Blogging

Without Net Neutrality, Would Blogs Exist?

How would it feel if after all the time you’ve put in on your blog, it suddenly disappeared from google altogether? And loaded at a crawl if someone actually did know where to find you and wanted to read your posts?

How would you like to pay more money for slower internet?

If that sounds good to you, say, $60 a month for dial-up speed access then DON’T click the link below and sign the petition. If you liked TV better when there were only 2 or 3 channels, DON’T click the link. DON’T sign the petition. If you wish that the only businesses you could shop at were big box stores, DO NOTHING. Because it’s easier to ignore stuff and wait for it to go away. A smaller internet will certainly be easier to keep track of. We won’t need to worry about googlejuice, technorati rankings or SEO if Congress passes this bill.

On the other hand, if you ever buy from small businesses, like to find
new music or video online, sometimes read stories or news from sources
other than the networks, or have ever wanted something unusual that you
just couldn’t find nearby, the Please Do sign this petition letting your member of Congress know you support preserving Network Neutrality.

To be honest, I don’t believe in petitions and have lost most faith in
our political process, but if this bill is signed into law I could very
well go out of business. And so will a lot of the other people and
websites that you may currently enjoy. I don’t know if we can make a
difference, but I would feel foolish for not at least trying.

Several telecom and media companies have decided that they would like
you to pay more for the internet than you already do. More importantly,
they would like to achieve this in part by auctioning off what you can
see online to the highest bidder. For instance, if you go online to buy
a fire pit right now, you’ll find a link to my Great Bowl O Fire pretty
near the top of google. But if AT&T or Time Warner are able to get
this bill through congress they’ll be able to sell control of search
results to companies like Target or Walmart. I’ll still be online, but
good luck finding me.

These companies are also lobbying for the right to slow access speeds
to sites that don’t pay them off. So, the high speed internet access
that you pay a premium for will only load sites quickly if they are big
enough to pay the extortion fee. All the other sites you visit will
load as though you’d decided to switch back to dial up modems. Are you
okay with that? Because I’m not. Same with news… Do you want all Fox
all the time, or would you rather choose which sites you use to find
out what’s going on in the world?

I’ve tried really hard to ignore this issue. But the more I learn about
it the more I realize that it affects us all. The internet is something
that we have recently learned to take for granted, but believe me, if
the web becomes as limited as TV was before satellite and cable, we’ll
all miss the freedom we allowed Congress to take away. The fact that
it’s all about greed just makes it worse.

Below is a message from Moveon.org with more info and a link to an
online petition that will be read before congress when they convene to
vote on this bill. Please go sign the petition. It really does matter.

Do you buy books online, use Google, or download to an Ipod? These
activities will be hurt if Congress passes a radical law that gives
giant corporations more control over the Internet.

Internet providers like AT&T and Verizon are lobbying Congress hard
to gut Network Neutrality, the Internet’s First Amendment. Net
Neutrality prevents AT&T from choosing which websites open most
easily for you based on which site pays AT&T more. Amazon.com
doesn’t have to outbid Barnes & Noble for the right to work more
properly on your computer.

Politicians don’t think we are paying attention to this issue. Many of
them take campaign checks from big telecom companies and are on the
verge of selling out to people like AT&T’s CEO, who openly says,
"The internet can’t be free."

The free and open Internet is under seige—can you sign this petition letting your member of Congress know you support preserving Network Neutrality? Click here.

A list of all the ways you might be affected by Net Neutrality is available here.

To learn more, and get involved, you can do several things:

  1. Educate yourself about the issues.  Read Doc Searls article from last year
    on the topic (this is what first alerted me to the issue, and allowed
    me to spread the word a bit, most notably to Liz Strauss, who took the ball and ran with it).
  2. Visit the Save the Internet website and blog to learn more, and to send a quick and easy letter to Congress voicing your opposition.
  3. Spread the word.  There’s a huge viral marketing campaign

    going on right now to spread awareness and galvanize support. Help
    spread the word with your blog, by email, or come up with a viral video concept.
    I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that if the big telcos and cable
    companies get their way, grass roots viral marketing will be a thing of
    the past.

