Category Archives: Opinion

People do not refuse to vote because they hate your Grandfather

Fighting for the right to vote...

Despite my best intentions the words you are about to read will in no way resemble the linguistic poetry that flows like silk from the mouth of Russell Brand or the rigid intelligence discharged by Robert Webb, and neither do they carry their celebrity clout that would see them poured over and shared by more than a few of my closest friends. But this is a democracy, it is the 21st century and I have an opinion that I intend to share.

Whether or not you agree with the idea of Brand’s revolution and his incitement not to vote, it is impossible to ignore the fact that the current political power structure is toxic. This is at the core of Brand’s passion. Why are we not discussing this? The barrage of lazy journalism that sort to deride Brand for his use of long words and naive views does not in any way address the real issue that he seeks to highlight. And to those who raise the ‘our fathers fought so that we could have the right to vote’ argument I say that you are no better than those who led to the creation of Godwin’s Law.

People don’t refuse to vote because they hate your Grandfather, and they are not all apathetic stereotypes that hang around on street corners waiting to mug old ladies. Some of them have come to the conclusion that none of those who would choose to frequent the richly decorated halls of Westminster are worth voting for.

What choice do these individuals have when it comes to polling day? How do they express their views? Spoiling your ballot is of no use, it is a powerless exercise that only serves to add your ‘hard fought right’ to a pile of papers that contain the indecipherable scribblings of those who didn’t fill the form in properly. Where is your chance to vote for change?

Only when we have an option to cast our vote for none of the candidates do we have a true democracy and a real representation of the views of the people.

If everyone had the luxury to pursue a life of exactly what they love…

“If everyone had the luxury to pursue a life of exactly what they love, we would all be ranked as visionary and brilliant. If you got to spend every day of your life doing what you love, you can’t help but be the best in the world at that. And you get to smile every day for doing so. And you’ll be working at it almost to the exclusion of personal hygiene, and your friends are knocking on your door, saying, “Don’t you need a vacation?!,” and you don’t even know what the word “vacation” means because what you’re doing is what you want to do and a vacation from that is anything but a vacation – that’s the state of mind of somebody who’s doing what others might call visionary and brilliant.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson

(via SwissMiss)

40,000 followers gooood, 200 followers baaad!

I wrote recently about my fear that the ‘filter_level’ metadata contained within each Tweet could be used to forever silence the unwashed masses in favour of the celebrity, brand or “more important” individual. But has this already been happening within the very interfaces we use to digest our daily stream of fun, facts and fury?
Continue reading 40,000 followers gooood, 200 followers baaad!

14.02.2013 – The day Twitter died

It’s been coming for a long time.

All the signs have been there.

An almost fanatical focus on emotionless numbers. The raw data. The money.

Gradually human beings were replaced with a new idol. This rabble, who did most of the working and paying and living and dying in the community, simply weren’t ‘high value’ enough. Everything was now about ‘influence’, and money talks where influence is concerned.

Today saw the final battle in what has been a protracted war between those who seek to make the world a better place and them… Those who see the world as a series of datum, as a means to sell. And it seems they have won.
Continue reading 14.02.2013 – The day Twitter died

“We were the first human beings who would never see anything for the first time.”

Taken from Gillian Flynn‘s book ‘Gone Girl’, the passage below describes a terrifying reality where true humanity has forever been replaced with a collection of robots that sleepwalk through life re-enacting scenes from the various soap operas vomited forth by our favourite pusher, television. It also suggests that our addiction to the various media we consume has made the physical world we inhabit second-best, a dull facsimile of the hyper-reality provided by the movies and TV.

What do YOU think?

Continue reading “We were the first human beings who would never see anything for the first time.”

Caring is King! Third Sector leads the charge in the field of social.

Caring is King

There is often a feeling that the Third Sector is inexorably doomed to chase the tail of the Private Sector when it comes to online innovation and best practice, but my recent conference experience and industry gut feeling tell me that when it comes to social media the worm has turned.

One of the key factors in this observation was the latest who’s who in social, the Social Brands 100. This year’s list contained an unprecedented number of charities (almost 25% of the Top 100) and the research undertaken led the custodians of this report to state that; “It was long thought that content was king. This was replaced by the mantra that curation is king. But our findings suggest a new idiom… Caring is King”

Charities are built upon caring and it is this foundation that is leading to the successes being seen within social media. Traditional business techniques are failing in the social world and after years of trying it seems that the Private Sector is finally waking up to this new way of working.

Continue reading Caring is King! Third Sector leads the charge in the field of social.

Life’s too short for cheap guitars… Week Four #lovemyhat

The hat visits the mystical Avebury Stone Circle
The hat visits the mystical Avebury Stone Circle

So the time has come where I reach the end of my millinery social experiment. I have shared my experiences of wearing a hat for over four weeks and hope that you have enjoyed at least some part of it. My hat has become part of who I am and will remain firmly upon my head, but I might spare you all the constant updates.

I feel that I have learnt so much during this period, way beyond the simple day-to-day trials of the hat wearer. Things about myself and those around me. It has changed me. Maybe not fundamentally, but in lots of little ways.

Would I recommend you wear a hat? Absolutely!

Yes they’re a pain in the arse when it’s windy, they make your head sweat and it’s yet another thing to carry around. But, for the moment at least, when you wear one you feel special, you’re part of a select crowd of individuals and you’re VERY easy to spot in a crowd.

My only piece of advice would be this though. Jerry Jeff Walker speaks the absolute truth when he says “Life’s too short for cheap guitars”. If you decide to join the millinery revolution and get a hat, do yourself a favour and get a good one. I know of just the place.

You can follow my day to day adventures with ‘Indi’ at twitter.com/stuartwitts or via the hashtag #lovemyhat, and if you feel inspired to purchase your very own quality headpiece, visit bates-hats.com and don’t forget to tell them Indiana sent you 😉

Happiness can exist only in acceptance… Week Two #lovemyhat

It has finally happened. After just over one week of being a hat wearer the fears and insecurities have shrank away. As I leave the house each morning it seems perfectly natural to place the hat upon my head and stride off into the sunrise. It is now a part of who I am. It is becoming ‘normal’.

Don’t get me wrong, there are still odd occasions where I consciously choose not to wear my hat for fear of ridicule, but it has firmly become part of my work week wardrobe and reminds me of something Jean Luc said to me when I picked up my hat from Bates,

“You wouldn’t leave the house without your shoes. So why would you leave without your hat?”

This week also saw more acceptance as my hat got it’s first sweet taste of an April shower. It performed admirably, Phil had informed me that the ‘Indi’ was bullet-proof and he wasn’t wrong. I’ve even dropped it a few times, brushed off the dirt and carried on.