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 newsâ€¦ 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 seigeâ€”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:
- 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).
- Visit the Save the Internet website and blog to learn more, and to send a quick and easy letter to Congress voicing your opposition.
- Spread the word. Thereâ€™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.
Iâ€™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
(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 doesnâ€™t involve the Internet.