Friday, 13 March 2020

Broken EdTech Treasure

Image result for roger hicks broken treasure
The last decade working in EdTech in Scotland has brought with it a lot of ups and downs... This post includes some of the 'Broken Treasures' from the last few years.

EdTech in Scotland sure ain't easy and it needn't be! There are a number of High Impact/Low Cost solutions that would be easy to implement.

The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship looks at the stresses and strains of trying to make new ideas work... and how it can be a tough road even for the successful entrepreneurs!!

Cory Pein's expose of life in Silicon Valley in 'Live Work Work Work Die' highlights how for every successful Unicorn company there are lots of people who, like Las Vagas, are attracted by the bright lights and promises of riches... but end up leaving empty handed.

He tells of one tech entrepreneur who was the next big thing in tech, got venture capital funding etc, but the idea didn't take off... when he met up with this guy later he was a waiter at a mid-sized restaurant and was the happiest he had been in years.

People I have collaborated with over the last few years have had a problem with the level of transparency that I have demonstrated. Part of the reason for this transparency is because of:

1) Knowledge Transfer - I am keen to share my experiences of life in startup land, edtech and trying to make the transition from out dated sales methods to in-demand community building.

2) Story Telling - Having helped the authors of books like Spy Quest & New Power in education I'm looking to help Rough Diamond and Be More Pirate in a way that kids as young as 5-6 will be interested in and get excited about.

One area that I have been more and more transparent in the last 18 months is with regard to our personal situation which highlights just how tough EdTech/start up land in Scotland can be. The blurring of sharing personal information professionally has not been easy.

November 2018 I used this blog to ask for help with a desperate crowd funder.

Last April the stress of it all caught up with me, which is when I read 'Roger Hicks Considers' article and his take on Broken Treasure II in Amateur Photographer

"We all have 'treasures' which we cannot bear to throw away; which are of little or no objectionable use; and which may not even be reparable. Could you bear to throw away a 400 year old book? Or a china colt you bought when you were seven, even now his leg is broken? Or the silver watch your mother bought you for your 21st birthday? Even the 'sepia' lightning is nostalgic. 

It doesn't matter what your personal treasures may be; but I would be very sorry for you if you had none. An old teddy bear? A propelling pencil with your name engraved on it, which doesn't actually propel any more? 

This will be my last ever Final Analysis. I am dying: cancer of the liver and pancreas. I may even be dead by the time you read this. Or I may not; the doctors are understandably cagey. For me, now, life itself is a broken treasure." Roger Hicks April 2019

I'm proud of what I've achieved in the education space over the last 20 years, but things can't continue as they are, so I thought it would be timely to pull together just a few of the 'Broken Treasures' I've collected in EdTech on the high seas of startup land in #GoDo #ScotlandCan Glasgow.

Here are 13 'Broken Treasures' from my time in EdTech in the last few years.

As Ev William's Blogger and Twitter have been instrumental in giving me a voice and with these projects... I've split these memories between the two.

Here's the Twitter Thread:

June 2009 - Flying High
A job that I entered at £16,000 a year in 2001 I managed to turn into £60,000 through being both versatile and excelled at every role I held.

November 2012 - Startup on a Refurbished Shoestring
When this company hit financial difficulty, despite being established in Glasgow and the majority of staff being based in Scotland, everything was relocated to the London Office.

The relocation package offered was £25,000. From £60,000 in Glasgow to £25,000 for London life? Erm... I said No Thanks!! At the time. If I knew then what I know now I wonder what I'd have done.

However, while I was extremely proud of what I'd done from 2003-2009 - including taking an idea from concept to working with 50% of UK Further Education Colleges with 100% repeat business within three years - not much of this work appears to have lasted.

I want my working life to both make a difference and to last... I decided to start up on my own.

With a limited budget I got a refurbished laptop in late 2012 for £149

October 2013 - Content Marketing
Outside of email I had no personal digital presence until 2011 but was advised by the then head of UK Education for Microsoft

'If you want to be in EdTech today, you need to have an online presence'

In 2011 & 2012 I wrote a number of reports for FE, which were well received.

In 2013 I wrote my EdTech Report 'Developing Relationships and Delivering Value' which OCR expressed an interest in.

