It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the East Midlands. There’s everything to get you in the festive spirit, from big Christmas trees, to mulled wines, wonderful walks and pamper time, it seems as if Lindsay Narey can vouch for them all. Ho Ho Ho y’all.
The Week 42 posts made me think again about Weekly Blog Club, as people move on and things quieten down.
Joseph Conaghan wrote a thought-provoking post Is Ambulance Reality TV …Insight or Voyeuristic? I can see an argument for producing such television programmes to educate people on what the emergency services do and what real emergencies are, but I avoid all these programmes because they feel voyeuristic to me. And if anyone asks, I definitely would not want to appear as a patient in any of those programmes!
Peter Olding is looking for some help from Weekly Blog Club members. He would like you to take pictures of historic churches, add a bit of information about their names and where they are, and send it to him for adding to a website he’s creating to share the pictures and information with everybody. If you’re going for walks in the countryside this week during the half-term holiday, it would be an ideal opportunity. Find out more about what Peter is doing in Update on my Historic Churches Website.
Karl Green went further back, way before history, and tackled the small issue of The Complete History and Future of the Universe (in 1,635 words) in Week 42. He considered stars, planets, black holes, what came before the Big Bang, the possibility of other universes and more besides. I remember my maths teacher explaining to me the mathematical concept of dimensions beyond the four-dimensional (length, breadth, depth, time), and that alternative universes or realities were mathematically possible. Maybe the next Doctor Who story will help us to understand…
Say hello and smile at people! Samuel-James Wilson advised this in his post about finding a job: Smile, it might just work. It depends on your type of work whether social media is more or less useful when looking for a job.* Even if your work focuses on social media, it certainly is a good idea to try to get out and meet people at events where digital media people will be, and to smile warmly at them.
On the dghealth (Dumfries and Galloway Health) blog this week, Ros Gray advocated Getting to know you, getting to know all about you… at work, starting with a smile, saying hello and introducing yourself. She pointed out just how much time you spend with colleagues and other people you meet at work, and what a difference it can make to be people-focused. Seeing people clearly and without prejudice is the best start to understanding their needs. Joanne Payne in Let’s get back to our roots…. on the Ayrshirehealth blog wrote about being involved with establishing a new Occupational Health service in Ayrshire and Arran that focuses on what the patient needs rather than preconceptions of what help they should want.
When did you last give or receive a hug? I can’t remember, but it was months ago. I rather miss visiting London where there is more of a custom of hugging people in a work as well as social context. The funny thing is when I see people from The South whom I’ve met at London events and I’m suddenly unsure whether hugging would seem too forward in the less touchy-feely North. Georgia Parker reminds us of the good things about hugging in Hugs have health benefits.
Mark Wood described his role in a very different physical activity in Change of tempo – literally. He has been photographing the BUPA Birmingham Half Marathon. I found it fascinating to read about a commercial photographer’s work at such an event. I hadn’t realised that they had to arrive so early at such things or had so little artistic control over the pictures they take.
My own modest photographic contribution was Ouseburn viaduct scaffolding, a photograph from last year when conservation work was undertaken on an early 19th century viaduct that carries the East Coast Mainline across the Ouseburn Valley in Newcastle upon Tyne. I had thought about adding Ouseburn walk October 2013, a set of snaps on Flickr but ran out of time to add words to them so they’re not officially a contribution.
Ouseburn is where I’m involved with developing online resources and communication for a community group. I’m looking for tips and pointers as to how we can do this effectively so I was particularly interested two posts from Wales relating to accessibility and building online communities. Sarah Ball wrote on the Participation Cymru blog about October regional participation networks: Accessible information and technology, with lots of useful links and details about what they did in the workshop. I really liked their very practical approach to accessibility. What is the point of communicating in a way people can’t understand? Chris Bolton wrote about the development of online communities for Good Practice Exchange at the Wales Audit Office in The Rule of 1%. Why it matters to your online community. I was interested in how low the percentage of active members of online communities is, and the example of the thriving one and the secret to it.
I think that the engagement with Weekly Blog Club has lessened over the past few months. There seems to be less interaction on Twitter and less response to the weekly summaries. I have asked before whether you want to end it. I’m wondering again if we should end the blog at the end of this year? Is it time to say goodbye at the end of 2 years? Although I would miss the community we have developed, I wonder whether too many people are too busy doing other things now to be actively involved regularly.
