1 nation. 60 million opinions

There is a new web service in town and it collects the opinions of the public. It seems they are doing all their advertising on buses and billboards, I spotted a billboard yesterday in Glasgow Central Station.

"These days, so many people feel that they're not being listened to and they have no way of making their voice heard.  They feel distanced from self-interested politicians and the news media.  Yet the hallmark of Britain has always been that people care about, and have strong views on, almost everything.  Speaking out is a democratic right this nation has historically embraced with enthusiasm.

Britainthinks is an independent space where the opinions of the British public can be publicly expressed. It launched on 4th January 2010.

Britainthinks was created to give people a new voice and support the vibrant democracy that the people of Britain already participate in up and down the country - in the pubs, living rooms and street corners of our nation.  We’re not backed by big news media organisations.  We have no political or religious axe to grind.  We just believe it is high time for us all to listen, speak and vote for the issues that count in our daily lives.  Britainthinks is the place to do just that."

You can vote on issues ranging from 'Should parents be paid to stay at home with kids?' to 'Do MP's care about us or just themselves?'. I am curious as to who is behind this and what they are going to do with all the opinions they gather!

Although, as Matthew Taylor points out "BritainThinks doesn’t encourage its participants to ask themselves whether their opinion is wanted, useful or soundly based is reinforced by the site’s slogan…if you’ve got an opinion, here’s where to stick it..." It also doesn't seem to have a space for people to discuss their opinions and engage in conversation about their thoughts...

I like the site and the graphics. I'll be watching closley to see what happens next.

Service Nation

Service Nation is a campaign to inspire a new era of voluntary citizen service in America. picture-23

"Imagine an America where the most commonly asked question of citizen is "Where are you doing your service?"

This campaign aims to champion a bold new plan to expand opportunities for Americans to serve their nation at every life stage, making service a core value of American citizenship and a problem solving force in American society.

The goal is that by 2020, 100 million citizens will volunteer time in schools, workplaces, and faith-based and community institutions each and every year (up from 61 million today), and that one million Americans will annually volunteer for a year of national service.

Thanks to Kate for discovery.