Welcome to Alternative Ideas...

Providing a platform for new and different voices...


There are billions of people in the world, most have no voice – actually – almost all have no voice.  'Democracy' sounds nice, but for the most part it's a farce; do we really have any say?  We vote once a year, send letters to our representatives' interns and aides who then dilute, categorize, and quantify, them into preexisting boxes and assumptions. If our ideas ever get to the floor of congress they are just shells of the original idea, put into percentage form, and lumped in with others' diluted and categorized thoughts.  I want my voice not only heard, but also used.  I want a competitor to the academics, technocrats, and political aides that decide how my life is best to be run. When a politician makes a policy choice, I want there to be an option there from the people – and for the people – not from the wealthy, educated, powered types that fund and perform today's research and decision making. We are finally in the information age, anyone and everyone has the world at their fingertips – but what are we doing with it? What are we doing with all that information?

Alternativeideas.org, though in its infancy, is a website being designed to provide a place where all of this information can be turned into heard voices and new ideas, and be used to generate alternative and new solutions. In today's society the generation of ideas and 'solutions' is monopolized by these people in positions of power. This specifically encompasses – at best – 5% of the industrial world's population, but more like 1 or 2 percent. All of these people are highly 'book' educated, well salaried, and/or well funded. In short, and regardless of their origins, they are generally the well positioned of society. This obviously lends to certain view points, perspectives, and upbringings. The goal of alternativeideas.org is to allow for the remaining 95 plus percent of humanity to truly have a voice.

As the democratic process is, it claims we have rule by the people, yet only around a 50% voter turnout is quite common, and for the most part we only get this opportunity once a year. Alternative ideas allows for every person, political minded or not, to have a place where they can simply write down their ideas for others to see and use. The goal of the site is to be an idea and thought repository. The goal of which is to create a network of ideas that can then be worked into more concrete solutions, through cooperative, open source workshops. Think of it perhaps as the everyday person's think tank. The middle manager, the electrician, the stock broker, the secretary, the stay at home mom, etc. A voice for all, solutions for all, by all.

Once the site is fully built, anyone can go on the site and write down an idea, comment on others' ideas, or enter into the workshops to join together ideas and create new solutions. The only rule to this interaction would be that posts and comments would have to remain 'positive' in tone and wholly constructive even when critical. The principle of the site is to build up, not knock down, fledgling ideas by working with the positives and building upon/combining them. Attacking, biting responses/ideas will be sent back to the writer for revising.

The site layout itself would have five general sections. Observations (similar to general blogging type observations), Ideas (agendaed thoughts), Sources (links to media outlet – both mainstream to the totally eclectic), Issues (that people see needing work/change), Research (a place to design and report upon individual/independent research), and Workshops (where the other sections intertwine in an effort to generate the formation and promotion of new and ‘non-traditional’ idea pathways). Each user could have their own page where all of their ideas, comments, resources, and work would be easily charted and linked to. There would also be a resources section with funding possibilities, personal experiences/'best practices', and links and/or pdf's on researching, etc. The entire site would be 'findable' (searchable) and browsable by keyword, topic, all text, abstract, tag-line, usage, date, etc. The 'find' would not be 'predetermined' or as large as a google search of the entire web. All ideas would be weighted equally, no matter how many 'views' they have, and only the ideas posted on, or linked to, the site would be found. Each idea would also be encouraged to map 'pathways' to its current form.

As something like Wikipedia is an encyclopedia about what 'is/was', and about.com is a site for 'how' things work, alternativeideas.org is about using that information and producing something new with it. It is a step towards the next generation in the information age. But one that is badly needed – True Democratic Interaction.

They say we have entered the Information Age, but what are we doing with it?