Latest Posts

3 Ways To Make Readers Stop And Pay Attention To Your Writing

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Even in a world where live-streaming video and podcasting are gaining
popularity amongst knowledge consumers at a breakneck pace, there’s
still immense power in the written word. Not only is reading still the
preferred medium for consumption by many, but it can also be essential
in cases where streaming connections aren’t practical or when consumers
want to engage deeper with their content.

Let’s face it, you are reading this right now. That has to count for
something, right? Right?!

Despite its importance, many people still have lackluster writing
skills, or at least don’t ever bother into the intricacies that
professional writers sweat over their perfection of day in and day out.
Today, we’re going to go over three ways you can make your writing more
effective by increasing reader comprehension.

Be a factbacker.

One of the things that becomes quickly apparent when you start reading
through successful blogs and publications is that research efforts are
never an afterthought. When writing pieces which largely consist of
your own opinion or which are based primarily on your own experiences,
it’s easy to just ramble and say what you want to say without too much
of a basis.

One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd is to get used to
infusing your writing with links to other sources that can back up what
you want to say. If your goal is to say something completely new or put
an unwritten spin on a topic (which is awesome, by the way!), then try
and source some of the articles that got you thinking or that could help
lead readers to your own conclusions. This push for credibility can
really help the effectiveness of your messages.

Invent words.

What the hell is a fact-backer? I don’t know, I made it up! One of the
greatest things Shakespeare and others like him did for the English
language is add words to it. In fact, you’d be surprised at how many of
the most common, normal-sounding words we use today were invented in the
last few hundred years by a handful of creative minds.

Doing this not only makes people stop and really think about what
they’re reading – you probably stop and try to figure out new words
immediately when reading – but it also creates a mental association with
your writing by forcing more engagement.

Get smart with formatting.

Finally, get spacey with it. Time spent reading a webpage increases
with the general readability of that page, and a major contributing
factor to this in the online space is how well your text is spaced out
and formatted.

Unlike writing a formal article, let alone a research paper, writing for
blogs and casual online properties should never exceed a couple of lines
per paragraph. In fact, unlike in other forms of writing, it is
perfectly acceptable for each sentence to be its own paragraph.

Beyond these three, it’s practice, practice, practice to get as good as
you can at bringing concision and persuasiveness into your written words
– good luck!

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How Internet Marketers Can Hit A Grand Slam With Guest Posting

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Recently, content marketing has been all the rage. It isn’t that it’s
only now that content marketing is starting to be effective, but more so
that larger, more traditional media and advertising powerhouses are
finally starting to take the trend seriously.

Content marketing, for several years now, has been the true language of
the blogging community, and the businesses who were smart enough to
narrow in on and take advantage of these networks.

Content marketing itself rests on one of the founding principles that
most of you reading this will understand: providing value before asking
for it.

Content marketing also has major crossover with “relationship
marketing,” which is what we’re going to get into today. Specifically,
those who have worked with content marketing have also found value in
maintaining a blog or similar platform to regularly share content with
and grow their audiences through.

Guest blogging is the act of posting on someone else’s blog, largely in
the hopes of getting some attention and exposure for your own web
property. The problem, however, lies in how to reframe that goal in a
way that it becomes mutually beneficial.

If it’s your first time trying to land a guest blogging gig, you need to
understand that these relationships are all about leverage: What can
you offer someone else? What are you getting in return? In order for
your offer to write a piece for another blog (even if it’s really good)
to be tempting, you need to make sure you frame it in the right way.
Here are a few steps you can take to massively boost your chances of
successfully integrating guest blogging into your content marketing
strategy.

Identify blogs in your weight class or just above it. Look for blogs in
your market than have similar audiences and are getting some social
engagement and shares on their posts, but who are not yet massive.

Make contact in a helpful way. Do not just blurt out that you want a
guest post and try and pitch cold via email. Instead, leave insight
comments over a few days and interact with the blog owner on twitter or
another social platform. Share their content to show you like it.

Make a careful pitch by asking permission via one of these platforms to
reach out via email. Once you have the greenlight, send an email with
your idea, and highlight why it would be well-received by their audience
and what you will do to help share the piece and grow their blog.

Write something truly amazing. If you get the honor of having a guest
post pitch accepted, do it justice and get invited back by really
creating something special. Whatever time you put into researching and
creating your own posts, double it. Go above and beyond and make an
infographic or embedded slideshare to help out – that kind of thing.

