Philip Sheldrake

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Category: Public Affairs

How and why I strive to maintain my privacy – a post in light of the Snooper’s Charter

GCHQ at Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

An aerial image of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.
Photographer: GCHQ/Crown Copyright. CC BY-SA 2.0


Arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say.

Edward Snowden, 2015 (source)


I get asked now and then how to improve one's personal privacy, digitally speaking. It's unsurprising that such questions are directed my way given privacy is a core objective of the hi:project, and yet I seemed to have attracted more than the usual number of questions since my last post – Introducing Google Assistant, the Surveillance Interface.

You might want to stop commercial entities intruding – it's difficult to sum up in a sentence or two how egregious the state of commercial surveillance is today. You might want to help head off the realisation of a surveillance state if only because you've read somewhere that such things don't end well. You might simply want to have less data about your movements and purchases and media habits and general proclivities out there because it's not a case of if the corresponding databases are hacked but when.

Importantly, I write this post the very week the UK has passed the most extreme surveillance law ever passed in a democracy. The so-called Snoopers' Charter is disgusting, distressing and, in good part, stupid. Read more

The EU Referendum campaigns should learn from Aristotle

Aristotle

An email sent to all my friends and family.

There's no doubting Aristotle was a rare genius. Encyclopædia Britannica calls him the first genuine scientist. And it's amazing that here I am in the 21st Century emailing you (and in fact just about everyone I know with an email address) about the insights of a man born exactly 2400 years ago.

(That's equivalent to someone doing the same for you or me in the 44th Century CE, and I think we can agree on the likelihood of that!)

I read this article on Aristotelian rhetoric / persuasive powers in 2012, and I was so enamoured that I wrote a short blog post on it at the time. In summary, Aristotle concluded that the three most powerful tools of persuasion are:

  • Ethos – argument by character
  • Logos – argument by logic
  • Pathos – appealing to the emotions.

Read more

Social media measurement – AMEC’s ‘Big Ask’ European consultation

The PR industry view and ‘Big Ask’ - Philip Sheldrake, uploaded by Gorkana Group on Vimeo.

AMEC – the international Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication – launched its social measurement consultation exercise with European members and in-house and agency PR professionals on November 17th 2011 at the 'Big Ask' conference. I spoke at the conference and the videos of the day have just been posted to Vimeo. In the egocentric nature that is personal blogging, I've embedded the video of me above, and videos of the other speakers can all be found here.

AMEC aims to develop global social media measurement standards by June 2012, and I'm also contributing to / hanging on to the coat tails of a similar initiative driven by I-COM – the International Conference on Online Media Measurement.

It's probably not too much of a generalisation to say that AMEC has grown out of the 'unpaid media' community, and I-COM from the 'paid media' community. While I've argued here that this distinction is now pointless, it is responsible for incredibly different perspectives and attitudes; in fact sometimes laughably so. I'll know when we're making progress on social media measurement when this division recedes and my amazement dissolves. It's noteworthy that both efforts have begun earnestly to engage the other 'media types'.

Hope you like the video.

The new governance of lobbying – in conversation with Elizabeth France and Keith Johnston

This week's CIPR TV focused on the formation of the Public Affairs Council in response to the Public Administration Select Committee's recommendations in its December 2008 report, Lobbying: Access and influence in Whitehall. We're delighted that Elizabeth France, UKPAC's chair, and Keith Johnston, CIPR and UKPAC board member, could join us to explain what's going on, who it affects and how.

How social media might help put UK politics on the right track

Election 2010 was supposed to be the UK's first social media powered election, but with the advent of our first ever Leaders Debates, it became resolutely a TV-powered election.

But that doesn't mean same-interest groups aren't coalescing and making their point online; quite the opposite. It's just that the majority of the British public aren't that engaged with social media just yet. And don't start with that "but Obama did it in 2008" malarkey... sure, he ran a great campaign, but when you break it down you find that the majority "online" effort was plain old email marketing. Good on him, but this hardly makes anyone's definition of social media.

Let's take a brief look at two campaigns running right now, post-election. Read more

The social Web and agenda setting: a presentation to today's European Agenda Setting Conference, Zurich

I'm presenting in one hour to the European Agenda Setting Conference on the impact of the social Web. Great presentations this morning from Roland Schatz, President Media Tenor, David W Moore, author of The Opinion Makers, and Ramu Damudaran, Director Civil Society at the United Nations.

Here's my deck if you're interested:

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: socialweb socialmedia)