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. 

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

What If... You Don't Have a Voice? Keep Telling Your Story (Part 3)... But Work Alone?

The Gods Send (a Twitter) Thread for a Web Begun

Whether in my own kids school, in my 'world of work' (Whether formal employment or loose, informal collaboration) I've found that, to date...and frustratingly!, when an idea gets to a certain point I don't have a voice, even in small groups of people I know quite well.

No matter how accurate my insights are, or how much I care about the organisation and/or the people or the aims/goals/strategic objectives... It's like shouting in a storm.

No matter how long I've spent with the employer or how long I've spent working on an idea, when it gets to even 2-3 people my voice and ideas get lost... and that's OK.

It has not always been 'okay,' but today it's more than OK... It's ideal! One of the aims we are currently working on is to

"Let quiet people know that they can have a voice and that they can make a difference"

As fortune would have it I spotted this article that IntrovertDear Tweeted out yesterday:

5 Superpowers of the INFJ Personality
(See the Thread at the start of this post)

Today we are in agreement with Steve Wozniak's advice in Susan Cain's book Quiet that it might be an idea to work alone.

"Most inventors and engineers I've met are like me - they're shy and they live in their heads. They're almost like artists. In fact the best of them are artists. And artists work best alone where they can control an inventions design without a lot of other people designing it for marketing or some other committee. I don't believe anything really revolutionary has been invented by committee. If you're that rare engineer who's an inventor and also an artist, I'm going to give you some advice that might be hard to take. That advice is : Work alone.You're going to be best able to design revolutionary products and features if you're working on your own. Not on a committee. Not on a team." Steve Wozniak via Susan Cain's Quiet

And then hand projects onto others who are heard once you've played to your strengths. 

If you read Steve Wozniak's book you will hear stories like Steve Jobs agreed to share money with Woz 50/50 but then said that he got $1,000 for the work and gave Woz $500.

When in reality he got $2,000 and so it was a 75/25 split... W
hile it being a stitch up and him being lied to  wasn't very nice, without this partnership would Woz's ideas have come to life without Jobs?

(And would Jobs and Wozniak have met if it wasn't for Tech Visionary Stewart Brand* providing the funding for the Home Brew Club where they met?)

*Don't do drugs kids... drugs are bad! But feel free to change the world, twice if you can ;)

I Don't Have a Voice... Even with People who Pay Me?!
To give just two examples from people who decided to pay me for my time:

1) An employer I worked with for 10 years and excelled in every single role/department I worked in. I told him that I recognised what Jim Collins called the '5 Stages of Decline' in his book 'How the Mighty Fall' 

I felt that his org was at around 'Stage 4.' This news was not welcome! And was ignored.

12 months later? He had to downsize the company making 20 hard working dedicated members of staff redundant. I shared the same email with him and some colleagues from 12 months earlier. 

MD response? He said nothing.

Colleagues response? "You sent this to the MD? Your braver than you look! You're braver than I am! It's like the author of this book was sitting in the office watching this unfold"

2) I was asked to detail my career aims and how I would implement a project by a company interested in hiring me.

I did this and when leaving the company I asked what there was about what I sent before starting with them what was different to the way I tried to implement projects?

The answer? Nothing... We just didn't realise what was involved.

I Don't Have a Voice... With Online Collaboration (Or with my own ideas?!)
Realising that my sales, startup and (Limited) #Cmgr experience was useful in the planning and 'Community Activation' stage to get momentum, I aligned with people and groups that do have a voice.

First with people at the grassroots level in education through EdChat Moderators and later with authors looking to build momentum and community with their books.

After 6 years on Social Media (The first acct I opened was in 2011), I joined a webinar and asked 

"What if you don't have a voice?" 

The advice?

"Keep Telling your story"

I wrote a follow up to this after my #DigCitSummit and #CEduAD expereinces... When I was ready to quit social media.

22nd September 2018 
What If... You Don't Have a Voice? Keep Telling Your Story (Part 2)

Just before ISTE 2014 I wrote a post that looked at 'Social Selling' ISTE13 Reflections: Record, Rewind & Replay

"There is a real skill to effective engagement for suppliers on social media. Any attempt to treat social media as a one-way corporate broadcast will not win any friends or influence any influencers... building relationships through authentic two way engagement is the only way to go" 

For #GE2019 candidates my vote in GE2017 was I voted for whoever replied to me on social media. I have tagged my MSP/MP in many a Tweet in the last 2 years... not sure a reply on 'Vote for me to keep me in a £70,000 a year job' will swing it this time.