Promote like your life depends on it in order to get the blog you’re
working with the biggest return possible and show that partnering up
with you was worthwhile.

Simple, yep. Easy? Well, you’ll be putting in some work, but it’s
nearly always worth your time.

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What It Means To Be An Entrepreneur In 2016

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In the online marketing space, there seems to be a false equivalency
between the “freedom of quitting your 9 to 5” and “being an
entrepreneur.”

More appropriately, there’s the misunderstanding that becoming an
entrepreneur won’t mean putting in many, many more hours than 40 per
week; this is especially true if you’re hoping to ever be able to
replace, let alone exceed, the salary you made in your previous ‘normal’
job.

Not everyone’s cut out for it, and that’s ok.

If you are one of the brave few who’s going to go it alone or has
already started working from home or on your own business full time,
well, here are a few things you should keep in mind.

#1) Being an entrepreneur means more discipline than ever before.

Working for yourself, “being your own boss,” etc. all sound pretty
sweet, but they also mean that you’ve got to really be on top of things.

Organization and discipline need to be far above average to succeed as
an entrepreneur.

You will spend long hours starting at a computer screen, even on the
activities you aren’t that excited about doing, so make sure you can
keep yourself in line.

#2) Being an entrepreneur means sacrificing ‘you’ time.

Not only will you need the discipline to keep hacking away at important
tasks, you’ll also need to change your mindset to include less ‘you’
time. As you look at people who have become famous for their
entrepreneurial spirit and success, you’ll notice they don’t often
subscribe to the same personal reward system that the rest of us do.

For example, you’re worked 9 hours today already, so you should reward
yourself with a beer and an hour of your favorite show, right? It
sounds great to me, but top tier entrepreneurs are going to shun that
time in favor of getting more done.

#3) Being an entrepreneur means managing others.

Whether you’re after “work from home” freedom or want to build a company
that someday hits the Fortune 500, you will need to interact with and
manage others. Whether their regular employees in an office, or
freelancers completing online contracts, smart entrepreneurs know that
the biggest key to their own success is the people that they associate
themselves with.

Not only that, it’s how they interact with those people. Make sure
you’re ready to make the swap from being the one who asks questions to
being the one who is constantly asked for direction. Can you keep sane
balancing your own tasks with the needs of others?

#4) Finally, being an entrepreneur means leveraging.

Starting out on your own is scary, and so the quickest (and most
comfortable) way of growing fast is learning to network with other
people who have already been through what you’re going through.

Find out what you’re good at that others aren’t and use that skill to
barter early on. Maybe you evaluate someone’s website for SEO for them,
and they give you advice on your marketing funnel, etc.

Whatever you have to do, be scrappy and don’t stop working until you’re
where you want to be (then build something new).

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A Brief Exploration of Value in Internet Marketing

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Most anyone reading this is going to be familiar, at least in some
abstract way, with the concept of “value.” The concept of value, or
utility derived from content, products, or other offerings, is not
unique to IM, however, and those working across a variety of markets,
both online and offline, have to be keenly aware of the ways in which
their value is perceived by customers. In this post, we’re going to go
over the importance of balancing your ‘give’ with your ‘take’, and a few
ways in which you can maintain that balance when working with IM
clients.

The Why

Basic economics courses teach students that most people make their
purchasing decisions based on a concept called ‘utility cost’; whenever
someone is deciding whether or not to purchase an item or make a trade,
they weigh whether the utility of what they will receive is greater than
the utility of what they already have. Most commonly, this is the often
quick and (nearly) subconscious assessment you would make as to whether
an item is “too expensive” or seems like a “good deal.”

In online marketing, your customers make these decisions several times
throughout your sales funnel:

– Is the freebie being offered worth more to me than the potential
privacy giveaway and possible unwanted messages that entering my email
could incur?

– Is the information this person posts on their site helpful enough
to me that it’s worth taking ten minutes out of my day to read?

– Do I trust this person enough to take their recommendation that
what they’re offering is worth my hard-earned money?

For many marketers, the second and third bullet points are where they
lose people.

The Mindset Swap

Even though your end goal may be to make as much money as possible, your
customer always wants to feel like they’ve “won.” In most IM-related
instances, this means feeling like they’ve gotten the promise of greater
future value from a product, tool, or training/coaching course than what
they paid for it. However, there is another crucial evaluation that
happens long before they’ll ever get close to purchasing, and that’s
value-based-trust.

