FTC News: The Elevator Pitch! - Update #31

You may remember when 'elevator pitch' was a thing...

It was before COVID-enforced working from home when many of us spent our days in multi-storey office blocks with elevators (lifts). 

The idea was that you should try to sell to your colleagues in the few moments that they were a captive audience between floors, hence you needed a very short explanation for your product or service. 

Here's the FreeThought City elevator pitch:

  • FreeThought City is a live mic and camera website that enables citizens to connect face to face. It is registered-members-only to prevent multiple or false identities. It has two arenas: public and private.
  • Hardware: FreeThought City is primarily intended for use on mobile devices with touch screens, selfie cameras and 4G or wifi connectivity.
  • Software: FreeThought City makes use of existing software systems configured to perform as a virtual city that can be time-zoned to merge with real life. Text chat will be available in the sidebar.
  • Intrusive ads will not be permitted.
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FTC News: Attracting Attention! - Update #30

Thank you so much for following these updates and spreading the word about FreeThought City to all your contacts. 

Today I have emailed Richard Dawkins to let him know that the song using his words as lyrics is out. We know he likes the music.

Maybe he will share it...

It's a great song - watch it here: https://youtu.be/H7tbKuOyejM

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FTC News: Respect People; Challenge Ideas - Update #29

FreeThought City is a live mic and camera site with two arenas: the private and the public.

What you do in thprivacy of your dream home with your invited guests is up to you, and none of our business, unless we get complaints of human rights abuse.

In the public arena, anyone who uses indecent dress, hate speech or incites people to harm others, will be at risk of being reported by citizens to the admins, and sanctioned. We may insert bleeps over profanities to keep the site family friendly while waiting for a fine, in the form of a software initiated deduction from a citizen's visible reputation rating, to be applied. Respect People

Ultimately, culprits could be blocked which would mean that, if they want to rejoin, they would have to register a differently named bank card and address. Those details are checkable. Single Verified Identity

The register will be kept in a secure cyber vault and only searched by computer for blocking purposes. It will not be accessible to staff. GDPR* compliant 

When in the public arena, please get permission from all those in range of your camera to go live, or switch your camera off. We may pixellate unregistered faces unless permission has been granted.

We are against censorship, cancel culture, de-platforming, etc. We do not support trial by media. 

We consider democratically established jurisdictions to be adequate currently, or improvable by elected legislators if not. 

If you don't agree with a proposition, say so, and present a well reasoned and evidenced case against it!

Challenge Ideas.

If you want to have a say in the running of FreeThought City, become a Councillor!

FreeThought City is like Real Life!

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FTC News: Unique Selling Proposition? Multiple Selling Proposition more like! - Update #28

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If you adopted a false identity, or went about with a stocking pulled over your head, we would suspect you of doing something antisocial wouldn't we!

You can't have a false identity or multiple identities in FreeThought City. 

This means that FreeThought City has all the best bits of the old text-based social media sites, such as connection and entertainment, without all the horrible aspects! 

FreeThought City achieves this by registering individuals to make everyone responsible for their reputation

Being 'registered subscriber only' means that FreeThought City is more like real life, and it frees us from the grip of commercial advertisers who want to interrupt our enjoyment with their sales pitches.

Is that a USP or is it MSP?

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FTC News: Tell Your Friends about FreeThought City! - Update #27

There are so many advantages to FreeThought City:
It's a civil society.
There's no intrusive ads.
You can build your dream home.
It's synched to your day.
There's all sorts of things going on.
You can perform or sell your stuff.
It's a whole virtual city where you can meet people and do things together...

Isn't this how the internet should be?

Tell your friends!

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FTC News: We are not Nosey Parkers! - Update #26

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Imagine, you are going to a show when an enormous screen comes out of the ground and blocks your way! You are forced to wait while it plays a video.
Inside the hall, you are enjoying the performance when, suddenly, a huge projection drops down in front of the artist and blasts some nonsense about a breakfast cereal!
Here's the good news: this won't happen in FreeThought City!
Let's face it, nobody likes intrusive ads and, being a membership site, FreeThought City won't be at the mercy of commercial paymasters.
We won't ask for information about you to sell to other businesses.
Your liking for chocolate cake is your little secret!
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FTC News: Ending Online Abuse! - Update #25

If you've visited many of the current social media sites you can't have failed to notice that they are mostly peopled by MEN! Ever wondered why this is?

My guess is it's because the rules permit locker room culture: allowing anonymity has led to acting like drunks abroad. I'm ashamed by the behaviour of some members of my sex.

FreeThought City is different. It fosters a civil society, more like real life. You can settle down, build your dream home and go about unthreatened by foul language, sexism and hate speech. 

How will we do this?

Simply by attaching a real identity to an online presence, thereby giving citizens a reputation to protect. 

We want the female voice! We want every voice! 

We offer a safe port in a cruel internet!

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FTC News: Face to face - that's the way to go! - Update #23

I had a great chat with this week's guest on FreeThought Hour, Dr Lucy Rogers. She's a real kindred spirit - an innovative engineer!

