Author Archives: William Jenkins

#SeaTurtlePirates Recruitment – @TolleyA and Serious Fun⤴

from @ Edu Tech Stories

This post is about my dear friend Andrea Tolley and the awesome and extremely important role she plays in any group conversations.

In June 2017 when planning a #FlipgridFever pre-ISTE celebration (Which, as a direct result of group dynamics, didn't happen), I met a truly remarkable lady for the first time but who, today, I am fortunate enough to call a very dear friend.

You won't see a great deal of engagement on social media between us... But privately on Skype and in private group text  and 1:1 conversations, you should see the fun we have while getting stuff done!

On #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek it's perhaps worth highlighting how tough 

EdTech is (Check out how the first cohort of Imagine K12 companies have faired)
Startups are (The psychological price of  entrepreneurship), and 
Life in Scotland can be at times (Some areas, including Nicola Sturgeon's own constituency, have big child poverty issues) 

Add them all together and it can be a pretty lonely days and can tend to go through some rather miserable experiences too.

If you'd like an example of how confusing and contradictory this all can be... The Scottish Government's Education Secretary is praising the London EdTech scene in a document that praises the use of Skype. 

The 'Scotland's Voice Will Not Be Ignored' party has been studiously ignoring projects that would address issues like 'Empowering Educators' and plans for a Skype Edcamp and Connected Educator Appreciation Day for well over a year now.

Some of the informal, loose collaboration groups that I've been involved with have been great fun... others less so, all have managed to 'Get Stuff Done!'

Some of the people in these groups say publicly and privately that #YouMatter or that 'We are life long family friends' only for you to find out they are no where to be seen when you need a friend.

One of the things that make these groups especially fun while getting stuff done, is when my dear friend @TolleyA has been active in these group conversations.

She has always been there when I've needed a friend to speak to. Anyone who is organising an Edcamp or Teach Meet, needs a @TolleyA on their team, and I now have the article to prove why this is key.

I was never able to articulate why this was until I read this article on a recent visit to Levendale Hospital... Miss out having a @TolleyA in your team at your peril.
Adolf Lindstrøm, the cook; he was a key figure. If you read Amundsen’s diary, he writes that Lindstrøm was basically the most important person on the expedition.

Why Was That?
Lindstrøm was the comedian. He didn’t actually go to the South Pole, but you’ve got to remember that the walking expedition was a small component of the overall time that they were on the ice. They were there for well over a year, waiting to walk to the Pole. They had to wait during the winter and it’s a very tense time when people are idle, without a lot to do. Lindstrøm played an essential role in keeping the peace in the group when there were tense moments.

What makes people like Lindstrøm different from the rest of us?
People like Lindstrøm have a high social intelligence. It’s hard to know exactly what went on – diaries are not necessarily a good indication because people may want to portray a different version of events – but I do know that during tense moments, Lindstrøm would do something funny to get everybody to laugh, which would break the tension.

If we’re trying to select this type of person for a mission to Mars, what sort of qualities would we be looking for?
There are individuals who have these certain innate abilities that you want to be able to recognise and include when you’re putting together groups that are going to be isolated, such as those going into space. There’s a number of different roles that we’ve discovered are important, but one of them is somebody who has humour. That’s clearly important.

So, you’d want to have somebody like Lindstrøm, somebody who is not only good at what they have to do (he was a very good cook) but who also has another skillset over and above what’s in the job description. You would want the same thing to be true for any kind of expedition to space. It could be comedians, it could be story-tellers, it could be peace-makers… It has to do with the emergent properties of groups.

We can put people together thinking that they’re going to work together in a certain way, but over the course of time we get these emergent properties, particularly with these informal roles, that are difficult to predict, particularly when there’s a crisis. I think we can do a better job of putting people together that will do better over the long run.

Some of these things are latent in the sense that they don’t come out and surface until they’re needed. That’s what happened in my research with the fishermen when the strike happened. The comedian role emerged and it went away when the strike was over. These are the kinds of things that make groups more adaptable and help them function better, and I don’t think enough attention has been paid to them.

You can think about it in terms of atoms: when you put different elements together, they produce different kinds of things. It’s the same with people. They may have their own characteristics, but when you put them together, they’re going to create a different kind of situation and we want to have a better idea of what that might be.

@TolleyA will you join the #SeaTurtlePirates on an adventure?
The King of the Sea Turtle Pirates recently got 2 people to join his crew... Not to be out done I added another two people and one more so our friendly recruitment competition is at 3-2 to me.

We'll be racing to Skype with you to see who can reach you first to see if Agent Hamburger will help this crew to have some serious fun.

Steve Mallory & The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship⤴

from @ Edu Tech Stories

In the week that Natalie McGarry pleads guilty of embezzling £25,000 and Glasgow University talks about Govan becoming some kind of 'Silicon Valley' with nanotechnology (Wonder how many people from the deprived estates that one will generate jobs for?!).

This post looks at the realities of the RBS Sponsored #GoDo and 'Can Do Scotland' from my perspective, using the work of Ayn Rand and hero/anti-hero Howard Roark meeting fellow innovator, artist, disruptor, original thinker Steve Mallory.


I've written about Rand's work a great deal in my blog and a relevant extract to frame today's post is at the start of this post How I met Your Awesomeness - Pledgecents (March 2015)

One of the reasons this is relevant is because in 2013/4 I heard Nicole Yershon speak and said to myself:

"I'm going to collabrate with that formidable lady one day,"
and having just read her awesome book Rough Diamond, I'm convinced that this will happen and that it's not too far away either
Nicole highlights how tough being original and a disruptor in business can be, I have found this to be true in my case and have found that being a JAM in The SNP's Scottish Government's #GoDo Scotland to be a tough place to operate in EdTech... So much so that there was something of a breakdown recently.

While I'd prefer not to go into the details, I feel that I owe it to the people who are looking to collaborate with me on a project that's in the planning stages to know this has happened and feel that Roark meeting Mallory is a fitting example to highlight how this has come about (And to detail the impact that the second-handers and/or Takers/Fakers can have on innovators)
.
The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship highlights the cost of startups/innovation can be high.
If 'We the Living's Leo had been born in America, he would have become Francisco D'Anconia of Atlas Shrugged; that is, the measure of his heroic potential. In Russia however, he is crushed" Afterword of Ayn Rand's 'We the Living'

Here's the extract of when innovative Architect Howard Roark met sculptor Steve Mallory in The Fountainhead.

At the beginning of January, while the first steel columns rose from the excavations that were to become the Cord Building and the Aquitania Hotel, Roark worked on the drawings for the Temple.
When the first sketches were finished, he said to his secretary:
"Get me Steve Mallory."
"Mallory, Mr. Roark? Who ... Oh, yes, the shooting sculptor."
"The what?"
"He took a shot at Ellsworth Toohey, didn't he?"
"Did he? Yes, that's right."
"Is that the one you want, Mr. Roark?"
"That's the one."
For two days the secretary telephoned art dealers, galleries, architects, newspapers. No one could tell her what had become of Steven Mallory or where he could be found. On the third day she reported to Roark: "I've found an address, in the Village, which I'm told might be his. There's no telephone." Roark dictated a letter asking Mallory to telephone his office.
The letter was not returned, but a week passed without answer. Then Steven Mallory telephoned.
"Hello?" said Roark, when the secretary switched the call to him.
"Steven Mallory speaking," said a young, hard voice, in a way that left an impatient, belligerent silence after the words.
"I should like to see you, Mr. Mallory. Can we make an appointment for you to come to my office?"
"What do you want to see me about?"
"About a commission, of course. I want you to do some work for a building of mine." There was a long silence.
"All right," said Mallory; his voice sounded dead. He added: "Which building?"
"The Stoddard Temple. You may have heard ... "
"Yeah, I heard. You're doing it. Who hasn't heard? Will you pay me as much as you're paying your press agent?"
"I'm not paying the press agent. I'll pay you whatever you wish to ask."
"You know that can't be much."
"What time would it be convenient for you to come here?"
"Oh, hell, you name it. You know I'm not busy."
"Two o'clock tomorrow afternoon?"
"All right." He added: "I don't like your voice." Roark laughed. "I like yours. Cut it out and be here tomorrow at two."
"Okay." Mallory hung up.
Roark dropped the receiver, grinning. But the grin vanished suddenly, and he sat looking at the telephone, his face grave.
Mallory did not keep the appointment. Three days passed without a word from him. Then Roark went to find him in person.
The rooming house where Mallory lived was a dilapidated brownstone in an unlighted street that smelled of a fish market. There was a laundry and a cobbler on the ground floor, at either side of a narrow entrance. A slatternly landlady said: "Mallory? Fifth floor rear," and shuffled away indifferently. Roark climbed sagging wooden stairs lighted by bulbs stuck in a web of pipes. He knocked at a grimy door.
The door opened. A gaunt young man stood on the threshold; he had disheveled hair, a strong mouth with a square lower lip, and the most expressive eyes that Roark had ever seen. "What do you want?" he snapped. "Mr. Mallory?"
"Yeah."
"I'm Howard Roark."
Mallory laughed, leaning against the doorjamb, one arm stretched across the opening, with no intention of stepping aside. He was obviously drunk. "Well, well!" he said. "In person."
"May I come in?"
"What for?"
Roark sat down on the stair banister. "Why didn't you keep your appointment?"
"Oh, the appointment? Oh, yes. Well, I'll tell you," Mallory said gravely. "It was like this: I really intended to keep it, I really did, and I started out for your office, but on my way there I passed a movie theater that was showing Two Heads on a Pillow, so I went in. I just had to see Two Heads on a Pillow." He grinned, sagging against his stretched arm. "You'd better let me come in," said Roark quietly. "Oh, what the hell, come in."
The room was a narrow hole. There was an unmade bed in a corner, a litter of newspapers and old clothes, a gas ring, a framed landscape from the five-and-ten, representing some sort of sick brown meadows with sheep; there were no drawings or figures, no hints of the occupant's profession.
Roark pushed some books and a skillet off the only chair, and sat down. Mallory stood before him, grinning, swaying a little.
"You're doing it all wrong," said Mallory. "That's not the way it's done. You must be pretty hard up to come running after a sculptor. The way it's done is like this: You make me come to your office, and the first time I come you mustn't be there. The second time you must keep me waiting for an hour and a half, then come out into the reception room and shake hands and ask me whether I know the Wilsons of Podunk and say how nice that we have mutual friends, but you're in an awful hurry today and you'll call me up for lunch soon and then we'll talk business. Then you keep this up for two months. Then you give me the commission. Then you tell me that I'm no good and wasn't any good in the first place, and you throw the thing into the ash can. Then you hire Valerian Bronson and he does the job. That's the way it's done. Only not this time."
But his eyes were studying Roark intently, and his eyes had the certainty of a professional. As he spoke, his voice kept losing its swaggering gaiety, and it slipped to a dead flatness on the last sentences.
"No," said Roark, "not this time."
The boy stood looking at him silently.
"You're Howard Roark?" he asked. "I like your buildings. That's why I didn't want to meet you. So I wouldn't have to be sick every time I looked at them. I wanted to go on thinking that they had to be done by somebody who matched them."
"What if I do?"
"That doesn't happen."
But he sat down on the edge of the crumpled bed and slumped forward, his glance like a sensitive scale weighing Roark's features, impertinent in its open action of appraisal.
"Listen," said Roark, speaking clearly and very carefully, "I want you to do a statue for the Stoddard Temple. Give me a piece of paper and I'll write you a contract right now, stating that I will owe you a million dollars damages if I hire another sculptor or if your work is not used."
"You can speak normal. I'm not drunk. Not all the way. I understand."
"Well?"
"Why did you pick me?"
"Because you're a good sculptor."
"That's not true."
"That you're good?"
"No. That it's your reason. Who asked you to hire me?"
"Nobody."
"Some woman I laid?"
"I don't know any women you laid."
"Stuck on your building budget?"
"No. The budget's unlimited."
"Feel sorry for me?"
"No. Why should I?"
"Want to get publicity out of that shooting Toohey business?"
"Good God, no!"
"Well, what then?"
"Why did you fish for all that nonsense instead of the simplest reason?"
"Which?"
"That I like your work."
"Sure. That's what they all say. That's what we're all supposed to say and to believe. Imagine what would happen if somebody blew the lid off that one! So, all right, you like my work. What's the real reason?"
"I like your work."
Mallory spoke earnestly, his voice sober.
"You mean you saw the things I've done, and you like them — you — yourself — alone — without anyone telling you that you should like them or why you should like them — and you decided that you wanted me, for that reason — only for that reason — without knowing anything about me or giving a damn — only because of the things I've done and ... and what you saw in them — only because of that, you decided to hire me, and you went to the bother of finding me and coming here, and being insulted — only because you saw — and what you saw made me important to you, made you want me? Is that what you mean?"
"Just that," said Roark.
The things that pulled Mallory's eyes wide were frightening to see. Then he shook his head, and said very simply, in the tone of soothing himself:
"No."
He leaned forward. His voice sounded dead and pleading.
"Listen, Mr. Roark. I won't be mad at you. I just want to know. All right, I see that you're set on having me work for you, and you know you can get me, for anything you say, you don't have to sign any million-dollar contract, look at this room, you know you've got me, so why shouldn't you tell me the truth? It won't make any difference to you — and it's very important to me."
"What's very important to you?"
"Not to ... not to ... Look. I didn't think anybody'd ever want me again. But you do. All right. I'll go through it again. Only I don't want to think again that I'm working for somebody who ... who likes my work. That, I couldn't go through any more. I'll feel better if you tell me, I'll ... I'll feel calmer. Why should you put on an act for me? I'm nothing. I won't think less of you, if that's what you're afraid of. Don't you see? It's much more decent to tell me the truth. Then it will be simple and honest. I'll respect you more. Really, I will."
"What's the matter with you, kid? What have they done to you? Why do you want to say things like that?"
"Because ... " Mallory roared suddenly, and then his voice broke, and his head dropped, and he finished in a flat whisper: "because I've spent two years" — his hand circled limply indicating the room — "that's how I've spent them — trying to get used to the fact that what you're trying to tell me doesn't exist ... "
Roark walked over to him, lifted his chin, knocking it upward, and said:
"You're a God-damn fool. You have no right to care what I think of your work, what I am or why I'm here. You're too good for that. But if you want to know it — I think you're the best sculptor we've got. I think it, because your figures are not what men are, but what men could be — and should be. Because you've gone beyond the probable and made us see what is possible, but possible only through you. Because your figures are more devoid of contempt for humanity than any work I've ever seen. Because you have a magnificent respect for the human being. Because your figures are the heroic in man. And so I didn't come here to do you a favor or because I felt sorry for you or because you need a job pretty badly. I came for a simple, selfish reason — the same reason that makes a man choose the cleanest food he can find. It's a law of survival, isn't it? — to seek the best. I didn't come for your sake. I came for mine."
Mallory jerked himself away from him, and dropped face down on the bed, his two arms stretched out, one on each side of his head, hands closed into fists. The thin trembling of the shirt cloth on his back showed that he was sobbing; the shirt cloth and the fists that twisted slowly, digging into the pillow. Roark knew that he was looking at a man who had never cried before. He sat down on the side of the bed and could not take his eyes off the twisting wrists, even though the sight was hard to bear.
After a while Mallory sat up. He looked at Roark and saw the calmest, kindest face — a face without a hint of pity. It did not look like the countenance of men who watch the agony of another with a secret pleasure, uplifted by the sight of a beggar who needs their compassion; it did not bear the cast of the hungry soul that feeds upon another's humiliation. Roark's face seemed tired, drawn at the temples, as if he had just taken a beating. But his eyes were serene and they looked at Mallory quietly, a hard, clean glance of understanding — and respect.
"Lie down now," said Roar. "Lie still for a while."
"How did they ever let you survive?"
"Lie down. Rest. We'll talk afterward."
Mallory got up. Roark took him by the shoulders, forced him down, lifted his legs off the floor, lowered his head on the pillow. The boy did not resist.
Stepping back, Roark brushed against a table loaded with junk. Something clattered to the floor. Mallory jerked forward, trying to reach it first. Roark pushed his arm aside and picked up the object.
It was a small plaster plaque, the kind sold in cheap gift shops. It represented a baby sprawled on its stomach, dimpled rear forward, peeking coyly over its shoulder. A few lines, the structure of a few muscles showed a magnificent talent that could not be hidden, that broke fiercely through the rest; the rest was a deliberate attempt to be obvious, vulgar and trite, a clumsy effort, unconvincing and tortured. It was an object that belonged in a chamber of horrors.
Mallory saw Roark's hand begin to shake. Then Roark's arm went back and up, over his head, slowly, as if gathering the weight of air in the crook of his elbow; it was only a flash, but it seemed to last for minutes, the arm stood lifted and still — then it slashed forward, the plaque shot across the room and burst to pieces against the wall. It was the only time anyone had ever seen Roark murderously angry.
"Roark."
"Yes?"
"Roark, I wish I'd met you before you had a job to give me." He spoke without expression, his head lying back on the pillow, his eyes closed. "So that there would be no other reason mixed in. Because, you see, I'm very grateful to you. Not for giving me a job. Not for coming here. Not for anything you'll ever do for me. Just for what you are."
Then he lay without moving, straight and limp, like a man long past the stage of suffering. Roark stood at the window, looking at the wrenched room and at the boy on the bed. He wondered why he felt as if he were waiting. He was waiting for an explosion over their heads. It seemed senseless. Then he understood. He thought, this is how men feel, trapped in a shell hole; this room is not an accident of poverty, it's the footprint of a war; it's the devastation torn by explosives more vicious than any stored in the arsenals of the world. A war ... against? ... The enemy had no name and no face. But this boy was a comrade-in-arms, hurt in battle, and Roark stood over him, feeling a strange new thing, a desire to lift him in his arms and carry him to safety ... Only the hell and the safety had no known designations ... He kept thinking of Kent Lansing, trying to remember something Kent Lansing had said ...
Then Mallory opened his eyes, and lifted himself up on one elbow. Roark pulled the chair over to the bed and sat down.
"Now," he said, "talk. Talk about the things you really want said. Don't tell me about your family, your childhood, your friends or your feelings. Tell me about the things you think."
Mallory looked at him incredulously and whispered:
"How did you know that?"
Roark smiled and said nothing.
"How did you know what's been killing me? Slowly, for years, driving me to hate people when I don't want to hate ... Have you felt it, too? Have you seen how your best friends love everything about you — except the things that count? And your most important is nothing to them, nothing, not even a sound they can recognize. You mean, you want to hear? You want to know what I do and why I do it, you want to know what I think! It's not boring to you? It's important?"
"Go ahead," said Roark.
Then he sat for hours, listening, while Mallory spoke of his work, of the thoughts behind his work, of the thoughts that shaped his life, spoke gluttonously, like a drowning man flung out to shore, getting drunk on huge, clean snatches of air.

