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Age Discrimination a Factor for Bloggers?

Writers Write Blog reports on an age discrimination lawsuit brought by the writers and editors of the Dallas Morning News:

The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, said Belo terminated the employees in October 2004 as part of a workforce reduction program. They included writers, editors and artists. The lawsuit said the company told the employees that their positions were being eliminated, but they later learned that Belo replaced them with younger employees.

…The suit accuses Belo of interference with pension plan benefits, failure to disclose material information and severance information, age discrimination and conspiracy to defraud.

The awesome thing about blogging is that anyone can do it at any age, as long as they can reach a computer keyboard. There are even mommy and daddy bloggers who podcast recordings of their babies, sometimes even writing in their voice if their babies could speak, so who says keyboard access is still required. Especially with the advancing technology in voice recognition software!

I know economics matter to a business, but age shouldn’t. So many bloggers are creating their own persona on their blogs, so while you may feel like you “know” them, the odds are that you don’t know if they are black, white, pink, yellow, or green. Or 12, 20, or 96. A lot of the time you don’t know if they are male or female. You don’t know where they live, and even if you do, do you know only the country or know exactly the specific town or neighborhood?

Barriers are being dropped all over the place as people realize they have a voice through their blogs. Blogs give people a freedom not only to express themselves, but to express themselves freely of many prejudices and judgments people make when meeting or seeing them.

Not all bloggers stay anonymous. Many put their photographs on their blogs, including pictures of their family and children, house, dogs, cats, cars, and vacation adventures. Most maintain some sort of privacy check to keep the “wrong” people from finding out too much.

Still, do you know how old I am? Do you even care? Would it make a difference to you if I were 16 or 66? With so many countries in Europe and North and South America with a growing majority of “older” folks who are proving they still have life beyond 50, how much should age really matter? Does it matter to you when you read a blog?

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network

Member of the 9Rules Blogging Network

3 Comments

  1. Posted November 3, 2006 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Not age necessarily… But at some point, after having read someone a lot I become curious and want to see their face and know a little more. Specially if their site has no mention of anything personal whatsoever… I must confess recently I went out to Camera on The Road trying to get some more personal juice about you :), and I found some of your photos… finally! Having seen them doesn’t change anything, but now I can picture you when I read you, and I sort of like it.

    Same with bloggers who “hide” their gender … For all the time I don’t know whether the author is male or female, I keep wondering about it, and guessing it. Knowing it, just lets me relax and understand better the perspective of the author.

    Personal tidbits like gender, age, and maybe nationality help me better understand where the blogger comes from, and put their words in context.

  2. Posted November 4, 2006 at 2:38 am | Permalink

    I think it’s great when you don’t know a blogger’s age, race or sex. You are reading then without any preconceived ideas of what/who the person is, without judging them by anything except what they write. This is true equality, the equality we always want in real life but never manage to attain, because of the emotional baggage we attach to age, race and gender that we don’t even realise we do.

  3. Posted November 4, 2006 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    It would depend on the Blog topic I say, if I were reading about SEO or any subject that required some real experience, I wouldn’t take it from a totally new blogger, I’d look at someone who had some worthwhile experience (and in that I mean age).

    I do like to know about the Blogger behind the Blog when I read, the About page is a very important part of any Blog, to me atleast. Knowing more about the blogger doesn’t always have to lead to discrimination, it can be a good thing as well.


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