Consume, consume, consume

As I’ve mentioned before, I want a moratorium on the word consumer—both because it is disrespectful and because it builds bad thinking habits in companies that sell to “consumers.” Doc Searls’s experience with his local Internet providers today is a case in point:

The bottom line: I can replace my 3Mb/300Kb $49/month Cox home Internet account with a 3Mb/768Kb $29/month Verizon home Internet account. The business account won’t be so easy. First, I have to get a Verizon business phone account, the person on the phone said. Then I have to call a number to see if static IP addresses are available. The number “is experiencing extremely high call volume.” So I gave up.

In the course of talking, way too much, to Verizon and Cox representatives the last few days, it’s clear these kinds of companies simply cannot imagine a world where consumers also produce, where demand also supplies, where the Net is anything other than a new way to deliver the same old crap.

Least of all can they imagine that there is real business in real service to individuals working out of their homes.

It makes me think: First, where is the service offering for geeks? Second, how insidious is this C word that there are not even product offerings to meet the needs of real people for symmetric download/upload speeds? No, all “home users” (my other favorite condescending euphemism for real people) need to do is download other peoples’ stuff.