Another option that I have considered before is possibly finding some sponsorship, turning this blog into more of a magazine, get a WeeklyBlogClub domain, inviting people to contribute directly or give permission for their posts to be re-blogged in the WeeklyBlogClub magazine, possibly with a summary going out as a newsletter with pictures. I had hesitated about such an option because it would be a very different way of doing things. There was also indication that the forthcoming press charter would affect all online magazines which would make it necessary to have insurance, I think, and add a lot of complications.
I will leave those ideas with you to think about, discuss if you wish, put forward alternative ideas.
Thank you very much to everyone who contributed this week. If you want to contribute to Week 43, our About page tells you everything you probably need to know. If you would like to help look after Weekly Blog Club, there’s the Admin info page to tell you about what’s involved. If you want inspiration, how about storms, or Lou Reed, or half-term holidays as [entirely optional] themes for this week?
Hope you and yours survive the storms safely!
*(Incidentally, I’m still looking for paid work, should anyone be wondering…)
Summary of Week 42 posts
My apologies for the delay in the Week 37 summary due to catastrophic laptop failure, resulting eventually in having to replace the hard drive (and losing some files from the last couple of months since it last broke down when I had to lose quite a few files when erasing the hard drive and reinstalling the operating system was tried).
Chris Bolton’s Week 37 post was, coincidentally, about how Failure* should be part of your CV (* = fast intelligent failure). This was a very good post for me to read. I am happy to share what didn’t happen to work on a project (though am usually constrained by more senior management), but I fear and hate personal failure. At times when I feel I’ve failed, I would love to go for a brisk walk (something I cannot do currently) as Rachel did in Autumn, winter, whatever. I remember an occasion years ago, when striding along the Newcastle Quayside in the rain in winter, listening to Jimi Hendrix’s Hey Joe on my Sony Walkman, my black coat swirling in the wind, feeling that same feeling that Rachel describes.
I admire those who take on physical challenges such as Hannah Chia is tackling and told us about in My Crossfit Challenge: Dubai Fitness Championship, Here I Come! If you have read Hannah’s blog before, you’ll know she has always preferred getting dressed up to watch sport rather than participating so this will not be an easy challenge for her.
Paramedics face challenges every day as part of their work. Joseph Conaghan wrote about a few of them would be joining a big march in support of the NHS and to protest outside the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester on Sunday 29th September in Why will paramedics be marching?
John McGarva, in his post for Ayrshirehealth, considered the importance of reflective practice in quality improvements in the NHS. He wrote about the need to remember to focus on the patient, from the micro level of individuals, to institutions and groups of institutions at the middle level, and country as the macro level. The title of his post – Polishing Narcissus’s Mirror - conjures up the warning tale from Classical mythology of Narcissus so in love with his own reflection that he is aware of nothing else.
Public sector standards and improving effective communication between local councils and citizens were the focus of Huw Lloyd Jones’s blog - Scrutiny in the spotlight: investing to maximise its impact - on the Good Practice Exchange at Wales Audit Office blog. Having been encouraged to tweet, he has looked at how six local councils are using Twitter and saw its potential.
Kenny McDonald considered public sector use of social media in Scotland in You don’t need to be a social media general to lead, his account of his experience at ScotGovCamp 2013, his first experience of an unconference. I was glad to hear that he had met Dan Slee (one of Weekly Blog Club’s founders), and enjoyed Carolyne Mitchell‘s cakes.
I was interested that Kenny thinks that it will take as long as 5 to 10 years for “social media to be proficiently relied on in the public sector in Scotland and for staff to be trusted with it.” About three years ago, I was helped at a couple of workshops to help cultural institutions in England to overcome barriers to using Web 2.0 tools, including social media. Very few of them were on Twitter then, and saw it as difficult to start. The increase in museums, galleries, archives, and libraries using Twitter has been phenomenal in the past couple of years (so what we were doing three years ago possibly helped). I have also seen how attitudes in local councils in England have changed over the past four years so that it now seems normal for them to have some sort of online presence. The fact that social media channels are regularly mentioned on television and are used by newspapers has probably helped to see them as more normal communication channels.
I am sure that Siobhan Hayward will help people to learn how to communicate in her new role at Participation Cymru as a new Training and Development Officer. Siobhan wrote a blog to introduce herself: Introducing our new Training and Development Officer, Siobhan Hayward. We hope that she enjoys her work there and will blog with us again.
