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A World Without Net Neutrality Illustrated – Why it’s Critical



Ignoring articles on net neutrality? Don’t!

I’ll admit, net neutrality seemed like a geeky nerd dork fight that I heard about a long time ago, and I ignored any article that talked about it. Then, a few years ago I read an article that made my ears perk up and take note- net neutrality is what is keeping the internet open and free. Sure, you pay to access it but you don’t pay for use and if the telecommunications companies of the world have their way, that ends. This is what a world without net neutrality could look like (click image to enlarge):


What do we do about it?

First and foremost, brush up on the topic, Jim Duncan wrote an article outlining net neutrality and it is very easy to read and understand and is a comprehensive guide to the issue. Telecommunications companies are saying that we’re running out of bandwidth and Nick Bostic discussed how this claim is bogus.

Without net neutrality, the Internet may become cost prohibitive both for consumers and agents and all of this effort we’re putting into our web presence is all for naught.

The National Association of Realtors supports net neutrality and getting involved NOW before it is a reality is the best action anyone can take. Write your local politician and tell them your view and ask them to fight for you, tell others what you think and don’t be quiet, this isn’t a minor issue, it’s a game changer.

Article originally published December 3, 2009

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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  1. Benn Rosales

    December 3, 2009 at 1:28 am

    The name of this issue needs to change to get people understanding it- it just sounds so damn confusing. With the right messaging, and using social media, this issue could be killed across the board. I fear it may be to late before anyone really realizes that no one get’s why it matters.

  2. Karen Rice

    December 3, 2009 at 6:02 am

    I agree with Ben – the name is very confusing. And what can we do about this to stop it?

  3. Amanda Wernick

    December 3, 2009 at 10:09 am

    I too had heard of “Net Neutrality” and even read up on it some, and will admit that when I fell into reading about it, thought it had more to do with internet censorship, not the cost of being online.

    As a Realtor and Social Media Trainer, I will definitely be writing to as many local politicians as I can and lof course, tweeting and RT this. Lani, since you are so articulate, how do you recommend we write the letters to make an impact as opposed to sounding like a whiny babies? Is there a petition that we could start that could be sent to everyone we know or to our local Real Estate boards, for example.

    Look forward to your words of wisdom! 🙂

    • Lani Rosales

      December 3, 2009 at 10:21 am

      Amanda, stay tuned for letter writing tips (or maybe even a form letter)… 🙂 coming shortly.

  4. Matt Stigliano

    December 3, 2009 at 10:33 am

    @LaniAR – As I told you, I think this graphic is one of the best explanations of why net neutrality is so important. It amazes me that the telco industry passes it off as a “necessary” thing in order to continue to bring us more bandwidth. Why do we let industries like this hold us hostage? The power industry does it all the time. You want wind power? Pay us more. Wind is a free resource, how can it be more expensive? The answer lies in the fact that companies have stopped believing in the “cost of doing business” and just want to pass the bills down to the consumer level. We even see it in real estate with “transaction fees.”

    I wonder what would happen if the telco companies did get away with it. Would we take a stand and give up the internet? Or would we just follow along blindly like we did when they offered packaged minutes on cell and home phones (minutes that you pay for, but don’t necessarily use – where’s the sense in that?)? One of the greatest tricks played on the world was convincing us to buy blocks of time for our phone usage. All those unused minutes are money in their pockets – for doing nothing at all.

    I’ll take this issue head on…I’ve got a few letters to write.

    • Benn Rosales

      December 3, 2009 at 10:40 am

      “The answer lies in the fact that companies have stopped believing in the “cost of doing business””

      One could argue that so have consumers? Infrastructure does cost money, but how much?

  5. Matt Stigliano

    December 3, 2009 at 11:33 am

    @BennRosales – True. I think my real frustration lies with companies who just cry poor and talk about how much these new innovations cost, when in the long run, they will profit from them. Should I as a consumer be responsible for building more windfarms (by buying wind power at a higher cost than my current electric) when in the long term, that company is using that windfarm as a profit center for themselves? Will they give me a return on my investment in the long term? Of course they won’t.

    • Matt Stigliano

      December 3, 2009 at 11:35 am

      I need to start making use of the “reply” feature on AgentGenius.

