Louise Brown comments in passing on an ecclesiastical app on her way to telling us the intriguing and tragic story of “a martyr to excessive sensibility.” I find myself wondering what happened to the villain in the story.
This was a week in which many saw unusually deep snow for the UK in March, with some being snowed-in and left without power. Despite suggesting that people could use their time spent tucked up indoors in the warmth to blog, we had a slightly smaller number of posts this week. This was probably due to people still catching up after a busy period for conferences and unconferences.
I was delighted to see that we had a few unconference posts this week. Simon Hope did indeed provide what his title promised in Food for Thought – CommsCamp13. UK GovCamp 2013 was covered by Louise Kidney in UK Gov camp 2013 (I definitely would have gone to her session had I been there); and by Mark Braggins in HOW TO GET AHEAD IN GOVCAMPING. Mark included a video in which you can see him, Louise, and various other people whose Twitter names could be familiar to you, including Catherine Howe (@curiousc) who has contributed a post to Weekly Blog Club this year.
We also had a couple of conference posts. Lorna Prescott contributed Feeling safe to learn and share, in which she considered the issue of people in the public sector being able to feel that it is safe to share their work experience, including under the Chatham House Rule, and whether the Rule needs updating in the digital age. Eddie Coates-Madden wrote about what he said at Journalism Day, a conference full of journalists. It was provocative, it considered the digital world, and quoted both Ghandi and Dan Slee. Eddie got his photograph taken with fellow speaker, former war reporter and former MP, Martin Bell. I would like to see that image of two men with differing but equally distinctive styles.
Chris Bolton wrote about a man who did things in a distinctive style in ‘Lancashire Speaks’ (issued by Cyril Lord). Textile Workers Voices 1950’s style, a 78rpm vinyl record that he found but could not play (there is a happy ending to this record’s story).
Hannah Chia wrote about some changes to her personal style as she makes savings (in advance of her wedding this summer) in Introducing Austerity WAG & Her Wonderful Fiance. Rachel introduced me to a piece of clothing I had never imagined to be fashionable in “The Power of Orange Knickers” - which was actually about family, love, and mixtapes. Not all of you were here when we had our ‘Songs of Me’ posts last year but you might like to find them in Week 32 to Week 37 in our list of 2012 posts (they have ‘Song’ in the title). If you want to take up the ‘Songs of Me’ challenge and blog your selection, we would love to read your post/s.
There was more about love in Rachel’s other post this week - Meet me on the corner of Twitter - in which she considers romance in a digital age (and, remember, if you meet someone online, do be very careful about what information you give them and about meeting them offline).
Lindsay Narey wrote about a love of one’s home town or city this week in Home advantage (in the wonderfully-named The High Tea Cast Blogzine), and came up with some really great suggestions of being a tourist in your home environment. Carol Woolley has done some lovely posts about her area in the past, spreading the word about places you might not think of visiting.
Good communication was at the heart of several posts this week. Tanwen Berrington, guest-blogging on the Participation Cymru site wrote about the challenge for people in public sector services of Channel Shift: Making the best use of your citizen communication channels. Graham Budd (lovely to see Graham contributing again) and Kenny McDonald wrote a two-part post - A Training Environment for Twitter (Part 1) (Graham) and A training environment for Twitter (part 2) (Kenny). It was interesting to see such a cautious approach to using Twitter in the public service. Phil Jewitt is involved in a local authority pilot project about using social media more to communicate, and he considered events and situation where the outcome is uncertain in White smoke.
A first-time contributor to the Ayrshire Health blog (and to Weekly Blog Club), Simon Bradstreet, thought about A person centred NHS and why successful change takes time and quotes John Kotter’s ‘Eight Steps to Successful Change’ which has “communicate the vision” in the middle of it.
Communicating about fine art was at the heart of Louise Atkinson’s post this week as she contributed a piece about some of her work in an exhibition Albert and the Dots: Reading Rooms. I was having some arty thoughts this week in I had an idea about images for a band but lacked a few things to make those thoughts more concrete. Karen Hart wrote about a very tangible piece of art - The Folkestone Mermaid - which has provoked discussion and more art (a series of interventions that reminded me of how even The Angel of the North has had such an intervention, and makes me wonder if I should write a post about interventions and statues and try to reach some pretentiously profound conclusion about communicating with citizens).
Many, many apologies for the tardiness of this summary post. My only excuse is being deep in doing community things, including thinking about an online communications strategy for an offline local community, reading up on and writing about Neighbourhood Forums and Planning, attending community meetings and an event. Before I get a fresh mug of tea and go on to finish writing up the notes from the last community meeting I attended, I had better think about an [entirely optional] theme for Week 14 (since Week 13 is almost over already)…
Week 14 [entirely optional] theme could be a public statue or sculpture in your locality; or Easter; or the Songs of Me challenge (the Songs of Me Part 1 explains the initial challenge if you did not do it last year, and The Songs of Me Part 2 has the 2nd part of the challenge).