Mallory came to Roark's office on the following morning, and Roark showed him the sketches of the Temple. When he stood at a drafting table, with a problem to consider, Mallory changed; there was no uncertainty in him, no remembrance of pain; the gesture of his hand taking the drawing was sharp and sure, like that of a soldier on duty. The gesture said that nothing ever done to him could alter the function of the thing within him that was now called into action. He had an unyielding, impersonal confidence; he faced Roark as an equal.
He studied the drawings for a long time, then raised his head. Everything about his face was controlled, except his eyes.
"Like it?" Roark asked.
"Don't use stupid words."
He held one of the drawings, walked to the window, stood looking down the sketch to the street to Roark's face and back again.
"It doesn't seem possible," he said. "Not this — and that." He waved the sketch at the street.
There was a poolroom on the corner of the street below; a rooming house with a Corinthian portico; a billboard advertising a Broadway musical; a line of pink-gray underwear fluttering on a roof.
"Not in the same city. Not on the same earth," said Mallory. "But you made it happen. It's possible ... I'll never be afraid again."
"Of what?"
Mallory put the sketch down on the table, cautiously. He answered:
"You said something yesterday about a first law. A law demanding that man seek the best ... It was funny ... The unrecognized genius — that's an old story. Have you ever thought of a much worse one — the genius recognized too well? ... That a great many men are poor fools who can't see the best — that's nothing. One can't get angry at that. But do you understand about the men who see it and don't want it?"
"No."
"No. You wouldn't. I spent all night thinking about you. I didn't sleep at all. Do you know what your secret is? It's your terrible innocence."
Roark laughed aloud, looking at the boyish face.
"No," said Mallory, "it's not funny. I know what I'm talking about — and you don't. You can't know. It's because of that absolute health of yours. You're so healthy that you can't conceive of disease. You know of it. But you don't really believe it. I do. I'm wiser than you are about some things, because I'm weaker. I understand — the other side. That's what did it to me ... what you saw yesterday."
"That's over."
"Probably. But not quite. I'm not afraid any more. But I know that the terror exists. I know the kind of terror it is. You can't conceive of that kind. Listen, what's the most horrible experience you can imagine? To me — it's being left, unarmed, in a sealed cell with a drooling beast of prey or a maniac who's had some disease that's eaten his brain out. You'd have nothing then but your voice — your voice and your thought. You'd scream to that creature why it should not touch you, you'd have the most eloquent words, the unanswerable words, you'd become the vessel of the absolute truth. And you'd see living eyes watching you and you'd know that the thing can't hear you, that it can't be reached, not reached, not in any way, yet it's breathing and moving there before you with a purpose of its own. That's horror. Well, that's what's hanging over the world, prowling somewhere through mankind, that same thing, something closed, mindless, utterly wanton, but something with an aim and a cunning of its own. I don't think I'm a coward, but I'm afraid of it. And that's all I know — only that it exists. I don't know its purpose, I don't know its nature."
"The principle behind the Dean," said Roark.
"What?"
"It's something I wonder about once in a while ... Mallory, why did you try to shoot Ellsworth Toohey?" He saw the boy's eyes, and he added: "You don't have to tell me if you don't like to talk about it."
"I don't like to talk about it," said Mallory, his voice tight. "But it was the right question to ask."
"Sit down," said Roark. "We'll talk about your commission."
Then Mallory listened attentively while Roark spoke of the building and of what he wanted from the sculptor. He concluded:
"Just one figure. It will stand here." He pointed to a sketch. "The place is built around it. The statue of a naked woman. If you understand the building, you understand what the figure must be. The human spirit. The heroic in man. The aspiration and the fulfillment, both. Uplifted in its quest — and uplifting by its own essence. Seeking God — and finding itself. Showing that there is no higher reach beyond its own form ... You're the only one who can do it for me."
"Yes."
"You'll work as I work for my clients. You know what I want — the rest is up to you. Do it any way you wish. I'd like to suggest the model, but if she doesn't fit your purpose, choose anyone you prefer."


#YOYOW You Own Your Words… Or Do You?⤴

from @ Edu Tech Stories


The best way to Predict the Future is to Issue a Press Release... Seems to be what political types do.

This post details why I think that the Governments new #OnlineHarms is a lot of rubbish and questions

"Who is it that 'Owns Your Words' online?"
Is it you? 
Those you talk to and/or about? 
Twitter? 
The Government?

A summary of my #DigCit Efforts
I am NOT a digital citizenship expert, but when looking to reskill from sales to Community Management, I have found myself getting involved with both politics (Yuck!) and Digital Citizenship initiatives (Can also be Yuck at times! That is if you're a Misfit like I am, and get ignored even in a small group).

2014 Scottish Independence Referendum
The cultural conditions for the Scottish Independence Referendum were special!

In that space and time if people like Jamie Hepburn wanted to implement the Fair Start Scotland initiative... it would NOT have taken £96 million and 3 years... could have happened within weeks, as I've said numerous times on this Ev Williams created space (Blogger) as well as the space he and Biz Stone created with Twitter:

'Jane Jacobs ideas could have spontaneously erupted all across the SNP's 'One Scotland'

I wrote extensively about what The SNP should do to keep the culture positive... and shared my Cmgr/OU Human Geography insights with them from as early as the night of the result at the end of September 2014. The insights have been continually accurate... and continually, studiously ignored.

(This post from #VoteYes to No Thanks includes some of the ways that I've offered to help the SNP and Mr Salmond's 'One Scotland').

I wonder if I've done more than his #Cybernats have done... or my SNP MPs for their constituents, STILL waiting for my reply to Margaret Ferrier in 2015. Found it yet?

GE2015 2015 Politicians and DigCit
In the run up to #GE2015 General Election ...I also watched in disbelief as MPs complained about online abuse AND threw their hands up and said

'But what can we do about it?'

(That's as well as predicting months earlier why SNP domination was inevitable as a result of the #IndyRef 'Network Effects' and 'Feedback Loops')

While they threw up their hands a few years ago... here's what I was writing about:

Online Abuse... I Blame the Politicians
#DigCit Vs the Trolls I'm a Student Friendly Social Media Educator

Last year I was to find out just how insightful my 2015 ideas were as I read about
Why Good People Turn Bad Online as well as New Power

Four years on and Sajid Javid has a shiny launch and

1) Does what these idiots do best (And is ALL they do! #Brexit!), blame someone else, and says
2) "Tech companies can no longer turn a blind eye"

Meanwhile his colleagues, if either the fake news and/or Steve Bannon are to be believed... are speaking to Bannon!

And the SNP are studiously ignoring how the Cybernats are wrecking some people's lives.



DigCitSummitUK
I fell for the whole 'Stand up give a speech with a call to action' in 2015 by getting involved when Chris van der Kuyl gave his Scottish Learning Festival keynote in 2015 where I curated some data and this lead to:

1) The then Education Secretary asking me to help with the Digital Learning Scotland Consultation

2) Sharing an article about Digital Citizenship and Twitter in Scottish Schools with one of the Digital Citizenship Twitter chat moderators.

3) Me organizing the first international Digital Citizenship Summit in January 2016 (Within 2 months and on a zero budget).

This event also saw lots of criticism from people (Some saying that getting US educators over here was a money grab,' but the same event in 2018 and it's a case of 'Let's do it!' the day after the #DigCitSummitIRL event).

Scottish educators seemed more than happy to connect with US educators at last years' #CEduAD event too.

Nor was there ANY help from people like

Chris-lets-make-Scotland-the-most-entrepreneurial-country-in-the-world van der Kuyl or
Angela-it's-your-democratic-right-to-be-snarky-about-political-types

So the ideas that I have about this #OnlineHarms would, like the UK Govt's EdTechStrategy last week, be years ahead in some ways... but why should I give my ideas to such a hypocritical, nasty, self interested group of people who do anything BUT 'making a difference' to people's lives, regardless of what they think or why they got into a sector with £75,000 a year + expenses + second jobs etc and claim to be 'humble crofters'

They don't even help their own supporters who distributed thousands of leaflets for #Team56 when they are having a hard time by the 'cybernat' SNP/IndyRef supporters?

Or when Javid's colleagues - if they are talking to Bannon - are part of the problem but he blames the work of people like @Biz and @Ev who gave me a voice? A sold and steady argument? Erm #NoThanks!

GE2015 Declara & Ian Blackford
In 2015 I had a call with Ian Blackford and told him that he and his colleagues should create a collection of good news stories and have their advocates create 140 character 'insights' on Declara so they could be tweeted and drown out the Cybernats when 140 character politics arrived properly.

He didn't follow up on this... And yet what do we have today?

Well just look at how Trump bypasses the 'Fake News' today by using these same tactics with the Alt Right folks who have been on platforms like Reddit for years? Go figure!

Ideas for 2016 & 2019 Candidates
If Tech Stories did Politics 

#YOYOW... Or Do You?
My #DigCitSummitUK Closing Remarks were around The Well's mantra of 'You Own Your Own Words'

After reading The Well in 2015, I felt that big social media would head in the same direction as some of the Well Beings, like Howard Rheingold, did...

Through a conversation on Twitter with Howard and the call to fight #ForTheWeb last month, it would appear that I wasn't wrong!

#FortheWeb? #FFS #DigCit #Cybernat Mission to Help Recruit Elle

#EdChatMod Google+ Forum... Thank You and See You at @GiveandTakeInc Givitas

The hope was that this #DigCitSummit community in 2016 would become a 'Swarm' that could help in exactly the way that US Counter Terrorism suggests with tacking Scottish School girl Asqa Mahmood (As detailed at the end of this post ACEing Made to Stick).

However, in 2015 I was not aware of Mahmood or of these 'swarms' or the book New Power.

I read New Power last April. Reading the book was not my idea, it came recommended by someone who suggested I read it... I'm glad I did. You know who you are... And the person who recommended it has been thanked. To use the cryptic language like the #CEduAD Cooking with Gas post and other messages.

Through New Power I saw that my ideas were sound... So I set about building upon the #DigCitSummitUK work by sending an email to see about a #DigCitSummitScot last February, as some DigCit experts where 'across the pond' for the #DigCitSummitIRL event in April 2018.

David Ryan Polgar moved on from the #DigCitSummit movement after a few years. And when the other co-founder and 'Life Long Family Friend' did not reply... I 'pivoted' to the idea of a Skype Edcamp.

There was so much interest from around the world that @TolleyA and I decided to plan for a physical Skype Edcamp on the same day as trying again with a #CMAD inspired 'Connected Educator Appreciation Day' idea (But had 24 hour EdChat-a-thon idea before I knew about CMAD in October 2013).

But the problem with this attempt at building a community of educators who might 'Swarm' with positive messages and an alternative narrative, and perhaps protect others like Shamina Begum was that

'We were the wrong kind of people, with the wrong kind of purpose... and/or @TolleyA and I were not able to keep up with the breakneck speed of the #CEduAD team'

"Words on a screen hurt people. Although online conversation might have the ephemeal and informal feeling of a telephone conversation, it has the reach and permanence of a publication" Howard Rhiengold

That extract is from The Heart of The Well Chapter of Virtual Communities regarding the suicide of The Well member Blair Newman.

