April 13, 2012
OpenMedia original article
The skinny on how we operate
In our endless pursuit for total transparency, we decided to start a page on our website that spells out how OpenMedia.ca and the pro-Internet community operate. We want your input: check out the page and let us know what you think in the comments section, or on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, or Reddit.
As you can probably tell, this movement for an open and affordable Internet is about a community as a whole that does most of the heavy lifting, rather than just the small team at OpenMedia.ca. That’s why we really want to know what you think. We’re all part of something new here, and defining and coming up with a language for how we operate should itself be a community-driven process.
Our community identity
We started a page describing how OpenMedia.ca operates because several politicians we’ve meet seemed confused by our organization and community identity. Journalists are also often unclear as to how to describe us. And, of course, Big Telecom and their paid proxies try to use this misunderstanding to their advantage by hanging whatever frame over us that benefits their self-interested quest for control over the Internet and our wallets.
It makes sense that people are confused, because we’re a new kind of organization that doesn’t quite fit into any existing box, and simply saying “We like the Internet!” isn’t going to cut it anymore.
More than “the other side”
Part of what confuses policy-makers is that we’re not on an easy-to-identify “side” of an issue. We’re not a “consumer group” in the traditional sense, because we’re focused on engaging people as citizens. We assume that people in Canada want to and deserve to actively participate in key decisions about our digital future, and we think policy-making should be a citizen-driven process since it affects us all.
Unlike some other public interest groups we also do not view business as the “enemy.” We imagine innovative customer-centric businesses taking the place of legacy industry players and their antiquated business models.
The whole relationship between businesses and customers is being reimagined everyday and seeing the two as opposing sides rather than collaborating partners seems passé. It’s just not the world we live in anymore.
In fact, inspired by the way the Internet brings people together, we try not to discriminate when it comes to the organizations we work with. We try to generally operate as an open platform based on the widely held principles of openness, choice, access, innovation, and diversity.
The Internet is about connectivity that empowers us all, and we aim to build a united front that includes every group and individual that believes in the possibilities of the open and affordable Internet. This is why we’re an organization deeply networked in a variety of communities. This is why we have an open donation policy that respects privacy and anonymity. This is why we’re a post-partisan organization.
It doesn't matter what your ideology is; if you’ll advance policies that build a bright digital future, we’ll recognize, value, and seek to champion your efforts. We think everyone and every organization should be a part of the pro-Internet community, and that includes people of every political stripe, not to mention those of us who wish to transcend partisan politics altogether.
We started this description of our community based on input from our community survey and regular dialogues through social media, but it’s an unfinished project. We’ve had some amazing success together, and I want to know if you feel our community is realistically reflected here.
Some questions to consider when providing feedback:
- What do you think best describes the pro-Internet community and OpenMedia.ca?
- Did we exclude something important?
- Did we misrepresent anything?
- Does it capture your feelings about this community and OpenMedia.ca as an organization?
Thank you for being a part of this,