Freedom to Connect

Freedom to Connect

: I’m at the Freedom to Connect conference in Washington.

: David Isenberg, who put this all together, gave a stirring rap (and I mean rap) saying that our freedom to connect is not political enough. He said that thanks to a six programmers somewhere in Europe (read: Skype) had eliminated the need for phone companies … and paying them $1 trillion dollars. So what will we do with that trillion, we people? Feed people? Solve the energy problem? What?

Lee Rainie of the Pew Internet project gives stats just in from their latest study (which will be up on their site shortly):

: 136 million American adults use the internet — 67 percent of adults.

: 87 percent of teenagers use the internet

: 59 million Americans have high-speed at home, just over half of users.

: 40 million Americans used the internet to get news online yesterday — half the number who got it from TV, two-thirds of the number of who got it from newspapers.

: 4 million Googled someone they were about to meet.

: 1 million googled themselves.

: Lee also told me that they asked about use of Craigs List and online classifieds and found very high usage.

He says “the internet has become the norm in America.” They’re having trouble asking people when they use the internet because it’s so much a part of their lives in so many ways now.

: Susan Crawford is unbloggable. She comes out with ideas that require digestion and by the time you’ve digested it to blog it she is on to the next idea. So I don’t try. One questioner got up and said, “You’re even better than your blog.” You get the idea.

I finally figured out one of her points: If you want government to help you fix something (e.g., kill spam) you also open the door to government regulation of other things you don’t want (e.g., email). So beware governmetn involvement.