New Year Resolutions

This year I will:

  • Finally beat this addictive overeating and start to lose some weight for good. Take my health and wellbeing more seriously.
  • Focus less on obsessive and never-ending coding and instead on getting results, even if that means using off-the-shelf products and services, outsourcing, etc.
  • Sort out my emails so I am no longer drowning in automatic notifications, newsletters, and junk across 10 different accounts.


Introducing Activist Direct

Case-400I’d like to introduce you to Activist Direct, a new pet project I came up with about a month or so ago.

In a nutshell, the project is a salesman for all kinds of stuff that activists find useful in a single location. It’s not particularly ground-breaking in that way, but it does hope to bring economies  of scale and good sourcing to a much underserved market.

The politico marketplace is very niche. If I were to focus entirely on one party the venture would struggle immensely. That’s partly why I wanted to set up a shop that spans the political divides. It’s also because I am genuinely interested in the history, symbols and people from all of the main political parties. My background is very mixed – I was born into a die-hard Labour family, flirted with the Lib Dems, joined the Tories, and was tempted by UKIP. I’ve even had a spell as a trade unionist. My working background is similarly mixed with spells in the public and private sector.  Read more

Donal Blaney & YBF – The Young Britons’ Foundation

Young Britons' Foundation YBF Dolphin Logo as selected by Donal Blaney
The YBF logo is a dolphin, which we picked as a light-hearted play on the word ‘ultrasound’

You won’t know me, but I have been involved with the Young Britons’ Foundation (YBF) for nearly 10 years now, and a friend of Donal Blaney for about as long.

My role, on and off, has been to look after the website and systems from a technical point of view. I have seen my friend Donal Blaney and YBF attacked and smeared from all angles over recent months, and feel it is now time for me to speak out from my unique bird’s eye perspective on all of this. Read more

Leaving Twitter: Poor ROI, Trolls and Nasties

Leaving Twitter might be the best thing for your business.I have been saying it for about a year, but time to write it down. Twitter has become a nasty place. Leaving Twitter might be the best thing for your business.

I don’t know what it’s like elsewhere, but in the UK it seems you absolutely cannot venture onto Twitter to talk about anything in the realm of politics and current affairs without unleashing the wrath of the hard left. Plus, if you’re a business all you get on Twitter is abuse, complaints and moaning. Maybe the odd bit of praise, but any improvement to sales is almost impossible to attribute to Twitter engagement. Leaving Twitter may be best because 1) Poor ROI and 2) The days of having to be seen to be on these cool platforms is over.

I was with Twitter back in the early days. I’ve seen it grow and evolve, and for a long time I thought the journey was fruitful for both the company and the society in which it exists. I’ve even shelled out for advertising on their platform. I was also Hootsuite’s first ever paying customer. I have provided social media consultancy to mainstream political parties concerning their highest profile politicians. I even played a very small role in breaking legal ground by assisting in the delivery of a High Court Order via Twitter.

But over the last 12-24 months things have changed for the worst.

I have been a victim of Twitter’s nastiness myself. I’ve had silent phone calls at my home at 1am, 2am and 3am on the hour, for two days straight. I live with my wife and very young daughter. It was terrifying. It’s not hard to find my number, owing to my business, but you don’t expect that sort of behaviour. My crime? Disagreement on some political issue during the general election campaign that I can’t even recall the details of.

The problem is causing headaches for Twitter too. People are abandoning their Twitter accounts in their droves, and the behaviour is causing investors to become concerned too. Very concerned.

Leaving Twitter might be best for your business

In my business life I have also seen Twitter single-handedly destroy a thriving marketplace for data about Tweets and replacing it with a monopoly controlled by itself which then extorted very large sums from consumers who had no alternative outlet. The issue has been raised with the European Commission, who remain silent on the matter.

There’s also a cyber-security point here about how much data we are all putting out about ourselves in a very dangerous world. Plus Twitter’s two-factor authentication is hopeless. Leaving Twitter might just keep you safe!

So it would seem that not only is Twitter full of left-wing nasties, it’s also acting like a communist state. One that also likes to data mine your smartphone for every bit of information it can. Did you know that Twitter knows exactly what other apps you have installed on your phone?

What are people who are not left-wing nasties to do then? We have two choices. Either we stand and fight to make Twitter a fairer and more civil place for all, or we simply exercise our choice as capitalists and vote with our feet.

I have been considering leaving Twitter for some time, but I need to make sure I resolve any application dependencies first, and also think about the route back should things ever change for the better in future.

I still have to operate some Twitter accounts for business purposes and for clients, so I’ll be able to keep an eye on how things are progressing. But I will be pushing it less as a viable medium for engagement.

So what’s next?

Over the months and possibly years I’ll be advocating smart use of a broad range of tools that will help improve engagement and conversions without the need to engage with Twitter.