The above illustration is from an insightful academic paper, "Mapping the Unmappable:Visual Representations of the Internet as Social Constructions," by Adam B. King, University of Indiana. This illustration – the tin can network.
I have been very busy in the studio, with my nose tightly to the grindstone, creating the holiday line for L'Image Graphics. While I work, I think about the people I want to benefit from these images and where I would like to donate money at the end of the year. The tag line for my company is "creating change one image at a time," and with every card I design that is the vision I hold.
Something is threatening the entrepreneurial spirit of this venture and the potential charitable benefits- Google, Verizon, or AT&T (among other.) Take your pick. They want to change the way free enterprise is executed on the Internet. Call me crazy but in such precarious economic times, it seems like an exercise in foolishness to change the way people access the Internet.
I personally have seen the Internet become an immediate and gratifying way to connect with clients and consumers. After years of manufacturing my products the old-fashioned way with printers, warehouses, employees, employee taxes, shipping and billing this new way of doing business is a breath of fresh air. For artists the ability to print-on-demand has been a career changing development. As a culture, we have only just begun to see the influence artists will be able to have through the Internet.
Marketing was always a mystery, something you had to find the dollars for or else. Now if you can network yourself via facebook, twitter, google, blogger, and anything else you can think of you will be seen very quickly. Many people have found ebay and etsy to market their wares. Or they build their own small business websites. The best part… as small business owners on the web we have the world as our market. That was not easily achieved ten years ago.
So I have to ask–if we adopt too many guidelines and change the way we access the Internet what impact will that have in a borderline depression economy?
As I work on my new line of products, I reflect on the looming possibility that the very business model I have built my re-emergence upon may disappear. If you would like to examine the issues for yourself visit Save the Internet for one side. Google has change their position on net neutrality since 2006 and Google's 2010 position are worth reviewing. If ever, there was a moment to be informed this would be it.
The conversation is ongoing and it is important that we become knowledgeable about all sides of this important issue because it very well might represent a turning point in how we communicate with each other in the future.