, 2010 12:27 PM

I apologize for not addressing your point earlier, kalo_rama. Somehow I missed it. If you go to the DOL link I provided ( http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.pdf ) and you go to page two it states the following:

"Under these circumstances the intern does not perform the routine work of the business on a regular and recurring basis, and the business is not dependent upon the work of the intern.

On the other hand, if the interns are engaged in the operations of the employer or are performing productive work (for example, filing, performing other clerical work, or assisting customers), then the fact that they may be receiving some benefits in the form of a new skill or improved work habits will not exclude them from the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime requirements because the employer benefits from the interns’ work."

- I just didn't want you to think I made that part up. It is most definitely relevant -- the part about being scheduled to perform routine work on an ongoing basis, in which the company depends on being completed.

That's all, folks!

Posted by: Independent11 | August 24, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Well omigosh. Let me check my email. Uhh...I forgot, I didn't apply. Kinda felt like the Fan position deserved some quid pro quo and my time management sucks.

But on the other hand, quid pro quo can works wonders for time management.

Show me the money.

Maybe I should have applied. Don't think it would have mattered though. Seems that the current staff, Kalo, Ts35, Samson, Divi3, are not to excited about my posts.

LOL

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 24, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Since the positions under discussion are not being promoted as unpaid internships, the definition of such is irrelevant to the issue under consideration.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 24, 2010 5:37 PM

Bwahahahahahahah!

So if the Post promoted this as an unpaid internship they'd have violated federal labor laws, but since they shrewdly promoted it as "Fan Blogger" instead, they are out of the clear?

Some lawyer is going to have a field day with this one ...

Posted by: Independent11 | August 24, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

"So if the Post promoted this as an unpaid internship they'd have violated federal labor laws, but since they shrewdly promoted it as "Fan Blogger" instead, they are out of the clear?"

Yet another example of willful (and rather artless and clumsy) misrepresentation of other people's words in a weak attempt set up a straw man that your own weak sauce of an argument can knock down. No wonder you've got such a hard=on for blogging. You seem to have the basic steps down pat.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 24, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Independent11, it is mind boggling how anyone cannot see how this Fan Blogger does not fall within the realm of DOL guidelines.

It is clear that organizations always push the envelope in paying/not paying employee wages.

In reality, the bloggers really take over the site once the paid host submits his topic.

The Redskins Insider is a beast. It moves very fast and there are bloggers there that keep track of every beat and blog numerous times daily.

The Wizards Insider is a lot slower paced but it still has regular bloggers that move the site along.

The WAPO realizing this, should be commended for this Fan Blogger thing, but in reality, that is what it is anyway.

So if they can get others to do what Reid and Lee does for free, then do they need Reid and Lee anymore for those roles?

It would be revolutionary to turn a paying job to a non-paying one that you still benefit by. Gold Star for the WAPO.

But imagine this, lets say that Reid and Lee is some type of virtual reality computer phenomenon and actual fans have been responding to their computer generated topics. Though we know Reid and Lee are real because we have seen them, but let's just assume. (lol)

Now the WAPO comes and says, now we want some real fans to do what the computer does and now the fans are responding to real Fan Bloggers. The advertisements and promotions are still in place.

Should these real Fan Bloggers get paid for doing what the computer virtual reality program has been doing???

I think and I know you agree that they should. As you've pointed out WAPO and company's across America will use free labor if they can get away with it.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 24, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Just FYI, this whole Fan Blog issue has drawn a lot less attention on other Insider sites.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

And one further point, TS35, Divi3, Samson151, and Kalo_rama, I don't know if any of you guys are married or have significant others, but what if you told them you were now receiving direction from the WAPO to do what you now do for free, if you really are, and on your own time do you think that they would assume that there is some benefit attached???

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 24, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

On Yahoo, those ubiquitous 'inside sources' are saying Carmelo Anthony is leaning towards grabbing the max cash by signing with Denver now, then 'engineering' a trade elsewhere later. Those destinations are allegedly, in order, 1) Houston, 2) New York, 3) the Clippers (anybody believe that last one?)

Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Just FYI, this whole Fan Blog issue has drawn a lot less attention on other Insider sites.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 7:50 PM

I noticed that Samson151 and that is also one reason why it is so peculiar why the 4 of you fellows ganged up on Independent11 for asserting a perfectly valid point.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 24, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

LarryInClintonMD,
I agree with everything you said. WI has a lot of talent in the comment section, yet lacks new postings, and it's a consistent gripe around the comment section. What's happening with Gil? What's up with Blatche's injury? What does Gil have to say about Wall? I could think of a million topics to chase down.

