Have you heard about OneWeb Day ? It’s an international celebration of the internet. Held annually on September 22, this worldwide event calls attention to the exchange of information and ideas the internet inspires. From the relationship between musicians and fans to grassroots organizing and civic participation, the web gives everyone access to the most important communications platform of our time.
Well, it should be that way.
In some parts of the world, like China and Iran, the open internet is not an everyday reality. Even in the United States, access to quality affordable broadband is lacking in many communities. Another problem is the powerful telecommunications and cable companies who seem to set all the rules.
For the last three years, OneWebDay has attracted global network partner organizations and individuals who were committed to broadening the public’s awareness of Internet and Web issues. In 2008, OneWebDay organizers documented volunteer-driven events 34 different cities across the world.
OneWebDay was founded by Susan Crawford, a cyberlaw scholar. She is the current technology policy advisor to President Obama. According to Ms. Crawford:
“Earth Day was the model when I founded OneWebDay in 2006. In 1969, one man asked the people to do what their elected representatives would not: take the future of the environment into their own hands.” Today, a worldwide citizens’ movement has put the environment front and center politically. Peoples’ lives now are as dependent on the Internet as they are on the basics like roads, energy supplies and running water. We can no longer take that for granted, and we must advocate for the Internet politically and support its vitality personally.”
OneWebDay 2008 focused on political participation and civic engagement. But this year’s theme was less about the web as a privilege to be used for social good and more about the web as a public utility on par with electricity and running water – something that should be extended to all citizens to allow them to function in society.
“It’s no accident that there was $7.2 billion allocated for broadband in the stimulus bill,” said OneWebDay executive director Nathaniel James.
“Everyone understands that the Internet is the pathway to economic opportunity, from educational achievement to success on the job. Even finding and applying for a job requires online skills and access.”
James also noted that OneWebDay volunteers were sent into less-wired communities to help create more public Internet access. “This year we are rolling up our sleeves in a big way to install hardware and do trainings that will make a difference right now for people who are getting left behind.”
One of the topics discussed at the OneWebDay celebration was how to increase broadband access for more Americans. This is incredibly important to musicians and fans. Here’s why.
The Washington Post had an article recently that showed that although music is rapidly transitioning to online access and delivery, many people in this country can’t participate in the legitimate digital music marketplace. Country music fans are especially affected by this lack of connection.
With the Internet becoming an increasingly dominant way for fans to discover and purchase music, a survey of 7,500 people by the country music industry’s trade organization revealed a sad fact: Only 50 percent of core country fans have Internet access at home. That statistic, released in March, is far below the national average. A 2008 survey by Nielsen Media Research found that 80 percent of all U.S. homes have a computer, and almost 92 percent of those homes have Internet access.
Cost and availability were among the most prominent reasons cited for not having an internet connection at home (or having dial-up, which, when we’re talking about the delivery of music files, is almost the same thing).
Musicians, in particular, would benefit from broadband expansion. As the music world continues the shift to digital, it’s increasingly important that artists can utilize current innovations and fans can lawfully access the music they want. But it’s not just about today: tomorrow’s music industry is being built before our very eyes. In order for this change to be successful, there needs to be education about the value of art and how to protect and nurture it. It will involve experimenting with new digital business models that benefit creators. It will involve more attractive systems for the legal consumption of music. It will involve systems for grassroots information-sharing so musical artists can book tours, network and find out more information about their fan-base. It will (and already does) involve direct communication with fans. And it definitely involves getting broadband to more communities so people interested in careers in music don’t have to move to another city to access the basic tools to get them started.
With so much of our day-to-day lives taking place in the online realm, it’s crucial that artists, entrepreneurs and innovators can use the internet to help create the future of music.
For more information on OneWebDay, click HERE
I am curious how Clay Aiken will utilize the digital medium on the net when releasing his new music. Times are changing, for certain.
People in rural areas do not always have web connections that are reliable. I believe there is stimulus money going to develop more access.
Love the pic of Clay Aiken on his laptop in your blog.
How interesting. I did not know about One Web Day. Clay Aiken's new Decca label seems to be right into using the web for it's artists..that's a good thing!
It's hard to believe that there are still people who do not have access to a computer. I think it is a good idea for stimulus money to develop more access. I am so curious how Clay will be presented with his new cd. This is the new medium.
I love that picture of Clay on his laptop. I have seen it before…and he looks so intelligent and sexy…all at the same time.
Interesting info. Thanks for bringing to us, CANN.
I'm very anxious to see how Decca Records promotes Clay Aiken and his music in this digital age.
Thank you for this informative blog.
I am sure Decca will use the new means of communication to promote Clay Aiken and his music.
Fascinating article! So much research must have gone into this – thank you for the information!
Whether people like it or not, digital is the wave of the future. It's faster, less expensive, easier on the environment. Stimulus money for development of broadband capabilities is a step in the right direction. Providers also need to be held accountable to ensure that they offer inexpensive options for those who cannot afford the high end packages.
It's going to be interesting to watch the changes in the music industry, but most interesting to Clay fans is how the changes will affect Clay and his music.
Thank you for another very interesting blog. You definitely keep Clay Aiken fans informed! Thank you for your kind remarks in the Carolina blog.
Have a great week!
WOW,,, so much info!!!
So many of my friends I have met on the internet…
Clay Aiken and this fandom has taught me so much!!
musicfan…once again you have provided a wonderfully informative article for your readers!
Thank you so much!
This is actually a great cause. As internet access is often assumed, the divide between people who have it and use it and those who don't have it or don't feel comfortable using it will create a different rift of have and have not's in society.