I was recently involved in a discussion about Net Neutrality, in which people were voicing their concerns about the Internet being ruined by corporations controlling bandwidth and limiting our access. Sorry, but I beg to differ. I work on the Internet every day, and while Net Neutrality is an issue, it's just one of many. These days, my primary concerns have little to do with bandwidth, access or pirates. I'm most concerned about the "watering-down" of the Internet, which occurs as a result of the "noise" being created by blogs and unfettered public access. Should we all have access? Absolutely. But what are we doing with it?
The Internet is polluted with blogs that are unchecked, unedited and loaded with opinion and conjecture presented as fact. It's full of scams, ads, SPAM, intentionally -misleading information and useless social postings. Twitter is a madhouse of pitch-men, narcissists and advertisers screaming for attention with sound-bites. And Google is no help either. Their algorithm prefers newly posted information and weighs heavily towards blogs (users, add "-blog" to your Google search to eliminate blogs from your search results). They flood us with what's new and what has the right buzz words with no controls for quality of content or relevance. Google is as likely to return the latest random posting at the top of its results as it is to return actual relevant and vetted information that's tried and tested and has been posted for some time.
The Internet is becoming quantitative rather than qualitative. If the Internet gets ruined, it won't be bandwidth or pirates, or SPAM, or Net Neutrality that brings it down. It will be destroyed by the very thing that makes it valuable in the first place: unfettered access. The Internet may get so loaded with junk that it will one day more closely resemble a junk-yard than a resource center.
So if you blog or post to the Internet, be responsible. Fact-check your information. Cross reference your materials with relevant links and consider what you are posting. Are you adding quality to the internet or are you just adding more noise? The Internet is like your home. Do you really want to S@#T in your own back yard? (Pardon my language.)
And yes, this blog post is opinion and maybe it's just more noise, but at least that's clearly stated here! Admittedly I am pro-blogging, but feel strongly about blog content quality.
What's your take on Internet pollution? Do you think blogs are making the web better or worse? Let us know.
Robert Harrison is the Director of Interactive Services at Long Island advertising agency Austin & Williams. He has been a leader in software application development for more than 25 years, nearly 15 of which have been spent developing internet-based solutions for business. To read more about Robert, visit his bio section on the A&W web site.
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