A 'fan blog' is a way to increase the content for free. And, yes if these guys hit the ground running, start working the phones (calling up Leonsis, Saunders, get access to team members, and introduce themselves, etc. -- really take this seriously) Michael Lee's value to the Washington Post has just dropped significantly.

Meanwhile they have these new 'employees' who they know are willing to work for free. So at that point they realize if these guys are willing to work for free, then crap, let's toss them $300/week -- peanuts -- and just fire Michael Lee -- thereby cutting his large salary from the payroll.

Essentially, they'd have succeeded in increasing content, while simultaneously reducing payroll, which is -- in this economy -- happening literally in every industry, and in every corner of the country.

I was told early on to be very careful about what you accept as a starting salary, if you can help it, because you're sending a very clear message to your new employer about your own impression of your self-worth.

A low starting salary will ultimately impede your ever making much money within that company.

Posted by: Independent11 | August 24, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

I may be wrong, but I think I was one of the first to call this an unpaid internship. The Post did not ever use that phrase as far as I know. I think it is fair to view it that way, although I guess the internet world may cause some to define that "blogger" is a previously undescribed animal, not an internship. I figure there are two types who would consider the assignment - those trying to build a career by getting the experience, and those who are just addicted to both blogging and the Wizards and willing to donate tons of their free time.

One of the things I am curious about for the potential bloggers - I am old school and put together multiple paragraphs as a writer at my job. I have obvious trouble trying to keep a message to one sentence (or finding much value in that). I see that many posters excel at one sentence and one paragraph posts. But the blog host needs to be able to write articles, not short quips. I'm curious to see how the depth and length of the John Q. Public Fan blogs take shape. If some of the current fountains of negativity are selected, I'm also interested to see how that plays out. In other words, are Ernie Grunfeld's ears now going to be burning 24/7?

Posted by: ragtop4spd | August 24, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Ragtop4spd,

I remember your first postings on this subject. My first postings on this subject also indicated that I felt that this was also like an intern/apprenticeship. I still do.

However, about your style of writing query. I have been accused of this short/sentence like paragraphing. I do it on purpose. I too can write articles and well flowing paragraphs.

However, I do not do it here. It is for a reason. I have been an vociferous reader in my day, though not as much now. I have found that a good way to stay on point is to keep it short.

Books that had long flowing paragraphs end on end were quite tedious if the writer wasn't very good.

This is why here, where getting to the point is important, I choose the short/sentence like paragraphing as my style of writing. It is easier for the reader to pick out points and it moves the eyes along the page quickly.

No one will ever remember all that you right anyway, so the easier it is for them to pick out your points the more they will remember.

I get a lot of bloggers that constantly disagree with me, but I get many bloggers whom indicate they enjoy my posts as well.

Style has it's advantages. Style can also trump substance especially when substance is buried in long flowing paragraphs.

It is like eating a good meal. Taste and eat it bit by bit, but once its consumed it all ends up in the same place.

If you devour it all at once, it might not set to well. Writing can have the same effect.

SDMDTSU took my style of writing as some form of depraved lack of education, but I can assure you, it is a literary form that has been around forever.

Try it.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 24, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Actually, you bring up a good point of clarification. I meant to refer to whole posts that are just one sentence. At work, some people write one sentence emails to me, and I analyze situations for a living - I can't deal well with messages of one sentence "total". But I know others can. Not meaning to be overly agreeable, but your posts have always had plenty of analysis - maybe short paragraphs, but still long on analysis.

I also understand the point in a b log setting that folks want to scan fast. And also there are a few folks here who can pack a lot of content into a 4 sentence total posting. I just need more space myself. But all in all, I expect from the new blogger a "column" of info, not a "tweet". We'll see.

Now back to basketball - how long has it been since the home opener has NOT been a Saturday night? Tuesday, November 2 - how many are going to go see it live? Count me as one.

Posted by: ragtop4spd | August 24, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Re: KWAME!!!! While I sold my autographed Kwame jersey a few years ago, I have always had a soft spot for good old Kwame, victim of growing up too fast and overly aggressive expectations of the teenager. I remember the article that said he was eating KFC EVERY night as it was his first time away from home. They gave him a personal mentor of some sort, I recall.

