Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Two Internet Stories

There are two big Internet stories this week: Microsoft buys LinkedIn and the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upholds net neutrality. LinkedIn is a sad story in a way, in that an essential economic service can’t seem to operate effectively or make a profit. The Microsoft acquisition will surely mark the end of the LinkedIn as a career networking hub and the beginning of its transformation into, as Microsoft describes it, an extension of the Microsoft Office suite of document-editing programs. It is a step forward for Microsoft if LinkedIn is the replacement for SharePoint, but the average LinkedIn user will want to move quickly to reduce their LinkedIn presence to the equivalent of a public version of their job-hunting resume. If Microsoft owns LinkedIn it effectively takes most of the social qualities away from LinkedIn and turns it into more of a public forum. The net neutrality ruling doesn’t change anything but it means that ISPs still can’t turn themselves into obstacles to prevent you from getting access to Internet resources that are progressive in terms of politics, technology, and culture.