Samuel-James Wilson has moved well beyond the UK for his next job. He has moved all the way to Australia, and has made time to give us an update in this big change in his life: I made it. He includes lovely pictures of where he has visited so far, and the news that his blog is up for an award.
One of our other regular bloggers, Phil Jewitt, visited Australia for the first time this summer (or winter from an Australian perspective) and found he was Seeing things differently as a result. Do read his blog and think about his revelation. How do you see your world, and what do you take for granted that those visiting it or new to it might not regard as normal?
I was delighted to hear from two of our other bloggers who have gone to a distant land with a different culture. Graham Budd wrote Sokcho safari - an introduction to where they are, with some great images. Rough Cat started with an observation of a practical difference: It’s Been 28 Days Since I Used a Fork and Other Fun Facts, and shared some more great photos (including squid drying on a washing line) plus a word picture of a dog wearing make up.
It sounds as if all our emigrated bloggers are having a great time, and I’m looking forward to hearing more about their new lives and seeing more photos of places I’ll never visit myself. The British have long been fascinated with the Orient. It is hard to tell from Richard Overy’s vintage picture this week, Ladies drinking tea, where the photo was taken but it looks decidedly oriental in style of building as well as clothes. I wonder if the ladies were visiting or lived in the Far East? It is an intriguing image.
Finally, Karl Green’s post for Week 37, simply entitled My dad, was a moving one to commemorate what would have been his father’s 70th birthday. His dad certainly did an unusual and interesting range of work during his life, and Karl’s pride in and love for him comes through so clearly in his post. It reminds us that we should always appreciate the people in our lives whilst they are here, with us.
Thank you very much to all who read, appreciated and shared the Week 37 posts, as well as to those who wrote them. If you have been inspired to write, do visit our About page to find out how to contribute blogs to Weekly Blog Club. I always find it fascinating to read blogs by new contributors, and look forward to those by names and faces that have become familiar. Do join in!
Summary of Week 37 posts
Introducing our new Training and Development Officer, Siobhan Hayward by Siobhan Hayward for Participation Cymru.
There seemed to be quite a lot of challenges in Week 35′s posts. I failed the challenge of getting a post written, but Chris Bolton advised Learning from failure. The more it hurts the better you learn. I wish Chris luck on his next sea swimming challenge, but I wonder if it depends on a person’s personality or state of mind at the time of a failure as to whether they respond by learning from it. Some respond to failure by avoiding the thing another time.
I don’t think I’ve tried to swim in the sea since I was 5 or 6 (with armbands!), on holiday in Pembrokeshire, Wales. It was either the fear of getting stung by a jellyfish after seeing hundreds stranded on the beach one day, or the experience of a wave covering me and depositing seaweed on my face. I spent much time as a child at Welsh beaches. I still love the coast, and remain fascinated by the creatures that live there so Kate Bentham’s post A Welsh Walk caught my eye. She shared some pictures of an obviously happy seaside holiday (including of the strange-looking ray), after vividly evoking a past of kipper ties and pineapple hedgehogs that seems a world away to me even though I recognise it.
Phil Jewitt had travelled even further for his summer holiday this year, to the other side of the world. The occasional tweet had indicated that he was having an interesting and enjoyable time but I was delighted to see that he had found time to blog about it in A land down under (a reference to a 1981 song by Men at Work - you might want to listen to the song as you read). He shares lots of lovely photos of different aspects of Australia (including fabulous views from aeroplane windows, wonderful landscapes, shiny cityscapes, and cute little kookaburras). It really is a good read.
Another blogger quoting a song this week was Andrew Jacobs in I wished on them but they were only satellites. If you want to listen to it whilst reading Andrew’s post that gives news of the forthcoming #learncamp at the Royal Festival Hall, try a live and lively version of a young Billy Bragg singing his own song A New England, or what could be my favourite version by the late and great Kirsty MacColl. Don’t forget to read the post – you may find it really useful.
Louise Brown wrote about learning about teaching people in Testing understanding and not just facts. This is something that I have not spent much time thinking about although I have informally taught people for years, so I found it interesting to read her post. Please do share your experience and knowledge with her in the comments on her post.
