Two weeks ago, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) bill garnered an immense amount of media attention as digital protests culminated in the 24-hour blackout of Wikipedia’s English site. Visitors to the site were redirected to a page with a message titled: “Imagine a World Without Free Knowledge” and a link to educate readers more about the bill and its affect on the Internet–including giving courts the power to ban advertising networks that have links to infringing websites.
Much of the buzz–online and otherwise–was full of rumors and innuendo, and proponents of both sides clamored to get their points across in the mainstream media. An article posted recently on Forbes.com cites that SOPA is bad for small businesses, while Lamar Smith, the Texas Representative who introduced the bill pushed to set the record straight with a post on FoxNews.com.
As a content marketing and recommendation company with countless links between our network sites, we knew this issue could have direct and significant implications for any number of the thousands of publishers and marketers who use our tools. But more importantly, because of this, we also recognized an opportunity to use our technology platform to distribute relevant news articles about SOPA and educate content producers and readers what this bill actually means.
So, two Thursdays ago, we added articles discussing SOPA to our syndication network to help readers quickly find additional content, spread the news, and hopefully spur thoughts and productive discussion about the bill and surrounding issues. As always, the relevant links were presented as recommended content below articles and blog posts that already touched on similar topics.
We believe that regardless of the position one takes on SOPA or other important issues, the rapid distribution and flow of information through online networks is what drives the Internet’s success. At nRelate, we’re continuously thinking about our role in the marketplace of ideas and new ways to leverage our platform to help educate people on important issues–whether it’s breaking news, or helping to highlight a public service announcement or charitable cause.