I’ve been the lead administrator on WebHostingTalk.com for several years now. As such, I’m often approached with “great ideas.” Ideas generally revolve around new and improved ways of hosting, new tools for hosters, and ways WHT should regulate the industry.
I remember roughly 6 years ago when someone approached me about “starting an organization to help regulate the hosting industry.” I told him at that time, I didn’t see a need for one. Hosts are accountable to their customers. And if they don’t hold up to the customer test, they don’t hold up as a business. So I couldn’t see how we could help either side of the table by regulating the industry.
Last year, Christian Dawson said, “We should start an organization to help the hosting industry. We’ll call it Save Hosting – because there’s legislation out there that can ultimately destroy our industry. We can save it.” That made a bit more sense to me. Even though the name made me think of Superman somehow, that was something I could get behind and support. So I agreed to sit on the board of this new venture, which today is known as the i2Coalition (Internet Infrastructure Coalition). Since Web Hosting Talk is a community of web hosting professionals, web hosting enthusiasts, and customers and service providers of anything associated with the hosting industry, it made sense for me to be the voice of the community.
At the time there were various legislative issues I felt would harm the hosting industry. So putting together an organization that would be the voice of the thousands of hosting providers out there became a priority. I truly believe that if not for the early efforts of i2C, SOPA and PIPA could very well be laws right now.
This new i2Coalition group has an opportunity to help shape policy. Sure, we could all just sit around and wait for someone in Washington to tell us what our policies are; or we could collectively lobby and shape what we believe policy should be. As a group, we share an intimate knowledge of the needs and concerns of this information highway we refer to as the Internet. We can steer it in the right direction, instead of idly watching as new laws are put into effect. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not all about law. It’s about the hosting industry working together to help shape the Internet – something that’s constantly growing and always dependent upon us.
Society wouldn’t be the same without the Internet. The Internet as we know it wouldn’t exist without the hosting industry.
I’m excited and proud to be a member of i2Coalition. And I hope you join us to work together for a better Internet and a brighter tomorrow.