This report led to an interview with OCR for a senior post, but no luck.

July 2014 - Leaving FE
As all of my connections were in UK Further Education, it made sense for my business plan to focus on this area.

Unfortunately I didn't see that the effects of 2008 'Austerity' (while giving the banks billions) had froze innovation in the sector.

In July 2014 I achieved more in six weeks with US connected educators than I did in two years in FE when I helped EdShelf Founder, Mike Lee, to successfully crowdfund $30,000 to save his company.

December 2015 - Building Something Together?
Sharing a blog post about a shared interest - digital citizenship - led to a Skype call and, two months later a global event had taken place.

Given my experiences with not having much to show for almost 10 years at the startup above, the first thing I now do is to check out an organisations core values.

The core values of this organisation spoke to me... but turned out to be nothing more than a cat poster.

As were the promises of payment, job offers and equity in an enterprise I was constantly told 'we were building together'

However, before all the drama there was a payment made in December 2015 in recognition of the time and effort put in between Nov-Dec 2015. So it's one of those 'Broken Treasures'

April-July 2016 - Hot Shot Silicon Valley Start Up
When I was told of the redundancy in my previous role the first thing I did was to write down my new goals...

1) Work for a Hot Shot Silicon Valley Start-Up and/or
2) Work for one of 'The Big Three' (Microsoft, Google or Apple)

The reason? Because those guys both take culture seriously and know how to scale ideas so they last!

In 2016, thanks to a connection made via Sarah Thomas and the friendship of James Stanbridge... I achieved this goal... YAY!

Unfortunately the first attempt at remote working proved challenging and non-payment (After James left the organisation) meant this experience also became a 'Broken Treasure' (Careful what you wish for folks!)

December 2017 - The Christmas Gift Times were tough and someone who's become a very dear friend sent presents from the US for our kids... Unfortunately there were customs charges that we didn't have the money to pay for... so they were returned.

This 'broken treasure' is dogeared as it serves as a bookmark in one of my favourite books I read often, to remind me there are kind people in the world.

July 2018 - Rebooting The Well's #YOYOW... Adding some JOIAs a result of my involvement with 'Connected Educator Appreciation Day' #CEduAD, which I had worked on since 2015 I connected with an organisation who told me about their 'JOI Compass' which, as you can see from the scribblings, I quickly pirated!

I seem to do and say lots that benefits others but the actions have not always benefited me, hopefully this will help ;)

With the help of Scottish Government funding, this organisation was looking to hire me but there was an issue with the funding criteria. Yet another broken treasure.

NB A tidier version of the JOI Compass can be found at 'An EdTech Stories Legend' and on the #YOYOWJOI hashtag.

September 2018 - Repossessed (Again!)
Start-ups are tough and I knew what I hoped to achieve in 2011/12 would be more than a bit of a challenge.

By August 2018 due to the various non-payments - It's startup land, it happens! - the only home our kids had ever known was repossessed.

By September 2018 we had a family member who was terminally ill, we then find all our possessions that were in storage were now at risk.

Two months later, the day after my Mother-in-Laws funeral, I would put a desperate crowd fund together.

The 23 people who contributed to this are constantly in our thoughts.

November 2018 - There Will Be Storms Child
By now professionally and personally running on empty, I volunteer to go onto the 'Fair Start Scotland' program and in February during one of their Job Club sessions I switch from being the client to teacher for a day as I shared everything that I had done over the last few years.

The staff listening to my story were beyond amazed with it all.

Being someone that wanted to see a return to 'The Well' since 2015, as well as seeing where the experiment of big social media of the 2010-2014/5 was headed as a direct result of what people like Howard Rheingold did after that space became predictable 30 years ago - I should not have been surprised at the results.

The founders of The Well founded a space that punched above it's weight, but struggled to make any money... When it did get investment and became more corporate, the space wasn't the same.

"Capitalism wants to keep you in your cubicle and have you spend as much as possible... What happens if we dismember the tribe" Well Founder Stewart Brand via Katie Hefnar's book.

March 2019 - Tedx Presentation
In March it was suggested that I submit a proposal at TedxGlasgow where the theme was 'Connecting and Empowering,' which I did.

