Press

Snobbery with Violence

 Jack and Marion de Groot (Carter) on their wedding day, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Jack and Marion de Groot (Carter) on their wedding day, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Snobbery with Violence

News article clipping, date unknown, but assumed to be in 1947 the year of Indian’s Independence from the UK. By Marion Carter (my mother) who was 17 in that year. I discovered it in a small book of authographs owned by my mother.

On the dawn of India’s Independence, the Anglo-Indian communities all over the country were busy with trunks and packing cases, and the air was filled with the news, ‘We are going Home’.

‘Home’! Where is our ‘Home’?

Some apparently think it is in England, I wonder what the English think of that. True, we may enter England at will, the same way as any other native of this land and on arrival we shall be received with the same peculiar welcome…the thinly disguised colour bar. (definition: a social system in which black people are denied access to the same rights, opportunities, and facilities as white people.)

Can England be the home of any self-respecting Indian? And what are we, if not Indians? We were born here, our ancestors were born here and neither we nor they have ever seen the shores of England. Yet we are going ‘Home’?

Some of us, of course, well, deserve a bit of our own medicine which will be liberally administered to us at ‘Home’. For generations we considered ourselves superior to other communities, because we could claim to some English blood. Even assuming that all the foreign blood is English, pure certified English. The Lord only knows why this should be assumed and how the Dutch, Portuguese, American and other blood managed to evaporate from our veins, why should that makes us superior and can that make England our ‘Home’?

If by the same token the inhabitants of England with mixed blood decided to go ‘Home’, what a glorious exodus that would be! The Royal Family would scatter to Germany, Denmark, France, Greece, Portugal, Holland and Spain. The astonished countries of Denmark, France and Italy would be over-run by returning exiles. Typical Englishmen and English-women returning ‘Home’ would become a menace to all Europe and every continent would get is share until only a few poor Celts would remain in the highlands of Scotland and in the hills of Wales. But the natives of England consider themselves English and will not desert in a hysterical flight to strange and foreign shores but will remain English and stay in England where they belong.

Why should we Anglo-Indians consider ourselves closer to a strange country than to the land which nourished almost all our forefathers. Good reasons there are none, but there is an obvious explanation. India is a land of snobbery. Everyone is trying to be ‘superior’ to his neighbours and tries to convince himself that there is something that makes him so. With us it is our mixed blood. It sounds idiotic.

 Family de Groot - Amsterdam - Marconistraat

Family de Groot - Amsterdam - Marconistraat

Colour Shame

Could there be anything more ridiculous than that a whole race should be ashamed of its own colour? And those who are a shade lighter should look with contempt on the others as their inferiors? What incentive will there be in Indian society for intellectual advance for the betterment of the mind, when what really counts is the colour of the skin? From Europeans we could expect no better, but that a colour bar should develop in India among Indians, is a disgrace to our ancient civilisation.

Those who have no light complexion to boast of, find other ways of establishing their superiority. There are those who are proud of never having done a stroke of work in all their lives. What an asset they are to their country! Some simply can not get over having been born into a high caste and consider it great condescension to be occasionally courteous to anyone a step lower. Some who made or inherited great wealth look down sneeringly on those who are poor and so it goes on.

Indians are busy snubbing while being snubbed. What nonsense it all is, these multitudinous Aristocracies!

The Caste or Parentage Aristocracy, The Much Money Aristocracy, The Idleness and Uselessness Aristocracy, The Mixed Blood Aristocracy, The Government Official Aristocracy, The Light Pigment Aristocracy, etc.

There is a superior and high caste, but not of birth or money or any of these things, but of mental quality. One who is more honest, more tolerant, more kind, more cultured, in the true meaning of the word, is the superior Aristocracy on earth. These Aristocrats can save our country, the other can only lead it to destruction.

Written in 1947 by Marion Carter (de Groot) mother of Michael de Groot. Posted on Medium by Michael in 2018, 71 years later!

Marion was born 23rd August 1930 and deceased 24th February 1996 aged 65. Marion was a heart-disease sufferer for many years. I never heard her speak much of her Anglo-Indian heritage, she was very much the European and embraced everything Dutch and English. And of course after many years in the Netherlands we did and she did eventually come to live in England, something she allegedly resisted against when you read her article. Rest in peace Mama.

