The week finishes where it began and with an effort to link a couple of themes we have pursued (harped on?) this week: net neutrality and the greening of your business. The debate over net neutrality is not likely to be a front-running concern in the midterm elections, which might be unfortunate, given the ways a tiered internet medium could warp the dissemination of ideas across it. Most individuals, as we noted on Tuesday, might not really be aware of or concerned about how some services and advertisements and media get to their computers that much quicker or higher up search lists than others. But for non-profits, small businesses, green(ing) businesses, and mission-based institutions, a tiered-by-fees network could prove to be a notable hurdle to their aspirations.
Jeff McIntire-Strasburg at GreenMarketing.tv opens up our discussion with a greatof issues that all not-for-profits should consider, even if your focus is not expressly on greening. Many of the points he raises are related to what one could call ‘economies of scale.’ Greening groups could keep doing what they do, even if the internet were as tiered as Machu Picchu. But such groups would continually be fighting the tide of corporate payments of fees that keep their information towards the tops of lists – perhaps even overriding your local organization’s outreach to work with local groups on local problems. Larger organizations might not get any business from muscling out your group, but they will benefit or profit from the fact that they can do so in numerous markets, whereas your organization/company might only be competing in your market.
If you want to reach out to our representatives to retain net neutrality, Mr. McIntire-Strasburg finishes his discussion with a link to anestablished by Representative Al Franken of Minnesota.
The only other concern we might add to his list is the political one: there is (unfortunately?) a political component to arguing a green agenda. Opportunity to raise a voice or influence the political debate will also be influenced by a redefining of net neutrality. Though it is unlikely that an ISP would block me from finding a petition like Representative Franken’s, might his petition be easily found via a web search, if a number of companies are paying to ensure their already ubiquitous customer-response surveys arrive on my screen first? Would I have had to search specifically for “Franken + Representative + online + petition + net neutrality + signup”?
Is this week’s firestorm over net neutrality really more heat than light? Are there other concerns about the issue that your organization is wrestling with? Please let us know in the comments – we’ll share them and brainstorm them as well. Have a good weekend!