The proposal was not accepted but, as someone that has struggled financially in Scotland's non-existent EdTech startup scene, it was a fantastic exercise for me.

June 2019 - ISTE #MIEBoom
Playing truant and taking my youngest son to a school to make a Skype call with his favourite author, SpyQuest's David Goutcher, was a real highlight of my professional career.

Having Andrea Tolley (@TolleyA) present on this at ISTE last year and helping my son to create a movement of his own has been a joy.

The fact that this may be an unfinished project is another 'Broken Treasure'

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Six Degrees of Separation: #SkypeMS Book Challenge

As Scotland trended on social media when an MP arranged for Drag Queen 'Flow Job' to visit a school to read to primary school children... This post explores an idea where connected educators and school children could empower their class to have more appropriate role models visit their school.

Around this time last year I was reading Marc Smith's 1992 College Thesis 'Voices from the Well' and 'Analyzing Social Networks using NODEXL' where I found out about the documentary

Over the last two years I've been supporting efforts to make an unconference/Edcamp and a related 'Skype Master Student' idea work.

Over the last 5 years I've been involved with efforts to make Tweets, class teddies as well as people connect virtually and 'F2F/IRL'

The early online community 'The Well' and how this space punched above its weight has never been far from my mind, as well as how Stewart Brand changed the world, twice by connecting people from different groups or 'tribes' which I've also found can have interesting and productive results.

Related to this is the fact that I have a dream skype call I'd like my 9 year old's school to make with people like Stewart and Ben Novak... Inspirational people who truly have changed the world.

However, getting a controversial speaker with some questionable tweets to accompany Mahri Black to a school in Paisley appears easier than to have these game changing influencers skype into my sons school???

Some critical friends tell me that getting change in Scottish education takes 10 years... well my 9 year old will be 19 when this change comes, or correspondence from Education Scotland suggests that

'We hope our 2030 STEM 'vision' is reassures you that we are on top of things'

A 2030 'Vision'? Too little too late for a 9 year old in 2020 and his class mates, I'm afraid.

I've seen some amazing collaboration result from the 'Shallow Engagement' of that first Skype call developing into meaningful collaboration and 'Deep Engagement' a few months after making an introduction.

In 2017 my son skipped school to help his favourite author to recruit Westquarter Primary School's class teddy Ellie the Elephant.

Last year Andrea Tolley presented this project at the Microsoft Innovaive Educator Boom event at ISTE

I re-watched the Connected film last week and wondered if we could replicate the 40 packages that were sent to MIT and came up with the

The Connected - Six Degrees of Separation Book Challenge

We are going to be sending the 11 books below - among others - to people we know on a first name basis and will follow the model of the social experiment from the film and see if they can make it to the intended destination within six connections (or less).

Among the books we'll be sending include:

For Kids

Wonkey Donkey
The Alchemist
The Little Prince
Spy Quest Polybius
Spy Quest Cursed Diamond
Wagon Train Adventure

For Kids & Adults
The Well
Buzzing Communities
Virtual Communities
Analyzing Social Networks Using NodeXL
Give and Take
Things a Little Bird Told Me
New Power
Rough Diamond
Be More Pirate
World Gone Social

Adult PD
Atlas Shrugged
Inside Out The Microsoft Story
The Third Policeman

This is a project that started in October 2015 as, when I visited Larbert High School's PD Day, I left my copies of Katie Hafner's 'The Well' and Richard Millington's 'Buzzing Communities' with a member of the English Staff.

In January 2016 The Alchemist made it's way from Glasgow to Boston within on connection.

In November 2017 my son gave his copy of both Spy Quest books to a kind kid he met at The Reception of Westquarter Primary School.

In April 2019 he handed Wonkey Donkey into the team at Be Yonder, by June it had virtually made it's way to ISTE via Greeneville Middle School

Others are about to be sent.

The hope here is that 'Connected Educators' will get more connected and the book challenge will see them collaborate in the not too distant future... I wonder how big this will grow between now and World Book Day 2021

The rationale here regarding the classes that are 'unconnected,' like my 9 year old kids' school is that there are two common traits with most educators:

1) "For the sake of the kids" is a true statement
2) "A love of reading and life long learning" usually applies

In today's paper alone there is news of 11,000 jobs going along with the 150,000 retail jobs in 2018 to go with the 175,000 in 2019 as some 40,000 retail outlets closed their doors due to online shopping.