Most of you could probably do a better job than I did of being Weekly Blog Club this week – and if you think you’d like to volunteer as a guest curator, all you need to know is here. Thank you very much to all those who have read, Liked, commented on, followed this blog (and our members’ blogs), tweeted and retweeted our posts – as well as to those who have contributed posts. If you want to join in and contribute posts yourself, more about how to can be found on our About page. Do join in at any point during the year. If you’re nervous, tell us and we will encourage you.
Nearly time for the Week 13 summary now…
Summary of Week 12 posts
Channel Shift: Making the best use of your citizen communication channels by Tanwen Berrington on the @PartCymru blog.
I do wish we had contributions from Louise Kidney a little more frequently. She went to UK GovCamp 2013, and this time she was brave enough to pitch a session. She has been thinking about mentoring, professional networks, digital women, and encourages the potential future leaders.
Hello lovely people, it is me, Kate Bentham standing in this week as guest curator. I have to say I’ve had a fabulous week reading all your blogs, there were 23 in total, so great to see the numbers still so high into week 10 of the second year. If you too want to have a good a week as I’ve had, why not think about volunteering to be a guest curator? All you need to know is here.
Anyway, now I’ve done my sales pitch, back to those blogs. It is currently Saturday night, and I am staring at the list of 23 blog titles listed below trying to find a theme, a thread, a commonality among the blogs, but I can’t. So, I’ve decided to hold a competition. I’m leaving this blog as The Untitled One, until you have read the blogs below, applied some of the imagination I am clearly lacking, and you suggest a more suitable title. There is of course a top* prize for the winning suggestion, but as we know it’s not the winning**, it’s the taking part, so do take part.
One of the key features of the blogs this week focused on women, with a couple of posts shared to celebrate International Women’s Day which was Friday 8th March 2013. Karen Hart’s blog Simply the Best for International Women’s Day introduced us to some of the amazing women volunteers who support the work of Stepney City Farm and who join Karen on the Communications Committee. In No Excuse for Domestic Abuse, Kate Bentham used International Women’s Day to announce a new role she has as a trustee for a charity which supports women and children affected by domestic abuse. Kate also shares some startling statistics. Also looking a gender this week is regular member Phil Jewitt. Phil attended CommsCamp13 recently and is Questioning Y not many women pitched a session. This has been in interesting debate to watch since CommsCamp13. Phil also uses his blog to look at good ideas, and questions, if it is such a good idea, why hasn’t it been taken forward already?
One of the Weekly Blog Club mantras is ‘a blog can be an image with a few sentences about it’ and this week we’ve had a couple of bloggers proving the point perfectly. First up is Janet Davis who takes us on an Urban walk February 2013. I’m a big fan of the walks which Janet shares with us; she sees some amazing images along the way, which others may miss. Another blog I am also fond of is the Lost and Found blog where Richard Overy shares historical photos. This week Richard shares a group of chaps with their bikes in Horndean 1935 – Cycled Aldershot to Weymouth.
We had a couple of How To blogs this week. The first was from Louise Brown with Google Alerts for charities. In this blog Louise shares information on how to use Google Alerts to listen to what the web is saying and to give information to support an organisation. Jo Smith from Vindicat PR also offers some top tips on how to get the job you want without fluffing the interview, You’re hired – if you can nail the interview is a useful read for anyone currently looking for their next employment opportunity. Kenny McDonald also shares his pain of remembering numerous passwords but offers some useful tips on how to keep passwords safe from the hackers in Name’s not down, you’re not getting in. In Engaged employees are happy employees by Carolyne Mitchell there are some useful tips and tool for internal collaboration and communication.
Ross Wigham blogs about how PR/Communications has changed over recent years, often sparked by budget cuts, but also technology developments. Ross shares the positive results this change has had for his organisation, whilst also looking at how further change is inevitable. Change. Adapt. Evolve. is a must read for anyone involved in comms or PR.
A warm welcome to Russell Todd who has contributed his first blog to weekly blog club in When Community Development becomes a pejorative term. Russell writes about two neighbourhoods and how one had significantly greater cohesion, solidarity and a sense of community – and yet this was a community considered in need of development. Russell looks at the important factor of social connectedness.
This week Lorna Prescott shares with us a review of a few chapters of a book she is supporting in getting published. The book is called Anarchists in the Boardroom by Liam Barrington-Bush. The book looks at how organisations can be ‘more like people’ and what they can learn from social media and technologies.
