This morning I woke to a cloud-based service I use for business being down. It was a rush for me to check them on social media, get the fix, and get up and running. And then I got mad. I won’t say who the company is. They’re holding up admirably under an unbearable strain and I don’t want to worsen their situation.
In the US, SOPA is being practiced even though it isn’t law. All the US government has to do is complain to Godaddy (those domain hosting ladies of the evening) and the domain gets killed. No warning. Tens of thousands of businesses and users depending on a given cloud app, and bam it’s down and a business is brought to its knees, livelihoods wrecked, reputations ruined.
The gist is that if you manage to get a video that US government doesn’t like up onto a cloud provider like Youtube, or a web site they don’t like up on WordPress.com, or a form they don’t like hosted on a form site, or document they don’t like hosted by a document hosting company, they can take down that provider’s entire subscriber base by killing their domain with a word. Especially with hosts like Godaddy that drop shorts on command.
But the future will screw the pooch for the US, the US economy, it’s governmental infrastructure, and companies that collaborate (it’s not just cooperation anymore, it’s collaboration). Companies can’t watch every single hosted item or entity for possible thought-transgression all the time. And the cost will be a killer, even if they try.
The future is that any company providing services that someone can actually use freely for content (video hosting, form hosting, wordpress hosting), will “outsource” hosting their apps, media, and content to servers overseas. American servers aren’t safe anymore.
American servers don’t want the business (if it’s like Godaddy). American government doesn’t want the business. The American people that supported things like SOPA (or shrugged it off) don’t want the business. And they don’t want the freedom. And the creativity just makes them look bad.
You, my friends, if you’re in the US, are about to live in a backwater, a berg, a hamlet of a country – hosting-wise. I sometimes think it’s ridiculous that I live in a state where I can’t get dinner after 5pm on a Sunday, or after 9pm on a week night. What, Matlock is over and good, moral people are all tucked in bed? No wonder it’s a corporate wonderland out here. People are living the template of the perfect cubicle farm. But the “morals” are stifling. I can’t get beer in a supermarket that doesn’t have the alcohol content reduced to “non-alcoholic beverage” status. 3.2% – that’s the limit. I give the state I live in crap for being a briar patch on the ass of nowhere.
But the whole country is becoming like that. Just think bandwidth – “speed” if you’re not in the business. Still lucky to get 30mbps rated bandwidth out of your ISP, if anything like that much? Try Japan and Korea, where 1gbps is available. Instant page loads. And now the security state thing in the US, where they can issue a “take down order” on web sites as quickly as a “kill order” on a person. Power ‘deranges’ people – makes us stupid to the point of shooting ourselves in the brains.
The future for the US, on this path, is to decline into a speed bump in the middle of a culturally inbred nowhere. Companies that want to provide creative tools hosted online that allow people to freely make content without heavy restrictions, will of course find fewer roadblocks by hosting their cloud applications overseas. And if it’s something that grows to the size and significance of Youtube or Google, even one such thing, that’s pretty significant in terms of impact on what the US loses.
Don’t believe any of this? Think it’s wild-eyed fear mongering. OK, why is the US the single most desired place on the planet for basing a corporation? All those nice companies that currently outsource the actual production or services overseas, nonetheless want to remain incorporated in the US itself. Why? They’ll tell you – they don’t hide it. They say it all the time. Fewest barriers to realizing their goals with simultaneously most protections from interference by government or other parties. Corporate personhood gets associated with that, but that’s a particular legal doctrine that isn’t required to keep the barriers low and protections high.
So when it comes to web content hosting, which is really web application hosting, there *will* be a trend toward seeking bases of operation that offer lowest barriers to creativity coupled with highest protections against interference. Innovation and creativity, like electricity, seek the path of least resistance. My friends, that’s gospel. You can bet your Bible on that one. And the cost to the US, if it doesn’t get smart, is going to be at least a partial twilight of its relevance, at least in degrees, to innovation and creative potential.
Isn’t that ironic? As the “true Americans” push for greater government control, a bad-ass empire that can shut down any person or entity that crosses an ever tightening line in the sand, those who love freedom will pick places more hospitable to freedom. On the other side of the world is where the home of free speech and creative opportunity will lie.
Let’s call them Digital Pilgrims, these companies that will make the journey. They’ll hoist their sales and host their apps overseas. See you on the Mayflower, buddy.