So, what's it like in the Rabbit Hole?

Whilst being active on social media, our objectives are essentially selfish. Let's be honest, we can list our desires from social in a very short list.

  1. Wanting to get noticed. 
  2. Wanting to get noticed. 
  3. Wanting to get noticed.

The advice for getting noticed runs in the millions of posts across the web. It is literally deafening and equally overwhelming. There is so much stuff out there that we have gone blind. Our brains are zoning out the noise, our subconscious has been trained to ignore the majority of content that's being pushed out in front of us. The major social networks are managing to convince us that to get noticed you have to advertise, organic content isn't going to hack it.

Unless you make a conscious effort to seek content out for a particular and motivational reason, you are actually ignoring most things. Again they are hoping that advertising will make a difference to this.

However the most engaged conversations that I witness is when someone posts a controversial comment, accuses a big corporate of bad service or they say something about themselves that is deeply personal. After all we are very very curious (nosey) and interested in other people’s bad news or controversy. The, let's call it, old fashioned media have known this for centuries. The bad and controversial news about government leaders, business and celebrities is what interests people the most. Good news stories don't sell newspapers or online clicks for the advertisers.

Just pause for a moment. What was the last good news story you remember? Please do share it in the comments below, we all love hearing a good news story, there's so much bad news out there.

We are all ‘social media-holics’ in one way or another. Granted there will be people not on social media yet, but have a look at the stats, they are astounding.

3 Billion active social media users on the planet and growing every single day. Facebook has a mission to get Africa on the internet for one primary reason, allow them to get onto Facebook. 

LinkedIn has a mission to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce, last count there are 3 billion of those! Their platform is at half a billion currently, so they have some distance to travel and no doubt they will do it. 

Can you imagine how much content is going to be posted on these platforms when developing nations achieve massive internet access in the remotest parts of the world?

All the social platforms know that the western world are highly addicted and eventually will start dropping of members, so they have to look at other nations in the world to keep their billions of revenue coming in.

Nothing wrong with that of course, except creating more addicts in the world, more 'social media-holics'.

If you have managed to cut through the noise and found this article, well done to you!

My advice to you and I'm only talking to you directly, nobody else. 

Reduce your social media posting to just one post per day of your own content. Then spend more time if you wish, on just one platform of your choice, engaging with your connections' content. 

And with that I mean real conversations not a link post as such. 

Just do this once per day, spend just 20-minutes researching your connections and respond to their real conversations.

That's it, it's my new minimalism social media strategy.

Looking forward to having more meaningful conversations with you.

@stayingaliveuk | #makesocialworthtalkingabout

Online is great and talking is even better. Everyone's ultimate goal in business and life is to make real connections, where you meet someone face to face. Before that meeting a conversation is the ultimate icebreaker. I value my LinkedIn connections and realise that I don't really know you or what your goals are and how I might facilitate or support those goals. Feel free to click through and book a call with me http://styin.me/discovery-call-20mins.

Have you located your company’s Holy Grail of ‘Engagement’ yet?

With everything that's being thrown at us how are you truly differentiating yourself to ensure that your prospects, clients and readers (let's call them ‘engagers’) do actually wish to ‘engage’ with you?

We're all witnessing an amazing revolution in media. With media, I'm suggesting everything from the Press, TV, Entertainment, Online Video, Online Learning, Blogs, through to Social Media and beyond.

There has never been a more important time to truly understand how and where your future audience will be engaging with content. 

To start with, the producers of content are usually the ones that are engaging with it in the first place. That means you as a producer are always researching where the most engagement will take place with your content. By researching it, you will be engaging wit the content there. For example if you decided that you want to use Medium to post your blogs, you start producing content for that media channel and it's inevitable that you will be engaging with other content whilst you are opening an account and doing your research.

I call this ‘Empty Engagement’. Content producers looking at content produced by other content producers don't really engage with that content as such. They are just scanning it, to learn from and how they can best borrow the ideas and concepts for their own content production. 

