The rise of the social web has tipped the balance of information sharing power from corporations to users. Many of the remaining ties consumers once felt toward their favorite search engine or broadband provider have been loosened, making user recommendations the most critical factor in e-commerce decisions. The same thing has happened with content. What our friends watch, play or listen to is increasingly the deciding factor in what media we choose to consume.
This has two important effects on the net neutrality debate. First, social media has rewired people to expect an open and unrestricted Internet. It’s clear to most web users that a controlled Internet (whether by corporations or government) is not in the best interest of the user (or in the long run, the marketplace of ideas). Second, consumer choice is at a high level. Most users are not restricted by a single point of access, both to the web as a whole and for discovery of the information it contains.
Tip of the Hat to Pierre Levy at LinkedIn.
Phi Beta Iota: Read the full article to also understand Google and Verizon power plays to own the commons. This is an important article that misses a major supporting fact: at Burning Man an OpenBTS wireless environment was created, using open software and hardware to leverage open spectrum. Google is the Standard Oil of the past, and Verizon, if it does not learn fairly soon that it is the content that can be monetized, not the connection, is going to be the Maginot Line of the past. By the by, John Perry Barlow said all this at OSS ’92. See also Howard Rheingold’s remarks. The US Intelligence Community has blown a quarter century out of ignorant obstinancy.