The permanence of the written word is something that toxic Facebook is now realising too, 26 years after Howard and Marc Smiths observations from the Voices of The Well... Facebook is looking at having impermanent messages, according to an article that features in a recent CMX update.

I can confirm that those 'Wrong Kind of People' comments do indeed hurt!

Especially when they came from people you admired and looked up to, and/or come from those who you 'Empowered' (Apparently) by encouraging to make that all important first Skype call, and introducing them to people in your network #ConnectWithPurpose!

Quitting Twitter
"Get on social media it comes with the job today if you want to be in EdTech" was the advice I was given by a Microsoft exec in 2010... Something I was ready to quit on in September 2018.

Since looking to reskill from sales to community management since 2014... there hasn't been a great deal in terms of a steady income.

After my voice not being heard and being rejected from yet another group!
This time for an idea that was my own!

(Well, when I say my own idea - see below - I mean was generated from 'Slow Hunches' and making links to: #EdChatMods + a great source of #Cmgr PD for me + listening to Educators concerns about Crowdfunding and their districts PD).

But it was something I had worked on (off and on) over a 3 year period!

My personal life was a mess - moving house, terminally ill family member, kids playing up because of all the adjustments - and I was ready to hit delete on my Twitter account... So why am I still here?

Words on a Screen Hurt People... But A Kind Word Can Make ALL the Difference!
"I said something and the internet spoke back, no way!" @CordyM at ISTE 2016 Closing Keynote

Someone noticed.
Someone said they would miss me.
Sarah has also acknowledged my contribution with other projects over the years too.

"That's nice I thought"
"I said something and the internet spoke back, no way!" (To borrow from Michele's awesome keynote)

Delete... You Own Your Own Words... Or Do You?
The Well's Mantra was #YOYOW: You Own Your Own Words and was the subject of my 2016 DigCitSummitUK Closing Comments.

In 2019 with

1) The Government's #OnlineHarms White Paper
2) Twitter shutting down more accounts because of copyright and complaints
3) Online hatred now affecting people IRL
(Shamina Begum recruited by Asqa Mahmood, Molly's suicide, New Zealand mosque far right killings)

Whether it is anyone that you have paid a compliment to - or hurt badly - with your words, who is it that owns your words in the confusing spaces that is the online world in 2019?

Fake Friends and Lost Words
I have had a few 'Life Long Family Friends' not only block me and had people that I introduced them to make me out to be a horrible person... but also delete every kind thing they ever said about me.

I have people who told me that 'You have a voice' and that 'You Matter' but have blocked me... for the same reasons that I'm beyond sick and tired of hearing Ian Blackford for! His

"Scotland will not be ignored"

But never seems to hear this particular Scot.

That group didn't hear me... in a space with 4 'friends' to discuss an idea that I worked on for 3 years and they couldn't/wouldn't hear my voice. They took the ideas, my time and effort and didn't look back?!

So I can't reference some 4 years worth of kind words, conversations and the contribution I made to discussions. Who owns the

'It's William Jenkins that got me started on the Connected Educator journey?'

The person who said them? And has blocked me from accessing those kind words?

Me because they were about me? And the way that I impacted their personal and professional development, and could benefit my career in job interviews but can't use without the possibility of an awkward

'But they have blocked you' conversation?

Twitter because they own the platform? What about my time? 50,000 tweets at say 2 minutes per Tweet = 3 months of my time, not to mention the ideas I've shared and the connections that I've made that have proved productive (rasing money and helping new ideas take off) and/or anything I did to see the next DigCitSummit take place at Twitter HQ?

Or is it now the government? Which is a worry and so hypocritical it beggars belief... Old Etonian arrogance!

Whether the SNP who have continually ignored me when I've been NOTHING but supportive of their #SLF15 'Educators Need to Collaborate More' and empowering educators rhetoric.

Or the Conservatives with their 'Tech companies can't turn a blind eye"

But Steve Bannon can say that he's talking to Letter Box Boris and Lunatic Gove (What David Cameron called his former Education Secretary).

Don't be a Twitter Quitter
In 2015 the data that I curated directly after Chris van der Kuyl's keynote (After having met with 5 senior MPs on 5 different projects - one even included a visit to Downing Street with John McAlaney re Social Norms), my attitude was

'I know what to do here... and I'm not going to bother with the pointless politicians'

At a 2014 #UKFEChat meet up the question was posed

'What are we supposed to do William ignore the goverment?' 

YES! I said regarding FELTAG... Followed by the sounds of laughter and disagreement at the crazy misfit in the room.

Where is 'FELTAG Friday rocket boosters on' Matt Hancock today?
Where is his predecessor as FE Minister, Nick Boles, today?
Where the heck is the 100% of FE Course material online?
And if  FELTAG has NOT delivered... then where is all the money that went into it?
Where is Every Child Matters?
Where is the Attainment Gap at?
Where is David Cameron's Big Society?
Where is David Cameron?
Where are the consequences for Vince Cable and his 2007 banks are #TooBigToFail, to I should have let them fail?

Mr Cameron and Mr Cable, do you have ANY idea what scrapping ECM and bailing the bank had on me personally? Or more crucially for politicians across the spectrum... do you even care?

Mr Hancock and Mr Boles do you have any idea what ACTUALLY listening to me might have done for the FELTAG agenda in 2014 as well as with the original 'FELTAG Friday' 2020 goals?

But I am still here on Twitter today... and am so because

1) Of a kind word
2) I was confident that the lessons from The Well would be important
3) I felt that something like the fight for #TheWeb would need a Well reboot
(We're using #YOYOWJOI)

But I'm now going to do something really, really painful here... I'm going to disagree with someone I admire because he changed the world (twice), with regard to The Well Reboot #ForTheWeb

Mr Brand, I don't Own My Words!

And I'm glad I don't because otherwise I would have quit social media because of all the political types, the takers, the fakers and the hate that - with the exception of moaning - the politicians have done nothing about since 2015.

The words: the good, the bad and the ugly, were said by me... and I do indeed OWN what I say, but they are not just mine alone anymore.

These words are the result of the amazing space that Biz Stone and Ev Williams built (And are two people who's work have given me a voice... Thank You!! I'll be 'paying it forward' on the #SeaTurtlePirates adventure and it's going to be Bliss too!)

They are shared words!
I own my words but they are shared... they also belong to the people I spoke about, and it was my choice to speak about them on a platform for the world to hear what I had to say about them.

To take those words from them by deleting my account? That would have been wrong of me!

@Sfm36 @TolleyA @BeYonder @MichaelJGaston and the 23 people who helped with my desperate 2018 crowd funder (As well as those who provided moral support too)... you were and are

'Love in Action'

The start of the #SeaTurtlePirates adventure began with a 7 year old boy turning pirate by breaking a little rule with a bunch of Donkeys (Their contribution at the end of the adventure will be acknowledged!)

... But the @BeMorePirate adventure will be continuing through whatever #NewPower storms that Twitter and collaborating with people with different views, personalities, career aims, personal challenges in a loose informal context brings.

Go into any house with kids where David Cameron's 'Young Aspirational Families' are now Theresa May's 'JAMs' and see if you can find parents who love their kids dearly but DON'T let their frustration of life in a country of the bailed out banks get the better of them and shout at their kids... It's probably a regular occurrence.

Go into any school, workplace, coffee shop or neighborhood and you'll find people falling out.

Just look at the bickering at Mr Javid's place of work and the 'Hallowed Halls with it's no clapping traditions' and 'Right Honorable People' that are his colleagues: Theresa May is hardly getting on with her team, and the person responsible for 'ORDER! ORDER! speaker has faced accusations of bullying?

So what if you are in the same space and collaborating with passionate people who have opposing views? For example:
'Yoons' + IndyRef supporters?
Corbyn supporters + people affected by Northern Ireland's 'Troubles?'
People who support Colin Kaepernick's Black Lives Matter + people who see this disrespectful to the US military?
Vegans + people who earn a living through the farming industry?

You could EASILY be one wrong conversation and/or misunderstanding away from a falling out and maybe even seeing the group/community falling apart!! There are also introvert Vs extrovert mis-communications, and making sure that takers/fakers and/or assholes don't poison the well being of the group.

Getting the right people with a shared purpose is one thing... finding the right core values and community guidelines is another thing entirely #YOYOWJOI!

But whatever happens, it's an adventure that would not be happening for me if it was not for the kindness a few people showed me online in 2018.

Mr Blackford go compare that to the 6 Cybernats that are making some people's lives a misery online and IRL. 'Scotland's Voice Will Not Be Ignored!' The same kind of Westminster dramatics as Mr Javid yesterday with his #OnlineHarms noisy launch?

Here's to a kinder 2019... Here's to a #YOYOW 2.0 reboot that brings JOI... and here's to The Misfits!!

What If... They are not your Ideas? What if the Idea Picks You?
Last August at the end of my first ever meeting with Chrissy MacKay at Be Yonder (Who I connected with because of a #ECGlobal conversation with @FillTheGapLearn) and she recommended a crazy book which had also been recommended about 10 years ago... but looked a little too crazy for me a decade ago! But I read it this time.

After reading it I asked James Stanbridge and Ayelet Baron (Who hosted the awesome 2016 CMAD  Building Relationships to Ignite Movements session) if they had read it, they had... this led to Ayelet recommending another (Which hurts my head!) and this concept jumped out at me.

The idea of a Skype Edcamp developed as a result of Ian's Tweet above and the Post BETT 'Capes and Kilts' Microsoft visit to Sarah Clark and Malcolm Wilson's schools.

If it is the case that 'The idea picks you' and that 'New Power' is like a current and 'Crowd Leaders' are interested in empowering others... and if empowering Scottish Educators is something Mr Swinney want's to encourage then...

There is A LOT more to this story! @GibsonI encouraged me to submit a Tedx Glasgow presentation and helped to improve the application, but the talk was rejected + the story would be left unfinished if I had deleted my Twitter account if it wasn't for @Sfm36.

So if anyone wants to see the content of the presentation, which includes ideas around #OnlineHarms and potential aims and outcomes of the #SeaTurtlePirates... give them a shout.

We need digital leaders to connect with educators and schools locally and globally. Help Ellie (And Elle!)

Something our politicians appear to have caught up with the idea of! Perhaps in 12 months time people like Business and Skill Minister Jamie Hepburn will be agreeing with this objective.

“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" Sherrie via CMAD 2016 Reflections of a Newbie.

In the mean time, hey @Sfm36 & @GibsonI  There really should be a #CEduAD panelist on as many 2020 #CMAD hangouts as possible to further the CMAD business objective… Just a thought and a random idea.

I'll leave the last word on Twitter in 2019 with the person who gave me these insights:

Twitter Literacy Knowing How to Use it is Key by Howard Rheingold.



#EdTechStrategy Vs #GoDo #ScotlandCan & Fair Start Scotland?⤴

from @ Edu Tech Stories

6th April 2019 Update
The post below was written yesterday in line with Jay Baer's comments from the 'Hug Your Haters' #Cmgrhangout regarding how:



"Haters are not your problem... Ignoring them is" 

I had raised a number of concerns offline and heard nothing back, so took my complaint, grievance and frustrations online.

As Jay highlights, if people have tried calling, emailing etc and got no response they already have 'one foot out the door' as a customer, so the content of response and speed of response are key!

To his credit, Mr Hepburn, came back to me immediately after I posted the content below... and with a satisfactory response, which was (and is) appreciated!

With the EdTech Strategy being launched earlier in the week + hearing about others in Scotland in the EdTech scene who are struggling (Doing innovative work... but are looking to leave), I created a moment of conflict in order to make sure I was heard.

I leave the post unedited and raw (Although will tone down a little), so that others can see how I am exploring and dealing with #NewPower storms and Be More Pirate 'Tell Tall Tales'

...And what I hope will be the #SeaTurtlePirates compass if/when encountering any @BeMorePirate #NewPower Storms = The #YOYOWJOI compass.

I don't like being in snarky mode, but if it helps in any way for those who are Lost in the Ghetto, I will!

But kudos to Mr Hepburn for addressing this the way that he did, and my apologies for any and all snark below...Including to the service providers who are doing good work

(But a little more joined up thinking and collaboration though, Yes? No? Maybe?)

5th April 2019 The Original Angry Post! (But edited and toned down a little)
This post details my experiences as an unfortunate victim of Jamie Hepburn's flagship skills program 'Fair Start Scotland' (I've already suggested an alternative name for the initiative).

It is written in the hope of either

1) Warning others of the dangers of trying to innovate in a backward looking place and/or
2) The challenges that can come from your ideas being ahead of their time.

If you like the sound of the latter do yourself a favour and read about Henry Cameron's experiences in The Fountainhead... It sure ain't easy!!

Not the Tories Fault... Not this time ScotGov/TheSNP
If there are two things that will wind the Scottish Government up it will be to either say:

1) That things are no different after 17 years of SNP being part of the Scottish Government than under Margaret Thatchers Tory Government

And yet, with parents struggling to make ends meet because of banks, mortgages and decisions made by the Bank of England, the economy tanking and educator moral being pretty low, what's really changed?

Only politicians could go from 'celeb rock star status' to 'Meh! no different to Thatcher years' within 4 years!

2) That the current Conservative Government are NOT to blame for at least one area of the economy and/or Scotland's issues.

Not when the EdTech industry is both thriving south of the border AND is getting support by the Education Secretary and the UK Department of Education with the launch of the EdTech Strategy document this week.

There is not much of an EdTech sector in Scotland and, in my experience - and the experiences of a few others - there isn't anything by way of support.

I have been fortunate enough to be connected with people where I've seen very clearly where the future of work is headed.

This is not always a benefit when you don't have a voice, when you share your ideas with the wrong kind of people and/or when you're trying to pay the bills.

A few years ago the UK Government Education Departments would tell you

"We can't be seen to be recommending any particular company or product... even those doing good work"

Compare this with the ideas I had in 2014 and with their shiny new EdTech Strategy (Which, just like Gazelle and FELTAG did, has some key flaws)... and the differences in the kind of response the suggestions got.

9th January 2014 Vs April 2019
Email to EdTech Suppliers
"I am writing to you today to see if you thought it would be useful if there was a regular Twitter Chat where suppliers to the education sector could share ideas, collaborate and network with each other. A PLN for Edu suppliers. Please find more details on this idea in this blog post;

StartUpEduChat - http://edutechstories.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/startupeduchat.html"

Example reply from suppliers
Thanks for your thoughts - it's an interesting idea, and very worthy.

I can forsee a few issues:
  • It feels overly utopian. Most successful edtech suppliers may feel a conflict of interests sharing their hard won formulae.
  • Twitter is poorly used and understood (IMHO) by most Educational suppliers, and not monitored regularly enough by those that do to develop any meaningful conversation

  • Company twitter accounts are often staffed by marketing advisors, juniors, or similar who may not have the product/business experience to contribute in a way that delivers value to the stream

  • When would the conversation happen? Can't be in the day as people are working, and wouldn't work in the evening as that's when (most) have clocked off for the night.