In addition platforms have created clever bots that suggest what content producers you should be following, they may even auto follow categories and as a consequence the authors too. Clever stuff and ‘empty’.

Nowadays your process for obtaining engagement means you have to get close up and personal. This means reaching out in a personal way to your audience and engaging with them one person at a time.

I've been noticing how @buffer do this really really well. For the past 2 weeks, I jumped on their weekly #bufferchat. There I noticed that they respond to specific tweets by the contributors. Not just liking or retweeting, they do actually mention the individuals and respond very directly to their answers to the questions in the chat.

Pretty impressive actually. It confirmed for me that this personal touch and direct communication, one to one is truly the only way to get engagement growing with your audience.

I hope this gives us all something to consider, reaching out to specific audiences and grow engagement on a very personal level, one ‘engager’ at a time. 

I would love to hear what's working for you with growing engagement. Thank you so much.

LinkedIn created a brilliant eBook with my favourite illustrator. @gapingvoid (Hugh Macleod) creates the most amazing messages through his illustrations. Read more about him and @gapingvoid here: http://www.gapingvoid.com/blog/team-members/hugh-macleod/

Regularly I will share one of the articles and illustrations from the eBook and give you my opinion, interpretation, insight and meaning of the words and illustrations.

@stayingaliveuk 🚀

#contentmarketing #content #socialmedia #engagement #marketing #socialselling

Is Creating Content the Elephant on the Web?

IMG_1214 Recently I joined a twitter chat #sshour (social selling hour) and the subject of content curation was being discussed. I too have been busy organising my content stream, selecting the articles I enjoy reading and sharing them on my preferred platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. And I love scheduling them using Buffer.

And my reason for doing this? Thought leadership? Just sharing ‘stuff’, which my connections might like to read? Wanting more followers, likes and comments?

Does anyone really give a damn?

And what's our outcome? Is it more engagement with our buyers, receiving more enquiries for our products and services? Or is it ’FOMO’,  fear of missing out? Or ’FOBLO’, fear of being left out?

Social Media has a lot to answer for. It’s changing human behaviour across the planet. We never shared so many intimate details of our lives, so publicly. And as we are so obsessed with sharing content surely we are trying to look interesting, relevant and impressive to our connections and followers?

No wonder there are 630 million search results on google to my question ‘how often should I blog?’

I asked the question last year: ‘Do Social Networks Sell Drugs?’

I know it’s a great feeling when your article/blog or your shared post gets noticed by your followers. Ever time this happens somewhere deep inside of us we say, ‘Wow she/he loves me’.

And by just pushing out more and more content and posting regularly, are we hoping that we’ll get noticed by some big shot CEO who will approach us to come and do some consultancy or maybe even work for them? There's news there too for us. They aren't reading them.

I believe there are two tribes who do all the blogging and posting. Folks that are self-employed and are making it part of their own personal marketing strategy or folks that work for big business and their job is in marketing anyway.

Everyone in between either don’t really care or are just too busy at work to bother.

I’d love to hear your opinion. Are we overdoing it and heading for blogging/posting burnout?

IMG_1209

How Do You Share Content?

As part of your journey into ’Social Selling’ and becoming your own ’Personal Brand’, you will inevitably need to share content. You don't always need to write your own content, although it’s obviously better if you did. Not everyone likes writing, certainly it took me a few years before I started blogging.

So curating and sharing other’s content is OK, providing it adds value to your own authority on your subject matter.

So how do you do it? Or rather how do I do it?

First we have to answer a few questions. Why share content in the first place?

Well, it shows that you are interested in your subject matter and more importantly that you wish to share it with your network and maybe, just maybe they will get something from it. Don't be concerned about not receiving any comments, likes or shares, that should definitely NOT be the reason for sharing your content.

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However they might and it's that possibility that should encourage you to keep sharing. You just don't know where it could lead to.

I use just 3 apps for doing all my curating and sharing.

Firstly the best sharing app that I use is ’Buffer’.

I have written a separate blog on buffer, so go ahead and read more about it there.

The second app is Flipboard, where I follow different streams that are closely connected to my subject matter, plus all the posts from people I follow.

The third app is ’Pulse’, a LinkedIn app, which allows me to find more content, by LinkedIn Influencers and many other news streams.

