The Spirit of the Internet

Spirit of DetroitOften when new initiatives come up or I find myself in an online marketing conundrum, in one of those gray SEO areas or online privacy situations, I begin with the question “Is this in the Spirit of the Internet?

I was once asked to do some SEO work where money wasn’t really an object and ranking for certain phrases needed to be guaranteed. Red Flag – an SEO should NEVER guarantee a ranking. This job quickly plummeted me into researching all the black hat techniques. My coworker and I would joke by saying, “this isn’t in the spirit of the internet”. I’m grateful we turned the project down, this was pre-Panda Google update and the techniques we were contemplating would have been severely penalized.

Since then that phrase has been in the back of my head and here are some points that allude to the thinking. The Spirit moves me. I have a feeling I will be updating this list. Comments?

  • The Internet is a reflection of our individual minds and collective consciousness. It contains the capacity for heavenly grace as well as the dark revolting id. These forces are present. Educate yourself. Be aware. Be careful where you go. This applies for businesses and individuals.
  • Paradox abounds. There is no such thing as privacy. It still needs to be defended. Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
  • Community and social is not about YOU, it’s about YOUR CONTRIBUTION. 
    • It’s ok to lurk for research.
  • Provide value.
  • Ghost In The Shell.
  • Have a thick skin, almost blasé. Come to terms with griefers, wikileaks, and Anonymous. 
  • Take disclaimers and privacy policies on your site seriously. 
  • Cite your sources. Give outbound links.
  • Protect your Intellectual Property (IP).
  • The Spirit of the Internet is Net Neutrality. SOPA is not cool.
  • When getting technical with webservers, hosts, and domains being ELEGANT is your North Star. Don’t cut corners or manipulate things to make it appear like you’re something you’re not or somewhere you’re aren’t.
  • Ambient Awareness from the web spreads to the real world. (Arab Spring)
  • Wifi is like water.
  • “Don’t be evil”
  • Use the force. Don’t go to the Dark Side.
  • Spock is a Patron Saint.
Everything written here are the views of Tim Aten and Tim Aten only. They have no relation, nor are they the views of any of my employers past or present.


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