Saw The Politics Show piece about participatory democracy and YouScotland, revolution in cyberspace and thought that was interesting. Somehow was the first to their blog site to post, though didn't know what I was posting to. The subject was only added later, Dragons Den, which is why no ones post made any sense to the subject for those going there now.
Then I found the forum, which took an age to register for. Thought that I would never get a post with the expected rush straight after the TV programme. Then found out when posted I was only about the 20th post having already been in the blog as well. In my post to add support to the cause I had added a hyperlink, unfortunately when it published it turned everything into a hyperlink, so was useless. Tried to edit my post 3 times without success. So posted a brief comment without hyperlink, having to point out the software was dodgy.
There are many deserving projects and initiatives that could and would create a better future that are starved of the publicity they deserve to help them evolve because they do not have friends or contacts in the media. YouScotland got the publicity, but didn't back it up with the heart of a site to match. Only bloggers would have the patience and knowledge to work through it, but they don't need such a site, they have the whole 'blogsphere' to roam, post and discuss in. The non bloggers disenchanted by the present political establishment should have been the target for YouScotland, unfortunately such a user unfriendly site would loose them straight away.
The site was supposed to be accessible for those with the minimum of computer experience. Not so, it was very unintuitive, links did not work, the site was unfinished for a launch and very difficult to navigate. Some posts noted the lack of response re the number of posts. It would be interesting to know how many hits it had, and how many tried to or wanted to make a comment and were put off or failed.
The idea was laudable, but if you are going to try to create a revolution in cyberspace, the first priority should be your site and software is at least basically up to the job. This Google blogger set up was better, as in easier to use for a visitor, than their revolutionary cyberspace offering.
The sad thing is they got so much media coverage, probably due to their connections, on TV and in the papers, then let the whole project down with the most important aspect, a sloppy site set up. It's not even though they can say well you try it. I haven't done it with websites, but with concerts. when you are doing large open air concerts you cannot have a rehearsal. Everything comes together on the day, it is the preplanning that ensures when you have a sea of thousands watching, when it starts, it is perfect and is perfect in every way through the event. You owe that to your audience who have made the effort to turn up.
Part of the proposal to use the Millennium Dome as a global environmental management centre relied very heavily on internet and advanced interactive communications so the YouScotland initiative was very interesting to me as an example of how some of those ideas could be implemented. The difference with the Millennium Dome proposal was though it contained most of the solutions to climate change and many other environmental challenges as well as being able to save many lives and stop the extinctions of lots of animals and plants, and create £billions of revenue per year, the media had no interest in it.
Probably it would have been better for YouScotland to have run the site for a while before having the big media launch, iron out the bugs and got some feedback on how to get it ready for a big hype launch. It will be interesting to see how many do return to the site in spite of the first day let down. I have volunteered to moderate or run their ecology or environment forums, it remains to be seen if they will contact me over that. If they have only a low level of participation though my time is better spent on this site and other projects which will have a bigger impact for a better future than YouScotland will have in it's present form and if it doesn't evolve. At present it is no threat to the political establishment. Even taking the whole of Scotland, it still lost it's deposit. In political terms it is yet not even a Kilroy-Silk.