I recommend marketers practice a mindset swap, which involves taking the
focus off of their bottom line and simply becoming a customer. Read
every offer you’ve got, every promotional email, every review, and ask
yourself, does this feel valuable? You are not smarter than your
customers; if you know deep down that something you’re offering feels
like a half-solution or copout, they’ll pick up on it too.

Most marketers, both experienced and novice, have a sales funnel riddled
with these holes where offers feel like they’re doing more for the
seller than the (potential) buyer. Remember, when perceived utility of
an offer is viewed as a loss, people aren’t going to bite.

Actually Over-Deliver

Many of these low-value gaps occur because marketers are afraid of
giving away ‘the whole solution’, system, or secret. Why then, you
might ask, would someone make a purchase if they feel they’ve already
been given the solution to their problems? It is a tricky balance, but
too many err on the wrong side of the scale and come across as
withholding value from their customers.

It shouldn’t be surprising that customers are often more likely to
purchase after they have already had success with your methods and
recommendations, and you offer them up a paid product that complements
that success, rather than offering them a tiny piece of the puzzle with
what they need to see any positive results locked behind a paywall.
Which scenario do you think is more likely to foster an ongoing,
positive relationship with a new customer? An opt-in freebie that gives
visitors a complete system to make $1,000 per month, which you then
upsell to a different version with larger earning potential later on, or
just offering them the first page of the main system right off the bat,
which essentially renders it useless to them and gives them nothing they
can act on immediately?

The former has a high chance of resulting in a lifelong customer, the
latter might just tick someone off and see them opting out of your email
list as fast as possible.

The point? Give before you ever ask to take, work from the customer’s
shoes, and always over-deliver.

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New Tool for Fielding Feedback on Facebook

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Social media has forever transformed the way that reputation managers
and PR professionals go about their daily business. So much has this
been true, that companies now regularly hire “social media managers,”
professionals who are solely responsible for posting on social media,
responding to customer mentions and messages, and sourcing/writing new
content to keep people interested in liking, sharing, and interacting
with a brand.

Facebook, which still sits atop its throne as the biggest social media
platform around, is about to roll out the ability to answer comments
privately. In the past, companies were limited to responding via the
same Facebook channel that they were contacted on (responding to
comments by commenting, messages by messaging, etc.). Now, Facebook
page managers will have a new option to click when fielding page
comments which will take the comment conversation into a private thread
with that individual. The thread will include a link to the original
comment, and will allow the two parties to communicate privately.

Of course, as the tool is used more and more, more individuals will
likely take advantage of the increased speed and communication with
companies on Facebook. This will mean an increase in the amount of
messaging threads that social media managers have to deal with. To help
alleviate message overload, Facebook also announced that they will be
introducing new messaging tools.

One of the most welcome additions will be the way in which companies can
save boilerplate responses and messages to commonly asked questions.
Customers can therefore be easily responded to and would cut down on the
time spent servicing the most common, easy-to-fix issues. This feature
has been in testing for several months now, but it will soon be
available to everyone.

Facebook itself is one of the fastest growing customer support platforms
on the planet, and Facebook has created more incentives for companies to
use their pages as their primary response method. For one, the company
has created a badge that will display on company pages in order to let
customers know that a page is very responsive to its messages and
feedback. For the badge to display, Facebook pages will have to respond
to 90% or more of their customer messages and have a median response
time of five minutes or less; data will be based upon the last seven
days. It’s unclear if “hours of operation” will be available so that
companies won’t lose face their status if their support would not
normally be open 24 hours per day (or perhaps this itself is a
requirement).

What does this mean for you? It means that Facebook is getting more
useful as a customer management tool, but along with it will come more
responsibility and the need to learn new tools and functions. Let’ be
honest, though: If you’re managing social media for a company you’re
already likely a digital native who gets excited about such updates,
rather than shying away from a new social challenge.

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How to Get Your Emails Opened in 2015

Email marketing is still extremely relevant in 2015 but, like most
things, approaches have had to be evolved in order to remain effective.
No place is this more true that with opening rates, in which marketers
evaluate how often their email communications are opened and read.

Every email you send that doesn’t get read is a missed opportunity, and
subject line tricks and formulas that may have worked a few years ago
might not carry the same weight today. Much of this is due to the
problem of volume inundation. The average email account today is
spammed with anywhere between tens and hundreds of junk communications
per day, on top of a varying volume of legitimate/wanted ones.

Along with this inundation, comes the fact that people have become
desensitized to sensational headlines. Things that may have piqued
interest in 2010 now just scream “scam!” or “yeah right, I don’t believe
THAT!” to the average consumer.