This is the sort of relationship that's possible face to face, yet existing social media sites are still mostly text based dinosaurs!

See it here:

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FTC News: Festive Season over and back to work! - Update #22

After a second bout of COVID and a family festive break, I'm fully back at my desk!

Some of you may not know that I am the YouTuber for FreeThought City and I produce two shows a week (in addition to guesting on other channels) that go out on Saturdays. 

Global Atheist News focusses on the impact that religions have on humanity. These items often do not reach mainstream news so the GAN team attempts to fill that gap without expressing an opinion from the newsdesk. As with the general news, most reports are dark but we try to end on a high note. 

It's followed by FreeThought Hour, which is a chat show featuring one or more guests. Today I'm pleased to have Dr Lucy Rogers with me. You can watch it here, and join in, at 8:30pm UK time: https://youtu.be/OkMoVk3J_6E


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FTC News: FreeThought City is for Creators too! - Update #21

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Don't think of FreeThought City as just a place for viewers...
Whatever your talent, you will be able to show it off in FreeThought City.
There's Stages for live musicians; you may get organised into a bill of similar acts so that your fanbase grows. You will be able to use your Youtube or Patreon site for payment. We will make it hard for your performance to be recorded and stolen.
There's a Gallery for artists to exhibit works at and sell them from.
There's a Commercial Street where businesses can advertise their products or services and meet clients.
There's a Games Arcade where you can compete to be a champion.
If you want to teach your subject - do that in the Academy.
Like debating? Set up an event in the Court House.
And the whole city is a video game that you can play with friends, rushing about collecting tokens.
Shy of a public crowd?
If you build your own dream home, you will be able to perform to a privately invited audience...
Whatever you get up to can be done in the company of others face to face - it's a together experience!
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FTC News: What do we want? A nurturing environment! - Update #20

The incredible technology of internet connected computers offered such promise...
And what has it turned into? A seething hotbed of hatred!
100 years ago, when the BBC was set up, Lord Reith gave it the remit to Inform, Entertain and Educate.
That's what FreeThought City will be like, with the added feature of being able to meet many other kindred spirits and form relationships that spill over into real life... Back then, radio was unidirectional but now we can all interact with each other.
The world should be our oyster! (Adapted from Shakespear's 'Merry Wives of Windsor')
Imagine having piano lessons in the Academy!
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FTC News: What do we want from Social Media? - Update #18

Remember Blackberrys? We struggled to text on a tiny keyboard. That's when social media sites began.
Yet we know that better relationships are formed when we can gaze into each other's eyes...
We can do that now; we have touch screen camera phones and tablets with fast connections.
In fact, many of us have lost our camera shyness due to being forced into working from home...
It's time for Social Media to catch up - we need a safe port in a cruel internet.
That's FreeThought City...
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FTC News: Our New Year Resolution! - Update #16

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It's our aim to provide a platform to meet that short list of resolutions.
First generation social media sites are struggling to clean up their act; governments are even looking at legislating them...
We think FreeThought City is the solution.
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FTC News: Richard Dawkins' song welcomes in 2022 - Update #15

FreeThought City will clamp down on conspiracy theorists, mythmakers and trolls.
We will provide a congenial site without the irrational hatred of first generation social media...
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FTC News: Bonne Annee! - Update #14


Why the French greeting?

Well, FreeThought City, being a website, is global, BUT...

Uniquely, it will allow you to toggle between 'world' and 'local'. 

Think what this means... 

Instead of casting messages into 'cyber space' and then waiting hopefully until your contact responds maybe days later, you will be able to interact with people who share your hours! Communication will FLOW! 

This will make FreeThought City into another facet of Real Life...

Imagine finishing work with, "Meet me in FreeThought City?" and spending the evening together!

Isn't this how the internet should be used?

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FTC News: The Nutshell Video - Update #13

FreeThought City has so many groundbreaking concepts it's difficult to explain quickly.
This short video gives an idea of some of the best bits!
Please share!
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FTC News: The COVID pandemic has affected us all... - Update #12

The FTC team members send our sympathies to all the populations affected by the Omicron upsurge...
I've had COVID Delta twice myself, despite being triple vaxxed, and it's a slow recovery, so I have genuine empathy for victims.
Under lockdown and isolation conditions many of us have turned to onscreen communities for company and some of us have lost our camera shyness as we've learned to zoom connect. I often take part in various podcasts as well as the shows I produce myself - it's fun! See the one below.
Here at FreeThought City we want to make online connections more friendly, more realistic and better integrated with real life...
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FTC News: How will we make FTC Civil? - Update #10