Community and movement building is and will continue to be an in-demand skill, but it's not being taught at any of my kids' schools... so we're teaching it - as best we are able to - at home.

A 9 year old student encouraging his school class to agree to getting their faviourite author to visit and them facilitating a dream skype call with others may be a bit of a stretch...

But he sure can arrange for a book with a letter where they 'Show their Friendship First' as Dave Kerpen puts it and/or a '5 minute favour' and sharing their faviourite book IS something they can achieve.

Maybe this will lead to the author of the book visiting their school and skyping with the class that they sent their books to?

Only time will tell... Hopefully we won't be waiting til any 2030 STEM Vision to see the results.

...And perhaps some MP/MSPs will be as enthusiastic as this as they are about giving Flow Jobs access to schools in their constituencies?

Monday, 2 December 2019

An EdTech Stories Legend...

This post contains the legend to over 200 articles that are included in the #SeaTurtlePirates hashtag, which was set up as knowledge transfer for educators and the @BeMorePirate community in February.

As well as 16 short Twitter stories in 5-20 Tweet threads.

Sales to #Cmgr
In 2010 I realised that my current skill set of traditional sales and marketing were becoming less and less effective or welcome in the education/EdTech space.

Since then I have been reskilling to include the more in-demand skills of content marketing, inbound marketing, social selling and community management.

Since finding out about the #Cmgr community (Community Management) in 2014 thanks to a quick Tweet from @TameraRV during BETT, I've done my best to follow the CMAD business objective of

"Our business objective, if you will, in hosting these 24 hours of panels is to reach as many people as possible to educate them on the community industry"

In Scotland and within my education network. 

#Cmgr Support
I have done this in a number of ways including 

1) Supporting educators with EdChats (#UKFEChat, #StartUpEduChat/#EdTechBridge) and projects that were important to them (#SaveEdShelf, #DigCitSummit, #Get2ISTE, the CMAD inspired #CEduAD).

2) Research and data curation

3) Attempts at knowledge transfer

Ideas that are 100% sound but not ready yet require explanation, but the first time it's suggested the posts are too long and/or the idea is too abstract... only for it to be beyond obvious a few years later that it doesn't need any explanation.

This has happened with most projects. In November 2015 I suggested a #BlackFriday for education... 4 years and three attempts on the idea got traction on Friday and I've no doubt it will take off in 2020.

Last June I suggested an EdTech incubator with a strong #Cmgr provision... and feel this idea is also closer to getting traction.

The third point above has also proved to be tricky... Educators are time poor and there's no easy way to either

1) Convince people that what you have to say has value or to
2) Encourage them to read 100+ articles

My first attempt at this was with curating this Community Manager Resources Community Manager Resources

My second attempt was in February when we created the #SeaTurtlePirates hashtag.

The hope here was to share a little about our experiences with building edu movements, and share resources we found useful in a way that adults and children (Whether teachers and students or parents and children can learn about building movements together... Especially quiet people who don't have a voice).

It was no easy feat to try to make the thread make sense whether scrolling up or down and attempting to make the links relevant to adults and kids, but the feedback has been positive.

The third attempt was via this thread which consists of 16 stories/threads that are made up of 5-20 Tweets.

This latest attempt has been to look for the 'bright spots' and, in this case has come from the unlikely source, the unholy Bannon/Trump alliance... They have demonstrated how you can get ideas to 'stick' on social media.Thank you Steve!

Articles relating to the early online community The Well like Howard Rhiengold's Virtual Communities, Marc Smiths 'Voices from The Well' and the Epic Saga of The Well feature regularly in the hashtags and stories below... as does 'How Superman Defeated the KKK'

These articles, along with story telling, the ability to edit and community building hold the key to the last two goals that we are exploring...

1) Seeing a return to The Well's mantra of YOYOW (With a #YOYOWJOI twist) and
2) Answering Tim Berners-Lees call to fight #ForTheWeb

Can't see the bickering 'lying' political classes doing either any time soon... can you?