Dyfrig Williams has been learning different approaches to social media and reflected on them in Personal use of social media on the Good Practice Exchange blog for his Week 35 blog. Meanwhile, back in Participation Cymru where Dyfrig used to work, Jon Birts introduced himself in Introducing our new administrator: Jon Birts. He told us he previously worked in Health and Social Care, and is interesed in the the idea of hearing views and opinions on how care and support should be delivered from those receiving it. Lovely to meet you, Jon, and we hope you enjoy your new job!
It was good to see Mark MacGregor, Associate Medical Director in NHS Ayrshire & Arran, writing for the AyrshireHealth blog again. This time he confessed to a liking of shines, but expressed a scepticism about how effective some new technology is for patients and whether it is value-for-money in Telehealth: so obvious it must be true. Objective evidence is a good thing, as long as there are decision-makers who understand the evidence.
Healthcare professional Heather Currie wrote about her observations of her father’s experience as an out-patient in An out-patient journey on the dghealth (Dumfries and Galloway Health) blog. This is a post well worth reading, along with another one that will be included in next week’s summary. Hospitals remain rather scary places to those of us who don’t work in them, even those of us who have to visit them regularly enough to lose the initial fear of unfamiliarity.
It was also good to see Elaine Hunter, an AHP (Allied Health Professional) return to her blog. In Leadership: The Conversation Continues, she reported on and considered her experience of delivering the Dr Elizabeth Casson Memorial Lecture. She talked about leadership, the need to share, and asking people to share their key messages about leadership on Twitter. It was interesting to see how created an opportunity for collaborating with others in this way.
Karl Green seems to have got a lot out of working with others a year ago when he was one of the Gamesmakers at the Paralympics in London in 2012. He recounted his experiences of it in The Adventures of Gamesmaker Karl for Week 35.
Dan Slee also had sport on his mind this week in EXTRA COVER: 21 ways a cricket club can use Twitter (with lessons for organisations). If you don’t like cricket, you should still read Dan’s post (not least because Dan’s writing is always an enjoyable read) and you may find some tips on more useful ways of using social media for your work or voluntary group.
Finally, artist Louise Atkinson’s post this week for her Week 46 - Pretty Brutal Library and the politics of labour - is about some exhibitions she has visited recently that connect with her own work. I was quite fascinated by the concept she mentions of poetry that came from the Amazon Mechanical Turk, and the exploration of the ethics of artwork that uses workers who are exploited. I have had cause to think about this in the past, particularly in relation to the 19th century British social realist artists whose work helped to raise awareness of issues and situations affecting the poorest and most vulnerable in society.
I was too busy thinking about today’s community issues to write a blog myself for Week 35, but I did contribute several 130 character stories during the week on Twitter (look for @130story).
During this last week, someone unexpectedly tweeted something nice about me. It made me feel more cheerful instantly, especially since it was so unexpected. So my suggestions for the [totally optional] theme for Week 36 are unexpected nice things that have happened to you, or what you appreciate about one or more of the people you know. Kate Bentham has kindly offered to take over looking after Weekly Blog Club for Week 36. I am very grateful to her for doing this, and in her honour, I suggest another theme: cakes.
Thank you all for reading, writing, Liking, commenting and retweeting or otherwise passing on link to the blogs. This wouldn’t happen without you. I leave you in Kate’s very capable hands (and I know that we already have blogs in by new members Nic Davies Uley and Simon Harrington, and a very interesting one on dghealth, so we start the week off well).
Over to Kate…
Summary of Week 35 posts
Not so many posts for Week 34, but it was the week after the bank holiday and some of the regulars are busy travelling or getting back into the routine after travelling. And less posts mean that you have time to see or read all these wonderful posts – especially as three are pictures with very few words.
I regard myself as a Doctor Who fan (though I was not keen on Colin Baker, Peter Davison, or Sylvester McCoy as The Doctor) and have watched most series since I was a toddler – but I would be totally unable to tell you the names of episodes or what happened in the old ones . I couldn’t name all the types of aliens that have appeared, nor even the companions. Karl Green reveals himself to be a true Whovian in The Seven Doctors, in which he picks out his favourite episode from each of the first seven incarnations.
