Friday, February 09, 2007

Rapid response

The blogstorm appears to have subsided. JanieBelle and WordPress, while not exactly at kisses and peek above the garter terms with each other have settled into a guarded truce. Further developments will emerge, no doubt. Elsewhere, Spocko is having a slow but steady effect on KSOF's advertising revenues, with several organisations announcing their withdrawal of adverts. In both cases, a similar thing happened : the news about the censorship of a low flying blog filtered upwards until major blogs brought it to the attention of the blog masses.
The Blogosphere is messy. Like biological structures, it evolved into a form which works, but no-one in their right minds would have designed that way. There is one major imbalance which was highlighted by Interrobang* on the comments thread two jumps down. I want to respond to this in a post, so here's the comment in its entirety :
If all the blogging services that currently exist start censoring things that people in the free world (that is, outside of the US) want to and are legally permitted to read, probably new, non-US-based blogging services will start up. That said, you can run a blog on your own website if you own a domain name and stuff. It's slightly harder than using Blogger (I actually run a site of my own for my job, since I'm a consultant), but it can certainly be done. That said, by what law can they even censor "erotica" online? Even hard-core pornography is not, so far as I know, illegal for people over 21 in the US, so I think they're treading on some pretty shaky First Amendment grounds. I'd say the best strategy is to fight this vigorously, while looking into people or organisations who could start a non-US-based blogging service. For that matter, it's about damn time the rest of the world built its own internet backbone, because most of the world's internet traffic still passes through servers that are physically located in the US, and that could get sticky later on.
The Blogosphere may have virtual tendrils of digitally marshalled electrons wafting about in cyberspace, but the anchors to the real world are firmly rooted (routed?) in the USA. There it is vulnerable to attack. Interrobang's strategy seems a good one. Vigorous defence against censorship already exists and is improving. Like a muscle that develops with exercise, the recent blogstorms have shown that the Blogosphere is developing a defensive mechanism against censorship. The philosophy is : Censor one, censor all.
There should be more bloghosts in other parts of the world, certainly, but how do they gain a toehold in the market? Maybe that is a response which will only kick in after the atmosphere in the US becomes so polluted by restriction, that the Blogosphere has to move or die.

*A friend of Spocko who has just put me on the blogroll. Much thanks!=D


Interrobang said...

How can they gain a toehold? For one thing, they can advertise on non-US sites, and advertise as not restricted by US censorship/copyright law/etc etc. I know from personal experience that there is a market for this even inside the US -- I was in negotiations for a while about handling e-commerce for a mosque, who thought that they'd have less trouble at home if their e-commerce was through a legitimate Canadian bank.

It would start slow and small, I think, and probably not catch up to its US counterparts unless and until the US environment got so toxic it was the best possible alternative.

By the way, that cyan text on the beige is nearly unreadable on this monitor, and I can't be the only person out there with an LCD screen. If you want to highlight someone's text, you can put it in blockquote, which is just like italics

[i]text in italics[/i]

(only with the [ ] replaced with angle brackets -- < > -- SHIFT+comma and SHIFT+full-stop respectively),

only the tag is

[blockquote]block text[/blockquote]


Deacon Barry said...

Is that any better?

Interrobang said...

It's great, thanks. :)

Chloe said...

Thank-you for caring! I fight,duck and dodge the censorship bullies daily through various endeavors and have even considered leaving the US. Big kisses to you ;)