Later in the same post I highlight that.

"Social media has changed the sales process and anyone who has the view that sales people are the "slick snake oil" type of sales people who you believe will say whatever it takes to close the deal, then you may be surprised at how similar the new social models of selling are to developing and executing lesson plans. 

This process is one of the core messages from John Golden's book, he advocates the following model"

I have tried to follow this model through research, listening and sharing.

8th November 2019... A picture tells a thousand words.

The image below shows how 16+ projects that I've been involved with come together to see the last 2 aims of the #SeaTurtlePirates adventure comes together:

1) Implementing ideas from the early online community The Well and following the advice of people like Stewart Brand (The Man who Changed the World Twice), Howard Rhiengold (Virtual Communities) and Marc Smith (Voices from The Well), among others.

In particular to seeing a return to 'The Well's' mantra of #YOYOW... Although we've pirated/hacked/rebooted The Well's mantra to include the #YOYOWJOI Compass)

(My 2015 #DigCitSummit Closing Remarks were on this topic...A few months ago I updated thoughts from this post to take into account the changes on social media)

2) Assisting with Tim Berners Lee’s call to action with his call to fight #ForTheWeb

You'd think that given all the problems with these two areas... the people who said during GE2015 'What can we do about online abuse' are now saying 'Tech companies can no longer turn a blind eye'

...But do nothing to reign in their own support base, would be clambering all over someone with a track record like this and working on these areas, especially as their is a kick ass attainment gap story to be had too.

Sadly no! Either they are short sighted and lack vision or I don't have a voice... So I'll work alone for a while to develop these things. Hopefully we'll find 'Economic Dignity' and help promote Cmgr as a career here in Scotland.

Social Media Doesn't want you to have Economic Dignity & Cmgr in Scotland
Experienced Community Managers will tell you that one of the best ways to get work in community management is to be an active member of the community... While this has worked on occasion this is tough in Scotland.

I was told in 2010 by a tech executive at a major tech company that if they were hiring anyone they would look for their digital profile and 'Why can't I find you?' 

When I saw there was a business case for being on social media I got connected... and had some early wins (If you are happy to be paid in smiles).

Jaron Lanier's book highlights how you will get some early wins - and cites the Black Lives Matter movement as an example - but after these quick wins movements lose ground and slip backwards (Compare black lives matter's success with the raise of the Far Right).

Another of Lanier's arguments for Deleting your Social Media Accounts right now, it that 'Social Media doesn't want you to have economic dignity,' and whether looking at films like 'Sorry We Missed You' or the amount that I've done in an unpaid capacity it sure seems like a whole lot of 'Devil and the Deep Blue Sea' 

You either take all the risks and work 16 hours and struggle to make ends meet

...Or you give a whole lot of time and creativity away in the hope that you will be one of the hundreds/thousands of people all looking for attention of the few companies who actually have any money these days.

The advice I was given was 'Get on Social Media, it comes with the job today'

The advice I would give to my kids is 'Don't get on social media until you have a voice... Go on The Apprentice and then spout your controversial views like Katie Hopkins does'

Otherwise, follow the example of The Well and working in small communities of practice with what Howard Rheingold calls a 'No Asshole Rule'

I'm going to continue to work on some ideas that I KNOW have value and develop them until those who do have a voice and influence will take them on. The aims here will be to

1) Let quiet people know that they can have a voice and make a difference

2) Cut a path to find 'Economic Dignity on Social Media

3) Explore where Community/Ambassador programs are headed... Changes ARE on the way in edu at least!! 

4) Lower the barrier; flatten the path for others re the last two goals I'm exploring

5) Try to help provide in-demand skills for my own kids... and hope it helps others.