I wish Kwame all the luck in the world. While my joke fantasy for the height of lunacy was for the Wizards to do a sign and trade this summer, giving Detroit the #1 pick for Kwame (now that would make history!), seriously, I hope that Kwame gets some playing time in Charlotte, and that he can get the occasional double double and put in some decent performances. I was the last man standing rooting for Kwame in the playoffs right before he was outta here.

Posted by: ragtop4spd | August 24, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

So have we fleshed out the roster yet, or are we waiting for some cast-offs from another team?

Posted by: glawrence007 | August 24, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

"I noticed that Samson151 and that is also one reason why it is so peculiar why the 4 of you fellows ganged up on Independent11 for asserting a perfectly valid point.LarryInClintonMD."

"LarryInClintonMD,I agree with everything you said.posted by Independent11"

LOL I believe you two have found a soulmate.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 25, 2010 12:29 AM | Report abuse

SDMDTSU took my style of writing as some form of depraved lack of education, but I can assure you, it is a literary form that has been around forever.

Try it.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 24, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

When did I ever say that? I just say you write essays to say NOTHING. 250 words to say that the Wizards didn't offer a contract because it wasn't reported, which is not factual. I don't know you, let alone care about your level of education. I just disagree with your perspective sometimes. You take yourself and this board way too serious.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | August 25, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

If you applied some of your "education" you would realize that I call you long-winded, or wordy...which would actual be a compliment to your intelligence.

Dummy.

Happy now?

Posted by: SDMDTSU | August 25, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

A 'fan blog' is a way to increase the content for free. And, yes if these guys hit the ground running, start working the phones (calling up Leonsis, Saunders, get access to team members, and introduce themselves, etc. -- really take this seriously) Michael Lee's value to the Washington Post has just dropped significantly.

No unpaid fan blogger will likely be able to spend the time to be the "boots on the ground" that would be necessary for good reporting. Is someone going to away games for free? You seem too ready to erase the line between a 'blogger' and a 'reporter who blogs'.

Posted by: ts35 | August 25, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

If you applied some of your "education" you would realize that I call you long-winded, or wordy...which would actual be a compliment to your intelligence.

Dummy.

Happy now?

Posted by: SDMDTSU | August 25, 2010 8:36 AM

Alright then. Maybe I lumped you together with rphilli721, when you both were cosigning about spelling, english/education a few weeks back. But I seem to remember clearly that you did make a comment about my paragraphing.

But, if I got it wrong, don't mean to get your dander up. Seems your passion for this blog is no less than mine though.

On another subject though, don't know if you remember, long time ago, I ranted about your moniker.

However, I am still curious, does it stand for something, if you don't mind saying.

Also, seriousness for this blog comes from a passion for good discourse and a healthy appetite to be a part of folks who can conversate with the best without personal affront, that is, taking it personal.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 25, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Larry, actually Kwame would be a servicable b/u center who can bang a little bit. He's no Ben Wallace, but Larry Drown's won with offensively challenged big men who can rebound and defend.

Kwame would be better suited to Larry's deliberate style, he wouldn't be able to catch and finish with J.Wall.

Way back in the 70's I did work for the Post and a number of other papers reporting HS Football. There's no way that the Post can send a staff reporter to every HS football game in the area that their readership covers. Most of the reports from the counties come from stringers, cub reporters, etc.

It's a practice that's as old as newspapers, most of the time I'd be stringing for at least 10 different papers at the same game.You don't make enough money to go for just one. Some big out of the way games like Fort Hill vs. Frederick, I could be reporting for more like 20. Got to watch some football, paid for gas money, and had a few bucks to put toward college.

Can't imagine that this blogging thing would be a whole lot different. I quess now I get told I violated Federal Labor Laws earning a few bucks to go to college...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | August 25, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

No unpaid fan blogger will likely be able to spend the time to be the "boots on the ground" that would be necessary for good reporting. Is someone going to away games for free? You seem too ready to erase the line between a 'blogger' and a 'reporter who blogs'.

Posted by: ts35 | August 25, 2010 10:16 AM

On the contrary ts35, there are many bloggers here, yourself included, that already have boots on the ground content.

At times when I read Kalo's comments, I get the eerie feeling that he is Unseld. Kalo comes up with info at times that IMO could only come from inside the Org.

You have a wealth of boots on the ground insider knowledge, as well as many others.

When Independent11 says don't sell yourselves short, that is what he is referring too, I think. The WAPO has seen the content of the Fans on these Blogs.

The content is just as good as the folks they are paying. The boots on the ground content and first hand reporting at home as well as on the road is evident.

