posted on May, 27 2011 @ 11:36 AM
WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fifty-six small ad-supported Internet “Long Tail” publishers from 22 states from across the country, plus one
from the District of Columbia, joined the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) this past Monday and Tuesday for the Third Annual Long Tail Alliance
Washington, D.C. “Fly-In.” The attendees spent yesterday on Capitol Hill meeting with representatives from 37 House Districts and 12 Senate
Offices, including members of the Senate Commerce Committee, to raise awareness about how interactive advertising regulation affects not just the big
players in the industry, but also the livelihoods of small Internet publishers.
The companies that will be meeting with legislators include a diverse group of content sites, such as: ShowmetheCurry.com, a site devoted to
the glories of curry in cooking; AboveTopSecret.com, about aliens and conspiracies; IkeaFans.com, which is not endorsed by the retailer, but
offers tips about assembly of and decorating with its products; and Washington City Paper, the local alternative weekly, which runs a site at
SkepticOverlord and Springer go to Washington
This year’s Fly-In also included a full day of sessions, strategic planning panels and roundtable discussions created specifically to
address the business interests of small publishers. The two-day event also served as a unique networking opportunity for small publishers, who, for
the most part, work from their homes and have limited opportunities to meet other small business owners like themselves.
We're back (and recovered) from an intensive three days in Washington, DC, focused on preventing legislation that has the potential to decimate the
independent web, as we discussed here: New Survey: Online Privacy, Internet Advertising and
The Independent Web
, armed with the survey results you provided here: Survey
. I can say, without hesitation, that your responses to our survey had an impact on just about every representative who saw it -- Mark
and I gave it to those with whom we met, and several other fly-in participants did the same.
We had 11 groups, each with a slightly different focus, each with 5-6 meetings, spending the entire day telling our story to those who seemed
unwilling to listen if we didn't represent a group with money to burn on Capitol Hill. My group focused on the very-real threat to freedom of speech,
and the absurdity that the proposed legislation would outlaw anonymous non-personal "tracking" for the purpose of showing ads, while the very same
representatives have backed laws that require your ISP to track and retain all of your personal online history (and currently want to extend the data
retention requirements to two years), including emails and purchases.
Our group's meetings went exceptionally well, as most seemed to express an understanding the potential severity of the issue, and absurdity of the
two-sided tracking irony. However, there were two standouts: 1) I politely but firmly "got in the face" of a representative's Deputy Chief of Staff
who rolled his eyes at our concerns (and seem to listen to us after that), and 2) Experienced an epiphany moment with the Policy Director of the
congressman who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee (very powerful) -- he had not previously considered the economic and free speech
aspects of the "do not track" legislation up for review next week, and promised to explain the issue to the committee.
While it may be too soon to tell, and certainly might be too much to hope for, but at this point it appears as though your responses to the survey and
our presence in Washington may be a catalyst that helps to maintain the free and independent web.
edit on 27-5-2011 by SkepticOverlord because: (no reason given)