What all of this means, in a nutshell, is that you’ve got to get
creative in order to get opens these days. At the very least, you’ll
need to invest in some longterm strategic thinking.

In fact, your plan for improving open rates should be occurring long
before an actual email is sent or a subject line is read. The largest
factor in any open is going to be the sender, so you need to make sure
you have established trust with whoever you are mailing.

One of the first steps to this, and something I cannot stress enough, is
using confirmed – also called “double” opt in. It forces people to see
your name twice, and gets the recognition process started. The people
you lose because they couldn’t be bothered to confirm their subscription
were probably not great prospects to begin with.

Next, make your opt-in incentive excellent. I mean award-winning. Make
it actually useful and give them something they’re not finding somewhere
else. Most marketers in any given niche are giving away half-solutions
or useless “5 steps” PDF’s – be the one person in your area who isn’t.

Next, and this is probably a step where the most dropoff in open rates
occurs despite not getting much attention, is that you ensure that the
quality of your email followups can compete with that of your first
email/incentive. Especially your second and third email, really
overdeliver and give people information they can’t live without. Really
prove you’ve done your homework and have the answers they’re looking
for.

I cannot stress this enough. People get hung up on writing the perfect
subject line when the reality is that you could have the worst headlines
in the game and still pull off stellar open rates if you’re a trusted
sender whose advice is valued. By the same token, you could find your
traditionally excellent subject line methods scoring low on open
percentage because no one remembers who you are or thought that it
became too obvious early on that you were more interested in selling to
them than helping them.

Once you have this trust established, feel free to go crazy with your
subject line split testing, but know that this step – the one email
marketers spend probably the most time on – is insignificant in the
grand scheme of things.

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Copy Tips for Saying More With Less

Copywriting doesn’t always get the credit it deserves. From the
billions of dollars in sales each day that hinge on a well-formatted
sales letter, to a polished TV commercial script, to the catchy jingle
or slogan you just can’t get out of your head, effective professional,
persuasive writing, “copywriting,” does a lot for us as marketers.

It’s unfortunate then that copy is often neglected as a luxury expense
or an unnecessary cog in many marketers’ or business owners’ sales
funnels. The reason, inevitably, is cost. Good copywriters know that
their words will have a direct effect on your conversion rates, and thus
the money you make, and leverage that knowledge for a nice payday. It
then goes to follow that many marketers begin crafting their own copy.
To be honest, even if you don’t have the polish and practice of a
professional, someone who is a good writer in general can learn to
produce decent copy to keep them growing and selling until they can
afford a dedicated copywriter. The key word there, however, is “learn.”

Amateur copy is almost always identifiable by a lack of brevity; people
often write too much and get too wordy, losing their vital, important,
life-changing points amongst superfluous, unnecessary adjectives and
ineffective anecdotes. See what I did there? That sentence could have
been a lot shorter! Today, we’ll take a look at how you can catch
yourself and self-edit copy to stay effective and to the point.

1) Cut out very. The concept of “cutting out very” is probably
referenced in proper copywriting books somewhere, but here’s my take on
it. The tendency in sales writing is to be, well, selly. The way to do
this however is with proper punctuation and, more importantly, by
getting inside your audience’s head and telling them what they want to
hear. Unfortunately, amateur writers usually use “filler” words. The
word ‘very’ is one prominent example, because it is a false enhancer
that is rarely needed. Don’t say “It’s very good,” say “it’s the best.”
Another example is the use of very before the word ‘unique’, which is
redundant. Something is either unique or it isn’t, it’s not “very
unique.”

2) Boil it down to exactly what someone needs to know. One of the
biggest things you can do to make your copywriting effective is to put
yourself in the shoes of the person you’re writing to. This gets you
out of salesman mode and helps you think about what someone with the
problem you’re offering a solution for actually wants to hear.
Sometimes, doing this can help us see that what we’re put down is over
the top, too selly or spammy, or even just flat out unhelpful!

3) Proofread 80 times. And I’m not just talking about any usual
proofread. Sure, you’re going to be checking your spelling and grammar
and making sure everything lines up, but a copywriting proofread should
see you putting on another hat as well, the “could this possibly sound
any better?!” hat. Read each sentence and look for words that could be
dropped, phrases that could be made more appropriate for your customers,
etc.

Of course, just like every facet of IM, there’s always more to learn on
the copywriting front, but this should get you headed in the right
direction until you can hire a personal Don Draper of your own.