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Good question!
Some people behave very poorly on the old social media sites, don't they!
They think they can type anything from behind the safety of their screen.
That's not entirely true because every keystroke can be traced to a device and its location, although that software is supposedly only in the hands of authorities... (Mobile devices and programs that make the connection invisible can make tracking a bit harder)
Existing Social Media sites have one driving principle - attracting as much traffic as possible and not excluding anyone from being exposed to the content of their paymasters - advertisers.
Consequently, they allow you to have many accounts! If you get banned as person A, you can simply go on as alias B! Such anonymity opens the door to disrespect and deception.
You wouldn't get away with that in your neighbourhood would you!
Centuries of interacting with each other in real life have caused us to develop acceptable social standards.
We learn them as we grow up and we need to apply them online.
FreeThought City citizens will have one identity.
This will be ensured by requiring everyone to register with a debit/credit card, which is linked to their address/phone number. The name, or nickname, on the register will be displayed by their profile pic when the owner is online. Citizens will be identified with the content they contribute. Being responsible for their posts means citizens will have a reputation to protect...
Also, interacting in video chat form, rather than by text, restores the missing non-verbal cues that help us to decide whether a person is genuine or not, whether we like them or not...
We will give everyone the benefit of the doubt on sign up and display a five star reputation by their name. Anti-social behaviour may make that rating go down...
The Public Areas of FreeThought City will be family friendly.
What you get up to in the privacy of your virtual dream home is up to you...
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FTC News: What do we want to do? - Update #9

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Our mission is to provide a second generation social media platform.
Current social media sites have given such a loud voice to fundamentalists and conspiracy theorists that public health and individual safety are being harmed. We see personal, political and international relationships being damaged by the postings of fact denying, polarising, uncivil, social media commenters. This has been exacerbated by algorithms that figure out what we like from our browsing history in order to sell us more of the same, which creates the impression that a community shares our prejudices.
Permitting anonymity and multiple accounts was a naive invitation to behave like drunks abroad, and policing of antisocial behaviours after the incidents have occured is bound to lead to accusations of injustice. Attempting to control this with more rules, algorithms and armies of moderators is shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, and it damages the public perception of the service.
We conclude that existing social media are no longer fit for purpose - even governments are looking at legislating against some of their activities.
We are offering a virtual city where we all know the rules because they are the same as in real life.
A safe and congenial Social Media service!
That's FreeThought City
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FTC News: Happy Christmas! - Update #8

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Forgot someone's present? How embarrassing!
Fear not, we have a special deal - a Christmas Gift pledge of a Residential tier Citizenship for one year at only £30.
Sign up that special person to enable them to build their dream home in FreeThought City and host invited guests for private live streamed get-togethers... (redeemable if we reach our target)
Future updates to look forward to:
The video version of What If You're Wrong? (lyrics by Richard Dawkins)
Live celebrity book signings - meet a celeb online and get YOUR message on a bookplate
More interviews and podcast appearances
Beta launches of FTC features
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FTC News: What will it be like? - Update #7

A major feature of FreeThought City is Time Zone toggling - current social media sites connect you with people anywhere on the globe - they might be asleep or at work!
FreeThought City enables you to select a timezone - the citizens you meet will be on the same daylight cycle. It will be easy to merge your virtual existence with your real life...
Like any city, there are Public Places where you can meet others. A stack of pictures at the side of the screen will let you know who is around. Hovering over the images will open a profile and enable friending. Once befriended, you will be able to message each other and then join in Face to Face conversation in the surroundings provided - the street, the coffee shop, the gallery, etc.
You will be able to make plans - to explore the city together, go to a movie, attend a live show, etc. All in the safety of a Civil Society where everyone has an identity and a reputation to protect.
Premium citizens will be able to build their dream home and hold gatherings in private, live streaming your own content with invited guests.
FreeThought City is not just for spectators - it's for creators too! Exhibit your artwork in the Gallery, perform on the stage of the Concert Hall, offer your services as a web designer, build a following and sell tickets...
Check out the full Kickstarter site for more detail...
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FTC News - Update #3

I've done another plug!
I do a regular Sunday podcast with some great guys on Knoxville Digital Freethought Radio Hour. We have a laugh - it's fun! And, of course, the modern world being what it is, it's not just radio any more - you can see it online. This episode goes out tomorrow.
Yesterday they allowed me to plug FreeThought City - here's the one minute clip:
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FTC News - Creator John Richards is on the AAI channel! - Update #2

Jason Sylvester, the YouTube channel manager for Atheist Alliance International, interviewed me and we talked about this Kickstarter campaign - giving an outline of what the project is about, see here:
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FreeThought City News - Update #1

Seasons Greetings!
We've been hatching this baby for a year and are very excited that FreeThought City Kickstarter has finally gone live! It’s our gift to you for this festive season and, let’s face it, we all deserve something after months of battling COVID. We will be launching lots of extras during the countdown of our kickstarter campaign so come back here everyday or you might miss out!
Here’s some of the things we’ve got planned:
  • About to drop: ‘What If You’re Wrong?’ a song with lyrics by Richard Dawkins, music by Brian Gervaise.
  • Live book signings with well known celebrities.
  • The release of our original seasonal song: ‘Saturnalia’.
  • Exclusive live concerts from Australian singer/guitarists.
  • And many more fantastic events…
Happy Christmas from the FTC Team
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