Open Internet Workshop at MIT this afternoon

Check this out here. It will also be streamed live at Submit questions via Twitter via #OiBOS.

The site is run by the FCC. Next to the title it says, in the Google tradition, Beta.

The “Contribute Your Ideas” section is amazing. You can contribute ideas or vote standing ideas up or down. Very interesting reading in all of them.

If you care about the Internet, this is a good venue for putting your mind where your mouth is.

Because the Internet is still free for both.


  1. Mike Warot’s avatar

    Hi Doc,
    I finally got memepedia up and running. Its still at the stage where I’m just figuring out how to structure it. The basic idea is to have a wiki to categorize ideas, instead of resorting to google to find things by keyword.

    You might not have noticed that Ideascale, the Wiki with Votes that the administration is using (in your first link) is a proponent of the concept of User Generated Content as property.

    Here is the corresponding memepedia page which kinda shows what I’m aiming for….

    I’m not looking to make ANY money off this, nor blog hits, just want to find people who think it’s a good idea, and let the idea grow. It cost me $9 to get the domain name for a year, and I’ve spent less than a day’s work so far.

  2. Brett Glass’s avatar

    Alas, the “contribute your ideas” and “IdeaScale” sections of the FCC site are — alas, examples of crowdsourcing gone horribly wrong. They’re being spammed and astroturfed by lobbyists and their staffs — so much so that they’re useless. (Likewise, the FCC docket on “network neutrality” regulation — number 09-191 — contains so many identical, boilerplate comments generated by scripts on lobbying Web sites that the substantive and insightful comments are lost in the noise. (Maybe 300 of the 21,000 filed comments actually had something to say that was worth reading.) We need to come up with ways to keep lobbyists and vested interests from stuffing the ballot box.

  3. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Thanks, Brett. Good observations. I noticed that the only pieces that get voted up are those that take partisan positions. Mine didn’t, hence: bzzzt.

    Let’s hope it’s still early.

  4. Brett Glass’s avatar


    I wish I could say I thought that the fact that it was “still early” made much difference.

    I think that we need transparency and disclosure here. When someone submits a comment, we should know what that person’s interests are and whether the comment was submitted through a lobbying organization’s “comment mill.” We need to know whether many of the votes for and against ideas came from the same IP block. And we need to know who’s funding the lobbying organizations. (They’re allowed to keep that from the public now.) For example, the “Future of Music Coalition” claims to be a group that represents independent musicians, but the money trail from it leads right back to Google and Google-funded groups. (This is why it supports stances that are not actually in musicians’ interests.)

    What pains me is the difficulty of being heard when you are ACTUALLY THERE and have the facts. I am being drowned out by corporate lobbyists.

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