Facebook: Pay up or Shut Up aka Back to the Blog Again

I’ve been thinking about how Facebook’s new “rules” or algorithm(s) have changed the reach of organic social media. (Translation: You can’t just get 10,000 friends and expect ALL of them to see your post.) Especially for small causes and nonprofits.

Right now I recommend y’all post everything to your blog THEN Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Use a blog, like WordPress, to automate the posting to social media. Try to write your content in a way that it seems natural on all platforms.

Why? Because Facebook is putting the squeeze on those without financial resources. If you can’t pay up people won’t hear you. It’s another form of anti-Net Neutrality. Also known in 20th Century parlance as ‘PAY TO PLAY’. By putting YOUR content on YOUR blog you can decide where it goes and hopefully pay a lot less. Because in a year or two Facebook could price us out and be worthless to grassroot orgs.

I wouldn’t sling the hyperbole about Facebook if I thought they didn’t bait and switch. It’s true Facebook provides a great service. One that is worth paying for. But to get 1 Billion plus people to use it then slowly turn up the heat on those without money is ruthless. Facebook needs to solve this problem by providing free unlimited reach accounts to real 501c3 organizations.

Obama Supports Net Neutrality

I recored a video question for the Presidential candidates the other day for 10questions.com about Network Neutrality. So did someone else. He did a much better job than I. 🙂

So Move On sent out a email with a link to this great video and within hours it was at the top of the voting pile. (Matter of fact on the same day that the email came from Move On, Oct. 28, this video was voted for 4,332 times. 83 against and 4,250 for. See Voting History data.) Here’s the video:

Because this video question was the top vote getter it was asked to Sen. Obama at the MTV/MySpace forum. They played the entire YouTube clip on MTV for the local audience and the TV audience. Luckily we have a copy of this on YouTube here.

Sen. Obama did a good job of explaining what is at stake and why we need Net Neutrality. Something that college age citizens really understand. I’m very happy to hear his commitment to protecting our somewhat level playing field online. Fact is the democratic party wouldn’t have so much power from its base if the Internet wasn’t as free as it is. I think it could be even more free but we MUST protect what we have. (How could it be more free? For starters we need the HIGHEST speed broadband made available to EVERY home in America.)

This is a pretty good example of participatory democracy in the 21st Century. We created our own questions, voted for them, and had them presented to candidates live on global TV. This is how the CNN YouTube debates should have been done. This is only the start of creating a more participatory and just democracy in our country.

What really blows my mind is the power of email and web advocacy to promote a cause and insert our collective concerns into a National debate. The work isn’t done yet. Now we have to get other candidates to talk more about Net Neutrality. (Back in May Sen. Edwards spoke at Google and addresses Net Neutrality) [video] Learn more about Net Neutrality at the SaveTheInternet.com FAQ.

I’m going to call the Kucinich Campaign next.

AT&T Spies on you AND Censors Speech

Last week AT&T got caught cutting part of a live Perl Jam concert when singer Eddy Vedder criticized President Bush.

During the performance of “Daughter” the following lyrics were sung to the tune of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” but were cut from the webcast:

– “George Bush, leave this world alone.” (the second time it was sung); and

– “George Bush find yourself another home.”

This, of course, troubles us as artists but also as citizens concerned with the issue of censorship and the increasingly consolidated control of the media.

AT&T’s actions strike at the heart of the public’s concerns over the power that corporations have when it comes to determining what the public sees and hears through communications media.

via Perl Jam website

AT&T spokes people have denied, spun, and apologized. Turns out this wasn’t the first time they’ve done this.

One fan who contacted The Times Friday said AT&T’s Blue Room webcast bleeped the sound during performances by the Flaming Lips and the John Butler Trio at the Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee in June.

via LA Times

Nor was it an accident. A “crew member” who worked on this live video feed has spoken to Wired magazine saying,

“I can definitively say that at a previous event where AT&T was covering the show, the instructions were to shut it down if there was any swearing or if anybody starts getting political. Granted, they didn’t say to shut down any Anti-Bush comments or anything specific to any point of view or party, but ‘getting political’ was mentioned.”

As if helping the American government spy on its own people wasn’t enough these Net Neutrality deniers are guilty just of what we thought. They have no intention of keeping the Internet free for all to use equally. Its is now very clear that AT&T intends to let us plebes use THEIR network how THEY see fit. Does that sound very American to you?

So iPhone owners… is this enough for you to reconsider using AT&T?

More Info:
AT&T Gets Caught in its Own Spin Cycle

Crew Member: Previous AT&T Show Had “No Politics” Policy

AT&T apologizes for censoring performer webcasts (LA Times)

Pearl Jam protests censoring of Lollapalooza webcast
(LA Times)

Whistle-Blower Outs NSA Spy Room

Edwards on Net Neutrality

While I work to fight HB1587 in the NC house I was wondering where our Presidential candidates might stand on this bill. HB1587 is ANTI-Net Neutrality on a very local level. Federal anti-net neutrality legislation isn’t going fast enough for the telcos so they went to the state legislature. So today I found a letter John Edwards wrote to the FCC. (Hat tip to Micah Sifry on Tech Pres)

Via Electronic Comment Filing System

Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20554

Re: Docket 07-52, In the Matter of Broadband Industry Practices

Dear Commissioners:

I understand today is the last day that you take public comments before starting to decide whether the Internet is going to remain free and open, or whether a few big telecommunications and media companies will be able to decide what content we get to read, listen and watch first.

This question goes to the heart and soul of democracy. For democracy to work in this country, people need to be well informed and we need to hear a wide variety of diverse voices.

Equal access to the Internet is also important for growing our economy. Small businesses and entrepreneurs cannot hope to outbid big companies for preferred status on the Web. It is worth asking whether new businesses like Amazon and eBay could have emerged into fast-growing powerhouses if they had been shunted to the slow lane of the information superhighway.

If you do not guarantee net neutrality, the Internet could go the way of network television and commercial radio – with just a few loud voices and no room for the grassroots and small entrepreneurs. Our country is already divided enough between the haves and have-nots. Where we go to school, where (and if) we get health care, whether we can retire with dignity – we have big divides in all of these areas in this country. While we work to create one America, we should not allow the Internet to be divided so that some web sites work faster based on who can pay the highest access fees. That would make the other important work we have to do that much harder.

I urge the FCC to continue to preserve free expression and commerce on the Internet by continuing to enforce net neutrality.


John Edwards

THANK YOU John Edwards! Ever since you’ve sat and listened to podcasters and bloggers I’ve felt we had hope you would support Net Neutrality. Sometimes I wonder if I support Edwards cause he’s a local boy. But now I know there is another plank in his platform that REALLY matters to me.

In the 21st century the power required to bring about equality will come from the Internet. The amount of power obtained will be determined by how much information you can create and have access too. Net Neutrality is vital to a future of equality. A modern populist is a techno-populist who supports Net Neutrality.

I hope President Edwards will be a techno-populist. How will JRE bridge the digital divide if he becomes president?