  6. jeremyjisaac

    December 3, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Call me cynical, but this issue is really pretty simple… If NAR supports it, then I don’t. Simple as that – almost.

    • Matt Stigliano

      December 4, 2009 at 9:13 am

      Jeremy – While I can take a few wild guesses why you would say that, I’d love to hear a bit more background and explanation. While I have never proclaimed my undying allegiance to NAR, I still support them in many efforts (but I’m not afraid to call them nuts when I disagree).

      • jeremyjisaac

        December 4, 2009 at 11:26 pm


        I was obviously overstated my point for emphasis, as indicated by the word “almost”. However, I do not often agree with NAR. The problem is that NAR (and local and state boards) feel the need to lobby for legislation that will supposedly help Realtors (and purportedly homeowners) in the short term. Now this is noble enough, but all to often it conflicts with principles. The first time buyer tax credit is a prime example. It helps homeowners and Realtors in the short term, but it is terrible long term economic and housing policy.

  7. Benn Rosales

    December 4, 2009 at 10:48 am

    NAR is correct in their position.

  8. Ruthmarie Hicks

    December 5, 2009 at 3:51 am

    I don’t often agree with NAR – but in this case I do. The Obama Administration is for net neutrality – the danger was greater during the Bush years. Unfortunately, opponents of net neutrality have websites with misleading names such as “Hands off the internet” which is Chinese for “let the telecom companies do anything they want.”

    Interestingly enough – those who appose net-neutrality come from the right wing of our society – conservative think tanks such as the Cato Institute and the Goldwater Institute, and Americans for tax reform” claim net netrality violates the frist amendment to the consititution??? Really? I don’t think the writers of the Bill of Rights was thinking in terms of the internet when they wrote the first 10 amendments to the constitution…

  9. Pingback: Even Twitter proclaims they support net neutrality, hooray! - AGBeat

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Social Media

Why Trump’s lawsuit against social media still matters

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Former President Trump snagged headlines for suing every large social media platform, and it has gone quiet, but it still deeply matters.



trump sues social media

It was splashed across headlines everywhere in July: Former President Trump filed a lawsuit against social media platforms that he claims unrightfully banned him during and after the fallout of the January 6th capitol riots. The headlines ran for about a week or so and then fell off the radar as other, fresher, just-as-juicy news headlines captured the media’s eye.

Many of us were left wondering what that was all about and if anything ever became of it. For even more of us, it probably passed out of our minds completely. Lack of public awareness for these things is common after the initial media blitz fades.

Lawsuits like these in the US can take months, if not years between newsworthy milestones. The most recent news I could find as of this publishing is from August 24, 2021, on Yahoo! News from the Washington Examiner discussing the Trump camp’s request for a preliminary injunction in the lawsuit.

This particular suit shouldn’t be left to fade from memory in the shadows though, and here’s why:

In the past few years, world powers have been reigning in regulations on social media and internet commerce. The US is actually a little behind the curve. Trump may have unwittingly given us a source of momentum to get with the times.

In the European Union, they have the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), widely acknowledged to be one of the toughest and most thorough privacy laws in the world, a bold title. China just passed its own pair of laws in the past four months: The Data Security Law, which took effect on Sept. 1, and The Personal Information Law, set to take effect November 1st. The pair is poised to give the GDPR a run for its money for that title.

Meanwhile, in the US, Congress has been occupied with other things and, while there are five bills that took aim at tech monopoly currently on the table and a few CEOs had to answer some questions, little actual movement or progress has been made on making similar privacy protections a thing in the United States.

Trump’s lawsuit, while labeled by many as a toothless public relations move, may actually create momentum needed to push regulation of tech and social media forward in the US. The merits of the case are weak and ultimately the legislation that would give it teeth doesn’t exist yet.

You can’t hold tech companies accountable to a standard that doesn’t properly exist in law.

However, high profile attention and someone willing to continue to make noise and bring attention back to the subject, one of Trump’s strongest talents, could be “just what the doctor ordered” to inspire Congress to make internet user rights and data privacy a priority in the US, finally.