"At a modest rate the value for my time on these projects would be £90,000" July 2018 Hustle While you Wait

EdTech Report - Developing Relationships & Delivering Value 9 Months
(Research & "Mind dump" only took 3 months but two complete rewrites took a little longer)
SaveEdShelf $30,000 (in 6 Weeks)

Edchat Resource Plan (And adding chats to Chat Salad) 3 months

Get2ISTE 5 people to ISTE

DigCitSummit 2 months

Declara (Volunteer for 12 months) 6 months paid

Curating ISTE resources 2 months (Over 3 years)

Pokemon Go in Edu Report 2 months

Scottish Schools on Twitter (2015 & 2017) 4 months

Skypeathon & MIE Experts maps 4 months

Edcamp Maps 2 months

Bloodhound Maps 2 months

#CEduAD 2018 4 Months

Monday, 4 November 2019

#GE2019 #IndyRef2020 #Cmgr Edu and Life in Scotland

Having accurately predicted every election since 2014 and having responded to the kind of 'calls to action' that were put in at the #IndyRef2020 rally at 'Freedom Square' (George Square to the non-SNP Cultists who are capable of critical thinking), this post looks at GE2019 and why IndyRef2 will probably fail.

Like every other industry politics has been disrupted by both technology and new methods, thanks in large part to the unholy alliance of Trump, Bannon and Facebook... And politicians have struggled to get a handle on what's going on (Jaron Lanier's '10 Arguments for Deleting your Social Media Account Right Now and Edith Eger's The Choice are WELL worth a read! Both Michael Wolff books and The Great Hack documentary are worth checking out too).

If I start this post with something like:

"This is all wrong. I shouldn't be writing this. My kids should be in the kind of school that our politicians and policy makers give in their fine speeches. Yet you all let young people like this lose hope. How dare you!

"You have stolen my dreams and my kids' childhoods with your empty words. And yet I'm one of the lucky ones

...You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you"

I wonder if it will be praised or see my local MSP tell me that the comment is 'Borderline Harassment,' I wonder if it will see the Education Secretary or First Minister praise the work that myself, my 9 year old son and others have done in the last few years?

In my experience, don't count on it... Check out the replies from MSPs in this pathetically hilarious Tweet:

I'm the first to admit that we are among the lucky ones to live in a country where education is a right and there is a system that helps when you are down... But equally Dalrymple is also right when he highlights that:

One of the terrible fates that can befall a human being is to be born intelligent or sensitive in an English slum (But Glasgow has more of them than anywhere in England today #GoDo #ScotlandCan!). It is like a long, slow, exquisite torture devised by a sadistic deity from whose malevolent clutches escape is almost impossible. Lost in the Ghetto

But when you see initiative after initiative and no real change since Dickensian times with 'Social Mobility,' 'The Attainment Gap,' 'Opportunity Area Fund' etc etc... the political soundbites Vs the reality becomes a little tiresome.

Throw in the fact that 20,000 retail outlets closed last year at the cost of 150,000 jobs and 2019 is set to see 23,000 outlets close at the cost of 175,000 jobs... what is it that is replacing them in 'The Most Entrepreneurial country in the world' <- if you listen to Entrepreneurial Scotlands marketing guff.

I'm enjoying the Netflix series 'Living with yourself' and how Paul Rudd's 'Better self' is listened to, but his other self saying the same thing is marginalised.

If you are Greta Thrunberg and encourage kids to take action, people go on #SchoolClimateStrikes and Scottish politicians praise the action. Tell politicians at a fancy ass UN event in New York and express your 'disgust' at them and you are applauded.

Try to encourage change in education - regardless of the tone used or the communication method used - in the SNP's blessed #GoDo #ScotlandCan land of milk and honey and see what reaction it gets.

Help empower other people's kids and educators and then try having kids in an education system where you constantly say "This doesn't seem right, there seems to be issues" then wait until they are leaving the education system and be told "Yeah, there appear to be undiagnosed issues"

See how cheery a tone you'd be using? 

To highlight the level of stupidity we are talking about here even when you send information with the title 'How MSPs can keep their jobs' you get a low level of inquiry... Even when your insights and projects have value.

"If you have insights that prove to be accurate but struggle to be heard... when and where should you speak up? Before disaster? During? After?

Well... I have spoken up before, during and after various train wrecks of initiatives that people in Education have been involved with. I have also tried to raise the alarm since September 2014 with The SNP with the content of this post.

Speak up before hand and you're being negative. Speak up at the time and you're dismissed out of hand, silenced or ignored. Speak out afterwards and it's either you coming across as being smug or rubbing salt in the wounds etc.

