Images, explanations and change

So, did I [Phil Jewitt] have fun hosting weekly blog club this week? Just a bit, could you tell? Not bad for a bloke on his death bed eh? and who said blokes can’t multi-task or do anything when they are ill? Back at ya!

Any road, 17 posts again this week, which is just above average. I took over slightly late so didn’t get to set a theme for week 49, a free for all it was.

We had some really interesting posts this week and really good to see that we are encouraging new starters to post. There is no pressure to post weekly, no really there isn’t; the best posts are ones you are happy with, deadlines can be helpful but sometimes a post needs that extra week to marinade.

I think the most valued aspects of weekly blog club is the reading, liking and promoting. Not to undervalue the effort, inspiration and time taken to ‘put yourself on the page’, but actually it takes time and a good eye to recognise relevant content and direct it to a particular audience. The personal essay makes a comeback by John Battelle via Martin Howitt was a great example. This is a blog within a blog about a blog…a sort of literary Xmas bird within a bird within a bird. Talking of Christmas….32 Christmas days and what they have taught me by Rough Cat and Pearl of Africa Choir by Carol Woolley gently eased us into the Christmas mood, how many days left now?

We then had a trio of picture themed posts. iphone shootings by Ross Wigham proved that the best camera you have is the one you have with you. Ross captured local landmarks around Newcastle and Northumberland. My day in 10 pictures by Kate Bentham was a pictorial diary entry for 30 November; a day off but Kate still caught up with colleagues and… ahem..cake. The third post with pics was What a weekend at the Dubai 7s by The Sporting Wag; a rugby related post. You have to see the picture of Hannah and James Rodwell.

Unlike the above posts, pictures are often used without explanation. At the bottom of the garden by Derek Barron raises this issue and provides a nice explanation of the image that Derek uses on his blog header and in his twitter profile. So often we see similar background images and wonder what the history is. On the theme of explanations, Rocks in his ears and other brilliant descriptions by Janet Harkin provides us with some literary gems of explanation bringing scenarios to life. (Another example of sick males providing entertainment!) 

It was good to see more pictures in Fairhaven & Woods – week 2 by Samuel-James Wilson as he continues his journey working with stone and we welcomed another debutant post Come to the edge by ACC Gareth Morgan via Sasha Taylor. Blog club wishes Gareth well in his attempts to explore issues and share ideas about policing.

Exploring issues and sharing ideas was also the theme of Phil Jewitt’s post. Titled The sociable organisation, Phil has created a blog to break down barriers and try to create a wider conversation in helping organisations such as councils and the NHS to help explain complex issues and become more open/social as they plan for changes. You know when you wait ages for a bus and then 2 come along; well Sasha Taylor posted a link to Networks, change and culture by Catherine Howe. Large organisations are so like supertankers, it takes time to get them to move in different directions. Catherine shares some recent experiences of working with organisations and on thinking differently. Listening to what people say and offering them the opportunity to comment and help change things was covered in Citizen’s panels for Social Services in Wales by Participation Cymru.

Those three posts were complementary and there’s no doubt that cultural change will also involve the use of social media. Two examples of promoting best, and highlighting worst, practice were posted this week. Social media taking the pain out of reporting to trustees by Louise Brown explains how effective  IFTTT (if this then that) can be and 15 WordPress user errors that make you look silly – infographic by Janet Harkin via Copyblogger, showed some ‘areas for improvement’ …we could all benefit from reading this.

There’s no doubt that difficult days are coming for many organisations, and unfortunately there will be hard times for those working in the public sector as decisions will no doubt have to be made to not provide some services anymore. Looking after the vulnerable in society will no doubt be the priority. This will mean there will be skilled people who no longer can find work in the profession they trained and love, which may not be seen as priority anymore. This is reflected in a moving post, All I want for Christmas is work by Janet Davis. Difficult decisions were relevant in Care and control by Betty Gudrun on the Ayrshire Health blog. I suppose most of the individual decisions that we make on a daily basis don’t have major consequences for the lives of others. Betty explains that in her job, that is not always the case.

So, I hope you will agree some top posts, please support the above by liking and commenting.

Next week the cakeylicious Kate Bentham will be in the chair, encouraging you to get creative. There is a theme next week of ‘landmarks in life’ This could be at work, home, geographical, hopes whatever….you choose.

If you would like to volunteer to look after Weekly Blog Club, there is information about what is involved on the Admin info page, and you can suggest a week (or even weeks) that you could do on the Who looks after Weekly Blog Club when page.

This is Phil Jewitt signing out. Have a blogging great week.

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