Internet Day of Action: NO POSTING

Sorry to my non-American readers, this has nothing to do with you.  But I am an American based blog, so it’s really important for me and the 50% of my readers who are American.  There is a change to national internet policy being considered which would make my blog harder to reach.  To give you a taste of what that might be like, No Posting Today.

If you already know about the Net Neutrality issues and the protections the FCC is considering rolling back, you can submit a letter to the FCC protesting this proposal.  The link is HERE

The website that is organizing all of this is called http://www.battleforthenet.com, you can also go there and sign up for more information and to participate in additional protests.

 

If you need more information, here is what is happening:

The FCC is considering changing rules to allow for internet providers to charge websites for higher speed service.  Essentially, letting them be paid twice, once by the consumer (us) who pays for internet access.  And once by the websites we are trying to reach who would have to pay to be available to the consumer.

If this passes, it means that little websites like mine would no longer be available to American consumers at the same speed and ease as larger websites that are able to pay the ransom demands of the cable companies.

Essentially, it means that the internet is for sale.  If you have enough money, you can pay for your website to be more easily accessible than any other website on the same topic.  To put it in terms of this blog, it means that the makers of Tubelight could pay so that the official website, with all the glowing reviews on it, loads fast and easily.  And this blog, with an honest unbiased review from a public citizen, loads more slowly.

 

If you are an American, you can submit a letter to the FCC protesting this proposal.  The link is HERE

The website that is organizing all of this is called http://www.battleforthenet.com, you can also go there and sign up for more information and to participate.

 

Finally, if you are not an American but still want to help, all I can think to suggest is that the man who is selling us all to the corporations is named Ajit V. Pai.  His family is Konkoni from around Maharasthra.  His parents are both doctors, named Radha Pai and V.S. Pai and they settled in upstate New York.  Ajit went to Harvard and University of Chicago.

Now, knowing how things work, I am thinking there is a slight chance that someone reading this blog knows someone who knows someone who knows this man’s family.  If you do, feel free to contact his family and tell them that they should tell him not to do this.  I don’t know if that will make any difference, but getting yelled at by an Auntie might do something that all these petitions and protests are not.

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12 thoughts on “Internet Day of Action: NO POSTING

  1. I wrote about google’s sketchy algorithms around four years ago (I got paid to make it sound a lot less sinister than it actually was) and I’m definitely interested in the role of search engines in this debate.

    What I remember from reading up on the pros and cons of what Google from the time, I understood that the way search engines were designing themselves was to serve only their paid customers i. e. the people who put in ads. Shortly afterwards, Google search started showing increasingly local content on their pages. If you googled pizza the first page was full of all the pizza places close to you and maybe there’d be a Wikipedia entry about pizza there. The Wikipedia entry is the really interesting bit here because though we know they aren’t paying to be in the first page of the results, they’re showing up there because of how frequently the site gets visited and updated.

    That was a tweak that freaked out a lot of smaller blogs that weren’t optimised for search engines. Anybody with a smal dedicated following who posted like one relevant article a week was suddenly going to be dropped off the first page even if they were the most relevant search item for their category in their location.

    This was followed by social media search integration into search engines. Google a celebrity and the first page is likely to contain links to all their social media pages, news items from google’s own (paid) feed and their Wikipedia entry.

    This isn’t going to go away. It’s actually gotten worse. With the net neutrality issue now coming in, search is likely going to get sold to the highest bidder too.

    Fortunately, what I’ve gathered from conversations with people that are still writing about this (or getting paid to promote hacks and workarounds) one possible way to circumvent this (should the Internet get sold) would be to a) make your content as light as possible (less media on your page means you suffer less from slower speed Internet), b) promote the hell out of your content via social, or c) shift/integrate yourself into social media platforms in a way that lets you take advantage of their advantages.

    Ultimately, as my friends put it, content is going to be the only thing that matters. No amount of money and speed is going to save bad content or let people make money off of it.

    Of course there’s always the possibility of closed up Internets popping up. Russia has suggested it and so has india. If that happens we might be back to receiving international content in our inboxes.

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    • That’s interesting! And reassuring, since I am all about content. But also not good, because I am terrible at social media.

