Monday, February 07, 2011

Internet Society Membership Drive

I've been a member of the Internet Society for a few years. They sponsored my participation in the Internet Governance Forum at Hyderabad, India. The Internet Society (ISOC) is a non-profit, international organization that helps develop and promote Internet standards and policy. They work actively with governments to ensure that the Internet remains free and open.

Here is a description of ISOC from their website:

The Internet Society is a cause-based organisation that works to ensure the open development, evolution and use of the Internet for the benefit of people throughout the world. The Internet Society works with help from its members and Chapters to provide leadership in Internet related standards, education, and policy. As the Internet continues to evolve, both technically and politically, the Internet’s unprecedented success is due to a decentralized, open, multi-stakeholder model, which relies on processes and products that are local, bottom-up and accessible to users around the world. The Internet Society's key initiatives target the critical issues that affect all aspects of Internet development and growth. They embody the Internet Society philosophy that the Internet is for everyone and they provide the organization with a solid foundation from which to positively influence standards development, access, business practices, and government policies.

Although, there is not a national chapter for Canada or one for Ontario (Quebec is the only region with a chapter), ISOC does offer the opportunity to join for free as a "global member". I have wanted to help start an Ontario chapter for the past two years. As my research focus is increasingly moving away from policy and standards (for example web accessibility guidelines) and my professional and personal life is rather over-taxed at present, I have been hoping someone would lead the charge to start an Ontario chapter.

Currently, the Internet Society is hoping to recruit more members. For those who work in the Internet field or digital media, I believe it is important to join, as well as for those who are concerned about protecting the central role the Internet has in our lives. ISOC offers ten tips on why to join that note the collective and individual benefits of joining such as more powerfully influencing Canadian policy and having a personal role in important developments.

I would love to see more people join from Ontario as I hope this could propel a chapter formation here. Also, ISOC is offering tech gadgets for prizes (which I'll donate to a local charity in the unlikely event I win).

So please consider joining. Please run any questions or comments by me here or by email.

Join the Internet Society today, it's free!

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