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How to Stay True to Your IM Vision

Remember when you first made the decision to pour yourself into internet
marketing? Maybe you’ve felt the rush of quitting your 9-to-5 in favor
of starting off on a venture where success or failure rest squarely on
your shoulders and yours alone, where earning potential is virtually
unlimited and the possibilities seem endless. It’s an exciting moment,
to be sure… but are you still excited?

Far too many marketers find themselves ambling down a boring dirt road
that started out as a gold-paved promenade. In other words, they burn
out. They get discouraged as they hit a ceiling, or maybe they just get
bored in their routine. Whatever the reason, it’s always important to
have a few tools for getting out of a rut on hand.

For starters, the biggest obstacles are always mental: While you want
to be constantly learning and getting smarter from your experiences, you
don’t want to lose sight of your original vision and mindset. There’s a
talent to learning from experiences without letting them make you overly
cynical or discouraged. Remember how excited you were to be your own
boss? Remember how excited you were to bring your
business/product/vision to the world? Good. Now be that person again.

Of course, it also helps if you’ve got the concrete routines and systems
in place to help foster such mindsets. Often, the hardest part about
working for yourself is, well, making yourself work. Having a strict
daily schedule in place can help you stay on task. Many pros use their
first few actions of the day as a psychological trigger and launching
pad for the rest of the day. For example, you might begin each day by
doing a 30 second speed organizing of your workplace, then a 5 minute
email blitz, followed by brewing your morning cup of coffee. Repeating
your process each day can get you in the mood to work.

Don’t be afraid to expand. Sometimes, you’re starting off with next to
nothing and have to do the grunt work for a while, but even someone with
the smallest of starting capital (or none at all) should be looking to
move to delegation and expansion as soon as possible. A couple of years
ago, article/content marketing was huge. The people who made a
substantial living off of it, however, weren’t those writing articles
day in and day out. Instead, these people quickly hired a writing and
website team under them to allow for rapid growth. Or perhaps they
started a large writing outfit to cater to the marketers working with
content volume. Either way, they were running a business, not a
self-employment hobby.

In a business, you would work toward hiring and expanding, and that’s
exactly what you should do. Take stock of your resources, and look at
which tasks can be quickly contracted to freelancers to help give you
more time to plan company growth. For many, the first task to go is
content creation. For others, it might be SEO efforts. Whatever isn’t
exciting to you and is within budget to hire out, do it.

Finally, don’t be afraid to adapt. You may have started your IM venture
two years ago, and a lot changes in two years these days. Constantly be
learning, researching, and ensuring that your own methods are still
considered best practice today; never mistake comfort with
effectiveness.

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Is Email (Finally) Dead?

For years, people in the tech industry have been predicting (or
lamenting) the death of email as a form of communication.

“Kids don’t use email anymore.” “There are better, faster and more
effective ways to interact with other people, such as texting and social
media.” “I know people who don’t even have an email address.”

These are some of the most common statements you hear regarding the
death of email. (Perhaps it’s telling that I’ve been hearing these same
statements for nearly a decade now.)

The Death of Email?

So what’s the real deal? Is email actually dead?

To answer this question, let me ask one of my own: When was the last
time you checked your email account? This week? This morning? Just now?

The truth is that most people will go to their email every time their
smart phone beeps, vibrates or otherwise indicates that a new email
message has just landed in their inbox. It’s just a natural human
response, kind of like when people used to answer their home telephones
whenever it rang. It takes some time to de-program it.

More Popular than Ever

In reality, email is more popular than ever, especially among marketers.
According to an April, 2015, study conducted by Yahoo! Labs and the
University of Southern California called “Evolution of Conversations
in the Age of Email Overload”, most people are now receiving more emails
in their inbox than ever before.

Part of that is businesses finally catching up with available marketing
technology. While many small businesses have been collecting customers’
email addresses for years, it’s only been recently that many have
finally figured out what to do with them.

People are more willing to give up their email address than they are,
say, their mobile phone numbers. That’s because they know they can
easily ignore or delete emails they don’t really want to see.

Too Many Emails

Today, most people receive more emails than they can conceivably read
and respond to. Personally, I usually begin each working day by deleting
about 80% to 90% of the emails in my inbox mostly from marketers or
others promoting something I’m not interested in.

Yet like me, most people won’t go to the trouble of unsubscribing from
the source of all those emails out of fear that they might miss out on
the one offer or email that they genuinely are interested in.

