Big companies like Google and Facebook quickly monopolizing the Internet

Posted by “Harvey Wasterein” on the Jon Loomer’s blog –


I have noted two types of marketers or marketing commentators – there’s the Moz crowd who seem effusive about everything the big boys do and report it to us with baited breath, implying that we should go along too. Thus Moz and those like them were busily telling us, without any intelligent or dare I say ethical considerations, that putting your mug on your posts and google+ profile and anywhere else was GREAT because it proved authorship and would get you higher rankings. The fact that the powers that be are raping the internet for all your info, including running facial recognition algorithms, made absolutely no appearance in their breathless praise for getting in on the authorship SEO express. Edward Snowden appears to have made little inroads in the cogitations of these kinds of marketers.

Those kinds of marketers, the first kind, run around telling us that anything the big boys do is fine – they’re THE RULES, the law. These people then start telling us that these rules are ethical no less, not because these people have deep philosophical understanding of ethics but rather because they are the sort inclined to kiss arse and call it ethics.

The other kind of internet marketers – a group I’m inclined to support – are altogether more guerilla style and less respectful of these entirely limited and highly contingent demarcations of ‘ethics’ and what is ‘proper’.

The reason being, almost everywhere you go now on the net you meet closed doors, gateways, rules telling you first and foremost that you’re not allowed to do this and not allowed to do that. The big boys meanwhile are becoming much more aggressive in demanding things from you – several times recently I have been unable to sign up for a service because they demanded – DEMANDED – my mobile phone number before being allowed the privilege of giving them money to do business with them

The internet is global and huge but its domination by a stable of large players has created the entirely false impression that we’re all facing tremendous competition and difficulty in simply marketing something. The truth is that they’re falsely closing down the opportunities left, right and centre. You don’t have this feeling when doing door to door sales where huge opportunity exists is you just get off your arse and go out there. The same feeling is increasingly being removed from the web by large, self-interested corporations and replaced by a ridiculous sense of narrowing opportunities – ridiculous because the net is in fact so big.

So Jon, while I would agree that pragmatically one should probably desist from this practice in order not to be banned, privileging Facebook’s self-serving movements in this area as ‘Ethical’ is just one ass-kiss too far in my book.

I would add that it is beholden on marketers as it is on other IT professionals to imagine the traffic opportunities available in a more distributed P2P system – innumerable local internets, local communities digitally connected, no centralising ISP or centralising online service monopolising all the traffic, keeping all the logs or dictating what the rules are for reaching out to others. Greater internet sovereignty and great opportunities.

Those who stand on the sidelines and cheer for the way things are and every development along that way as if it is inevitable or desirable should step back and critique that side. They are involved, even though marketers like to think they’re just after the money so forgot the other stuff. But insofar as they are IT professionals or citizens, they are involved and can shape the net. Indeed they must shape it. The alternative is monopoly.

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