      Well, if this change goes through, I will just stop doing image and video links in posts, or else warn people to be patient because they won’t play.

      Heck, like you say, maybe I go old school and offer to mail a weekly summary if you pay me. It’s a lot easier to make money that way anyway than off ads.

      On Wed, Jul 12, 2017 at 7:18 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      Liked by 1 person

      • We do already get emails about activity on this blog. That said I hope you do look into FB-WP integration. I don’t have a blog on this site so I won’t be able to suggest plugins or other integration tools. From what I’ve read so far a fully integrated blog would basically allow comments made on Facebook to be visible here and hopefully vice versa. You won’t have to do much on social other than basically what’s already happening here. It would only be visible there.

        I so sincerely hope neutrality isn’t compromised. The unintended consequences of that move can’t even be anticipated.

        Since you cover the industry comprehensively, I do so sincerely hope you’d do a video version of your reviews. Although that’s a whole lot of engagement with not always amazing people! 😁

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        • Yes, but I don’t WANT people on Facebook! Or twitter. Partly because I don’t understand those platforms (I’m too old!)

          But mostly because I want a presence there only so that you can be driven here. If I can drive you all here, I get a modest amount of ad income ($10 approximately a month, but it could always grow), and can track views etc. to better customize content to what people like reading. That’s also why your email notifications only show you the beginning of the post (or they are supposed to) instead of the whole thing, to make you actually click through and read it.

          I am pretty sure even if this change goes through, WordPress would be one of the sites that would pay to maintain access. And so long as I am hosted in WordPress, I would be okay. But then they can hold me hostage, raise the fee for a website, lower or cut any ad revenue shared with users, etc.

          The long term goal is always self-hosting, an independent website that could provide half my income and let me officially do this as a part-time job. If everything worked perfectly for me, that would be about 5-10 years down the line. But with this change, that wouldn’t necessarily be an option any more, since I would be much harder to find, and advertisers might not be willing to pay independent sites any more, or pay at much lower rates.

          However, if this change does go through and the other internet changes, then like you say, that opens up the possibility of more of a subscription service. Which is better for the content provider anyway, I would rather get $1 a month from every reader interested in receiving updates through personal messages, then getting a $1 a month per 20,000 ad views.

          On Wed, Jul 12, 2017 at 11:32 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Monetizing is the real sticky subject everywhere. Hosting on WP would probably work with integration but I hear you about your aversion to social. I hope at some point you’d talk to a professional about these concerns. What you have here is too good to be found after sooooooo much hard work and obsession for a movie franchise only. This is important work. Trust me.

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  2. Letter sent! I am with you 100% on this one. This idea of selling the internet to the highest bidder will benefit no one but the highest bidder.

    (And maybe no posting today will allow me to catch up on some of your posts I’ve missed 😉

    Like

  3. So glad you’re talking about this! I just spent the day trying to explain to my coworkers what net neutrality is. Apathy can be more frustrating sometimes than even people who hold very questionable views.

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  4. As someone whose formative years were spent without the internet (say till about age 11-12) I’ve always wondered if it is fair to classify it as a basic/fundamental right or necessity like food/water/air or a utility like electricity/fuel or whether it should be treated as a convenience or luxury even like phones/cars etc or whether it such classification is relevant to the topic at all.

    One of the interesting arguments I saw for net neutrality went like “you charge me to setup a water pipe into my place but don’t get to then decide how and where I use the water”

    Like

    • The flip side of it is from the internet content provider perspective. If I have a small business on main street, is it fair for Walmart to be able to pay off the town fathers to bulldoze main street so no one can reach my business, while they build a highway direct to Walmart?

      Or, from the other side, is it fair for the town fathers to demand payment, over and above the taxes they are already collecting from citizens who walk on the streets, before they will build a street to your business? Even if the citizens want to reach your business and are happy to pay the taxes to allow for it?

      On Thu, Jul 13, 2017 at 11:32 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yeah it’s important to be clear about what is most critical: legality, ethicality or fairness. Only the first is objective and well defined and written down (although again even there interpretation comes in). So then does it become a numbers game. As in all that counts is popularity or majority opinion.

        Like

  5. Pingback: DDLJ Part 24: Kuljit! And Men as Feminist Allies | dontcallitbollywood

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