Regardless of when you speak out or the reaction the fact remains... opportunities for change are lost!" GE2017 & The SNP - How the Mighty Fall

Listening to the

"Scotland is Diverse, Inclusive and Welcoming"  
"Scotland's destiny is in our hands"
"No matter where you are from you are welcome and this is your independence"

Rhetoric at the weekend might have been inspiring and uplifting for me in 2014/5, it might even have left warm fuzzy feelings for the party faithful yesterday... Until they went into their local newsagent: 

The front page of Friday's papers being full of the depressing levels of poverty here 
  • Foodbanks offering suicide Advice - The Evening Times
  • The expensive Attainment Gap initiatives not working - The Herald
The front page of one of Sunday's papers includes the level of racism in SCOTTISH SCHOOLS 

...Not English Schools.
...Not Welsh Schools
...The DEVOLVED Education that the SNP/Scottish Government is responsible for!

On the next page was an article about how deprived Scotland's towns are today. Of course the default answer will be

'It's the Tories fault... and the rhetoric of hate and division Boris uses' 

Of course there IS something to this, but when that's the excuse since 2007 it wears a bit thin!

Especially if, over the course of the 2007 SNP Government you have had a 16 year old and 18 year old in this 'World Class Education System' that have been BADLY let down and/or you see how uninspiring the job pages are... AKA Sorry We Missed You zero hour contracts, self employed, minimum wage for your wage, you take care of your own tax etc.

9th Sept 2014
For the first time I wrote a post about education and politics

"I am not an ardent SNP supporter, neither do I necessarily want to be separate from the rest of the UK.

However, what I do want, is to see better decisions being made for my kids and other peoples children... I can't see the status quo delivering this (esp as they have been failing at it for decades, if not centuries!), so I feel change is necessary. I don't believe that the SNP and/or an independent Scotland would have the same record with education or class division and elitism" 
Getting Political... About Education

With the benefit of #Cybernat hindsight and the fact that the SNP were clueless about how to manage their grassroots movement in 2014, with the exception of the above... I stand by everything else in the post

...Especially the "Why not you? Why not us? Why not now?" section at the end, something I have gone some way to demonstrate since writing it. As Sam Conniff highlights in his Tedx Talk 

"No one is coming to save us"

19th Sept 2014
As Scotland wakes up to the fact that the hopes of Independence have been dashed and the army of #VoteYes feel "a little down" and are licking their wounds... this Glasgow nutter wonders if victory might be snatched out of the jaws of defeat. Is the best yet to come? Yes Scotland - How can we Help?

I wasn't wrong... Will the insights below be just as accurate on the 13th Dec with the result of #GE2019?

21st Sept 2014
Tried to reach various people in the SNP to let them know that momentum with the post vote movement matters... and that they need to act quickly to keep the movement positive. 

They heard me, but ignored the advice and insights. Every single piece of advice was 100% spot on!
Citizens Assembly? GREAT idea... Erm in 2014 with 1.6 million people who voted 'Yes' at a cost of £0. If 1.6 million was a little ambitious then the 100,000 members was EASILY possible at a seriously low cost and would have delivered a game changing impact too! All on a budget of £0.

A £1.4 million exercise involving 200 people in 2019? 

Lol... What a bunch of idiots who really don't understand what fueled their 2014/5 success!

7th Oct 2014
The culture is now set, and hell mend anyone who disagrees with someone who voted Yes! We are the angry boycotters. We are the anarchists. We are the cybernats and it would appear that our mission to piss everyone off and to argue with anyone who disagrees with the hard line we decide to take.

Oh, and by the way, we're not very good with our maths... because 100% of 45% agreeing with each other is still only 45%, no matter how much more strongly we may or may not believe in independence, this is still a minority. #The45Plus... Where did it all go Wrong?

In August 2019 Sturgeon demonstrates her lack of knowledge (And leadership with her own members AKA the Cybernats) with Community Management. I have encouraged politicians to connect and learn from this group since April 2014... on a regular basis since April 2018.

Some community guidelines and leadership on the weekend of 21st Sept could have worked wonders!

8th Oct 2014
If Vote yes people want to convince Scotland to "Go it alone" an improved economy is a sure fire way to win people over. Collaborate as if Scotland Depends on It

Instead five years later we have a government that gives out bad loans to failing companies like moneys running out, rewarding the lazy and/or those who lacked vision and the ability to plan... while doing nothing for the forward thinking innovators (Adding weight to the argument below that politicians need victims). 

6th May 2015
The day before the election when all the pundits were sayng

"These polls about SNP can't be right, can they?"

