Thursday, April 20, 2006

Save The Net 

Jeff Pulver finally lost his temper and is launching a Viral Marketing Contest to Save The Internet. I will follow up this activity and comment on it later. Of course the whole issue is currently very US centric and DC centric, but one should be aware of these issues globally, because sooner or later (I think sooner than later) we will have a similar discussion also here in Europe. I fully support Jeff in this regard, so I simply post here his full blog entry:

Ok, I am officially putting my money where my mouth is. I am initiating a Viral Video "Save the Net" Marketing Contest.

I am fed up with the current wave of soundbites, platitudes, ads and marketing flooding the airwaves that profess to speak for the advancement of the Internet and communications. These ads are influencing the U.S. Congress and governments around the World as they write the rules that will shape the future of the Internet and communications.

But, where is the voice and message of the Internet community -- the Internet innovators, entrepreneurs and enthusiasts -- in this world-changing discussion? We are primarily sitting out the battle, or perhaps comfortably blogging and Monday-morning quarterbacking on the sidelines. Sure, we'll be able to point to our blogs and do a big "I-told-you-so" if the rules ultimately prove to undermine the promise of the Internet. But, we will not be justified in our criticism if we don't at least try to affect a positive result.

Rules have to be written to enable us. If we do not participate in the debate, if we do not transform the messaging, the rules will not be written with our best interests at heart. And, frankly, we will have no one to blame but ourselves. We have to take over the messaging, both within the corridors of power and within the public zeitgeist.

We need soundbites of our own, messaging of our own. We are allegedly the revolutionaries of the Internet and communications. Shouldn't we be the ones revolutionizing the way advocacy is done and communicated in the 21st Century? Shouldn't we be the creative forces verifying that the medium is the message? Who better than us to harness the enabling power of the Internet to bring our message to legislators, to policymakers, to the public? Let's throw away the old rulebook and try to think outside the box to send a message to Congress from the global community of Internet innovators and enthusiasts.

We might not have the lobbying muscle, money, resources, or connections of the entrenched players in the communications debate, but we surely have the individual and collective will and creativity to transform the debate.

Here is my pitch:

We need to harness your individual genius and our collective genius (for isn't it the collective power of the Internet that makes it so remarkable?) to save the Internet, and we are willing to pay and give you eternal glory (or at least glory for as long as the Internet lasts).

Send us short, creative ideas -- videos, flash ads, other Internet-based gimmicks -- that you think might effectively communicate to government that they must write rules to enable us the Internet innovators to transform the Internet and communications experience.

I send out this call to arms to all you next-generation Internet-based Scorseses. I even send it out to all you potential Ed Woods of the Internet. (Who knows where genius will strike?)

The prize and glory goes to whoever comes up with the message (viral video ad or other creative marketing tool) that we use to spread the word and save the Internet. In order to be eligible for the prize (and also to ensure maximum impact during the great policy debate, both in DC and around the globe), entries must be submitted by June 6, 2006. Please refer to the Save the Net Contest Rules to enter.

The contest starts today and will run until June 6, 2006.

Let the battle to save the Internet begin!

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