#SeaTurtlePirates Hashtag
(Knowledge Transfer... With a little fun sprinkled in there too)
Walking Dead Bad Lip Reading
How Pirates Changed the Course of History, and how you can too
Almost half of Britain’s most deprived areas of the last 40 years are in Glasgow
Yertle the Turtle
This Will be the Number 1 Business Skill of the Next 5 Years
The Secret Structure of Great Talks
How to Start a Cultural Revolution
Be More Pirate Code
Skypeathon 2015 & 6 Virtual Field Trips ZeeMap
Sea of Thieves Trailer
Alan Turing Quote (Tweet)
Rosa Parks & Yertle the Turtle (Tweet)
Steve Jobs About Managing People
Crossing the Chasm in Consumer Markets
Tribal Leadership Ted Talk
Are you a Giver or a Taker
Power of Introverts
Level 5 Leaders
Worst Pirate I’ve Heard of
Tech Story 1 - What Further Education can learn from Pixar’s Toy Story
Red Hot Chilli Peppers Yertle the Turtle
Young Artists for Hati – Waving Flag
Aiming for the Top…Not the Bottom
Transforming the National Health Service when Resources are Scarce
How to Tell a Story
Common Structure of Greatest Communicators
Everyday Leadership
Obama Tech Day
Ships Log & Pirate Articles
9 Out of 10 People Are Willing to Earn Less Money to Do More-Meaningful Work
Skype Master Student
Misfits Trailer
Charting Connections in your Community with NodeXL
DigCitSummit Spy Quest Mission
DigCitSummit Closing Remarks
Virtual Communities – Heart of theWell
4 Elements of Community: Part 4 Connection
Voices From The Well (Tweet)
Flipgrid – Oh The Places You’ll Go
Connect with your PLN to Empower Students
The Class I’d Like to Teach
Using Core Values to Find a Brands Voice
Social Rejection
Bullies, Takers & Ostracism
We Want to Help you #Get2ISTE
The Greenwich Village of EdTech
Reading ISTE Like a Book
ISTE2016 Pirates Log: Week One
ISTE2016 Pirates Log: Week Two
ISTE2016 Pirates Log: Week Three
Aggregate-Then-Curate: How Digital Champions Help Communities Nurture Online Content
Pokemon Go Report: Technology Cycle Section
The Community is the Company
21st Century Diggers Revolt
The Gift of Presence
Site of the Niantic
So You Want to Build an Edcamp
So You Want to Build an Edcamp
Connected Educator Appreciation Day all Wrapped Up
So You Want to Build an Edcamp
Cooking with Gas
Connected Educator Appreciation Day
Nike Believe in Something
A Day in the Life of the Internet… Or the Plot to a Toy Story Movie?
Arse Piece
CMAD Building Relationships to Ignite Movements
What Jason Russell Remembers about his Breakdown
Twitter Chats: Chat or Change
Scaling Personal Connections
Oh MyCmgr! You’re a Wizard Harry
Epic Saga of The Well
Are you a Giver or a Taker
Why, in a world of injustice and vanishing human rights, I choose to hope
Charting Connections in your Community with NodeXL
Charting Connections in your Community with NodeXL
Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Speech 2005
Walking Dead Bad Lip Reading (Apples & Dolphins)
This Will be the Number 1 Business Skill of the Next 5 Years
How to Become Insanely Well Connected
There is No App for Patience
Google Culture Meets Steve Jobs Hustle… At a Scottish Local Authority

Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast
Community First: Building Brand Loyalty and Word of Mouth
The Importance of a Glue Guy
The Unheard Story of David and Goliath
What have Lobsters got to do with Innovation
This Book Should Contain a Warning
Steve Jobs is a Rorschach test: To be a good leader, you don’t have to be a jerk
Why Good People Turn Bad Online
Am I part of the Problem
CMAD 2016 Reflections of a Newbie
Edcamp UK – DYW and Tech Companies
Love for Imperfect Things
Creative Power of Misfits
What is an Online Community – The Basics & Benefits
Mind Time - Connector
Why Great Leaders Forucs on Mastering Relationships
Where Good Ideas Come From
DigCitSummit SpyQuest Mission
ForTheWeb Foundation
Why Are You #ForTheWeb?
CMAD Building a Global Community
30 Years on what’s next #ForTheWeb?
What has the Internet ever done for you
Fred Rogers Look for the Helpers
The Gentleman Pirate
The New Dirty American Range
The Turtle Rehabilitation Sanctuary
Muppet Treasure Island – Professional Pirate
Ships Log & Pirate Articles
10 Reasons Why INFJs are Walking Paradoxes
When Competition Between Coworkers Leads to Unethical Behavior
How Buildings Learn – The Low Road
USS Abraham Lincoln Vs Lighthouse
The Art of the 5 Minute Favour
The Duck Song
Why we want complaints
Brick Ocean Live Display at Edinburgh Zoo
Rory Sutherlands 10 Rules of Alchemy
Woody He’ll Never Give Up on You
Collaborate Vs Collaborate
Ralph Breaks the Internet – Comments Scene
Former Facebook Exec: You Don’t Ralise it but you are Being Programmed
Sean Parker Unloads on Facebook “God Only Knows what we’re doing to our Children’s Brains”
How We Need to Remake the Internet
5 Super Powers of the INFJ
Virtual Communities – The Heart of The Well
A Day in the Life of the Internet… Or the Plot to a Toy Story Movie?

Welcome to the Neighbourhood
5 Super Powers of the INFJ
#GE2019 #IndyRef2020 #Cmgr Edu and Life in Scotland
CMAD Building Relationships to Ignite Movements
From Good to Great – What Defines a Level 5 Leader
Please Help
My Book – The Next Big Innovation in Tech
Social Media and Better Job Prospects

An Incredibles Story
(Will Follow Soon)

Pak Tai, Mysterious Black God of the North

A Story from BeYonder – Lessons from Hoover Guy & Damn Mans Project
(Will Follow Soon)

DigCitSummit Closing Remarks
Virtual Communities The Heart of The Well
Voices From The Well & Analysing Social Networks Using NODEXL

So You want to Build an Edcamp
So You want to Build an Edcamp
Connected Educator Appreciation Day all Wrapped Up
Arse Piece
Courageous Followership
Using Core Values to Find a Brands Voice
Be More Pirate Code  
Epic Saga of The Well
How to Become Insanely Well Connected
#CEduAD Introductory Session (Vladtka)#CEduAD Introductory Session (Vladtka)
Virtual Communities The Heart of The Well
Virtual Communities The Heart of The Well

#CEduAD Introductory Session (Tim) Why Good People Turn Bad Online
30 years on, what’s next #ForTheWeb?
30 years on, what’s next #ForTheWeb?
Facebook Finally wants to Help Humans Build Meaningful Connections
Facebook Finally wants to Help Humans Build Meaningful Connections
What has the Internet ever done for you
EdTech Strategy Vs #GoDo #ScotlandCan & Fair Start Scotland

When Competition Between Coworkers Leads to Unethical Behavior
What Role can Schools Play in Developing Young People’s Social Agency
Steve Jobs About Managing People
Rough Diamond
SeaTurtlePirates The Story So Far


The Class I’d Like to Teach
Ships Log & Pirate Articles
Where Good Ideas Come From
NodeXL #CEduAD 2018

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

#YOYOW A Return to The Well #ForTheWeb & Our Young Well Beings... Getting a Jump on It

In my last post I updated two other posts trying to figure out how to make an impact, when you don't have a voice (And enough to have economic dignity in today's poverty stricken and manically depressed Scotland).

The previous two plans discarded I have decided to explore Steve Wozniak and Susan Cain's advice of 'Work Alone.' 

This post details why I feel a return to The Wells mantra of #YOYOW is needed for the sake of our young Well Beings... and how I've been working on this idea since I first read Katie Hafner's book in 2015.

The Most Powerful Things in the World
Our kids know the following to be true because we tell them constantly!

"Words are the most powerful things in the world"
(You have the power to change the world, you really do... with an idea -> Nancy Duarte)

"Books are the most powerful weapons in the world"
('Ah but what about swords, guns, bombs etc etc?' comes the reply... 'How you gonna learn to make those things?' asks a smart arse dad... 'Oh yeah, with a book'

"It's not what you say... it's the way that you say it"

"If you've nothing nice to say don't way anything at all" 

...You should practice what you preach William!
"But you've been really snarky to people online - especially on your blog and on Twitter" I hear you say.

