Friday, 26 September 2014

#the45plus: Make Love Not War!

All this talk of War (Thank You Tim MacDonald!)
I have seen the massive opportunity that #the45plus could offer all stakeholders. However, my usual environment is education... not the political arena. 

Educators are nurturing and collaborative. I find politicians and political activists to be angry and combative. In order to try to fit in with this environment recently my posts have followed suit, I have tried to be something I am not.

I am an aspiring Community Manager, not a political hopeful or revolutionary... not that you'd know this based on the tone and wording of my recent posts! Tim McDonald, is a very experienced Community Manager with a cause that I know many of #the45plus members will want to connect with #NoKidHungry. Tim has had a quiet Tweet in my ear to say that he doesn't care to much for the wording of my posts. And I agree.

Peace... Not War
For anyone who saw this post before I took it down will see that the title was "Declaration of War," the intention here was to fit in with the rhetoric of the community that I have been following all week on the Twitter Stream. However the intention here was with the intention of creating rivalries... and then uniting groups at later date - we should have seen with the 45/55 divide. 

But this isn't me. This was me trying to fit in. I am a massively collaborative individual. I get so much value out of collaborating and I know those that I work with do too. So I'm not going to fight with any camp in this #The45plus community. I am not going to take sides. I will join this community and I will provide the benefit of my experience, and will do what I can to develop a collaborative culture. I will use my skills to reach out so the community can grow and we can hear the views of different voices.

I will speak to and collaborate with any one who asks me to. Tory or SNP, Unionist or Nationalist, Capitalist or Trade union worker. Why? Because I have seen what can be achieved. As has the Yes camp... it has thousands of new members, how long would that take using the old fashioned door stopping.

However, you don't have to "win" at the detriment of others... there is something called win-win situations. If you successful here then it creates the exact same kind of culture that brought #the45plus to this point.

Amnesty #The45plus Style
Labour, Tories and who ever else is suffering as a result of this success, you cannot say that this activism isn't better for Scotland than not having all this energy? Equally there is no point moaning about it... if you can't beat them join them! You've got all these people in one place so Listen to them! develop policies based on what you hear.

Engage with this angry rabble I hear you cry?! Will you get told to "F**K off" to start with? Sure you will! People are angry with you, they feel that you have let them down. They want to vent. Have you never vented with a loved one when they let you down? Did you never speak to them again?

But this same community was also angry with people for voted no just a week ago, and are now connecting. You can't tell me that being Labour and Tory MPs in Scotland at the moment means that you have not got thick enough skin to ride a little torrent of abuse for a bit? 

The community will go nowhere if it's just people shouting at each other or talking in their own tribes.

Hard Times... Great Opportunity
Necessity: the mother of innovation, the father of crime. Tories and Labour, what you gonna do to stem the twitter tide here? You've got to do something! 

1) Give as Good as you get - Maybe you could do what BT did when people were angry at losing coverage, or James Blunt... give as good as you get. 

2) Have you not got any supporters on Twitter? Westminster's watching and they expect you to do something! Invite your supporters to join the debate. If anyone has an issue with me saying this then you are proving "The other side" right, it is a divisive project. If it is inclusive then you'll welcome different voices. 

3) Make Em Laugh - If Labour and the Tories want to make their mark on this make an announcement that all MSP's will be available to chat on XYZ time and date to engage with the electorate... A chance to weigh in on Labour and the Tories be the party that brings the 1.6 million and the other 2 million together on the hashtag. 

4) Resolve Issues, Let People Vent - Ask the community "If we let you give us pelters for a week and we engage listen and act, can we call an amnesty in a weeks time?

Neutral Ground... And the World is Watching
People may be feeling territorial about all of this Twitter stuff, that it "belongs" to someone else... it belongs to no one, this is Twitter, anyone can weigh in! 

However, the world is watching this thing because you've made it news worthy. This time last week Scotland was news worthy on Twitter for two reasons: #the45 and riots. What do you want people to see this week if they check in to the now Famous #the45plus? A war of words or friendly banter? 

Campaigning and Volunteering
Since joining this community people have been telling me I should join a party and put my creativity and experience to good use. I do want to get involved, but I'm not big on party politics. I am going to offer my services.

I am going to blog and offer some suggestions about how this community, about the culture and ideas for anyone who might be interested in guiding and monitoring the discussion. I have been told for 2 years that "my ideas in education are sound, they're just ahead of their time." Today, through the culture that others have set to get us to this point... it's time for me to roll my sleeves up and get stuck in and cut my teeth as a Community Manager.

I can help with this. I will help with this. This is an open community on a channel that is free for anyone to use. If I see people dropping F bombs if I am joining in the discussion and say "There are 16-17year olds here do you think that's the best example to be setting" and you don't like it, block me. 

But if this is the culture you set then everyone else will do it, then you may as well call it #the45 angry people... because that's the only people who will turn up.

Friday 19th     
Last Friday I joined this exciting new community and remained tuned until the wee small hours.I had one priority: Keep the chat positive! Not an easy thing to do when you've just lost an election, a vow is falling to pieces and a riot going on. But between myself and some of my new #45 friends we kept it reasonable positive.

#th45 then trended for the next day or so, the #VoteNo camp came in that there was initial resistance on both sides VoteNo: "Give it up you lost," or #VoteNo "can I join" #VoteYes: No go away! This is natural and subsides and #The45 evolves to include others. I wish I had written this post 2 days earlier #the45plus It's a Mindset, it may have provided enough insight to prevent some arguements both online and in the news and parliament.    

I don't want to be in the news for inciting a riot via this blog and I don't want #the45plus to be in the news because it is a divisive idea. I want #the45plus to be in the news because the #IndyRef banter was not just a one-time flash in the pan but something that we built on because we explored some of these ideas;

1) Our students having the best digial citizenship skills because everyone is interested in #the45plus discussions

2) That this means that everyone is involved in the democratic process.
3) Be the first country to have citizens to have more of a say, instant feedback on what the people think without expensive polls
4) That people love the scottish twitter banter so much that it boosts tourism or provides new jobs through relationship building, I have had a number of discussions like this because of my tweets
5) Inner city kids being inspired by "Team Scotland" Celebs spending an hour to drop in on #MrsSmithsClass to answer questions and inspired our kids

A Lot to Do
This is a big old community, with a lot of different views.Any community needs shaped and moderated and there will a lot of fire fighting that needs done. 

As you will see in my next post I have a lot of information to translate from my work in Education to this community and I'm going to need some help, I will do this happily and freely as it will be good experience for me and will allow me to replicate in this sector... and realise a goal that I have been working on for 2 years.

If anyone is interested in lending a hand please;

1) Join this #The45Plus Community Page
2) Check out this Yammer Community Playbook
3) Watch these Community Manager Hangout Sessions, both of which includes Tim MacDonald as a panelist and, as irony would have it, he answers a question on how to get competitors to collaborate

#Cmgrhangout: Scaling Personal Connections
#Cmgrhangout: Community Management for a Cause 

How Can I Help? Let's Collaborate...

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