Graham Ellis sharing years of experience as a thought on each day
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If you can't say it ... provide a hook for others who can.

This campaign tip (no. 6) was published on Sunday, 6th January 2019
When I started campaigning, I was unknown. I could ask "silly" questions which weren't so silly because other people wondered as well. I could make suggestions that were "left field" or "Devil's Advocate" to trigger discussions (yes, you could call that "trolling"). And I could say things in a humourous tone without much risk of people being really offended if they got hold of the wrong end of the stick. But during the years I've been campaigning, people have got to know me. To treat what I say with something of a trusting depth, and to take 'left field' suggestions and basic questions with - sometimes - more seriousness than they warrant. And yet I still want to have those silly questions answered - in public. And I want the left field ideas to be floated and discussed - the elephant in the room needs to be noticed, acknoweldged and analysed. Much of the confidence I have in what I do comes from being informed and confident on the total case, and that includes the elephant.

So - what to do? I am - delighted - when a question is asked on our forum. I'm more than happy for questions and discussions to follow from those posts. I'm happy - almost encouraging - of constructive criticism at places like the Melksham Rail User Group Fecebook page. These are opportunities - hooks on which to hang discussions, thought and answer and get your communities and partners thinking practically too. So it's not just about the questions, it's also about the answers, about why things are the way they are, and about how they might be improved in the light of that deeper knowledge.

Make no mistake - if you don't have the technical strength of knowledge, or the committment / resource to provide social media support pretty much 24 x 7, this stratgy carries significant risk. There's the risk of you being out-argued / out-discussed. And there's the risk of a posting going un-noticed by you but visible to the world - perhaps viral. You need a strong and stable team - which we have at both MRUG and the Coffee Shop; it doesn't work with hot-head moderators - the type of people who are likely to ban and block people and take away rights at the drop of a hat, or shout at you (online or even in the street as happened to me recently!) when something is awkward news for them - ehen it turns out that this particular elephant really does need some serious attention you hadn't anticipated.
Discussion via Coffee Shop forum

Contact details

These pages are written by Graham Ellis of Melksham, Wiltshire. Overlapping a life in IT and IT training, with running a hotel and campaigning for improved public transport, Graham has never been quiet - though he's starting to wind down gently now. He no longer takes overnight guests and has stepped doen from the "Community Rail Officer" role which he accidentally aquired. So he now has more time to write pages such as these and to travel in the UK. He'll be delighted to speak with your group or take a look through your case or camapaign, but be alerted that his time is not limitless even now, and he still has to keep the wolf from the door.

Postal: 48, Spa Road, Melksham, Wiltshire, SN12 7NY
Phonal: 01225 708225
Emailal: graham -at-
Or reach me on the Coffee Shop Forum (User Grahame) facilities

What a difference a campaign makes!

It probably wouldn't have happened without a strong community campaign with which I have been involved. Most days through 2019 I'll be sharing a thought, an idea, a way of working or an experience. Come back here for the links. Discussions via the Coffee Shop Forum - Graham Ellis, 31st December 2018

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