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Social Media

Even solopreneurs are doing live commerce online – it’s not just QVC’s game anymore

(SOCIAL MEDIA) When you think of watching a show and buying things in real time, it invokes thoughts of QVC, but social media video has changed all that.



live commerce

After the year everyone has had, one wouldn’t be remiss in thinking that humanity wants a break from live streaming. They would, however, be wrong: Live online commerce – a method of conversion first normalized in China – is the next evolution of the ubiquitous e-commerce experience, which means it’s something you’ll want on your radar.

Chinese company, Alibaba first live streamed on an e-commerce site in 2016, allowing buyers to watch, interact with, and buy from sellers from the comfort of their homes. In 2020, that same strategy netted Alibaba $7.5 billion in presale revenue – and it only took 30 minutes, according to McKinsey Digital.

But, though western audiences have proven a desire to be just as involved with sellers during the buying process, live commerce hasn’t taken off here the way it has elsewhere. If e-commerce merchants want to maximize their returns in the next few years, that needs to change.

McKinsey Digital points out a couple of different benefits for organizations using live commerce, the main one being an influx in traffic. Live streaming events break the buying experience mold, and consumers love being surprised. You can expect that prospective buyers who wouldn’t necessarily visit your store under normal circumstances would find value in attending a live event.

Live events also keep people on your site for longer, resulting in richer conversion opportunities.

The sense of urgency inherent in in-person shopping doesn’t always translate to online markets, but having a stream showing decreasing inventory or limited-availability items being sold inspires people to act expeditiously rather than sitting on a loaded cart–something that can kill an e-commerce conversion as quickly as it starts one.

There are a ton of different ways to incorporate live events into your e-commerce campaigns. Virtual auctions are popular, as are markets in which individual sellers take buyers through inventory. However, the live event could be tangentially related–or even just something impressive running in parallel with the sale–and still bring in a swell of revenue.

Screen fatigue is real, and there isn’t a true substitute for a brick-and-mortar experience when done correctly. But if you have an e-commerce shop that isn’t utilizing some form of live entertainment–even just to bring in new buyers–you’re going to want to try this strategy soon.

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Social Media

LinkedIn is nixing Stories this month (LinkedIn had Stories!?)

(SOCIAL MEDIA) LinkedIn tried to be like the cool kids and launched “Stories,” but the video feature is being shelved and “reimagined.” Ok.



linkedin stories

Creating the next big thing is essential for social networks to stay relevant, continue growing, and avoid shutting down. Sometimes, this leads to businesses trying to ride along with the success of another app’s latest feature and creating their cloned version. While the logic of recreating something already working makes sense, the results aren’t universal.

This time around, LinkedIn is saying goodbye to its short-lived Snapchat-like video product, Stories. In a company post, LinkedIn says it’s removing its Stories experience by the end of September.

Why is LinkedIn retiring Stories?

According to a post by Senior Director of Product at LinkedIn Liz Li, “[LinkedIn] introduced Stories last year as a fun and casual way to share quick video updates.”

After some testing and feedback, they learned this is not what users wanted. Seems like they could have beta tested with users and heard the same thing, but I digress.

“In developing Stories, we assumed people wouldn’t want informal videos attached to their profile, and that ephemerality would reduce barriers that people feel about posting. Turns out, you want to create lasting videos that tell your professional story in a more personal way and that showcase both your personality and expertise,” said Li.

What does this mean for users?

Starting on September 30, 2021, users will no longer be able to create Stories for Pages. If you’ve already planned to have an image or video ads run in-between Stories, they will now appear on the LinkedIn feed instead. For those who used Campaign Manager to promote or sponsor a Story directly from your Page, the company says “these paid Stories will not appear in the LinkedIn feed”, and the user will need to recreate the ad in Campaign Manager.

What’s next for LinkedIn?

According to Li, LinkedIn is taking what it learned from its finding to “evolve the Stories format into a reimagined video experience across LinkedIn that’s even richer and more conversational.” It plans on doing so by using mixed media and the creative tools of Stories.

“As we reimagine what is next, we’re focusing on how we can provide you with a short-form, rich interactive video format that is unique to our platform and that better helps you reach and engage your audiences on LinkedIn. We’re always excited to try out new things and learn as we go, and will continue to share updates along the way,” the company said.

Although Stories didn’t work well for LinkedIn as they hoped, one thing is for sure. LinkedIn isn’t giving up on some form of interactive video, and we can only hope they “reimagine” something unique that keeps users coming back for more.

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