About Speaker's Chair
Speaker’s Chair was born out of one simple idea: everyone has an opinion and the right to be heard.
Speaker’s Chair is an online community for anyone interested in politics and current affairs in the UK. We enable people to read, write about and debate issues, and build networks with like-minded people of all political views.
It is October 2011, out for a beer with a few friends. We get talking about politics and the media, and somehow stumble onto political blogs. I think one of us had recently written something on one of the mainstream sites for the first time and been absolutely destroyed in the comments. Anyway, I digress. We get talking about these blogs and the fact that it is strange there isn’t a site where all views come together – a sort of Conservative Home, Labour List and Lib Dem Voice all rolled into one – and a site where it is overt that people of any and all views are there, joining the debate.
It struck me as strange that the brunt of online debate was within parties, or within a group of people with, generally-speaking, the same point of view. It also frustrated us that online debate was so broken, so polarised and so nasty. There is no reason for it, and – so we thought – there must be a solution.
Speaker’s Chair blog launches…
Fast forward six months and Speaker’s Chair is launched in April 2012, starting life as a standard political blog; the kind of site you all know – articles typically from political ‘insiders’ followed by hundreds of often inaccessible comments masquerading as debate. And horrible, pointless, unconstructive, nasty debate it often is too.
The new site flew – people loved the idea and embraced it very quickly. We grew from nothing to having more than 100 writers in six months, of all political colours and a good mix of ordinary people as well as more than 30 politicians of one colour or other. And the debate was, well, brilliant. Reasoned, almost entirely without the usual trolling we see elsewhere (though, yes, there were two idiots in that time that we had to ask to take their venom somewhere else) and the interaction between people of all political views was super constructive. Quelle horreur!
Could this be more?
This idea, we thought, had legs. What we had built was all done ourselves – teach yourself web development type stuff. It was a test, and it had worked. So we started coming up with all sorts of ideas as to how we could build something great – a community of people interested in politics and current affairs, and who want to express their opinion on events as they happen, share it with other politically-interested people, and join in debate.
And a site that takes debate and supercharges it – more functionality, greater transparency, linking authors with users and, crucially, anyone and everyone could write, whatever they wanted, whenever they wished. No longer would you have to ‘be somebody’ or know the editor to get something published. A true community.
Where we are today…
This platform simply didn’t exist out there, and we decided we would make it happen. Which is exactly where we find ourselves today. The site is far from perfect, but is a big leap on our journey to create this community and completely change the way political debate takes place online.
So if you have an opinion – come and join us!
You can sign-up today here www.speakerschair.com