Well now I'm glad you mentioned that, maybe I've been 'Clearing the Path,' and 'Lowering the Barrier' as New Power puts it for others to follow and pick up on the work?

There are also a few other points worth making regarding any snarky tweets/posts

1) I almost quit social media because I was tired of being taken in by people who said one thing and did another... and/or were what can be best described as 'Fake Friends,' feigning friendship until they got all they could from your time, efforts and ideas*

*I fully accept that this may well have been due to either inexperience with movement building or the misunderstandings as social media is still quite new and in the real world 90% of our communication is non-verbal... so it's EASY to get things wrong when mostly text based. There is zero ill will about any of this, I'm glad something came of the ideas and my time/effort.

2) Hate groups in the Far Left and Right will no doubt say nice things to give vulnerable people a 'sense of belonging' before encouraging them to hate people who are different to them through 'othering'

This appears to be what happened with expert ISIS recruiter and Scottish school girl Asqa Mahmood, James Letts and Ivan Humble who is a former and reformed EDL member.

Where are the good guys giving these kids a hug and turning them away from hate... whether in their IRL communities or in their virtual communities?

"If you've nothing nice to say don't say anything at all" 

Might have worked online 4-5 years ago... but a different approach may be needed to keep our kids safe from the 'Dark Corners of the web'

3) I've seen enough political leaders since 2012 saying nothing but helpful and kind things 

'Celebrating London as a diverse city'
'Fair and Just Society'
'Make America Great Again'
'Strong and Stable Leadership'
'For the Many'

But whether in public or private say

'Muslim women look like letterboxes'
'Scotland is diverse and welcoming' but race hate in schools on the increase
'I just grab them by the p**y' and having hardly anything nice to say about their colleagues

Now I have a huge amount of sympathy for politicians in two respects:
  •  In today's 'always on' society everything is up for scrutiny... whether silly comments made a few years ago costing candidates the opportunity to stand in their constituency in #GE2019.

  • People have an opinion and are critical of the slightest of error... The things that we've seen trend in the last few weeks leads to total and utter dumbing down of politics.
Let's all laugh and comment about someone who put a foot wrong during Remembrance Sunday... and forget about the issues of Education, the NHS and the economy, before we know it we'll have another 4 years of The Conservatives (Which will be worse as it's under Boris Johnson's 'Leadership') and the Brexit party.

The Bannon/Trump and Farage/Cummings 'agitation' will have worked a treat. 

Instead of picking at the minutia I would far rather overlook silly and, in many instances, irrelevant comments and take Ayelet Barron advice in the Building Relationships to Ignite Movements CMAD session:

"I want to know what's in their heart"

We all say or do silly things and when every encounter, big and small, is recorded... some things in context others taken out of context and it must be a nightmare for people in the public eye, especially politicians where approval ratings are low, it is a tribal affair and there are so many videos, clips and soundbites going back decades for many MPs/MSPs.

Edward Snowden makes some excellent points about the internet of his youth Vs the internet of today, which political candidates are paying for today... How do we allow for our kids to 'just be kids saying stupid things' without it wrecking their job prospects/future...or worse their lives?

"My worries [about getting security clearance] were more personal, or felt more personal: the endless conveyor belt of stupid lingoistic things I'd said, and even stupider misathropic opinions I'd abandoned, in the process of growing up online. Specifically, I was worried about my chat logs and forum posts, all supremely moronic commentary that I'd sprayed across a score of gaming and hacker sites. Writing pseudonymously had meant writing freely, but often thoughtlessly. And since a major aspect of early internet culture was competing with others to say the most inflammatory thing, I'd never hesitate to advocate, say, bombing a country that taxed video games, or corralling people who didn't like anime into reeducation camps. Nobody on those sites took any of this stuff seriously, least of all myself.

