Forced to "Go Responsive" In Response to Big Tech

It’s called Responsive Website Design, or in webmaster lingo simply RWD, and it’s the new breed of website you’ve likely been seeing that “responds automatically” to your screen size. Basically, websites like NetLingo can overlay a little code to take our same robust content and make it easily viewable on all different kinds of screen sizes, whether it’s your smaller smartphone, medium size tablet, or larger size desktop. Check it out: NetLingo.com - on any of your devices, even the ads look good!

This latest design was considered “critical” because the truth is, as an online small business owner, you are always having to upgrade. I had created a nice, clean, SEO-optimized .mobi site back in day to fill the mobile browsing demand, but ultimately that wasn’t good enough for Big Tech. When Google announced “Mobilegeddon” in 2015 and started to boost the ratings of sites that are mobile friendly if the search was made from a mobile device, then “mobile first” became the new mantra. It’s understandable, especially since the amount of mobile traffic for the first time accounted for more than half of total Internet traffic, but here was another instance of Google forcing tech-savviness upon millions business owners in order to primarily service their search needs and their mobile search results.

My website started out as a flat HTML site and then got converted to a database-driven site and then upgraded to a LAMP stack site, and has now evolved into a full-blown Responsive Web Design site… and Big Tech forced my hand each upgrade all along the way. Even though NetLingo.com remains on the leading edge of website content and technology, apparently in this day and age, leading edge is no longer good enough… there’s even a NetLingo word for it: bleeding edge.

So, is this another instance where Congress should be seriously looking into Google’s monopoly and business practices if we want to remain a country where small business really matters? YES. But Congress doesn’t seem to understand Internet technology, let alone the implications. Who other than lobbyists is informing Congress about these matters and why is it taking Congress so long to make any decisions regarding Internet oversight?

Congress still hasn’t figured out the Secure Federal File Sharing Act (H.R. 4098), which would prohibit the use of P2P software on government computers and networks. I’m sorry but this bill has been under review by the United States Senate since March 25, 2010 meanwhile new botnets spread most rapidly via peer-to-peer communication. If my team and I didn’t make a decision for 8 years we’d get fired… and then hacked, or in their parlance “meddled with.” That's not good enough.

C’mon Congress. Of course, many small businesses want more and better mobile search results but does Big Tech have a right to make the millions of small business owners keep upgrading when they could possibly make a few changes on their end that would in turn benefit us all? United States citizens have been na├»ve in counting on Congress to care about Big Tech’s impact on small business owners. When you're ready for me to come to Washington and explain the implications of peer-to-peer networking, Google’s monopoly, or anything else Internet-related, I’m on the first plane.

- Erin Jansen, Internet Specialist, Social Psychologist, Founder of NetLingo.com