  • If staff are going to spend time on Twitter I suspect most companies would prefer they were talking to customers, or supporting the brand.

  • Many followers of edu suppliers Twitter accounts will not be overly interested in seeing tweets of this nature and short of blocking the hashtag, won't be able to avoid them

  • Hashtag spam, dull promotional tweets, commercial agenda driven tweets
Those are mainly probs with using edu suppliers branded twitters. If it's down to individuals, then the problems are less. But most still apply.

Startups are naturally more open and willing to share, by definition. But those they seek to learn from (those that have made it) may ironically fall into the issues above.

I promise I am not trying to be negative (BrainPOP is one of the most open and socially savvy edutech brands out there) but it might simply be that trying to achieve the aim of sharing best practice on Twitter might be the wrong tool to choose.

Of course, this should not stop you from trying, I could be completely wrong.

Then either compare with a few months later when I ceded the idea to Katya Hoyt and Steve Isaacs and supported them with their #SXSWEdu #EdTechBridge idea... OR (more crucially) with the #EdTechStrategy that pretty much is doing what I suggested that #FELTAG should be doing (See The Problem with FELTAG)

My Fair Start Scotland Journey
Only having the good and the great connecting with you when your ideas are ready for them to make a name for themselves has two consequences

1) It has a negative impact on those who are truly collaborative... The edu data informs me that social media is FULL of these kind of relationships (And that those who are truly collaborative are adjusting for this!)

2) Helping others in their career and with their personal brand doesn't pay the bills very well.

And trying to reskill to an EdTech Community Manager in a land with no EdTech industry and who have no clue what Community Management is... That has been an error of judgement on my part, who knew geography mattered so much today.

Indeed, the UK EdTech Strategy really should be called the London EdTech Strategy.

As I will state a number of times in this post, there is absolutely ZERO criticism of the people I am in contact with - especially those at Rutherglen Job Centre and Routes to Work Cambuslang.

Conversely, there's nothing but scorn for the pointless politicians that have done such an abysmal job that they have seen a former advocate become so disillusioned by the sheer level of their incompetence in a few short years... Is nothing short of astounding!!

It beggars belief and is a marvel to behold (Go check my Rah! Rah! Rah! IndyRef/SNP posts... they're all still there! #IfIKnewThenWhatWeKnowNow!)

1stNovember 2018
Coming to the end of one of the worst years I've had in a very long time (If not ever!) With my job search going nowhere and me being desperate to find anything at all... my work coach suggested Fair Start Scotland and Routes to Work. 


The aim of going onto this program being so I can ‘dumb down’ my CV as there is no EdTech industry here and no #Cmgr roles.

I met a Routes to Work rep at the Job Centre and agreed to get referred to this voluntary program.

I had a letter and initial meeting scheduled with Laura Sloan, this then changed to Fiona Davidson between the appointment being made and the actual meeting. At the end of the interview Fiona recommended Routes to Work and I spoke to Maureen (Who was absolutely freaking AWESOME!)

A letter came through for Remploy. I thought that I was with Routes to Work? Must have been referred on to them? That's a shame! I liked Maureen. Oh well fine! They know best (Yeah right!)

An induction set up for the 12
th November.

12thNovember 2018
Totally Unimpressed with the induction!

It felt like I was a name and a number - after seeing the £96 million over 3 years I can now see why this was the case - The induction was held with Craig in the main reception (All the meeting rooms had been taken, apparently).

This was a day after my mother-in-laws funeral and I left feeling underwhelmed when I got the hard sell to fill the form out there and then... 


'Don't let any of these walking £6,000 mugs leave without signing up'
You can almost hear in the weekly team meetings from the 'Just fill it in... No you can't take it with you'

 
16thNovember 2018 
Tell my Job Centre Work Coach how underwhelming the whole thing was and a ‘What have you got to lose’ convo with her sees me agree... "Yeah you're right. I'm pretty desperate"

 
17th November 2018 

Remploy’s apprentice followed up with a call asking if I’d like to arrange a meeting following the induction, a meeting was arranged.

 
W/C 19thNovember 2018 I went back and filled out the application with Chris AFTERI asked 

"Will me signing up to this exclude me from any other initiatives"
And made a point of referencing the challenges with being on Working Links and New Enterprise Allowance


NO!’
Was the reply... This turned out to be a lot of shit!! Thanks Chris!! Hope you got your commission or whatever you get for signing me up!

28thNovember 2018 
On my second appointment with Chris where we were going to go through my CV after complementing me on my CV and saying how he thinks he can help, he logs on and gives it: 

"William you’re not on our system... We went through all the paperwork last time didn't we?"

Went away and came back and said 


"You're supposed to be with Routes to Work"


"Right OK! Well if I’m not impressed with Routes to Work, can I come back to you?"

"No!" was the reply 

"Here we go again" thinks I!

 28thNovember 2018... Later that Day
I stopped off at Cambuslang after this meeting and asked to speak to Maureen who said 

“William where have you been? I wondered why you’d been taken off the system. You’re supposed to be with me and with Routes to Work” 

Helen at Rutherglen Job Centre confirmed this.

 I had two meetings with Maureen when she did tonnes to try to help, including meeting with the guys at Be Yonder to assess how they both might be able to find funding for a role they were exploring and looking into Community Jobs Scotland.


Progress was made as I would be eligible for Community Jobs Scotland... but the age had changed from anyone of any age is eligible, to under 29. #FFS #FSS!!

20thFebruary 2019 
Maureen had been off so I was referred to one of her colleagues, who has also been super friendly, supportive and helpful.

They've also been extremely patient and understanding as they've had the shitty end of the stick as I've been in

"I'm getting fucked about by this Fair Start Scotland shit" mode (Not a pretty picture, I can tell you!). 

I have met with this advisor once or twice and have dropped in for updates a few times.

 
21stFebruary 2019
I asked Helen at Rutherglen job centre if I was eligible to go back onto New Enterprise Allowance as Fair Start Scotland had, in spite of any good intentions and some really helpful people, not actually much has been done since Nov 2018 


The reply was that I was eligible for NEA but NOTif I was on Fair Start Scotland (#FSS? Most def should be changed to #FFSS For Fuck's Sake Scotland!!)

So if I was
NOT on Fair Start Scotland I would have been referred to NEA* 6 weeks ago.

*Not that NEA is much better, ask about VC funding and you get laughed at! Their slide and advice on credit rating = "If you have a bad credit rating... Do something about it." No shit sherlock! We are not all NRAM and RBS with Vince Cable on speed dial and billion pound bail outs within 24 hours mate.

[*Waves*] To Vince '#TooBigtoFail' Cable... 

How are your buddies at NRAM and RBS getting on there? 
9 Consecutive years of losses and numerous fines... and their business is what's that? Money? Interesting!
Are the execs enjoying their bonuses while they close all the branches? 
Or are they still sending 'Give 'em rope' memos? Still shafting their customers?

 21stMarch 2019
9am
Go to Fair Start Scotland/Routes to work to ask a Question) "Am I eligible for NEA?" Answer)
"Yes but you’d need to come off Fair Start Scotland"

10am
Stop in on a critical friend to have a complete RANT!

11am
Rutherglen Job Centre
Evidence is based around EdTech business plan

"But you’re not on that yet… and Helen tried to call you (Phone and internet had been cut off) to let you know that Fair Start Scotland has something similar"

12pm
Back to critical friends place to rant some more... Poor souls!

2pm
Back to Fair Start Scotland/Routes to work

"Yes we do have something similar but NEA would be better for you"

God love these people for treating me like a human being and thinking of my best interests over their

"Get them signed up these guys are worth £6k to us"
mentality

 
1stApril 2019
Routes to Work are not taking me off Fair Start Scotland until they know that I have been referred to NEA as if I leave I can't go back to them, again thinking of me as a human being more than anything else. TY!

Called Rutherglen Job Centre to see if anything had been progressed and there was nothing on the system (My work coach has been off).

Called People’s Plus to see if I could go back onto NEA and he said the only way to get referred onto this is via the Job Centre

If I was NOT on Fair Start Scotland I would have been referred to NEA some 6 weeks ago and my business plan would not be being scrutinized as part of my claimant agreement.

That’s 8 people across two organizations where the majority of the scheduled meetings has been me saying in triplicate what my work aims are and at NO POINT has anyone sat down to do what I had originally signed up to this program for… to ‘dumb down’ my CV to get any old job as well as get assistance to get through interviews for whatever mundane jobs might be out there.

In a week that sees the EdTech ecosystem down in London getting more support and my being aware of others in Scotland involved in EdTech who are also having a rough time? #GoDo #ScotlandCan... Fuck Off!!

My ‘Fair Start Scotland’ experience has not been a good one!

I detail this in the hope, however slim the chances, that others don’t have to go through any of this.

Ian Blackford "Scotland Will Not be Ignored" <- What a lot of shit!
Nicola Stugeon "Scotland is open for Europe and their talent to come here" <- That comment is right up there with Chris van der Kyul's "Scotland lacks talent" shit

Perhaps stop with all the Tory bashing and Brexit obsession and fix the Attainment Gap and/or unslum the many deprived areas and believe in the workforce with a £100 million upskill package like the Tories are doing instead of a substandard Fair Start Scotland offering

...Or perhaps simply get Andrew Mawson's book to see how what he and Jane Jacobs did that has worked.

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

Would you send your kids to some of the services that you run - whether the schools, housing or services like this? Or is it Eton for Boris, Gove, Cameron etc and sod the JAMs?

17 years and the 'It's the Tories fault' is wearing a little thin... What's the point of Holyrood if you're this ineffective?! Just go back to having one Parliament that does nothing but bicker rather than two.

And btw my business plan could kick the Tories EdTech Strategy ass! Their ideas are 4 years behind my plans! All you need to do is look at my blog posts from 4 years ago. Here's just one (of many!) examples

EdTech is Tough... Welcome to Scotland
(Taxi for one to California... Perhaps one day!)

#ForTheWeb? FFS! #DigCit #Cybernat Mission to Help Recruit Elle⤴

from @ Edu Tech Stories

In 2017 my 7 year old son went on a Spy Guy Mission to Help Recruit a P1 teddy called Ellie to go on a #DigCit trip to support a number of people and organisations that I was connected with at the time.

As the saying goes there is no 'I' in team (But there is a me), so we've dropped the I in Ellie and with people like Asqa Mahmood encouraging young people like Shamina Begum to leave home to join ISIS... it might be an idea to call the adults in to help keep our kids safe online from the kind of threats that Begum faced.

A LOT has changed in both mine and my sons life since that Classroom Skype call and in the world of social media today... 

This includes the definition and nature of how we keep young people safe online now. 

This post looks at some of these changes and is written in the hope that either politicians and/or people in my network will help to recruit Elle to see if we can address some of these rather serious issues.

On the week that the web celebrated it's 30th Birthday and Tim Berners-Lee encouraged people to fight #ForTheWeb... by the end of the week far right extreme hate groups video'd their attack on mosques in Christchurch. 

The far right have been in the news almost every day since (Anna Soubry court case, Birmingham Mosques etc) 

In 2015 #DigCit was all about 

'Be the same person you are online as you are offline'
And

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

In 2019 we have:

  • The US President surrounded by advisers who are going to jail
  • Shamina Begum losing her babies and the far rights' 
  • Online hate spilling onto our streets days after Tim Berners-Lee calls for people to fight #ForTheWeb. 

#DigCit & Politicians Part of the Problem? ...Definitely! 
You might expect politicians to be doing something about this. During the 2015 election the MPs were throwing their hands up saying 'What can we do about it' (See Online Abuse I Blame the Politicians)

In 2019 not only are parties like The SNP doing nothing to reign in #Cybernats like 'Wings Over Scotland' (Rah! Rah! Rah! IndyRef...all the way from Bath?!) ...But Alex Samlond's support make people like this front page news by jumping to this 'kind, well mannered and model SNP supporters' defense by claiming that You Tube is politically biased.

The tribalism of groups like the Cybernats and the Yoons not only suits these political parties BUT the (so called) political 'Leaders' seem to be following Mr Trumps playbook according to the #FakeNews as Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Jacob Rees-Mogg and other contenders for taking over Theresa May's role are speaking to Steve Bannon, who is openly declaring what his intentions are.

And even if #Cybernats like Wings Over Scotland were not being defended by the SNP and Bannon being courted by self interested Old Etonians like Boris & Gove... given the obsession (and MPs uselessness) with finding solutions for Brexit, I would not expect any solutions regarding cleaning up 'The Wild West of the Internet' from this group any time soon. 

That is if they were even to accept the facts regarding what is going on, which they are not! On the BBC's This Week last night Frank Luntz highlighted the dangers... Only for Michael Portillo to dismiss the concerns and threat out of hand.

In 2015 I blamed them for being part of the problem with online abuse. 

In 2019 there is no change with this view... but with tragic situations like Shamina Begum and Christchurch, it's a lot more serious today!

'Network Effects' & 'Feedback Loops' Online = Creates 'Social Proof' Offline
In 2014 I was super supportive of The SNP, writing 30+ posts in support of them. 

I was never supportive or The SNP per se, but of the cultural conditions that the post vote momentum created.

Upon reflection, I realise that I wasn't even writing in support of the SNP... but was writing posts to detail what they needed to do to maintain the positivity of the extremely powerful 'Network Effects' and 'Feedback Loops' where a single event (The night the BNP came to town to celebrate the #NoThanks result) delivered record results for the SNP during #GE2015.

If the extent of the threat is not recognised and addressed, the events in Christchurch may well be set to have the same impact... but for hate groups.

As I've started a number of times, the online momentum for #IndyRef in the last 2-3 weeks of the 'Yes' campaign influenced the offline, IRL rallies where they grew and grew and grew and saw the polls go over 40% for only the second time ever during the campaign.

The night of the vote with the rioting in Glasgow's George Square ignited the post vote movement.

As the book New Power highlights:
"Those on the side of the angels, who want to spread compassion, promote pluralism or defend science must grapple with a painful reality that New Power can supercharge hate and misinformation"

I would add to this a comment from Sam Conniff Allande's Be More Pirate Tedx Talk:
No One Is Coming to Save Us 

(Especially not those #Cybernat-supporting-Bannon-consulting-Brexit-Shambles pointless politicians)

Educators? Look for the Bright Spots... Help Recruit ElleNew Power highlights that after a number of false starts in creating a solution to effective ISIS recruiters like Asqa Mahmood includes educators who 'Connected Connectors' and 'Crowd Leaders' to build a network of positive messengers who create alternative narratives drawing people away from more extreme positions and amplifying messages of groups like religious leaders and their schools.

HOWEVER! Taking on people with opposing views and getting into a heated debate in the hope of 'dialing the conversation down' a little and looking for common ground (Even when 'I wasn't looking for any common ground!' is a reply once you've established some), is NOT easy! But can be done.

