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Showing posts from June, 2011

Democracy is not always the answer

When I hear pompous politicians like Obama, Cameron and their predecessors state that it's their duty to encourage nations to adopt democracy (by bombing them into having it), I feel a serious gromble needs to be expressed. It was Churchill who said “ It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried. ” and then there's Thomas Jefferson who said “ A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine. ” 'Great' democracies like the UK, the USA and the world's largest, India, believe their system of government and periodic accountability at elections, work - because they exist. Ergo they work. But democracy means something rather more basic. Democracy is a voting system whereby minorities accept the decision of the majority about who governs them. Minorities in working democracies therefore do not feel sufficiently passionate about th

Facebook is for kids

There’s a panic amongst grey-haired business execs. “Surely we’re missing out on the Social Media revolution. 600m people we can talk to. Although I don’t bother personally with Facebook, and Linkedin is only for chaps looking for work, I’m worried my customers are expecting us to do something with social media, and we’re not”. Don’t panic! You’re almost certainly not missing out on anything. At least not urgently. If you’ve watched the Hollywood film, The Social Network, about the rise of Mark Zuckerburg and Facebook, then you may have missed the original point of Facebook and its ascendency to world domination of Social Media. The film missed it completely. The clue is in the name. Social Networks have existed on the net for decades before Facebook appeared. Originally called bulletin boards, early forums, members (‘friends’) could ‘post’ comments on ‘boards’ (today’s ‘walls’) for other members to read and join in. At the time pictures and other media weren’t included. Not only were

Call Reluctance - a growing business problem

Most people in the developed world communicate these days using texts, messaging, ‘walls’, and of course email. We choose to use these methods of communication because they are cheap, fast, easy (once you’ve mastered a keyboard using varying numbers of fingers), and most importantly, none of them put us on the spot. We can compose what we want to say, in our own time. We also aren’t being judged for our accent, hesitation, pronunciation or, much to the disgust of English teachers throughout the world, spelling and grammar. Unfortunately, by avoiding being put-on-the-spot, we are not practicing the skills required to converse in real-time. We are increasingly losing confidence to either initiate conversations, or to make ourselves available to respond to requests for conversations. And with respect to phone calls, we’re consequently becoming Call Reluctant. We don’t like making calls, and we don’t like answering them. This is not only true for the general public, it is increasingl