I felt very privileged to be able to take a look behind the scenes at the restoration work going on at York Minster in Samuel-James Wilson’s blog. Samuel-James shares some really interesting photographs and also his knowledge of the work which is going on, work which he has previously been involved in.
There were some great blogs from healthcare professionals this week. One which was of particular interest to me was The challenges ahead for Improving Outcome for Children and Young People in this first blog written by Kath Evans. The blog looks at how professionals, parents, schools and the wider public all have a role to play in improving health for children. In
Whisper it: UK Cancer Care is Better Than We Think by Martin Brunet the issue of an over reliance on out of date statistics is considered. Finally in Creativity and its place in recovery by Derek Barron, Derek looks at how art and creativity can offer some therapy for those who suffer from mental illness.
I took lots of ideas from Information sharing and feedback – our February / March Participation Networks by Participation Cymru on activities for network meetings and group activities. This latest Participation Cymru network meeting looked at Information Sharing and also feedback.
A heart-warming story in Place and time by Phil Jewitt who was in the right place at the right time to help an elderly and distressed lady to be reunited with her worried family, and thereby proving that Phil is the good egg we knew him to be.
Another good story this week is from Rough Cat in Happily Mourning the Death of a Car where we hear the story of a Ford Focus who has gone for recycling after developing one costly repair after another.
A great blog from Chris Bolton this week not only about polishing shoes but on memories a routine can evoke, how rituals makes us think about our possessions and how the smallest of tasks can show how much we care for our loved ones. Rituals, routines and how to polish shoes is a great read.
A couple of our regular contributors shared blogs on hobbies and interests this week, in Vegetable growing is go by Louise Brown Louise has read the books, ordered the seeds and is now ready to get planting. Peter Olding shares Looking for aircraft in France, Ireland and Portsmouth Harbour about his hobby of aircraft spotting and considered how technology might help.
And finally I loved seeing the Scottish Health Monthly blog, Settling in – Scottish healthcare blogs in February. This blog curates the best healthcare blogs of the month and posts them in a handy summary blog – I wonder if this idea will ever catch on…
So, have you thought of a suitable title for this summary, if you don’t hurry up I’ll end up*** eating the curly wurly myself.
Anyway that’s it from me, go do great things this week, and then write a blog about it. I’m doing something totally random on Monday, which I’ll blog about, so maybe that can be the completely optional theme for this week – randomness. If you’re a first timer to Weekly Blog Club you can find out how to join in here, or tweet one of us and we’ll be happy to support you. I’m handing back to the amazing and inspiring Janet Davis now, but will see you again in a few weeks.
*a curly wurly
** it is the winning, there’s a curly wurly at stake for goodness sake!
*** I’ve eaten it already.
- Information sharing and feedback – our February / March Participation Networks by Participation Cymru
- Questioning Y by Phil Jewitt
- No Excuse for Domestic Abuse by Kate Bentham
- Simply the Best for International Women’s Day by Karen Hart
- Looking for aircraft in France, Ireland and Portsmouth Harbour by Peter Olding
- You’re hired – if you can nail the interview by Jo Smith from Vindicat PR
- Place and time | between personal and professional by Phil Jewitt
- Engaged employees are happy employees by Carolyne Mitchell
- Name’s not down, you’re not getting in by Kenny McDonald
- Urban walk February 2013 by Janet Davis
- Horndean 1935 – Cycled Aldershot to Weymouth by Richard Overy
- The challenges ahead for Improving Outcome for Children and Young People by Kath Evans
- Rituals, routines and how to polish shoes by Chris Bolton
- Vegetable growing is go by Louise Brown
- Google Alerts for charities by Louise Brown
- York Minster by Samuel-James Wilson
- Settling in – Scottish healthcare blogs in February on the Scottish Health Monthly
- Whisper it: UK Cancer Care is Better Than We Think by Martin Brunet
- When Community Development becomes a pejorative term by Russell Todd
- Creativity and its place in recovery by Derek Barron
- Anarchists in the Boardroom by Lorna Prescott
- Happily Mourning the Death of a Car by Rough Cat aka @Llama_Rockette
- Change. Adapt. Evolve. by Ross Wigham
To celebrate International Women’s Day, Karen Hart introduces us to some of the amazing women she works with at Stepney City Farm. Many are volunteers who give up their time to be involved in the day to day running and promotion of the Farm. The members of the Communication Committee talk about what being involved means to them.
Chris Bolton takes a different look at Florence Nightingale and shares her innovative approach to showing data in a visual form.
We’re especially pleased to have a first time blog contribution from a women in tech we admire – Mary McKenna. In her blog Mary highlights some shocking statistics on the pay difference between men and women, and offers some helpful tips on how to negotiate an equal pay.