Net neutrality sparked conversation all throughout the blogosphere and Twittersphere this week with historic events like the State of the Union address and Egypt’s Day of Anger. These events have pointed back to the discussion of net neutrality and sovereignty of nations over digital communications.
Do we have a right to expect digital communications to remain free of political trickery? If Egypt could pull the plug on the Internet for their citizens, couldn’t something like that ostensibly happen to us in the free world? And since we rely on commercial providers, and because commerce isn’t immune to political lobbying or pressure, aren’t we all at risk?
The short answer is yes.
Although there is no silver bullet that will fix all of our worldly problems, I think the best thing we can do right now as citizens of a relatively free country is to take advantage of all of the resources we have at our disposal. We should be using technology to open up communications, carry intelligent conversations, and help others achieve freedom through technology. Oh, and if you can swing it, I would sign up for premium level services for your favorite apps. If web apps were member and customer supported instead of being backed by actual investors with agendas, I believe that we could keep autonomy over our technology.
So, tonight, I will be spending my time with these wonderful objects of my affection and staying true to my word! How will you further the Internet? Will you be generating content or just letting a few select people tell our collective story?
In my case, the book should be titled “Your ALWAYS Online life.” For as long as I remember I gravitated to the computer to fuel my interests, educate myself, find work, make friends, and connect with other people. I can even remember that my first paycheck went to web hosting. (I’m serious! I’m still hosting with iPower.com after 10 years.)
Technology is a wonderful tool if you know how to use it to your advantage. The title of my book is broad enough in so much that it lends itself to a series of eBooks that will eventually help other people bridge that gap between their real life persona and their online life.
The gravity of my involvement with the Internet really sunk in deep this last week. I recently landed a new client for my company, Unicorn Press, and had a number of live work sessions scheduled with him. I worked with him primarily via email and instant messaging. Just yesterday I was hammering out a short paper for my public relations class I’m taking through the CyberCampus platform at Golden Gate University for my masters degree. I’ve sourced out new business from an online community for designers, developers, and marketers on Elance.com and took teleconferences with a business in Australia and a non-profit in Seattle. Last week I joined eDiets.com for a second shot at lowering my cholesterol, but instead of doing it alone, I wanted to work with a community to successfully reach my goals. I sat through an amazing live streaming events demo with Vokle.com to learn more about how I could help my virtual startup, The Rainmaker Network, reach our student base more effectively. Last night I sent out a tweet querying my friends on some recommended late night drives and immediately got some responses. In short, I had a pretty amazing week…and most of it was spent online.
Over the last 10 years the Internet has proliferated into a vast and deep ocean that I’ll never be able to completely experience. I am amazed by its power to bring people together and rip them apart at the same time. I hope that through my series of eBooks, I can help some people make sense of this completely new world that exists within our own!