Ease of Email

It’s also easier than ever for people to keep up with their emails. Spam
detectors have done an effective job of filtering out the truly
irrelevant and unwanted emails. And now people can read their emails –
or at least their subjects and who they are from – as a scroll on their
smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices.

And because more emails today are being sent and received on mobile
devices, they tend to be shorter. Perhaps this is why the average amount
of time it takes for people to respond to emails sent from smart phones
(28 minutes) is so much shorter than those sent from tablets (57
minutes) or from desktop computers or laptops (62 minutes,), according
to the Yahoo!/USC study. Could that mean that emails and text messages
are beginning to morph into the same thing?

They Myth of Young People and Email

As expected, older people tend to use emails more than younger people.
But the difference may not be as big as many people might think.

During the course of the study, 53% of adults between 35 and 50 years
old sent emails from their phones or tablets at least once, compared to
only 49% of teenagers between 13 and 19 and 48% of young adults between
20 and 35 years old. Older people (51+) sent the fewest emails via
mobile devices, at 43%, according to the study.

So email is definitely not dead. It’s not even wounded. Eventually,
however, it may eventually morph into something entirely different, in
the way the telephone did.

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Is the Party Over Now that the FCC Passed Net Neutrality?

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As you probably heard by now, the Federal Communications Commission
recently approved new rules based on the principles of “net neutrality”
that essentially finally put some sort of regulations over Internet
usage. Some are calling it the “Equal Opportunity Act” for Internet
speeds and access to websites.

But is this ultimately good or bad for the typical Internet user?

First of All, What Is Net Neutrality?

People banter the term “net neutrality” around like they understand what
it means, but what the heck is it, really?

Net neutrality is the concept that your Internet provider should be a
neutral gateway to everything that’s online. It shouldn’t act as a
gatekeeper that decides to load some sites slower than others or try to
extract fees for faster service.

Another way of looking at it is that net neutrality is a concept in
which Internet service providers (ISPs) can’t discriminate when it comes
to Internet traffic.

On February 26, the FCC voted 3 to 2 to adopt net neutrality rules to,
as it declared in its announcement of the vote “protect the open
Internet”.

Why Do We Need Net Neutrality?

So why should Internet users be concerned with net neutrality of the
Internet? There’s plenty of great reasons.

First, without net neutrality, ISPs could, in theory, demand more money
from companies like Hulu or Amazon to speed up traffic to their sites.
Conversely, they could slow down traffic from sites that aren’t willing
to pony up the extra cash.

Is this a big deal? Yes , it is. In fact, it’s a very big deal.

For example, during peak periods in the US about 30% of Internet traffic
comes from a single service: Netflix. So let’s say your Internet
provider is AT&T. They might tell Netflix, “We want you to pay us double
what you pay now or else we are going to slow down your streaming speeds
so that people watching ‘House of Cards’ will ditch it because it keeps
dropping in the middle of President Frank Underwood’s best scenes.”

Or AT&T could cut a deal with Amazon making them their prime video
service and speeding up their delivery to their customers at the expense
of slowing down Hulu or Netflix.

At the FCC did was to get rid of all those scenarios and create a more
level playing field for everybody.

So What Did the FCC Do, Again?

Technically, what the FCC did was vote to reclassify broadband access as
a “telecommunications service under Title II”.

In English, what that means is that the FCC made broadband a utility,
which in turn gives the FCC a lot more regulatory power over Internet
providers.

This all began back in 2010, when the FCC actually passed rules that
made the Internet neutral. But in January 2014, Verizon filed a lawsuit
claiming that the federal agency didn’t have the authority to make such
a declaration. The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit agreed with
Verizon, but added that the FCC could reclassify broadband as a
telecommunications service. That way it would have the authority.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler did just that. And when Republicans in Congress
recently dropped their opposition to the new rules – because the
Democrats wouldn’t support it and they didn’t want to be the only ones
left twisting in the wind and the stage was set for the FCC’s historic
vote.

What Does This Mean for Me?

The FCC’s vote will ban three basic things:

1. Blocking Broadband providers can’t block access to legal
content, apps, services or non-harmful devices.

2. Throttling Broadband providers can’s impair or degrade lawful
Internet traffic on the basis of content, apps, services or non-harmful
devices.

3. Prioritization Broadband providers can’t favor some lawful
traffic over other lawful traffic in exchange for consideration. The
rule also bans ISPs from prioritizing content and services of their
affiliates.

This is a big, bold move by the FCC and the consequences for Internet
users probably will be felt for years to come.

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