When I went back and reread the posts, I cringed. Half the things I'd said I hadn't even meant at the time - I'd just wanted attention - but I didn't fancy my odds of explaining that to a gray-haired man in horned rimmed glasses peering over a giant folder labeled PERMANENT RECORD. The other half, the things i thing I had meant at the time, were even worse , because I wasn't that kid anymore. I'd grown up. It wasn't simply that I didn't recognise the voice as my own - it was that I now actively opposed its over-heated hormonal opinions. I found that I wanted to argue with a ghost. I wanted to fight with that dumb, puerile, and casually cruel self of mine who no longer existed. I couldn't stand the idea of being haunted by him forever, but I didn't know the best way to express my remorse and put some distance between him and me, or whether I should even try to do that. It was heinous to be so inextricably, technologically bound to a past that I fully regretted but barely remembered.

This might be the most familiar problem of my generation, the first to grow up online. We were able to discover and explore our identities almost totally unsupervised, with hardly a thought spared for the fact that our rash remarks and profane banter were being preserved for perpetuity, and that one day we might be expected to account for them. I'm sure everyone had an internet connection before they had a job can sympathize with this - surely everyone has that one post that embarrasses them, or that text or email that could get them fired.

Christmas 2018... The Best PD EVER
Before starting a new project/movement I always go back to The Well (Esp Virtual Communities), The Epic Saga of The Well, Katie Hafner's book.

Last December when reading Virtual Communities again I noticed that NodeXL's Marc Smith had written his 1992 College Thesis on 'Voices from The Well' and read it three times in as many days... SOOOO RELEVANT today 30 years on!!

I laughed when I saw not just how predictable my experiences with collaborating online were; they were inevitable, it's all been done before... 30 years earlier by a group of true visionaries.

In Mosaic Science's article 'Why Good People Turn Bad Online,' they highlight that if you see behaviour you don't like and if you feel up to it 'tell them to stop'

I didn't like the way that some friends (Or, in some cases, people I hardly knew, who took my time, efforts and ideas and made me contribute them as a gift) with flattery and all their flowery words to get involved and then change the narrative - whether about myself and/or how ideas came together.

I called them out... was this to be mean? To try to damage their reputation? 

Nope! If anything it was my reputation on the line.

I called them out to experiment with what might work and what doesn't when taking the advice from New Power (The extract at the end of this ACEing Made to Stick post).

"Has my generation taught the youth well enough to prevent another Holocaust from occurring? Or will our hard won freedom capsize in a new sea of hate?" Edith Eger The Choice - The Capacity to Love and Hate

I think it's safe to say the answer to this is: Could do Better!

In a recent post I wondered if I had to choose between Books, the Internet or School which I would choose. Perhaps my books will help plan to #BeTheDigitalChange I'd like to see in the world.

One where friends don't simply reach for the 'Block' option if/when there is a disagreement.

One where our young people have the kind of 'sense of belonging Tom Mandel had on The Well' in their School Communities...Not go looking for this in hate groups where the sense of belonging is conditional on hating others.

One where their is the kind of 'Love in Action' that Howard Rheingold details in the Heart of the Well... and less of the tragic examples of Blair Newman, Amanda Todd and Molly Russell.

#DigiEndurance... Avengers Assemble for The End Game
The Dr Seuss books that we've loosely followed on our adventures include 

Oh the Places You'll Go
Yertle the Turtle
The Lorax (*Waves* to @ILorax)

I'm about to make a start on 'Tech Story 3 - Bolder City & Ol'augh" which will be a Mini NP Superhero adventure that will take place down yonder at the cross roads of old gold mining town of Bolder City and Mulberry Street.

Avengers Assemble! For the well beings of our young people and to answer the Tim Berners-Lees' Bat Signal to fight #ForTheWeb.

Anyone who answers the call may meet some familiar characters from Andy's playroom, Marvel, DC and Pokemon Go as well as some new characters like Hoover Guy? Damn Man? Ol'augh! and the Thunderbolt Kid?

Who writes this stuff? Anthony? I hate that freaking Turtle!

Personally I love them... and, just like Cinderella Man, I'm bringing a Turtle or two safely home at the end of this adventure.

I'll be spit balling some of these cra cra ideas to achieve these last two goals with a group of small committed citizens

...Or is it small citizens who have been committed to Arkam Asylum? 
...Or is it a small group of committed citizens?

I forget which, but I'll be discussing with a little group of little people until it becomes a big idea, one that is on the side of angels, spreading compassion and drains the battery of hate with Superman and Ol'augh leading the charge.