I wrote why they were right:

This process could be used in many areas of Scottish society. The SNP benefited from the kind of process that major technology companies utilise, so they know it works. When I'll be impressed with the SNP, or any other party, is when they decide to use these principles in other areas, not just politics.

If any politician (from any party) wants to know how to continue to take advantage of this process in politics or, ideally, apply to other areas, especially in education, you know where to find me if you have any questions. 
Freakonimic Politics: Why SNP Domination was Inevitable

7th May 2015
On election night Henry McLeish came closest to nailing what was going on re: the 'I'm voting SNP' movement. But listening to all the post match guff like 'It will take the Labour Party in Scotland 10 years to recover'

"I was thinking "No it wouldn't!" It could be turned around by 2016... if they did things differently to the political classes usual methods, employing community management methods and "creating new patterns of engagement" Labouring on with #Team56? How to Rebuild Trust When It Is Broken
When reading 'New Power' in May 2018 I was to both find out how accurate these insights were AND be able to find the terminology for what was going on... Maybe should have tried the 'Radical Listening Exercise' of Citizens Assembly fame from 2007-2014 and not left it as late as 2019?

9th May 2015
“When you are at the top of the world, the most powerful nation on Earth, the most successful company in your industry, the best player in your game, your very power and success might cover up the fact that you’re already on the path to decline. So, how would you know?” Jim Collins, How the Mighty fall

This was the day that SNP MPs social media pictures were changed from images of candidates in their constituencies with their activists to the photo opp with Nicola Sturgeon and the #The45Plus was changed again to #Team56 AKA it's now all about us, not them... 'The People' our fans, members and constituents.

The culture changed on this day as a result of success.

"Many startups die of indigestion as much as of starvation" Genome Project, that was the case at the height of the SNPs rock star celebrity stage in May 2015. 

29th Sept 2015
The then Education Secretary asks me to pitch in - in the same way I might have after listening to Mhari Black and Nicola Sturgeon at the weekend - if I didn't know that these were nothing but empty words to get as many of their mates in £70,000 a year jobs ...and not much else!

Having a good idea of how things might pan out when dealing with the political classes... I had the foresight to spend one of the best 30 mins I ever have by writing this post: Using Core Values to Find a Brands Voice.

If you want to predict the future (Or get a 'bad loan' that the SNP will write off to failing businesses in Scotland) stand up and give a 'fine speech' or issue a press release. Tell educators and students that

"Scotland lacks talent" one year (SLF15)... then a year or two later get £600,000 to make

"Scotland the most entrepreneurial country in the world"

What shit! Across the board... from saying this is a talentless country (Except in the political arena)... to giving funds to someone who does not believe in the potential of a nations people? Maybe the talent is rotting in the many Scottish slums and deprived areas looking for opportunities that don't exist?

Since Sept 2015 I have worked on projects that I feel could be high impact/low cost with few resources, lots of challenges and stress and ZERO! I mean FUCK ALL!! help from the people and organisations that stand up and spout this shit at 'Freedom Square'  

This thread shows what we achieved from 26th Sept to 23rd June 2019

10th June 2017
The weekend of the GE2015 result I saw that The SNP was in stage 1 of what Jim Collins calls 'The 5 Stages of Decline"

“When you are at the top of the world, the most powerful nation on Earth, the most successful company in your industry, the best player in your game, your very power and success might cover up the fact that you’re already on the path to decline. So, how would you know?” Jim Collins, How the Mighty fall

Stage 1: Hubris
#Team56 after GE2015
Stage 2: The Undisciplined Pursuit for More
The announcement of #IndyRef2/#ScotRef in March 2017

Stage 3: Denial of Risk
The local election results on the 4th May 2017 and dismissing the result by other parties + going from Team56 to 35 MPs

Stage 4: Grasping for Salvation
All the grassroots movements from 2014-2019 and there has not been representation like this from the SNP and a one-time-proponent-turned-detractor/cynic may think either... 

The #IndyRef2020 nationalist propoganda rally at 'Freedom Square' at the weekend:

1) You turn out in force when you want something from 'The People' to crowdfund campaign funds to get you into a £70,000 a year job and then land the £70,000 + expenses + hiring family members + second jobs etc etc or

(Btw have you seen how many Tweets the AUOB account Tweeted on the day? They lay all the ground work only for ScotNational to move in and build on their work, don't be surprised if the organisers become a little less enthusiastic going forward).