Chris Bolton looked to rock rather than television stars for his inspiration this week in Oblique Strategies – Random Disruption, Rock Stars and Innovation. You too can learn how to disrupt thought patterns to be creative like a rock star with the help of some cards (now also an app) invented by Brian Eno and visual artist Peter Schmidt. Chris has actually handled a set. For the past 3 years, I’ve wanted to hold a CreativeCamp to do some disruptive things and get people to do some creative things because I think people will learn different ways of thinking about things, and about working with others.
Of course, another way of disrupting one’s thinking about work is to bring in some people who are not part of that workplace but who need to use the services – and to listen carefully to them. In Community engagement: its time has come, Sandy Watson, Chair of the NHS Tayside Board and Chair of the Scottish NHS Board Chairs’ Group, wrote for the AyrshireHealth blog about not just paying lip service to the idea of community engagement but to change thinking. He wrote about the use of social media to communicate with people, and also about working with the public not just to steer the boat but also to build it together. It will be interesting to see what they achieve.
At the other end of the UK, Mark Braggins explained about the Hampshire Hub – a responsive approach on the Hampshire Hub Prototype Local Information System blog. He also asked questions about what people want. This should be an interesting post particularly for those involved with creating or using public sector websites. I started trying to get public websites made in a way that is now called “responsive” about a decade ago. I find myself still explaining the concept to people this year. And please note Mark’s point about browsers. For so many years, so many have been groaning in horror at having to try to make their websites accessible to those with Internet Explorer 6 (which included many public sector staff).
I have always been very much in favour of sharing examples of when things have worked well (or have failed to work) so that we can learn from each other, and not waste time and money on often scantly-resourced projects. Ena Lloyd’s post for the Good Practice Exchange this week, We are passionate about not re-inventing the wheel, interested me a lot. The desk hire idea is a good one, and something we are beginning to see in North East England.
Dan Slee is always sharing good ideas. This week it was 18 things the Ashes can tell you about digital communications. I still know nothing much about cricket though I did manage to recognise Viv Richards and Ian Botham in a nightclub in Newcastle one night. Mr Slee’s 18 things is very readable, in an enjoyable way and no matter how much you don’t know about cricket. Everybody who has to communicate in any way, especially using social media, should read this.
Rachel also wrote about sport this week, but she wrote about another sport that traditionally involves wearing white in A slice of tennis. It sounds as if her family had lots of fun, although I do hope her mother’s leg muscle mends quickly. She proved that you don’t need to spend lots of money to have a fun time playing sport with family and friends.
The people on the trip Round the Isle of Wight in a boat do not look as if they’re having fun in Richard Overy’s post about a vintage postcard that he found in a car boot sale. Richard’s blog has been featured in The Shropshire Star recently too:
— Richard Overy (@richardovery) August 31, 2013.
Well done, Richard!
I was out creating my own pictures of a day trip recently. It was not a very successful trip but was redeemed by Some Tyneside street art. I do look out for street art in certain areas, and it had been a while since I had been to the CoMusica walls and arches behind the Sage Gateshead. If you go to an event at the Sage, do try to go early or get out at lunchtime to see the street art (painted with permission). We get artists from elsewhere in the UK and from other countries in Newcastle and Gateshead. I find myself increasingly wishing I could do some. It must be interesting to work on a large scale. I have only done large things for stage scenery in school productions when I was young.
Louise Brown’s vegetables have got well beyond the baby veggies stage, judging by her lovely photos in Harvest time – part 2, including some very fine peppers. Well done, Louise, on growing such a wonderful crop!
Thank you very much to all the contributors and readers this week. If I have left out any posts, just let us know on Twitter and I will include them in next week’s summary. I was going to suggest a beginning of autumn theme for Week 35 (I listened to September Song early on 1st September and have to admit to bursting into tears at the sadness of it), but then I saw the weather forecast predicting a return to warm weather for most of the week. Perhaps the [entirely optional] theme should be going back to school, or writing about your summer holidays?
If you want to contribute posts to Weekly Blog Club, there’s info on what to do (1st Rule of Weekly Blog Club is to talk and tweet about it), on our About page. If you want to help look after Weekly Blog Club, there is more info on what’s involved on the Admin info page (but we also do things differently sometimes).
Have a great week, whether or not it’s going-back-to-school/work week for you!
Summary of Week 34
Apologies for not writing individual blogs for each post contributed to Week 33, but I lacked time during the week and was keen to get this summary out on Sunday so we don’t fall behind during Week 34. Thanks very much to Louise Brown for her great Week 31 summary (and for helping me by listing the Week 30 posts), and to Dyfrig Williams for his innovative Week 32 summary on Pinterest. Thank you to all those who contributed posts; and to all of you who read, listened, liked and commented – it does help to encourage our bloggers.
