What are the political underpinnings of the internet and can they have an impact on the wider political discourse?
In yet another change highlighting the Internet influence on politics, the Dean campaign has unveiled a set of Internet principles and named a very impressive slate of net advisers. I hope that this will help the group formulate a set of policies relating to technology and make technology in general and the net in particular an issue during the presidential campaign. I suspect that other groups will follow suit. During the last elections, I put together a list of technology issues and where the candidates stood. I was surprised at the time that no news organization had gone through the trouble of compiling such list. I was also surprised by how little data there was at the time. With the announcement from the Dean campaign, it is now becoming clear that the business of technology is gaining the limelight it should have had then. Reading the statement of Internet principles, it appears the Dean campaign is for open Internet access, and is looking to foster more freedom online. At the current time, it’s very hazy and I hope that more details will emerge in the future as to where this campaign stands on critical issues like cryptography exports, H1B visas,…Read More
Mac-a-ronies does a good roundup on the digital divide questions raised by the recent Pew Internet Trust study. I suspect those of us who have been online for a long time can hardly fathom why people would get online and then eventually leave. After all, what’s not to love about the Internet? I could go on an rehash the popular arguments as to why being online is important but somehow, I suspect that I don’t need to do this as people reading this site are obviously not part of the online dropout crowd (if you are, then could you please explain to me why you came back?) Based on my own informal study (meaning, I talked to 1-2 people about this), here are some counter-arguments you can make to people who poo-poo the value of being on the Internet: Untrustworthy Many people still feel that the Internet cannot be trusted. This is somehow due to the fact that many opinions are available on the Internet, some coming from large corporations, others coming from individuals. With each opinion comes an agenda (my own being how do we keep increasing the spread of the Internet so I can keep getting cool jobs…Read More
For the past week, I’ve been posting a fair amount about the raging cow and about establishing trust in a market where marketers are trying to get in side by side with other bloggers. Chris Pirillo makes some good points about the raging cow campaign: Is it so bad if they are trying to engage us in a conversation? If markets are conversations, as a popular book says, is Dr. Pepper doing the right thing? It’s a tough question to answer. After all, they are trying to do what we told them they should do. On a related matter, the blog world is now abuzz with a description of the Internet as an agreement. While the document provides an interesting set of concepts that are sound from a purely technical standpoint (yes, the underlying standards of the Internet are based on an agreement), it does not cover the variety of choices of what is on the Internet. If the goal is to say “hey, the Internet is just an agreement to tie networks together” then World of Ends succeeds. But the contention that this makes a difference does not really matter much in today’s world. What world of ends does…Read More