But before we can expect educators to go from the current position of 

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

To

'Hey that's not right' and/or 'I think you need a virtual hug'

Will need people to path find some solutions to this.

Where to look for the bright spots?

Politicians?
If they are not actively adding to the problem with the future UK Prime Minister speaking to Steve Bannon, they are doing nothing by advocating for people like 'Wings Over Scotland' and/or not calling out their own supporters who look to troll those who have a different political view. 

After all this is the democratic UK, not Alex Salmond's Russian sponsored propaganda channel RT  

Educators?
Social Media does not come with the job (Yet!) today. There is no remit to take on Asqa Mahmood to help provide vulnerable people like Shamina Begum with a sense of belonging online.

Taking on Far Right groups, ISIS recruiters and political trolls like the #Cybernats could affect the educators digital footprint and get them into trouble with their employers... even though a virtual hug could help them before it was too late: Imagine an educator providing an 'Alternative Narrative' in the way that a Muslim did with Ivan Humble (@NewDayStarts) to turn him away from the English Defence League.

I see a few brave educators who are doing this and IMHO they should be encouraged, supported and their example followed.

Cybernats? Help Recruit Elle?
When experimenting with engaging with the 'Cybernats' (Engaging with them because I made a data prediction that - based on the data - The SNP were in trouble at the next election), I connected with someone that got excited about the 2014 Yes/IndyRef/SNP movement for the same reasons that I did:

The potential for change and the participatory politics that never came.

If there is one group online that is not afraid to chase people away from a topic of conversation, it's those #Cybernats... what if they were turned into an SNP liability to a huge #IndyRef2 asset?

How easy would this be to do? IMHO Very!

Instead of attacking others who have an opposing - and perfectly legal - political view in the UK's democracy, why not turn their willingness to have a fight online with those who are turning to violence offline and the extreme groups like the far right?

Alt Right has been on spaces where our young people are for years and people like Michael Portillo say that the links are unconnected, Bannon says he wants to connect the far right across the world and the Old Etonians of Gove/Boris/Ree-Mogg are speaking to this guy?

No One Is Coming to Save Us #ForTheWeb #FFS #Cybernats Help Recruit Elle!  

#EdChatMod Google+ Forum… Thank You & See You at @GiveAndTakeInc Givitas?⤴

from @ Edu Tech Stories


Google+ closes down in a few weeks. One of my very first attempts at community building was an EdChat moderator G+ forum. 


I've revisited this community this week to share some thoughts about how social media and #DigCit has changed with the rise of hate groups etc ...and to encourage people to send our friends at #INZspirED a Virtual Hug.


#EdChatMod Forum & Nurph

In 2014 I curated lots of Edchat information and added all the Twitter Education Chats to Chat Salad and advocated for Twitter chat platform Nurph (Which I found out about from #CmgrHangout). I wrote this EdChat Resource Plan

After writing this report I created a G+ forum for EdChat moderators to share ideas on all aspects of hosting Twitter chats and working towards 4 main aims:

1) That we will do what we can to help promote everyone's EdChat
2) To curate information that will add value
3) To collaborate and co-ordinate on some EdChat admin
4) Drive the EdChat Agenda Forward

As with all first attempts this was a learning process and the forum has been quite quiet recently, but it was lovely to revisit one more time to share some posts in the hope of supporting our friends at #INZspirED with a Virtual Hug 

...And to try to raise awareness of how I feel #Digcit has changed since organising the UK #DigCitSummit for the movement's Co-Founders David Ryan Polgar and Marialice Curran in 2015 compared to social media today.
My 7 year old son's first blog post was about why he turned @BeMorePirate by breaking a little rule by skipping school to model the DigCitSummit Co-Founders aim that students 'Act Locally, Connect Globally'

#DigCitSummit @SpyQuest Mission to help recruit @ElliePrimary1

I'm glad that was the reason and it wasn't because he'd been recruited to join like Scottish school girl and ISIS recruiter Asqa Mahmood did with 15 year old Shamina Begum.

The message delivered on this mission to our Education Secretary was


Mr Swinney

We need, as educators & parents, to model
Digital Leaders for kids everywhere
To connect classrooms on Twitter and Skype
with educators & policy makers w
schools locally but we need to learn
& globally kids at Westquarter
Help Ellie


But if you read the first two words from each sentence the decoded messages reads.

"We need Digital Leaders To connect with educators & schools locally & globally. Help Ellie"


It would appear that keeping young people safe online in 2019 now includes ensuring students have a sense of belonging in their local community offline... to prevent them going looking for it in hate groups online, which then become tragic IRL decisions that see violence and death as a result.

Tech Story 2: The Wild West of the Internet… And the Digital Citizen ShipPhoto

I read New Power last May and it highlights how organisations like Alt Right have been on spaces like Reddit for years making angry people even angrier... putting the same 'Feedback Loops' & 'Network Effects' in place that led to 'Unprecedented swings' for the SNP 2015... And is affecting life offline now too

"The Reddit world is made up of its users, who skew young, male, and geeky, and do the upvoting, linking and commenting...In the months prior to the #RedditRevolt the CEO had tried to create new rules to shut down offensive content and hate speech on the site. Predictably, this had clashed with the somewhat outlaw, libertarian ethos of Reddit. Many suspected these efforts were not driven by a moment of moral awakening but rather were an effort to clean  up the site so it could be more easily monetised for advertisers. The speech that the CEO was targeting was extreme: Revenge porn, attacking transgender people, white supremacists... It was also easy to sense gender dynamics at play on a platform whose users were mostly male" 

"Brian recalls why he chose to become a volunteer moderator when the site introduced them 'You got to build a community. You build a policy structure that keeps it thriving, keeps it going. That's why Reddit was successful. You feel like you own it"

Courtnie talks about her identity as a super users like this: 'Reddit is my community center, it's my YMCA'"

"Reddit also has a big impact on politics - research has shown that Reddit was one of the most important online spaces for Alt-Right Trump supporters to congregate and coordinate as they successfully wages the so called "meme wars" on social media during the 2016 elections...Reddit Co-Founder Steve Huffman estimated that users they looked to silence, the 'toxic 0.2%' who polluted the space for everyone else. " New Power

I've made an attempt at sharing New Power case studies in a way that might engage even the youngest of audiences by wondering how the Toy Stories characters would fair without any #DigCit guidance, it was fun to write: Tech Story 2: The Wild West of the Internet… And the Digital Citizen Ship

Ian Gibsom (@GibsonI) is looking at doing a #NewPowerEducation book club and people from further afield will be able to Skype in to join the discussion, if there's enough interest in hosting some kind of event to discuss these ideas.


#DigCit and Keeping Kids Safe Online ACEing Made to Stick:
ISIS Recruiter Asqa Mahmood & Educator 'Swarms'
 

The reason I shared that article in the #INZspirED Virtual Hug Tweet is because the advice of having positive messengers and alternative narratives is the advice US Counter Terrorism recommends regarding tackling people like Scottish School Girl Aqsa Mahmood (who was one of ISIS best recruiters)... and recruited Shamina Begum, More heartache for the families involved, more lives lost!

"After these false starts, the United States began to realise it needed to take a different approach. CSCC coordinator Alberto Fernandez laid out a new direction, speaking to Congress in 2015:

"You need to find a way to form loose, open source communities of interest or swarms that can swarm back and push back against the ISIS message. It's not an impossible thing to do. It can be done"


The new inter-agency Global Engagement Centre is trying to make this happen. Discarding the top down hectoring tone of the Think Again Turn Away campaign, the centre is trying to build a "Network of positive messengers" to share not just counter narratives, but alternative narratives drawing people away for more extreme positions, amplifying the messages of its partners, from religious leaders to schools." New Power extract at the end of this post
Please Retweet to send #INZspirED a Virtual Hug

How EDL Member turned his back on the group - after a hug from a Muslim
I'm a fan of High Impact/Low Cost Vs High Cost/Low Impact ideas and interventions. Compare how a hug is all that it took to turn Ivan Humble (@NewDayStarts) to turn away from the English Defense League.

But, at the same time, note how Ivan was recruited... his life wasn't in the best place -> he posted a racist tweet -> and someone was on the phone within 15 mins providing him with a sense of belonging

From the Suffolk coastal town of Lowestoft, Ivan was back in 2009 a stay-at-home single dad of two.

“At that time my personal life was a bit erratic," he said

"I was a single dad with two kids, I had bad depression and a break down a few years before. I was on benefits, I had normal struggles with everyone else.”

He posted a comment online and within 15 minutes had been contacted by someone from the EDL and soon joined, rapidly becoming the regional organiser for East Anglia.

“I felt a sense of belonging with them and when I got into the secret groups, that was when the magic happened, not that you call it magic," he said.

“No one person radicalised me. If I blame any one for my radicalisation it would be Anjem Choudary because I bought into his interpretation of Islam, just like many other people.”

What Kind of Leader are You? Education Crowd Leaders

New Power Crowd Leader Quiz
This a fun quiz... if you do take a moment to complete it and decide to share the result on Twitter, feel free to share on the thread below. There are some policy makers in the Tweet and, you never know, the engagment might see them reply and join the conversation.

Fight for #ForTheWeb and The Well
My closing remarks at the 2016 #DigCitSummitUK event was based on The Well's mantra of You Own Your Words. 
After spending 10 years on The Well Howard Rhiengold found the place predictable... when I read Katie Hafner's The Well in 2015, I felt that social media would be heading in the same direction.

Earlier in the month I asked Howard if he felt that Facebook could be 'Unslummed' of all the hatred...

His reply = I wasn't wrong, which is why I'm exploring @GiveAndTakeInc Givitas

(@CordyM's mentor and featured in the 2016 closing keynote at ISTE)

This was one of my first attempts to create a community space and it will be closing in a few weeks. Thank you to all the EdChatMods who spent their time on this G+ Community.

I wanted to let people know where I will be going next and also wanted to post some thoughts on the terrible events in New Zealand and elsewhere with the rise of the far right and provide some suggestions that Educators might want to consider.

I'll be using @AdamMGrant's @GiveAndTakeInc 'Givitas' platform and posted my first '5 min favour' request recently and has led to meeting some great new contacts and interesting links and resources.

William Jenkins on Twitter
My First Request on @GiveAndTakeInc's Givitas... Hopefully See You There!

Pirate Code 2.0, Misfits, Well Beings… And #DigCit⤴

from @ Edu Tech Stories


It's International Women's Day today. 

This is a day that four years ago, through being connected with Sarah Thomas (@SarahDaTeechur) and her #SXSWEdu Minority Women in Tech #DigiDiversity session, I connected with some people that I might not otherwise have met, who helped me to continue supporting the first international #DigCitSummit.

Her #SXSWEdu session saw me connect with Declara CEO Ramona Pierson and VP James Stanbridge (@Stanbridge)... and led to my first paid role as a Community Manager.

Being connected with James and Ramona meant that I was able to remain involved UK Digital Citizenship Summit in 2016.

A question that I have posed to James since then is:

"What is the value of an introduction?"

As someone who many in my network tell me I'm a great connector, seeing how some of the introductions I've made have had an impact, reflecting on my involvement with 'Connected Educator Appreciation Day #CEduAD... and having just read my Mind Time Connector profile, this remains an unanswered question. 

A lot has changed since the 'First Pirate Council Meeting' that established this event and my closing remarks.


 

However, if we look at the past we can see that some of the rocks that were hit were not only predictable (Perhaps even inevitable)... but can also help inform what the future of Digital Citizenship and how the Wild West of the Internet will either 

1) Get settled or 
2) Become a ghost town as people move elsewhere.

(Laugh all you like at the second point but before you do... Ever heard of Ames or Inktomi? Or take a look at Friends Reunited, MySpace, RedditRevolt, Blue Note Jazz post-Nora Jones etc).

My last post, Biz Stone's New Rules, included examples from Stewart Brand (@StewartBrand) and Larry Brilliant's (@LarryBrilliant) early online community 'The Well' and looked at Digital Citizenship along with Twitter founder Biz Stone's (@Biz) 'New Rules' from his fantastic book Things a Little Bird Told Me.

This post looks at some articles and books that I've read that confirm their findings through the projects and movements I've been involved with... as well as how digital citizenship and collaboration today appears to be following the trajectory of the Well Beings' experiences.

I've been involved with a few movements with loose informal collaboration with people I met by chance encounters and shared interests online.

I hope some of these experiences might help some of the Be More Pirate (@BeMorePirate) groups out there... Even the misfit crews!


Image result for misfit pirates

My closing comments with one of these movements was completely, totally and utterly inspired by The Well's mantra of You Own Your Words:
#DigCitSummitUK Closing Remarks.


In addition to this, the first thing that I
always do before collaborating with anyone (Whether in a formal or informal capacity) is ask: 
  • Does this organisation know what their core values are?
    (If you're ever in an interview ask the interviewer/CEO/HoD what their ideal employee looks like and assess how much they then waffle... How can you excel if your line manager doesn't know what excelling in the role they're hiring for looks like?)
Since 2014/5 anyone I've 'collaborated' with have indeed had their core values on their website... but, as part of the learning curve, these values turned out to be nothing more than cat posters.

Some of these organisations went so far as to make financial agreements and other assurances... but were broken. 


Try calling people out on this on social media and/or to explain things from your perspective and have people see you being the one in the wrong?! 


"So you said you'd pay me for my time... But didn't, and I'm the unreasonable one? Really?"

Well f**k off social media and the 'Fake Friends' you find there! Little wonder growth for these platforms has slowed!

As I highlight in my last post, it was actually heartening to see the reaction on social media with Brendan Rodgers making a career decision...as it highlighted how unreasonable & illogical social media has become. 


"You traded immortality for mediocrity. Never a Celt. Always a fraud" Was the banner at a recent game

This from fans about someone that some football commentators are suggesting 


"Will be up there with one of the greatest managers in terms of Celtic's success he brought the club"

In the last few weeks on social media there has also been misfires with: 
  • Bebe Rhexha losing control of her fans and asking for calm with people trolling her dad
  • Lady Gaga's loyal fans trolling Bradley Cooper's ex-wife
  • The Tory party and the racist facebook supporters page where MPs apparently have links to them.
  • Trump on any given day and any given topic.
However, if we return to The Well and resources like Marc Smith's (@Marc_Smith) 'Voices from The Well' and Howard Rheingold's (@HRheingold) experiences, they highlight that encountering takers/fakers online is not new.

In his #OctTribe NodeXL presentation Marc Smith highlights that there are some neighborhoods online that you may not want to visit.


My hope is that the next project I work on will be a neighborhood that the Takers/Fakers won't be wanting to visit 'Here Be Dragons' for that group is what I hope the NodeXL map will say. 

But how to deal with and internalise a couple of projects that, while they did get results (And others benefited from)... but either it was the wrong people or the core values and mission didn't quite stand up to a @BeMorePirate adventure and #NewPower storm? 

Just after I read Be More Pirate (@BeMorePirate), the book New Power was recommended to me.