We had thirteen posts for Week 33, with some topics in common between some posts, creating organically (in typical WeeklyBlogClub fashion) themes of networks and social interactions; and success in terms of rewards or succeeding by daring to fail.
Karl Green wrote a somewhat cryptic post about Letting Go this week. Sometimes letting go can be the best way to move forward. If you look back constantly, you might miss the opportunities coming towards you.
Mark Wood blogged about a day at work that he found very Rewarding recently when he went to an event to photograph an event – complete with a dramatic fire rescue exercise. It was held to show what children from difficult backgrounds had learned on a course put together by Andy Harris from Wolverhampton Homes and the West Midlands Fire Brigade.
Someone who has certainly moved ahead by moving forward is Samuel-James Wilson. In Silence, Nominations and Preparation this week, he gave us a further update on what he has been doing work-wise, his forthcoming move to Australia, and news on the Tradesman Of The Year 2013 award for which he was shortlisted in the Nectar Business Awards. He also revealed news about being a finalist in the Youth Build UK ‘Young Builder of the Year’ awards. Later in the week, the annual GCSE results day caused Samuel to reflect on his time at school in GCSE Results day, and how, moving forward from that, he went on to change his life through finding the kind of work that interested him.
It can be very difficult to see the value of what is taught at school. I found out decades later that if I had concentrated more (and been better taught) in mathematics at school that the geometry would have been very useful in art and DIY tasks at home, whilst if I had an understanding of algorithms, I might have been a software engineer (maybe, maybe not!). After the first heady excitement of leaving formal education – whether it be school at 15 or 16, college at 18 or 19, university at 21 – 24 years old – there comes a moment when we realise that most work involves continuing to learn, and possibly involves tests or exams along the way.
There is no shortcut to the vast amount of experience and knowledge required in some professions but Chris Isles wrote about using technology to deliver relevant information quickly and effectively for some Dumfries and Galloway’s early career doctors in Towards an electronic Doctors Handbook in the dghealth blog this week. It will be interesting to read more about this initiative as it progresses.
David Garbutt, Chair of the Scottish Ambulance Service, wrote about recent developments in The professionalism of the paramedic service on the Ayrshirehealth blog this week. Scotland has some of the most remote and difficult-to-access settlements in the UK so the role played by paramedics can be crucial in a medical emergency. David Garbutt explains how training as well as technology is important.
Human Bingo, Roman Voting, Magic Stars and 12 Brains Are Better Than 1 were part of the training Dyfrig Williams reported on in New methods, good practice and evaluation dice: Our May Participation Networks, the post he had written for Participation Cymru‘s blog just before he moved to his new job. The members of the networks were keen to learn new methods of participatory activity, and to find out what is working for others.
Dyfrig has been learning new things in his new job. He blogged in Safe to fail on the @GoodPracticeWAO blog about being inspired by Chris Bolton’s Trojan mice in Continuous Improvement – why it matters to Squeeze the Pips, Release Trojan Mice and Win Small (Week 30), a conversation he had at the Geek Speak event, and how that had led him to try doing the Week 32 Weekly Blog Club summary as a board on Pinterest. I enjoyed it, and I gather other people did too. It also put the summary where different people could find it. If anyone else has ideas about interesting ways to do the weekly summary and wants to try them, do offer to look after Weekly Blog Club for a week (we have a page of what’s involved) and try out the idea.
There was more innovation and networking this week with Lorna Prescott’s How to make curry with social media. I enjoyed the format of her recipe for networking for people interested in social care (and curry!). I would like to see other people’s variants on this recipe. Personally, I am not keen on curry so would probably turn this into a casserole or stew recipe, knowing that one of the other Weekly Blog Club hosts, Kate Bentham, would undoubtedly provide a cake recipe to follow.
There was more about innovation from Mark Braggins writing on the Hampshire Hub Prototype Local Information System blog this week: Hampshire Hub – a quick update. I have been interested in the opening up of public sector information for a long time (I have worked in and with public culture and archive aspects of local government for years), and watch such initiatives with great interest.