2) You KNOW that momentum has been lost and that the 'Network Effects' and 'Feedback Loops' of 2014/5 have gone and with it #IndyRef2 in 2020, so you try to replicate the 2014 success in the same way in 2019... But it won't work (At least nowhere near to the same extent).

"No one saw it coming" Alex Salmond after GE2017 result and him losing his seat

...Me BEFORE the #GE2017 result!! Politicians may lie... The data doesn't!

"A party with such large numbers of supporters two years ago and only 65 people supporting Salmond's Crowdfunder... WOW austerity must 
REALLY be kicking in! GE2017 & The SNP How the Mighty Fall

The 2014 'Yes' campaign was a 'New Power' storm where it promised both change and participatory politics... but reverted to 'Old Power' once the crowd delivered what the SNP wanted. The cost? Trust.

As well as these posts various emails have been sent since 2014 to say

'I have some insights that I think might help... I live here and my kids go to school here, I want to help'

But it's far more a case of 'Fuck you' than the

'Scotland's Voice will NOT be ignored!' 

Westminster theatrics and fine speeches.

30th Aug 2018 #ForFairness
Announcing a £100,000 crowdfund from Alex Salmond on 20th Sept 2014 during his 'One Scotland' speech for good causes raised by either 

1) Taking £1 from each of the 100,000 members subscription fee or, more likely
2) Asking their 100,000 members to contribute £1-10 for a 'One Scotland Good Causes fund'

Would have added to the narrative of members leaving food for foodbanks in George/Freedom Square.

A £100,000 fund for one persons legal fees and titled #ForFairness (Or was it 'For Scotland' I forget which)

This was confirmation about the usual 'Us' and our needs Vs 'The People' -> Just as self interested as the Tories. This sin't something people will shout about... You'll only see it on polling day.

But consider the data... Consider the time and number of steps that 4,000 people needed to go through to contribute money to this GoFundMe camapign in comparison to the act of a ReTweet that takes seconds to do.

If you are looking to replicate 2014 results you need to keep an eye on the 'Network Effects' ...take a look at the number of ReTweets that either #IndyRef2020 or SNP MPs get 

...Then change the channel to see how many ReTweets either People's Momentum, Corbyn get at least 300 many well over 1-2,000.

Or, if you prefer, the level of RTs Trump gets in the US - but this too is diminishing rapidly compared to 12-24 months ago! 

The numbers ain't there for a repeat of SNP Active 2014/5 in 2019. The 'Network Effects' to take the online support into offline rallies to create 'social proof' isn't there. It is for Labour in England and in 2-3 weeks that could easily make it's way to Scotland... Look at #IndyRef in the 2-3 weeks leading up to 19th Sept 2014!

Go check the combined total of SNP candidates campaign crowdfunds after a week Vs Salmonds in 24 hours in 2018... Is the combined total anywhere near £100,000 after a week of asking for contributions? 

Or check the number of advocates on the doorstep (I know its December) and the number of Scottish National #IndyRef2020 posters in the windows compared to 2014/5.

The numbers are not the same... the numbers are not there. The powerful combination of 'Network Effects' and 'Feedback Loops' with 'Social Proof' from 2014 have gone.

'For Fairness' Crowdfunders, Progress Scotland, Citizens Assembly & IndyRef2020
All of these things were the right thing to do... in 2014! Maybe even as late as 2015. 

But this organisation didn't take the organisational culture seriously at a crucial time when it was scaling and onboarding new members (Both members of staff and fans).

"Ever heard of a company called Ames? From 1973 to 1986 Ames was doing in the North East of the USA what Wal-Mart was doing in the South. Ames stock performance tracked Wal-Mart’s. But while Wal-Mart is alive and well (#1 on the fortune 500), where is Ames today? Dead. Gone. What distinguished Wal-Mart from Ames? The answer lies in their focus. 

Ames acquired a company that changed their focus and destroyed the momentum they built over 3 decades. Wal-Mart continued to focus first on rural small town areas before making an evolutionary migration into more urban settings. In contrast Ames acquired a chain that made them a significant urban player overnight. While Wal-Mart remained obsessed with offering everyday low prices on all brands all the time, Ames dramatically changed to a strategy that was new to them (relying on special loss leader promotions)…one that eventually plunged them into bankruptcy. Meanwhile Wal-Mart continued its relentless march across the US – step by step, store by store, region by region – until it reached the North East and killed Ames with the very same business model that Ames pioneered in the first place" Jim Collins – How the Mighty Fall 

See also Norah Jonestown.