During the inaugural New Power Virtual Gathering (at 7:29secs) last July, the authors highlighted that New Power is like a muscle:

Q) When you’ve thought of giving up… what have you done to hang in there?

“The failures are sometimes more important than the victories… use it to refocus. Do you go back to core values… or get de-motivated? Chase those storms… Being grounded in the community. You know, the collaboration. Think about those kids in the cave. Those kids got through that because of that solidarity and that sense of community. Those New Power models, when done right really enable and that can get you through those periods in the wilderness” Jeremy Heimans

"It feels like a very big defeat if you try something new and it doesn’t work out… We all have defeat after defeat after defeat…New Power is like a muscle you have to strengthen it again and again and again, and that’s how you become more resilient" Henry Timms 

Workplaces, Coffee Shops and Neighbors 

So defeat is to be expected and the previous two movements were simply workouts. Fine! 

Next... Compare life online with life offline and IRL. 

Sit in any coffee shop on any given day and you will hear people talk about friends, former friends, 'frenimies,' colleagues, neighbors talking about others behind their backs.

Open a newspaper on any given day and you'll read about the current US President bad mouthing someone; or the splits that exist in the UK Conservative and Labour Parties... some going so far as to leave to play TIG

Why on earth do we think that online is going to be any different?! 
If/when disagreements or different narratives crop up with people who have collaborated through loose association/affiliation the past (In education this could be with Twitter chats or organising Edcamps/unconferences) then, as Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil points out, it's no wonder there's something of an adolescent period... Especially if there was little/no digital citizenship taught in school.

"We’ve had thousands of years to hone our person-to-person interactions, but only 20 years of social media. 

“Offline, we have all these cues from facial expressions to body language to pitch… whereas online we discuss things only through text. I think we shouldn’t be surprised that we’re having so much difficulty in finding the right way to discuss and cooperate online.”

As our online behaviour develops, we may well introduce subtle signals, digital equivalents of facial cues, to help smooth online discussions. 

In the meantime, the advice for dealing with online abuse is to stay calm, it’s not your fault. Don’t retaliate but block and ignore bullies, or if you feel up to it, tell them to stop.

If social media as we know it is going to survive, the companies running these platforms are going to have to keep steering their algorithms, perhaps informed by behavioural science, to encourage cooperation rather than division, positive online experiences rather than abuse. 

As users, we too may well learn to adapt to this new communication environment so that civil and productive interaction remains the norm online as it is offline.
“I’m optimistic,” Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil says. “This is just a different game and we have to evolve.” 
Why Good People Turn Bad Online

My issue with collaborating with people online has not been one of bullying but I have felt up to questioning their words Vs their action and have encouraged the takers/fakers to stop - online and in private communications!


So it has involved a good deal of fakery, whether people saying one thing... but doing another and/or simply being 'Fake Friends.' The data suggests this is affecting collaboration everywhere online.

The data I've explored suggests my experiences are not isolated... and the impact could be significant with issues like educators and burnout.


The difference as far as I'm concerned is that I am willing to exercise some #NewPower muscle - as well as the New Power Value of 'Radical Transparency' - not to be intentionally controversial, but as I have a feeling this is will be a necessary skill  if 'The Wild West of the Internet' is going to get settled. (More on this in the next few posts). 

As far as the future of digital citizenship and online collaboration is concerned I found myself (unsurprisingly given who the author is) agreeing lots to this statement... And the entire article!


"Community forming - Twitter is not a community, but it's an ecology in which communities can emerge" Howard Rheingold via his fantastic Twitter Literacy: Knowing How to Use it is Key


I can't help how others react but I can decide how I choose to react to their actions and behaviours... and my #NewPower 'Radical Transparency' and #BeMorePirate rule breaking muscles are developed enough to not 'play nice' by quietly move on... only to hear about others who fall into the same trap (And hope that I'm able to deal with the consequences!)

At the same time I am learning all the time and have to accept the challenges that appear to come from being one of Myers-Briggs #INFJ's... which truly is an insane learning curve!! 


The books and articles I've read have helped lots recently (old and new) last night I read Adam Grant's (@AdamMGrant) 'The Creative Power of Misfits'


"Gather some people together to give their frustration a voice. Put them on offense, not defense, by asking them to attack the problems they see. And then invite them to run with their best ideas" Pixar's Brad Bird via Adam Grant.


There are a number of ways that I hope that all these experiences and articles will come together.



Adam Grant's article is full of rebellious Black Sheep, Misfit Pirate types... Which brings me onto a huge lesson I learnt from Sam Conniff Allande's (@SamConniff) book 'Be More Pirate' when I read it last May:


"In the workshops we run, the second stage is where things really get started, we break into crews and a sense of mutiny begins to fill the room. Making new rules can be complex, but that's not where we start; the first thing to do is get a crew to choose the one rule they collectively most want to break, and then begin the task of remaking it. 

In this challenge, we've seen things get pretty heated; crews fight, split, re-form and commit to actual rule breaking there and then. We find when you really reconnect with that rule you know needs breaking, and actual alternatives begin to emerge, with a crew ready to try to change them, pirates begin to get serious.

So, to give you your own taste of the challenge in the sessions, please take a few minutes to answer the following question:
  • If you could break any rule, what would it be? And how would you remake it?
    For Me It Would Be: Get educators to collaborate beyond the 4 walls of the school more.
IWD2019 Eureka Moment (via Adam Grant) ...With a dash of Be More Pirate's Make Shit Up!
This post was written and published... Then I was looking for a quote by Suffragette Lucy Stone in Adam Grant's book 'Originals' for International Women's Day, and was reminded that Lucy formed collaborations and alliances with other marginalised groups - like ethnic minorities and the temperance movement. 

Not all of these alliances worked out as the values, ideology and methods for affecting change differed greatly... Some had a negative impact on Stone's reputation as well as the momentum of the movement.

But she eventually succeeded when the movement formed alliances when the values were aligned as well as the mission.

A topical IWD2019 example from history about the importance of getting the 'Core Values,' 'Pirate Code,' as well as the mission, purpose, manifesto 100% right!! 

"Adam Grant labels this tendency of change agents to fight each other as the narcissism of small differences" via @RebelsAtWork Rebels at Work and the Narcissism of Small Differences


It is precisely the minor differences in people who are otherwise alike that form the basis of feelings of strangeness and hostility between them. Sigmund Freud

I was also dealt (Yet) another blow earlier in the week... (I REALLY don't know how many more I can take!!) but, for the third time this week, an article shared by Adam Grant helped - which highlighted the huge difference a kind word can make. 

Scrolling through the #IWD2019 tweets and it's full of people who took a stand for what they believed in and faced resistance. So just like #IWD2015... #IDWD2019 *Just Might* have made ALL the difference!

Which brings us nicely onto another question that Be More Pirate asks and, as students are set to break the rules on the issue of Climate Change on the 15th March, an example that they might like from Biz Stone.
  • When did you first stand up to Power? 

    For me it was:
    1) Telling an employer his company was in latter stages of Jim Collins '5 Stages of Decline'
    2) To tell Matt Hancock and Nick Boles that FELTAG wasn't going to achieve it's goals
Be More Pirate for Kids  
Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone... and The No Homework Policy
All three of my kids have now stood up to authority and for any rebellious young Pirates and/or any Twitter addicts out there here's a conversation that Twitter founder Biz Stone had as detailed in "Things a Little Bird Told Me" (Chapter 13):

"Matt was loading his backpack up with books. I was dumping all my books from my backpack into my locker, not to be seen again until the next day.

As I closed my locker and it was apparent to Matt that I had no books, not to mention a backpack, Matt asked me how I was going to do my homework.


"Oh" I said "I have a no homework policy"


Matt looked incredulous. He laughed nervously. "You're joking"


"Matt," I said, having a little fun with him. "This is America. We can do whatever we want. Freedom. I have a No Homework Policy and it's great.


I shut my locker with unusual emphasis and headed to lacrosse practice, unencumbered.


I wasn't against rules per se; I just liked to look at the big picture. Staying up until 4am wasn't realistic. Something had to give.


Other questions that Be More Pirate explores includes:

  • Who out there would you most like to take down?
    For Me It's: Lost in the Ghetto 
    (Jane Jacobs and The Well shows us how)
  • What principles, values or ideals are you willing to fight for?
    For Me It's: Using Core Values to Find a Brand's Voice
  • Who is the scariest, most difficult, controversial or provocative audience for your story?
    For Me It's: The Political Classes... So many Edu initiatives and still we have this situation?!
So, as the inaugural Be More Pirate meet up took place last month, I hope my taking the time to detail some of these experiences and sharing these awesome links might prove of some use with their #BeMorePirate 'good trouble' star wars style rebellions.

The rest of this post... For no reason in particular ;) Includes Sam Conniff Allande's suggestions for his Pirate Code 2.0 from Be More Pirate. Give and Take's Manifesto is worth a read too.

Article 1 – Make Shit Up
Article 2 – Business Plans Are Dead
Article 3 – Make the Citizen Shift
Article 4 – Take Happiness Seriously
Article 5 – Adopt the New Work Manifesto 
Article 6 – Embrace Diversity to Raise Your Game

Article 1 – Make Shit Up
All captains and crews profoundly expect, respect, celebrate and appreciate the art of strategically, structurally, intuitively and instantly making shit up. Not irresponsible imaginings, reckless reimaginings and certainly not false or fake news. We champion creative solution finding and positive problems solving based on available facts, the moment of opportunity and the power of practiced intuition. When indecision is not an option, when change is constant and nothing is normal, we’re proudly comfortable to rationally and rapidly develop, test and implement solutions on the spot. We learn from our mistakes, even if we don’t celebrate them, and use them to make making it up better.

Article 2 – Business Plans Are Dead
We challenge a century old static format as the best structure for the fluid future of our organizations, projects, dreams and schemes. We believe in motivating manifesto that makes clear our vision and we follow a concise but responsive roadmap with agile measures of accountability. We believe in collaborative ‘working’ and adaptive formats that are regularly used and reviewed in collaboration with not just the whole crew but even our customers, beneficiaries and stakeholders, to openly evaluate success, failure and future scenario planning. No captain will produce a ‘plan’ for only a narrow audience, or a moment in time, only for it to gather dust in an inbox ignored or unused by the crew.

More predictable -> Less Predictable
Profit -> Purpose
Hierarchies -> Networks
Controlling -> Empowering
Planning -> Experimentation
Privacy -> Transparency

Article 3 – Make the Citizen Shift

It’s time to evolve the human race beyond the mindset of solely a ‘consumer’ and the dangerous, destructive and limited relationships it has created. We will perform a forced reset on the language of consumerism that in turn will help us to develop more interesting, involved, interactive, mutually respectful and naturally more beneficial, respectful and rewarding relationships between our organizations, our audiences and finite resources of our world. All pirates undertake to advance the evolution of the idea of ‘the citizen’ as the dominant defining thought of our audiences and communities, and of our future.




Article 4 – Take Happiness Seriously

We take happiness seriously, and give deep happiness the place and importance it deserves. We see happiness as a strategic driver for success, productivity and creative output, but also as a strategic objective in and of itself. We do not believe happiness is a nice-to-have, we believe it is a need-to-have. We make happiness a starting point, not just an end point; we use our intention to achieve happiness to inform the decisions we make, the environments we create and the projects we undertake. We endeavour to measure, manage and share the proof we accumulate that happiness is symbiotic with great work, great impact, great relationships and greater effectiveness. We do not conform to a one-size-fits all happiness, nor expect to be happy every day, but accept and respect the right to make happiness the goal.

Article 5 – Adopt the New Work Manifesto
We demand to love work, we demand to lean as we work, we demand to be proud of what we do and demand to have the tools and support to give us every chance to do it well. We demand that our work make us and the people in our community better, not worse, we expect to be rewarded for our creativity, to establish friendships, fulfillment and knowledge and the financial compensation we are worth and expect this to cover our needs. We want life/work balance, not the other way round. We intend to live up to the promise of technology, efficiency and flexibility. We commit to understanding our own inner engineering for effectiveness and refuse to submit to conditions, clocks or cultures that don’t get the best out of us. We expect the people and organizations we work with to involve us in created the core values and that we then align them to a “Noble cause.” We will break the tyranny of emails, meetings, to do lists and any other anachronistic trappings of an old way of working, if they don’t work for us, and we won’t stop until we’re judged on our output, not input.

Article 6 – Embrace Diversity to Raise Your Game
We believe diversity of thought, background, experience and understanding is a driver of competitive advantage, creativity and productive cultures. We who desire to create projects, products, content and campaigns for the future, know the importance of reflecting the future we want to see, one of interconnected, collaborative, communicative, creatively colliding cultures. We commit to recruitment that opens doors to more than the usual suspects, we will go the extra mile to find the talent that might not have found us. We commit to accepting we all have prejudices, and then commit to challenging them, along with expanding our own filter bubbles and stretching our unconscious biases to breaking point.

Biz Stone’s New Rules⤴

from @ Edu Tech Stories

This post looks at Digital Citizenship a few years since writing a post suggesting that 'swarms' of educators could help with some of the toxic conversations and some of the fantastic lessons learnt and resources discovered via the early online community The Well.

In March 2015 I published a post called 


This was before finding out about and reading Katie Hafner's book about The Well. 

Last year Community Manager and org culture guru Scott Moore (@ScottMoore) shared this post, and I saw that my ideas from a few years ago were not far off the mark: 


Before starting any new projects I always revisit some of The Well's resources. Last December I re-read Howard Rheingold's (@hrheingold) book 'Virtual Communities

At the end of July 1992, Flash Gordon reported that Elly was in a hospital in New Delhi. In a coma. She had severe hepatitis and reportedly suffered liver failure.

Within hours, people started doing things in half a dozen directions on their own initiative. The raw scope and diversity of the resources available to us by pooling our individual networks was astonishing. People who had medical connections in New Delhi were brought in; airline schedules and rates for medical evacuation were researched; a fund was started and contributions started arriving. Casey used the net to find a possible telecommunications site in New Delhi where they could relay information for Frank, Elly's ex-husband, who had flown to Asia to help with what was looking like a grave situation.

After a tense few days, the news made its way through the network that she did have some liver function left and might need access to special blood-filtering equipment before she could be moved. Within hours, we knew how to get such medical equipment in New Delhi and whose name to mention. We knew whom to call, how to ask, what it cost, and how to transfer funds to get Elly delivered to a hospital in the San Francisco region. "It gives me goosebumps," reported Onezie, as the topic unfolded on the WELL. "This is love in action."



(Did you spot similarities with this 'Love in action' with the potential that the post-vote Scottish Independence #The45 movement had for a week or so in 2014 when food was donated to food banks etc).