    (list cribbed from Brian Clark at CoppyBlogger. You should be reading his posts on how to write copy. I know because I’ve seen about 400 articles on the net neutrality issue and his was the one that finally kicked me into gear!)

They WILL win if we are apathetic.  Do something, or find a way to earn a living that doesn’t involve the Internet.

Author: Chris Berry

15 thoughts on “Without Net Neutrality, Would Blogs Exist?

  1. The point is, it’s going to happen. And once it does, do you think we bloggers and website publishers can do anything about it?

  2. The government should not be wasting its time trying to regulate something that has done well in its absence. It just doesn’t make sense to regulate something that is not a problem.

  3. I’m not fond of Moveon either, but I do not support this issue for many other reasons. Not the least of these reasons being that no one has violvated net neutrality. It just hasn’t happened.

  4. Public Knowledge has a “net neutrality” video (http://www.publicknowledge.org/node/307) which, in just a couple of minutes, graphically explains some of the potential problems we face.

    I checked EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation, http://www.eff.org/) to see what they had written about the Net Neutrality issue but didn’t find anything written after the bill (?) was defeated a few days ago. Where’s Al Gore, “inventor of the Internet” when you need him

  5. As with so much in life, profit potential drives decisions before common sense. yucch. what happens now? I hear there’s a ship leaving for mars soon

  6. “you don’t care or you support their chicanery and BS”

    That seems like a rather harsh overgeneralization. I do care, but I don’t know much about them so I have no idea what you are referring to by ‘their chicanery and BS’. I don’t understand why you considered it a waste of your time to give an explanation but it wasn’t a waste of your time to complain about them here.

    “By a 34-22 vote…”

    That sucks about the house vote

  7. JimK, I have no idea why MoveOn is shameful, but I don’t “support their chicanery and BS” – nor do I care if they are for or against your crackpot US legislation. That’s why (duh) I asked for more information. For YOUR information, I’m new to the blogging game, and I certainly know sod all about PAC groups or MoveOn, HENCE I ASKED why they were bad. They WOULD never speak for me, I’m in the UK. Thanks for the info anyway you £$$.

  8. Democrats lose House vote on Net neutrality

    By a 34-22 vote, members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee rejected a Democratic-backed Net neutrality amendment that also enjoyed support from Internet and software companies including Microsoft, Amazon.com and Google.

    It’s now more important than ever to influence your congressional representatives! :/

  9. Jim, unfortunately partisan “hack” groups don’t think and speak for you unless you want them to do so. It’s perfectly within your right to not sign a petition and contact your representative directly. Some of the rest of us find groups that meet our goal and purpose and PAC groups are able to more directly influence legislation. To each his or her own.

  10. If you don’t already know why MoveOn is a shameful, disgusting group of partisan hacks, you don’t care or you support their chicanery and BS. Either way, I’d be wasting my time typing out why they disgust me as a PAC.

    My letters to Congress supporting net neutrality will be sent from me, not some lowlife PAC. As should yours be. Stop letting partisan hack groups think and speak for you.

  11. I will absolutely not, EVER, for any purpose, sign anything or be a part of anything sponsored by or connecte3d to MoveOn.org.

    Hopefully someone less despicable will take up this fight. In the meantime, I know how to write my Congresspersons directly and will do so.

  12. “These companies are also lobbying for the right to slow access speeds
    to sites that don’t pay them off. So, the high speed internet access
    that you pay a premium for will only load sites quickly if they are big
    enough to pay the extortion fee. All the other sites you visit will
    load as though you’d decided to switch back to dial up modems. Are you
    okay with that? Because I’m not. Same with news… Do you want all Fox
    all the time, or would you rather choose which sites you use to find
    out what’s going on in the world?”

    Wow, I find it really hard to think that this could ever be made legal, but I guess here we are. Absolutely shocking, and to be honest terrifying. It’s like eroding free speech, or near enough. Freedom of information is just as important, as is freedom of choice. Down with the legislation!

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