Keep an eye out for how the party splits if/when things go wrong. Don't be surprised if the 'fault lines' are along the lines of Alex Salmond and long time members Vs the newer intake of 2015 fans and Nicola Sturgeon's supporters.

Regardless of your politics you're a pretty shit human being if you wish ill on a group who's aims and goals are worthy but may be unwravelling because of issues around scaling... especially if it's the life's work of some people - and I include Salmond in that, regardless of the court case outcome. (But is obviously with the exception of intolerant hate groups who wish to harm others).

Both social media and technical changes are affecting us all... Including the political classes and one of my core values is empathy

"I even have empathy for politicians (believe it or not). We saw how keen Barack Obama wanted health care reform, but he faced some serious challenges with opposition parties and the industries lobby groups.

I also get that politicians need to show that they are doing "something" in a 4 year period to keep their jobs (whether reshuffle, or losing their seats in an election). One of these challenges may be that good ideas can take a while for results to come through.

I can't imagine that a politician would get praised too much from the media or party whips if their conference speech to included

"What my predecessor established is working, let's leave it another few years"

So having an understanding of the any challenges that people face in their job and obstacles with affecting change is important" 
Using Core Values to Find a Brands Voice

I have a better understanding of some of what's in play with the rise of the far right, social media's BUMMER model and the fact that it's unproductive to simply snipe from the sidelines (Especially anonymously), I may deliver messages in a grumpy tone - in the hope of being heard - but it's ALWAYS because I have solid solutions that are cost effective and know would work... and are always high impact/low cost, some ideas I've seen work in other settings.

But if you offer sound solutions the input is not heard... (Unfortunately) you've got to follow the tactics of Bannon and his crew and change the tone of voice in the hope you are heard.

It's easy when you have a platform and it's gossip like the Thomson Vs Sweeney grope gate...Or 'A Tory Teacher said some mean things about me... lost her job and now is standing against the SNP' (At least they are not up on criminal charges for something like the former first minister a cynic might retort) 

With the Thommson/Sweeney gropegate... the SNP/Salmond acolytes are quick to say 'Innocent until proven guilty' but we have what is essentially a workplace complaint that would never see the light of day in the media at this stage if it was any other organisation other than Westminster/Holyrood during an election.

It's less easy for good ideas from the little people to be heard. I KNOW that these ideas and insights were and are sound, I can explain what's going on better than any highly paid media pundit (Who are increasingly and consistently wrong)... but it's painful always looking in the rear view mirror and having people say 

"Ah I see what you mean when you said that 3-4 years ago"

But as a former supporter (Because of the cultural conditions of 'Yes' in 2014), my perspective is that the soundbites at the weekend ring extremely hollow indeed... take that input/opinion however you like. 

We'll see if the 124,000 members who will be out canvassing for their candidate and the people they convince on the doorsteps feel the same way as these views on the 12th December.

Maybe we'll have a 'Who knew?' and ' 'No one saw it coming' when the results come out on the 13th Dec.

"The customer is not a moron. She's your wife" Ogilvy

On you go SNP candidates go 'grab your destiny' at GE2019, good luck picking up your expensive wage!

Spare the same thought for those who will be losing their jobs at Christmas if it is more than 35 SNP MPs as you would if it was a result like 1997 and the sympathy you'd have for the 29 colleagues who lose their jobs. I know what it's like... it's stressful at the best of times, worse at Christmas.

However many are returned to Westminster in January, try not to forget the people who helped you get that job and who you supposedly work for 'to make a difference.'

But don't be totally surprised if the headlines from the weekend about all the poverty overshadows yesterday's #HopeOverFear guff at the polls in 6 weeks time.

What worked in 2014 AKA the big rallies and/or trying to replicate the Trump 2016 shouty rallies to fire up the base, won't work today. 'Network Effects,' 'Feedback Loops' and 'Social Proof' won't work when trust has been lost (And was the reason I suggested MSP/MPs Skype with schools... I like win-win scenarios, would have been a 'win' for all involved as Dave Logan's Ted Talk highlights)

Want to know how trust is lost and the network effects gone? 

You can tell by the lack of ReTweets... that and the fact the #Cybernats have killed off any opportunity to debate and have 'agree to disagree' conversations. May find the support base has done A LOT of damage.