When reviewing Howard's book I discovered Marc Smith's (@Marc_Smith) 1992 college dissertation 'Voices from The Well,' which is not only awesome... but seemed extremely relevant to life online today. Whether looking at 
  • Early online communities like The Well
  • Data with informal education collaborations like Edcamps 
  • My own experiences with projects and movements 
    (I found Brendan Rodgers experiences with Celtic heartening regarding some of my experiences
  • The world of politics
    (whether 
    Steve Bannon and Donald Trump, May/Farage's Brexit or Salmond/Sturgeon's #IndyRef),
  • Reading books like New Power, Be More Pirate (@BeMorePirate) or Twitter Founder Biz Stone's (@Biz) 'Things a Little Bird Told Me'
#DigCit and Politicians 
The world of social media and digital citizenship has clearly changed since Twitter's early SXSW appearance... some are calling social media today 'The Wild West' of the internet.

During the 2015 UK general election politicians where throwing their hands up saying: 

'What can we do about it?' 

When they are responsible for education policies!! Lunatics! 
(David Cameron's words about his Education Secretary... Not mine!)  

Today politician's line regarding social media is their favourite game (Blame!) and

'Tech Companies need to do more'

When some of the people responsible for the tech companies who need to be doing more are former politicians like Nick Clegg, I don't fancy the 'Wild West of the Internet's' chances... Do you?

I think you'd get more answers from 


2) "Identify the right core values (Or Pirate Code 2.0) and Tribal Leaderships 'Noble Cause'"

3) Add people like Ivan Humble (@NewDayStarts) and brave educators like Justin Schleider (@SchleiderJustin)

...And you *JUST MIGHT* have the kind of solution that would prevent the kind of extremist recruitment that radical groups employ and rely on and - some would argue - that the political classes have created!

For no reason in particular ;)... The rest of this post includes the 6 points that Biz Stone considers in the 'New Rules' chapter of his awesome book 'Things a Little Bird Told Me'
  • We Don’t Always Know What’s Going to Happen
  • There are More Smart People Out There Than in Here
  • We Will Win if we do the Right Thing for Our Users
  • The Only Deal Worth Doing is a Win-Win Deal
  • Our Coworkers are Smart and They Have Good Intentions
  • We can Build a Business, Change the World, And Have Fun
We Don’t Always Know What’s Going to Happen
If we think we know what will come next, we’ll fail. Instead, we need to leave the door open for unknown developments and surprises. Some of Twitter’s most popular features – hashtags, @ replies, retweets – were by and large created by users. We didn’t know they were going to emerge. By being open to the unknown, by not forcing our will or vision just because it was ours, by watching what people were doing and looking for patterns, we were able to build a service whose function matched the way people wanted to use it.

The core element of this assumption is humility. Just because you work for a successful business doesn’t mean you know everything. As individuals and as companies, we see our fortunes rise and fall. Neither success nor wealth makes you omniscient. The ability to listen, watch, and draw lessons from obvious and unlikely places breeds originality and growth.

There are More Smart People Out There Than in Here
This assumption also speaks to a core humility – don’t think you’re a genius (even if your business card claims you are). But it also considers the sheer fact that, at the time we came up with these assumptions, there were forty-five people in the offices of Twitter and six billion people outside its walls. It was an absolute truth that there were more smart people outside than inside.

What this implied was that we shouldn’t look only internally for answers to challenges. I instructed our employees to look elsewhere. Ask people. Look around. Research. Keep a level head. Don’t think you’re so great. Don’t assume that we’re the only people who can solve our problems. Should we build a data centre, or has someone already built a better one?

There are corollaries to this belief. Your first idea isn’t always the best. Your idea isn’t always the best. Our group’s ideas aren’t always the best. It’s easy to agree with this notion in concept, but it’s much harder to swallow your pride when you have to let go of an idea you’ve championed. I wanted our company to acknowledge and appreciate those sacrifices as much as we applauded the great ideas.

We Will Win if we do the Right Thing for Our Users
I don’t love the word users, because it sounds so software-y, but the Twitter staff was pretty software-y, so I was speaking their language. I wanted them always to keep in mind what would make the service better for the folks who used it. It was the positive spin on Don’t Be Evil. Every time we made a decision about what to add, change, or take away from the product, the big, simple question was: Does it make the experience better for people?

After I left, Twitter acquired Vine, a mobile video sharing service. I thought it was a great acquisition. If the question is: Will this make the service better for people? The answer is obviously Yes – sharing videos through Twitter makes it more fun, more engaging, and easier for people to express themselves.

Often, when product managers are hashing out whether a product should do a certain thing, if they can’t come to a decision, they make that thing a setting that users can turn on or off. But this is wishy-washy. We know – all developers know – that more than 99% o people just leave the settings on default. How often do you go to your TV settings and increase the contrast? Making a feature optional is like throwing it into the junk drawer. You’re keeping it, but it’s essentially useless and lost. Instead, it’s our responsibility to decide what makes the most sense. If we’re going to build it, let’s use it.

The place where companies most frequently lose sight of what’s best for their customers is when it comes to monetization. Should we make ads 50% bigger so we can make more money? It makes the page ugly and hard to read. Is that good for users? No. Should we split our company into two separate buildings because we can’t afford one building? It leads to confusion and poor decisions on the product end. Is that good for our users? No. Should we deceive the users into clicking on an ad? Obviously not. Should we trick our users into clicking on anything? Hell no! These can be tough choices, especially if you really need the money. But there’s got to be another way. Creativity is a renewable resource. Don’t sell out your product. Keep thinking. Consider whether the average person is going to benefit. Measure every decision against that requirement.

Our failure surrounding the release of our platform for developers in 2007 is a perfect example of this. If we’d kept the user experience foremost from the start, we would have saved ourselves, users and developers a lot of trouble.

However, when we launched sponsored Tweets, we did it right. Our ads were monitored by an algorithm that used starring, retweets, and clickthroughs to measure how interested people were in a given ad. If an ad wasn’t getting a positive response, it could be pulled. This meant we could give our users ads they liked. Ads were good for our users, because if Twitter made money, then Twitter would continue to exist.

The Only Deal Worth Doing is a Win-Win Deal
There’s no such thing as a good deal in which one party gets the short end of the stick. Deals are like relationships. We want deals that are going to last. I’m not just talking about acquiring another company. I’m talking about partnering with another company, or divvying up tasks within your group, or getting married. Think of the toll that derivatives took on this country in the mortgage crisis. Derivatives are a zero-sum game -  when one party wins, the other loses. There’s no net benefit. It’s win-lose. This is of course oversimplifying, but generally markets rely on gains and losses. However, in a business deal, if the terms aren’t mutually beneficial, a short-term win will turn into a long term loss. You lose that company’s faith in you and its willingness to do another deal. You lose your colleagues willingness to stay late and help you out on a deadline. To some extent, in every deal your reputation and your business are at stake. Think of it like scuba diving. There has to be equal pressure inside and outside your body, or your lungs and eardrums will start exploding.

Kevin Thau, a colleague at my current company, Jelly used to run all things mobile for Twitter. While there, he did all the deals with the carriers. He recently got a message from someone who runs a major mobile carrier in the UK. It said, “I don’t know what Jelly is, but if you want us to pre-install it on our new phones, call me,” Nobody gets that kind of thing unless they have a history of doing fantastic deals together.

Another example of this would come later, when I left Twitter and started Jelly. Two of the people who helped me develop the idea left their company to join me. One of them happened to be on his company’s list of engineers they couldn’t lose at any cost. When the engineer told them he was leaving, they offered him the moon regarding stock and salary. They told him he could work on any project and have any team. Then one of the most important executives from Twitter joined me. I didn’t set out to poach anyone – it happened by accident – but when this happened, Dick Costolo, Twitter’s CEO (And my friend) had a professional obligation to meet me for a drink and chew me out.

When he was done busting my chops, I said, “Can I offer you a little advice?”

He said, “Oh, geez. What?”

I said, “If you have a list of people that you don’t want to lose at any cost, don’t wait until they quit to offer them more money and more stock options” He agreed. Then we ordered another round and made up.


Our Coworkers are Smart and They Have Good Intentions
This is the fifth assumption I presented to our employees at orientation. I made up an example: Imagine there’s a guy named Scott in marketing who lays out a plan for a product you’re developing. He says it will take three months to execute. Three months later, the product is ready to launch, and Scott comes forward with a different, scaled back plan. It’s not as good as the one he presented to you. Instead of assuming that Scott is lazy or a stupid jackass, why not go up to him and introduce yourself? Hi, I’m Biz. How can I help?

You don’t know how it all unfolded. There were certain turns in the road, decisions that had to be made. You went through the same process with the product you developed. It was supposed to have features w,x and y, but now it has x and z. You had to pare it down, but you’re still proud of it. You don’t want Scott to think you’re an idiot, either. In big, unwieldy companies, everyone starts looking like an idiot at some point.

The unknown is scary. That’s why a caveman would rather not walk into a pitch balck cave. Who knows what might lie ahead? He opts to throw his spear in first, or to bolt. In a business scenario, this fear manifests itself in the assumption that your colleague is doing it wrong. Communication is equivalent to flicking on the anachronistic lights in that pitch black cave. This is especially true when you’re the CEO. If investors and board members don’t hear from you, they get worried that you’re doing a bad job. And they’re not going to come down to the offices to design a new product. The only power they have at their disposal is to fire the person in charge.

As Twitter grew, we had to go on faith, assuming that our coworkers, who had all gone through a careful hiring process, were competent and driven. Maybe Scott is a jackass – hey, it happens – but that shouldn’t be the assumption. Maybe we would live in an environment of overinflated optimism, but people shine when you give them the benefit of the doubt.

We can Build a Business, Change the World, And Have Fun
It may sound like a lofty goal, but I want to redefine capitalism. What better place to start thatn in my own company? Traditionally, companies are driven by financial success. But I want the new world definition to include making a positive impact on the world – and loving your work. I want to set a higher bar for success. If any one of these three tenets is missing, then you shouldn’t be considered successful by your own terms or those of society. I told every incoming employee, “Here’s a new bar. Let’s reach for it.”

Evan and I were now running an incredibly successful company. We could have sent the new employees who joined Twitter to HR and called it a day. Or we could have said “Welcome to the amazing world of Twitter. We’re awesome. Good Luck” We had a different approach. The company culture was introduced to our newest employees as one in which we listened to one another and the people using our system. New employees saw that we cared about the approach they took not just to their work, but to one another. They realised that we weren’t all about the bottom line. Not only did our new employees have an introduction to what the company was about, but they also learned something about their leaders. We were level headed. We had theories about not being arrogant and selfish. We weren’t jerks. These things matter. The whole of this orientation was greater than the sum of its parts.

What Do TheSNP/IndyRef/Yes have in Common with Lego?⤴

from @ Edu Tech Stories

In August & September 2014 I became interested in Scottish politics because the cultural conditions of the SNP/IndyRef/Yes movement was something special.

When those cultural conditions changed... so did my support.

On the 19th September 2014 (The day after the #IndyRef result) I published a post asking


As far as The SNP was concerned, I wasn't wrong!

With 11 years in government, the nasty Cybernats... as well as the Alex Salmond Vs Nicola Sturgeon non-#SNPCivilWar, this post highlights how and why all this is both understandable, and perhaps even fixable.

Is it the beginning of the end for SNP/IndyRef/Yes Movement, as the Scotsman has suggested in an article at the weekend?

Or could the various crisis situations see the SNP/IndyRef/Yes Movement become the Lego of politics?

NB: SNP/IndyRef/Yes Movement are referred to as one and the same in this post... a distinct advantage when high in the opinion polls, but muddies the water when things are not going so well.

Donald Trump Vs Alex Salmond Vs Nicola Sturgeon
Remember when Trump and Salmond were good buddies and they were falling over themselves with compliments and favours? Remember how that all changed because of the wind farms?

Or what about Salmond Vs Sturgeon... let's all laugh about the tragic situation where someone who has either

1) Done a lot for Scotland and/or
2) Has been as big an egomanic as Trump

I waver between the two myself (But recent events suggest the egomanic option)

Regardless a deteriorating relationship between a mentor and mentee and colleagues is a sad development.

On my website I have as one of my core values empathy, so if we are all so keen to judge the actions of others' let's try to put ourselves in Sturgeon's shoes re any meetings that breached the 'Ministerial Code' 

Who WOULDN'T have held a meeting with someone that they owed so much to? 

I can't imagine a scenario where not having such a meeting would only become a bad idea with the benefit of hindsight.

And let's say, for arguments sake, that the content of one these 'It was SNP party business/ScotGovFM meetings' was around

'Hey can we maybe just drop the whole thing?'

And the answer was 'No' how much more integrity does that demonstrate Vs the kind of thing that has happened with Blair's Iraq War... Cameron disappearing after his Brexit shambles + Farage, Boris & Gove?

Equally, Sturgeon putting herself forward to the inquiry, looks like doing the right thing under a terrible set of circumstances.

You can easily see how the attempts at transparency might get punished, when far worse appears to get swept under the carpet.

How many of us have not fallen out with a colleague at work?
How many neighbours are former friends but the relationship has soured?

It's a tragic set of circumstances on a personal level, for the party and for Scotland (because of the distraction with getting on with the day job) AND given the national feeling of hope that existed 4 short years ago (Well LOOONG years in our case, but you get what I mean)

And yet people celebrate it on social media, even SNP/Indyref supporters... talk about addicted to drama!

The good news for those people with Westminster and Holyrood is they are at an advantage compared to their English counterparts, they get to air their views on Theresa May's Brexit and Salmond Vs Sturgeon... Yay! Scotland gets two dysfunctional parliaments not just one... Lucky us!

The Cybernats!
There are two REALLY! REALLY! significant dates as far as I can see things (Based on my experience and interests) for The SNP/IndyRef/Yes movement.

1) The first is the night of the September #IndyRef result... The night the BNP came to town to 'Celebrate' the #NoThanks result.

2) The weekend of #GE2015 and the photo under the Forth Rail Bridge and the following days with clapping in Westminster etc... Success was affecting the culture.

The 'No Thanks' crisis was a huge #IndyRef2/SNP opportunity and the 70+ Yes Scotland accounts meant that the infrastructure was in place to chase the 'NewPower Storm'

But the Yes Scotland team wanted to 'take their time and do it right' which was entirely the WRONG thing to do!!

"You can still dunk in the dark" went viral and "Won the Superbowl"

Often left out of the story is Oreo has a 15 person social media team ready for this kind of rapid response...'storm chasing' requires infrastructure to do well" New Power


By the time they woke up, others had seen an opportunity and used it for personal gain... and in doing so poisoned the well.and gifted the SNP/IndyRef/Yes movement with a massive headache, something I had the pleasure of experiencing this weekend.

I shared the same kind of data that I spotted
  • The weekend of #GE2015 that suggested the SNP had hit the first stage of decline
  • Prior to #GE2017 when Alex Salmond's campaign crowd funder did not reach the £4-5,000 target and asked before the election if this meant he might lose his seat. #GE2017 & How the Mighty Fall
Here were the observations that I shared at the weekend
  
The result of making some data observations? 

The Cybernats who claim to be supportive of the SNP/IndyRef/Yes Movement did nothing to help the cause they say they care about.