Buffer allows me to email all content I find on the web, either via these apps or generally on the web.

I have set my buffer to share the content 3 times per day, meaning my content is posted automatically in the morning, lunchtime and evening. Times of the day that people are most likely to browse their mobile devices.

I will add additional content now and again on a more spontaneous basis. And I also add some personal comments now and again about any subject I wish. This will hopefully show people that it's not all about business and they will see my personality come through too.

So it's time to start writing, get searching, reading and finally sharing. Have fun and ensure that you have your audience in mind when sharing content.

Wishing you success always!

Is your speed reading working?

I am finding the volume of tweets, links, posts, articles a touch overwhelming at times, so this short article explains how I manage this in today's super digital age. Ideally the following tools are needed:

  1. iPad or iPhone
  2. iBooks
  3. Safari or equivalent browser that allows you to save a web page as a PDF
  4. Or a PDF converter
  5. Dropbox

Basically I leverage my iBooks app as much as I can, by saving PDF documents to it for reading later.

Articles and the like come at you like a formula 1 car at top speed sometimes and this is how you can stop it in its tracks.

Apple's Safari web browser is a major plus but not essential.  Whenever you find a link that provides you with an interesting article, but you don't have time to read it, immediately convert or save it as a PDF into Dropbox.

Then retrieve it from your Dropbox on your iPad or iPhone and open it into iBooks.

Now you can decide to read them when convenient to you and not when the article catches your eye via a tweet, email or something else.  Plus you've got the article for future reference in a meeting, discussion with your colleagues or clients.  I've found it very handy.

And if you have found other ways of capturing your links, please do share.

The other way where I can interact with them is on Flipboard, the best iPad and iPhone app in my opinion.

Let me know how you get on.

Success!

 

 

Lord Digby Jones | Fix Britain and Standing for Mayor

John Duckers reports on a speech by Lord Digby Jones on whether he intends to stand for Birmingham mayor. LORD Jones of Birmingham says an elected mayor for the city is not enough – we need an elected mayor for the West Midlands.

Speaking to Birmingham Business Breakfast Club at the Botanical Gardens, he insisted he had not yet decided whether he would stand because of the lack of clarity over the powers available.

"I am not too sure an elected mayor for Birmingham is what we should be campaigning about," he told the 120-strong gathering.

"We should be campaigning about an elected mayor for the West Midlands. The issues are about the region; not just Birmingham."

An elected mayor should govern for Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Coventry, with each of the constituent cities able to elect a representative to the mayor's cabinet.

What would the powers of an elected mayor be, he asked?

Would a mayor be able to go into schools and say 'This is how it is going to be' in a bid to address poor literacy and numeracy standards?

Controversially, Lord Jones would stop the benefits of parents whose children failed to reach basic levels, offering them only food coupons so they wouldn't go hungry.

Would an elected mayor be able to implement an integrated transport system to reflect expansion of the airport, HS2 and possibly a Crossrail for Birmingham? Or would elected mayors be mere "glorified council leaders"?

"They should have the same powers as Boris Johnson in London and Alex Salmond in Scotland. There are 5.3 million people in the West Midlands, the same size as Scotland.

"I want these questions answered before I make a decision on whether to stand. I genuinely don't know. I have not made up my mind."

But he quipped: "I would make a lousy politician.....because I tell the truth."

He said he was in favour of HS2 but only if the route was changed to go through the existing "pollution corridor" along the M40 and Chiltern rail line.

And if that meant spending a bit more to sort out bends and inclines, then it should be done.

But he was cautious on how many jobs would come to the region as a result.

"It will create jobs here but it won't create long term sustainable jobs. Birmingham, and particularly south Birmingham, will become the northernmost suburb of London. A lot of work will go down south."

Lord Jones was one of the four founders of the BBBC in 1983 and was quickly bantering with old legal mate John James.

To get the club running, it was decided the four would all bring a chum to the next get-together and Digby invited John.

"It was a case of either JJ got up and came to the breakfast or he got up and went home."

To read John Duckers blog follow this link: http://www.duckersanddiving.co.uk

To hear the full speech, please listen to the recording below.