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Support Federal Protection for Blogger's Rights

Legal Guide for Bloggers

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Senator Marco Rubio
Florida
Phone:(202) 224-3041
Fax:(202) 228-0285
Senator Bill Nelson
Florida
Phone:(202) 224-5274
Fax:(202) 228-2183

Representative Mario Diaz-Balart

District: FH-FL25
Florida
Phone:(202) 225-4211
Fax:(202) 225-8576

Please Support Federal Protection
 for Blogger's Rights

Dear Honorable United States' Senators and Representative:

I am your constituent and I am writing to urge you to cosponsor the PETITION ACT, federal anti-SLAPP legislation to protect free speech. Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) are designed to silence individuals exercising their free speech rights, like journalists and bloggers. These damaging suits chill free speech and healthy debate by targeting those who communicate with their government or who speak out on issues of public interest.

SLAPPs are used to silence and harass critics by forcing them to spend money to fight these baseless suits. SLAPP filers don't go to court to seek justice. Rather, SLAPPS are intended to intimidate those who disagree with them or their activities by draining the target's financial resources.
SLAPPs are effective because even a meritless lawsuit can take years and many thousands of dollars to defend. To end or prevent a SLAPP, those who speak out on issues of public interest frequently agree to muzzle themselves, apologize, or "correct" statements.

Please cosponsor federal anti-SLAPP legislation. A strong federal law should:
1. Allow SLAPP defendants to remove SLAPPs to federal court
2. Allow an anti-SLAPP motion to be filed, which stays discovery
3. Allow SLAPP victims to recover their fees when the SLAPP is dismissed
4. Allow an immediate appeal of the unfavorable decision by the trial court judge
5. Allow an exemption for public interest litigation

This important legislation will protect Americans who speak out on matters of public concern. Almost half of the states do not have anti-SLAPP laws, and those that do have laws of varying strength and breadth. Moreover, federal claims in federal court are not subject to state anti-SLAPP laws. This is why federal anti-SLAPP legislation is needed now -- it would protect Americans in all states and at the federal level.

Thank you.

I'm convinced that many professionals could inject greater success into their careers if they picked up just one particular new activity: Blogging.
Blogging has one of the most important components to my career since 2007, and I'm always on the lookout for stories of others who have used blogging to jumpstart lagging careers, find new professional passions, and ultimately use the written word (on computer screen) as a means to reach greater levels of success.
Recently I had the chance to read Ruth Soukup‘s new ebook, How to Blog for Profit (Without Selling Your Soul). It’s a powerful book full of specific tips and ideas on how to build a successful blog. The book draws upon Ruth's own experiences of replacing her family's income with her blogging business. After reading it, I asked Ruth if she could provide a few thoughts on how blogging reshaped her career, and how it could help someone else do the same.
Note that although Ruth's career ended up turning into blogging as her full-time profession, I believe that Ruth's ideas are valuable for anyone with an interest in blogging in addition to their full-time gig.
Here's what Ruth said...
I never really set out to be a blogger—I had never even really read blogs before I started my own—but within a month of blogging I knew it was something I wanted to do professionally. Coming from a business background, I knew very quickly it was something I would eventually be able to make money at. That said, I think the reason I have been successful at blogging for profit is that I have been able to combine the things I am truly passionate about, like living well on a budget, with the strong entrepreneurial and marketing sense that needs to accompany any successful business endeavor.
Here is the advice that I would give anyone who wants to use blogging to reshape their career:
  • Follow your passion. The best (and most popular) blogs are the ones with the best content, and good content follows passion. It is hard to write day in and day out about something you don’t care about, and if you don’t care, why should your readers?
  • Create awesome content. Content is what ultimately will drive traffic, and traffic is what drives revenue. If you don’t start with awesome, compelling content, your blog is doomed. For at least the first six months, 80% of your time should be spent creating incredible content. What does your unique perspective and expertise bring to a subject that only YOU can share? Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing; instead, make it your own and make it amazing.
  • Keep learning. Blogging has only been around for about fifteen years, and yet has changed immensely in that time, and will only continue to evolve. If you don’t keep up, your blog will die a slow death. On the flip side, all those changes mean that it’s not too late to join the party. Don’t let the fact that there are already so many blogs out there deter you; instead, keep reading and learning everything you can (my book is a great place to start!) and before you know it, you’ll be writing your own book on blogging.
Now, to you. Do you think blogging could help you in your career? Is it a strategy you've tried before to generate leads, build more contacts, or distribute or solicit business advice?
About Ruth:  Ruth Soukup is the founder of LivingWellSpendingLess.com, one of the top lifestyle blogs, averaging over 700,000 unique visitors and 1.4 million pageviews monthly. She has contributed to Woman's Day magazine, Redbook Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, and ALL YOU Magazine, has appeared on The Daily Buzz, and appears regularly on WINK News in SW Florida. She lives in Florida with her husband and two daughters.
For more from Claire, read her free ebook on how to start a blog, check out her blog, follow her on LinkedIn, or find her on the Twitters via @claire.
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Freedom of speech in the United States

Freedom of speech in the United States 
“Will of the people the only legitimate foundation of any government, protect its free expression, our first object.” ~ Thomas Jefferson


Freedom of Speech Clause of the 1st Amendment, the most well-known and beloved part of Constitution


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