Dear Internet – One Year On From COVID

Dear Internet – One Year On From COVID
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In this guest post – well, guest letter, really – Nisha Ridout, Quantcast’s senior field marketing manager, pays homage to the internet and its role in saving the planet over the dreadful past 12 months…

Dear Internet,

One year on from COVID 19 and we want to say a huge thank you.

In early 2020, the murmurs of a global pandemic started to hit the news headlines, and by March, all around the globe, people went into lockdown; we were cut off from families, access to schools, workplaces, and vital resources, but one thing remained constant and a source of good, you. We never saw it coming; the world was on the verge of a global economic crisis.

You were there for us in our moments of need, you didn’t crash under the huge demands placed on you, and the technology coped under the pressure–you were with us every step of the way.

Reflecting over the past year, without you, how would we have got through it? It was almost like you had prepared your whole life for this moment. Your infrastructure was built to withstand such immense pressure; your purpose was truly realised. Without you, the consequences could have been so much worse. Would your technology have been able to cope under such pressure 10 years ago? Or did the pandemic hit when you were truly ready to support the world?

You connected the world when we couldn’t hug in person, you were our go-to for everything from ordering groceries to online learning. Children were able to get access to essential classes, businesses adapted and, in many cases, a new working-from-home norm was established. Productivity didn’t stop, all because your framework was ready.  You have been able to support all types of needs, from hosting millions of video calls, with ‘you’re on mute’ reverberating in our ears(!), to streaming our favourite shows. You helped create online communities to discuss hobbies for everything from gaming to knitting, you connected skills and humans from around the world, and we created online support bubbles. Joining a virtual birthday party brought us joy through the tough times, as more and more people relied on you. Not only were you dependable, but you have also become even simpler to use. The goal of technology should always be to make simple things simpler, and you achieved this.

The world didn’t stop, because you adapted and kept us moving.

Anyone with an internet connection and access to a computer can share their content, creativity, point of view, and observations with the world. Five billion of us around the world have relied on the open internet to access this type of democratised content, which has proved to be a phenomenal asset to us all. The access in most instances has been free, and we appreciate that content is not always free to create.

The original sin you may be guilty of is, did you dupe the world into thinking that this content was free? Along the way, there has been confusion and frustration. Is the value exchange of the internet widely still understood by consumers?

At Quantcast, we continue to champion free access to content on the open internet. This has proved to be a lifeline in such a difficult, unprecedented year. To continue to give consumers free access, we must ensure the creators are fairly funded–and advertising is one of the fuels for the production of quality content.  Without relevant advertising, the internet would be a very different place. It has helped drive so much positive change, but is this appreciated enough?

For you to continue to grow and thrive, we must all continue to champion you so consumers are able to have free access to the resources they require.

You made us laugh and sometimes made us cry, and we couldn’t have made it through without you. The technology was built for this future and you fulfilled your promise. We champion you to remain open and free for all.

Yours Sincerely,

The World

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