Don't be surprised if people quietly go back to their pre-2014/5 voting habits of Labour.

It's a far trickier election to predict because we are now in the US model of 'The last story to break is what counts' so a negative story... For talking sake 

An unsubstantiated claim that a Tory MP groped a Labour MP and it being the front page story. 

Or NHS waiting times in a December election, could have a HUGE impact on the day

...Again the result of social media conditioning our behaviour and affecting elections.

But here's my take*

Labour - A clear majority thanks to Scotland quietly returning to pre-2014 voting habits without sharing too much on social media or in the polls.

Conservatives - Thatcher, Blaire Blair (Come on the guy was a Conservative by another name!), Cameron, May, Boris and austerity - No Thanks

SNP - Less than 35 MPs to send a clear message that both Brexit and IndyRef are less of a priority than education, NHS and the economy

Lib Dems - Revival may struggle because we all know it was Vince Cable who bailed the banks out

Brexit Party - Was a protest vote when it didn't matter. Could have as many MPs as UKIP have at Westminster in January

Smaller parties - it's not done much for us so people may just go for the party that could get a clear majority. Just like Brexit being 'My vote doesn't matter... I'll use this to give the Tories a kick' but everyone else was thinking the same = a shock leave result' may deliver the same 'shock' labour result 

*NB There is LOTS candidates could do between now and the 12th Dec but it will be too new for them to consider.

And IF I'm wrong? I'm still right... Lol
In a post called Grant Vs Rand I make an argument about 'politicians need victims' and how keeping the population stupid works for them, so why try to make a serious stab at The Attainment Gap or Digital Citizenship, right?

I think that the way politicians like Trump have dumbed down and weaponised social media for their own gain - falsely masquerading as an anti-elite/establishment 'man of the people,' just like Etonian Boris is trying to do.

Or what about all the 'Social Media companies need to do more... abuse... Election interference... BUT, it's election time we need to buy Facebook ads and target people in the same way Bannon and Trump did' irony? or hypocrisy? 

Whether Boris and #Brexit or Sturgeon and #IndyRef2020, the levels of poverty here, lack of literacy improvements, lack of digital citizenship focus in education... I think the suggestions I made in Feb 2014 (Below) both proves the argument that these politicians need 'victims' and that they are responsible for the deterioration of the conversation on social media more than just about any other group.

Better education and more critical thought might lead people to see that life is no different under Sturgeon than it was with Thatcher's Tories. Not a great selling point for #IndyRef or #GE2019 on the doorsteps!

If people were to look at the various 'safety nets' that are there to protect those who fall on rough times - like the NHS that everyone is fighting to protect - they were policies that Labour got through parliament 'back in the day'

Blair skewed this party... it makes you wonder what kind of world and politicians we might have if John Smith was alive to be the Prime Minister instead of 'Things can Only get Better' Blair & Brown's 'New Labour'

With regard to my agreeing with Rands assertion that "politicians need victims" please allow me to play devils advocate for a moment...

How many adults leave school with a reading age of 5 or the inability of critical thought? 

Do these factors then make certain newspapers their news source of choice?

Are such a newspapers capable of getting our politicians into No10? 

Do politicians get all cozy with the owner of these publications? 

If "yes" why would any politician from any party want to change any situation that delivers power in such a straightforward manner?

This might be especially true if you then consider the implications if politicians were committed to ensuring critical thought was a priority in our young people. After all people may start to wonder;

What is it exactly that politicians do? 

If "we're in this together" can you let us the last time a politician had to visit a food bank? 

If political action is indeed making "people's lives better," who for? Where do they live? 

Why does every encounter with the public need to be stage managed and filled with party political drones, stooges and yes men?

"My experience is that our politics is now so poisonous we will never attract good, honest and decent people in the first place" Ross Thomson re the front page Groping gossip that is #GE2019

"Westminster [And I'd add Politicians] is a boys’ club” Black feels patronised, how the place is a world unto itself" Mhairi Black... Try being one of the 'Little People' and see how patronised you feel with the poor choices on the ballot paper.

"No one is coming to save us" Sam Conniff 
(Certainly not the people on the stage at 'Freedom Square' on Saturday, they will save their own children from John Swinney's Education system by putting their kids in private education and their family from poverty with their wages, expenses, second jobs and hiring family members for jobs that don't exist... But they won't save the people in the many deprived areas and failing towns... otherwise they would have already in the last 12 years).