Now if you take me for example, I gave up my ticket package when MJ rode out of the basement.

So I am not a boots on the ground guy, but the content erases the line between the blogger and the reporter.

When the story broke about guns in the locker room, I am sure that the WAPO benefitted by it, for it was news. But Michael Lee did not report it.

It was on the site before the WAPO posted it. I know, I was on the site when it hit and the WAPO had to catch up.

But the blogger, Us Bloggers were already off and running with it.

LarryInClintonMD.

The wonders of todays technologies can give you first hand info in a snap without being the traditional boots on the ground reporter.

The WAPO knows this, just like people don't need newspapers anymore to get first hand first rate news.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 25, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

" I quess now I get told I violated Federal Labor Laws earning a few bucks to go to college...GMPosted by: flohrtv"

Officer, arrest that man.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 25, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

" I quess now I get told I violated Federal Labor Laws earning a few bucks to go to college...GMPosted by: flohrtv"

The people being hired here won't be earning a few bucks to go to college. That's the difference, my friend.

Compensation: $0

Posted by: Independent11 | August 25, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

No unpaid fan blogger will likely be able to spend the time to be the "boots on the ground" that would be necessary for good reporting. Is someone going to away games for free? You seem too ready to erase the line between a 'blogger' and a 'reporter who blogs'.

Posted by: ts35 | August 25, 2010 10:16 AM

As Larry already pointed out technology allows one to do a LOT of legwork using just the computer and telephone.

I used to work in the entertainment industry. Through their publicists you can schedule telephone interviews/video conferencing interviews w/ team insiders/players when they're playing away on the road.

You don't have to be there with a mic in their faces in order to put together interesting stories that fans want to read about.

Posted by: Independent11 | August 25, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

You don't have to be there with a mic in their faces in order to put together interesting stories that fans want to read about.

Posted by: Independent11

Very true. None of which does much to replace actually being there. In the scenario you're depicting, all you're doing is opining on what other people tell you, instead of having the chance to observe things for yourself. If you're there, maybe you see Flip yell at McGee in the corridor outside the locker room. You're not going to get that over a phone call, nor would you even know to ask about it unless someone tells you.

Heck, on a more basic level, you really don't even get to know the people unless you're in the room when they're talking.

Suffice to say, a paid reporter brings more to the table, so I don't think Michael Lee or any of the beat reporters are sweating quite yet.

Posted by: ts35 | August 25, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

When the story broke about guns in the locker room, I am sure that the WAPO benefitted by it, for it was news. But Michael Lee did not report it.

It was on the site before the WAPO posted it. I know, I was on the site when it hit and the WAPO had to catch up.

Larry, if you remember that incident, then you'll also remember that I think virtually all of the initial reports were wrong. The reports of Gil's torn ACL this summer were also on this site long before Lee commented on them. Of course, those reports were false, but hey what difference does that make right? As long as someone got to be first.

Posted by: ts35 | August 25, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Suffice to say, a paid reporter brings more to the table, so I don't think Michael Lee or any of the beat reporters are sweating quite yet.

Posted by: ts35 | August 25, 2010 4:56 PM

You've made some good points ts35. I agree that the Post will continue to need someone to attend the games, locker room access, etc.

So perhaps it's not a question of replacing Michael Lee. Perhaps it's a question of a lack of Wizards content. So instead of hiring one or two new reporters, they bring on unpaid 'fan bloggers' to drum up stories using the methods I mentioned.

They end up augmenting their coverage -- perhaps tripling it -- with interesting stories, interviews, game reflections, etc. all done by the unpaid employees.

Just something to kick around ... :)

Posted by: Independent11 | August 25, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Just something to kick around ... :)

I thought we have been :)

I'm still trying to figure out exactly what the harm is. The most likely outcome of this whole thing is that the debates many of us have here for free anyway will get shifted to there. There are several posters on the Insiders who already put forth the time to do research, and post links and opinions for free. The Post is already generating revenue off of that. I'm sure the cost for ad space on any of the Insider pages is based in part on how many views it gets. The reality is that while new fan forums will generate revenue, the value of the Insider pages will likely also decrease. In the end, I'm sure the Post comes out ahead (otherwise why would they do it) but I think you're overselling what the value of the fan forums will be.

But let's go with your scenario for a moment. If it gets to the point where any of the bloggers gains the kind of following you're talking about, at some point they'll decide they need to get paid. And the Post either will pony up, or they won't. And that blogger will either stay or won't.


Posted by: ts35 | August 26, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

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