People unloaded on the "Wow! How the mighty fall" Tweet, so I elaborated on what I saw... a weekend of Cybernat notifications followed. Few people asked me to explain my position of:

1) The SNP has done nothing for us... our experiences with our SNP MP/MSP Vs our Labour MP

2) With Brexit being such a mess... how do we know that #IndyRef would be any different?

3) Infighting Salmond Vs Sturgeon looks like it's going to turn real nasty... real fast!

4) We have had 11 years of SNP rule and the 'Hope Over Fear' goodwill of 2014 is on the wane

Do I trust a party that has botched their own procedures when investigating one of their own to successfully implement IndyRef and/or do I have 'Hope Over Fear' re issues like currency after the brexit shambles? 

I can't say that I do! 

Is the Brexit issue the SNP/IndyRef/Yes Movement's fault? 

No, it's Westminster and the Tories/UKIP's... but that's the backdrop that IndyRef2 will play out against 4 years on.

NOW! There is the issue of Brexit which highlights very well that Scotland has no voice in Westminster... so in theory, it should be 'clean up time' for the SNP/IndyRef/Yes movement. But that's not where we are.

But on the flip side of this is the fact that Westminster have had the whole Brexit shambles so could EASILY apply the same kind of hard ball that the EU has with Brexit, thereby drag the Independence divorce bill out so long that people say:

'I've changed my mind... let's have the 'People's #IndyRef Vote' and #IndyRef3'

If the goodwill and momentum was where it was at in 2014 then calling IndyRef2 with the Brexit vote tomorrow would be inspired... With the infighting + the data above + cybernats. Calling IndyRef2 at the moment = not a good idea!

IndyRef 2014 never went over 40% until the last 3 weeks of the vote... what caused this? 

The 'Network Effects' of the #VoteYes online momentum fueled the 'Feedback Loops' offline and the rallies grew and grew and grew in the last 2 weeks.

The network effects and feedback loops have gone... as #GE2017 as well as the weekend's #SNPActive highlights this.

Culture! Culture! Culture!
Based on what I can see the SNP/IndyRef/Yes movement has had the same issue with two different groups... Something that a conversation with Community Management experts like Rachel Happe, Kelly Hungerford, David Spinks, Marc Smith, Howard Rheingold and others might have been able to help with.

Onboarding New Members in a way that articulated and preserved the culture

1) Their 100,000 members in 2014
2) New MPs after GE2015

How significant could missing this out be? 

Look at the reports re: How the party is splitting... the 'old guard' loyal to Alex Salmond and the new crop of 'progressives' who are on Sturgeon's side.

Could Lego's example help with this even at this late stage in the SNP/IndyRef/Yes Movement 3-4 years on after it's highest level of support?

Lego & Mads Nipper
Companies die from indigestion just as often as the die from starvation... they grow too fast. My observations are that

1) Indigestion, was definitely an issue  

2) Not understanding the 'social proof,' 'network effects,' and 'feedback loops' that led to 45% as opposed to Westminsters expected 30%+ and 

3) Not having an onboarding process that integrated the old SNP die hards with the new recruits (See the Nora Jones Town example too... IMHO it could easily read as the before and after 2014/5 SNP story)

In situations like this what to do? 
How about what Twitter Founder Biz Stone recommends?

Look for the Bright Spots!

When my kids became interested in Lego I marveled at the innovation ...and had no idea that the company came close to bankruptcy because it lost it's way. Thank goodness for dissenters like Mads Nipper!

Lego is also cited as an exemplar case study in making the transition from Old Power values to #NewPower in Henry Timms and Jeremy Heiman's book.


"Today, every person who's hired into the LEGO Group's Billund operations gets a tour of the small brick building where Ole Kirk and his family lived. There, they learn of another bedrock value of the company's founder "Only the best is good enough"

The motto grows out of the days when LEGO still produced wooden toys, Ole Kirk's son, Godtfred - who worked at the company since he was 12 and would eventually run it - boasted that he'd saved money by using two coats of varnish instead of three. The deception offended Ole, and instructed LEGO's future CEO to retrieve the toys from the train station and spend the night rectifying the error. Today a plaque with 'Only the best is good enough' graces the entrance to the cafeteria at LEGO's Headquarters" Brick by Brick

Lego employees also all have a bowl of Lego bricks on their desk... the reason? 
To remind them it's all about the brick. Why is that? 

To ensure that they don't lose their way like they did in 2001

"An animated, energetic executive who can be strikingly candid, Nipper was not shy about voicing his distress. 'Duplo was the second-strongest toy brand in northern and central Europe after LEGO... And we in all our wisdom decided to kill it' Nipper observed

In 2002 the infighting boiled over. Nipper and three other heads of the company's markets got a call to report to a suite known as 'the firing room.'If you were employed at LEGO and were summoned there, chances are you'd be unemployed when you left.

For months Nipper and the three executives had continued to press their case against Explore... The dissenters were delivered an ultimatum if they didn't shut up and loyally support Explore they would be asked to leave"

In 2004, when LEGO was deeply mired in financial crisis. Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen might well have been tempted to banish the bearer of such relentlessly negative news. Instead he offered Nipper a promotion: head up marketing and product development.

Nipper believed that LEGO had to become far more adept at letting customers help the company determine what the market wanted, instead of executives deciding what customers should want.

But all Nipper knew when he took the call from Kristiansen was that he was about to shoulder a weighty responsibility. As the overseer of all of the LEGO groups product lines, he would be the point man for resetting the company's direction" 

So, just like my post from 19th Sept 2014... Is the best still to come?

Will it my observations since #GE2015... That the SNP/IndyRef/Yes Movement will continue to slide down to stage 4 & 5 of decline that Jim Collins details in How the Mighty Fall.

 
Or will they be like Lego and there be a book called How The SNP/IndyRef/Yes Movement Reworte the Rules of Innovation in Politics and Delivered FREEEEDOM.

It would appear that both possibilities exist... perhaps one more than the other at the time of writing.

And if it was to go down to 'Stage 5?'

That would be the time and effort of thousands of people 3-4 decades of work which did not achieve their goal. 

I've worked on projects where there wasn't much to show for it at the end... it's not a great feeling. 

  
Are you a cybernat who vehemently disagrees with any of this and/or want to be a troll? 

No problem! He's my post written in your kind of language and debating style: 


But before starting your trolling bull shit please note that: 
  • I am a floating voted and will be wavering between Sturgeons' SNP and Corbyn's Labour
  • Westminster's stance on Scotland re: Brexit is a concern, so Yes for IndyRef2 does have it's merits... But the Brexit shambles and SNP record in government over 11 years does not instill much confidence in the negotioation/implementation... Feel free to convince me.
  • My main interest is in education and 30,000 teachers demonstrated against the SNP's administration and are considering industrial action.
  • The areas of deprivation do not appear to have improved any in the last 11 years
  • I have accurately predicted every election since 2014
  • Your antics on social media are doing no favours in winning the other 55% to your point of view

Loving Kindness Meditation: The Anonymous £40… And Politicians⤴

from @ Edu Tech Stories

The definition of loving kindness meditation your introduced to in Robert Wrights book  "Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation & Enlightenment is:


"The mediation starts with you making a point of feeling kindly towards yourself. Then you imagine someone you love and direct some loving kindness toward him or her. Then you imagine someone you like and direct some loving kindness toward that person. Then you think about someone you don't feel strongly about one way or the other. And so on - until you get to an actual enemy. If all goes according to plan, you manage to feel loving kindness even for that enemy.

...It seems only appropriate to say a few kind words about loving kindness meditation, so here they are: It works for some people. But it doesn't work for me"

Robert's writing and his experiences about his attempts at meditation are hilarious... Including his epic fail at attempting to meditate and describing how his mind ends up wandering. Something that I could identify with in my attempts... and something that politicians returning to work most definitely did NOT help with!

A Little Bit of Background - Christmas Vs Back to Work Social Media
I read about this just after:

1) Having secured the amount needed for a rather desperate crowdfund campaign
2) Spending a period of time being unplugged from social media

I also started to draft this post during the Christmas break, following some AWESOME kindness on social media over the Christmas Period (See What if God was One of Us? What Would He be Tweeting About?).

I am glad that I didn't publish it until after the politicians came back to work with the cruelness of Trump, Anna Soubry's Nazis and all the Alex Salmond/SNP drama... and chatting with some lovely #Cybernats about my 'Illiterate Shite' as they put it, before adding nothing further to the conversation except for reaching for the 'Block' option.

On the flip side there has also been kindness with the #LoveThyNeighbourChallenge to help federal workers that Trump says are 'his hostages' (Reminiscent of the kindness of the early #IndyRef supporters with leaving bags of shopping for foodbanks at George Square)

Loving Kindness Meditation: Epic Fail
So I tried the Loving Kindness Meditation as described in Wright's book (AKA the extract above)... and it was an epic fail initially.

One thing that has not been an epic fail is sending positive vibes to the 23 people who assisted with the GoFundMe campaign (Something that I was to find should NEVER have been necessary if it wasn't for ineptitude from the DWP and/or my local council?! More on that at a later date).

I knew who everyone who contributed to the crowdfund... everyone except the last £40.

I both wanted to know who this was ...and tried to find out so that I could send them a thank you message, to no avail.

Loving Kindness Meditation: The Anonymous £40
My second attempt at trying this 'Loving Kindness Meditation' was to think of all the people who this last mystery donor could have been.

The essence of this £40 contribution took on a very different feel, based on... what if:

  • The mystery contributor was ABC person - Someone that I knew and liked
    Reaction: A huge smile thinking about that person.
  • The mystery contributor was XYZ person - Someone that had wronged me in some way and/or where there had been a falling out
    Reaction: Oh My Gosh! I hope it wasn't them!
    They could keep their poxy money!
    I wouldn't want their help even if they offered!
    It's partly their fault that we are where we find ourselves!
So, what if you had a crowd fund campaign for a project that you desperately wanted to see happen and the final amount needed was from an anonymous donor while reading a book that introduced you to the concept of loving kindness meditation?

I can tell you what my pre-Christmas unplugged and post-Back to Work social media experiences have been.

The Day Loving Kindness Meditation Worked

On the 23rd December after being used to being unplugged a month+
Looking forward to Christmas with the family.
Being thankful that we've come through a horrible, horrible year and
Having no problem with practicing loving kindness meditation re: the 22 Crowd Fund contributors.

I tried 'Loving Kindness Meditation' applying this mystery £40 to people that I do not have enthusiastic feelings about which - having not mastered any of the 'Not Self' stuff - feelings that I feel are well and truly justified, at least from my perspective.

And it worked!

For one glorious day, it worked! I was able to think lovely, warm fuzzy feelings towards even the biggest of takers & fakers and/or those who didn't honour financial agreements... people who helped put us into a tough situation, but these

'#Shoulder2Shoulder...Life long family friends' and
'Yes we'll pay you what we said we would' 5 times by 3 CEOs over a 8 month period.
'It may feel like it but you're not alone...You Matter...You have a voice or we would not be connected'

People were nowhere to be seen when we hit hard times... they took my time, efforts and ideas and they were off. But I was able to send them genuine and authentic positive vibes... and it was a great feeling too!

Disaster! Back Online...
If there is one thing that REALLY, REALLY winds me up... it's people's time and contribution not being acknowledged. It's something I'm super careful to always do! I'm also willing to take a stand re: my core values.

The most recent project that I've been involved with has seen any old random thing being made up after working on it for 3 years and putting 6 months hustle into it in 2018.

Compare these two posts (My one in Sept 2017 being written in response to the first one in an attempt to set the record straight!)
When I got back online after having some success at this meditation I spotted the following Tweet


Compare the Tweet above with this one in June 
(And not the only EdChange Global organiser to struggle with their memory! My son has issues with his memory too so I know how challenging it can be... you guys are in my prayers with whatever condition you have). 


Compare this also with the fact that I was sure to acknowledge the conversation that led to me finding out about this AWESOME Chrissy MacKay and the work she does at Be Yonder.

'Right Words,' Social Media and Politicians 
So the 'Loving Kindness Meditation' faltered a little... and the political classes who advocate for civility online didn't help matters this week either.

I've accurately predicted every election since 2014 and on Christmas Eve the SNP made a crass attempt to politicize the festive period, but it only got 2,900 Retweets.

... Stats like this reminded me of Alex Salmond's #GE2017 crowdfunder (65 backers and struggled to reach the £4,000 campaign target amount).


Fast forward to the first week when people are back at work and on the 8th Jan 
  • Alex Salmond starts to trend and the trolls come out in force to back Salmond and threaten Leslie Evans (@PermSecScot)
  • Anna Soubry is trending on Twitter because of Nazis
     
  • In the wee small hours there is the Trump Address from the Oval Office re: his wall.
NodeXL maps were made up for Alex Salmond, PermSecScot and Anna Soubry

Top Words in Tweet in Entire Graph:

I followed the 3 events on the day as I've had a number of observations and insights on these things over the years... Including blaming politicians for much of the abuse online AND because I don't feel that this negative/violent commentary will necessarily remain the case (But not through anything that the political classes will do to curb the negative, angry and violent sentiment: as Cambridge Analytics and Trump demonstrates).

The 8th of January was a great example of A Day in the Life of the Internet?... Or the Plot to a Toy Story Movie? because in spite of all the hatred we see things like:
  • People demanding that everything from the #TrumpAddress to be Fact Checked
  • The #LoveThyNeigbourChallenge to help US federal employees


But here's the kicker... Following these events on social media the findings from the 'Right Speech' article (re The angry cab driver) in my last post as well as Why Good People Turn Bad Online (Re: You can feel yourself getting snarky) they are100% spot on!

Watching this stuff on your screen for a full day really does affect your mood... and your words and ability to master 'Right Speech'

In addition to this, Marc Smith's comments from 'Voices From the Well' 26 years ago are also 100% accurate... that banning controversy like political tribes from platforms is unlikely to happen.

The outrage like the ones above from 7/8th Jan (Holyrood, Westminster and The White House) is good for business for social media AND the political classes... But for users it's perhaps about as productive as Cesar Sayoc attending a Trump rally.

But when the 'Network Effects,' 'Feedback Loops' and culture is right, it sure has been good for the SNP and Alex Salmond.

But is this a trend that's likely to continue?
Perhaps not... Karma can be a bitch sometimes.

#The45 were not looking simply to put #Team56 into Westminster for 2 years... they were looking for change.

The #ValueEducationValueTeachers and pending industrial action highlights how short of the mark this came... that's before we even get into the #SNPCivilWar or what the data from #ActiveSNP is telling us.

But don't blame me... I voted 'Yes' and tried to bring a number of Digital Citizenship and Community Management events to Scottish education and politics: #GE2017 & The SNP: How the Mighty Fall.

But I'll need to blame myself any time that I find that Twitter and the political trends that I feel compelled to click on if/when they are not good for any 'Right Speech' or Loving Kindness Meditation that I'm exploring.