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As many of our followers may know, prior to founding Success in the City and Success in the City TV I came from the tech sector as the previous CEO of PatriotNet, an Internet Service Provider company headquartered in Fairfax, VA and CEO of The North Texas Technology Council. It is in those roles that I came to an even deeper appreciation of the value of innovation and freedom of expression and speech that has been and continues to be fueled by the free and open access of the Internet.

Today we continue to see how our freedoms are directly tied to affordable Internet access that makes it possible to engage in conversations and expression of our views, insights, thoughts and even learning through Internet access.

Companies have been launched, revolutions have been ignited and fueled and lives have been saved through the Internet. It is in basements, garages, bedrooms and even at Starbucks, that million dollar ideas have been born and launched simply because the Internet exists today.

It is because of the Internet that Success in the City has fostered friendships around the world, shared compelling ideas, raised awareness of women’s contribution to the world at large, impacted lives and even supported causes that address issues of violence against women.

On Friday, January 18th it is Internet Freedom Day! This week take time to think about how important and invaluable free and open access to the Internet is to you, your family, your business and the world.

If  you find you are inspired by what Internet freedom has done for you than you may be interested in sharing your thoughts with Craig Newmark of craigslist and craigconnects. Craig has launched a social good blog series where he invites the community to blog on specific topics to showcase nonprofit and tech leaders and the best of the submitted content.

craigconnects: Connecting the World for the Common Good

Even if you are not an inspired writer take time to share your thoughts and engage in a conversation on Internet freedom with your friends, family and colleagues this week. It is our awareness of what the Internet brings to our lives that will help us to ensure and safeguard suppression of our voice, opinions, views, thoughts, talents, dreams and business.

Craig Newmark is asking folks to submit blog posts or commentary reflecting on the question “How Does the Internet Give You A Voice?” This is being done in celebration of Internet Freedom Day, January 18th, the day of the web blackouts held last year in
protest of SOPA.

The curated blog post will recognize contributors and link to the original shared content. Craig hopes to highlight great responses from people and organizations like you who have really benefited from free speech on the internet.

Here is a great opportunity for you to participate, express your thoughts on Internet freedom and share how enjoying free and open access to the Internet and speech has helped you.
Here’s how it works:
– Write about how the Internet gives you a voice. You can either write a post on your blog explaining how the Internet gives you a voice or send Craig a blurb (300 words of less) at socialgood@craigconnects.org.
– Send a link to your post by email to socialgood@craigconnects.org by January 17th. Make sure you to include your full name, organization, your blog’s name and the blog post url if you decide to write a blog post for this.
–  Craig will be doing a big wrap up post highlighting folks’ reflections on January 18th, Internet Freedom Day.
– Tag your post Internet Freedom, and feel free to link back to this open call <http://craigconnects.org/2013/01/how-does-the-internet-give-you-a-voice.html> to encourage others in the community to share their story about how the Internet gives them a voice.

Craig will sort through submissions and share some of the best ideas in a blog post on Internet Freedom Day on January 18th. He’ll also tweet some ideas, echoing just how important the Net is.

Here is Craig’s full blog post about it too.