Another county council at the other end of England from Hampshire has been innovating by using social media to spread the message about what fun activities there are in the county for locals and visitors. Jenn Scullion is the new comms intern at Northumberland County Council and wrote an interesting post on Ross Wigham’s blog - Northumberland fun: a social summer - about the summer social media campaign – #NlandFUN – including her contribution to its success. (I’m a bit biased, being based down the road, but Northumberland is gorgeous and well worth visiting).
I was delighted to find out that Peter Olding is “still passionate” about #WeeklyBlogClub, and to read his contribution this week - catch up - in which he gave a quick update on the many things he has been doing over recent weeks (including air shows, photography, and historic churches). It was great to hear that he had been awarded a prize as “top photographer” of the show in the village where his wife grew up.
Finally, my own post this week, Solitude, circles and cliques, was inspired by someone else’s blog, together with a couple of conversations offline and online. They made me think about the way in which people have a natural urge to be in social groups, and reminded me of something I once read by CS Lewis (written in an age of far more rigid social structures than ours). I also thought about how these circles can be perceived from the inside looking out, from outside looking in, and how a clique differs from a circle. Often, being in a circle is about not focusing on the circle but simply on the people, and assuming that you will have some things in common, and that those are a starting point for getting to know each other.
Blogging can certainly be one way of starting to get to know other people. If you have not contributed a blog to Weekly Blog Club before, you can join in at any time. Our About page should tell you everything you need to know. If you need inspiration, explore previous contributions. They cover most topics. If you are still stuck, tweet us and someone will help you find your blogging mojo.
And the [entirely optional] theme/s this week? How about last week’s from Dyfrig again: doing things differently? Or, how about my hols/the summer bank holiday (picture or audio posts, telling us what you did this holiday, archive pictures of historical holidays)?
Summary of Week 33 posts
This week Peter Olding blogs about Andy Murray winning the men’s Wimbledon Tennis Championships, and the subsequent call from the Prime Minister for Andy to receive a knighthood for his achievements. Peter discusses the debate which followed this suggestion and questions if people were protesting against the proposal or the person suggesting it. Peter also sensitively looks at Andy’s childhood and the impact it would have had on him.
Hello lovely bloggers, it’s me Kate Bentham again, sitting in the Weekly Blog Club hot seat, well slouching on the sofa to be precise. I hope you’ve all had a good week? I’m going to top that off nicely now with some wonderful blogs for you to read. There were 13 blogs submitted for week 24 and from reading them it seems our bloggers have all been extremely busy and deserve to be slouched on the sofa too.
To mark National Volunteer Week, and also taking up one of the [entirely optional] themes this week we have a blog from Louise Brown called Volunteering rocks – my volunteering week. Louise has been giving her time to help support her local community, and other projects she is involved in. As Louise points out, volunteering can give you an enormous sense of achievement, can help you to feel you are giving something back, and also looks impressive on a CV. If you feel inspired by Louise, then why not have a go at volunteering to be the Weekly Blog Club host and curator for a week. There’s an easy step by step guide on how to on our Admin info page. Go on, what have you got to lose?
A couple of other bloggers also took up the [entirely optional] theme of Urban/Rural Walk this week. First up is A walk to Dog-Eared Corner by Karen Hart. Karen leads us through the streets of east London, as she makes her way to work, we pass some very interesting objects, buildings, businesses, and avoid some of the more undesirable elements. I was startled to read that sadly Karen has been mugged 5 times, and utterly shocked at the suggestion the police made to try and prevent it from happening again.
We go on quite a journey with Janet Davis this week, a bus ride into Newcastle and walk and the return journey home, as Janet also takes up the [entirely option] theme of Urban/Rural Walks. The collection of images in Urban walk June 2013 part 1 have a focus on some of the public art in the town, Urban walk June 2013 part 2, looks at the softer side, sharing some of the natural objects on display in an urban area, and Urban walk June 2013 part 3 looks at some of the architecture, modern and classic buildings making up this great place. Some wonderful images of objects we might miss if we don’t challenge ourselves to look differently.
I also chose the [entirely optional] theme of Urban/Rural walk this week but instead shared some images captured from a few visits to a Welsh coastline. In A Beach Walk May 2013 by Kate Bentham there are images of jelly fish, a small cairn, a sea fisherman, and an excited 5 year old.
A very important post this week was Carers need more than hugs & chocolate by Jane McIntyre. Jane’s dad has Dementia and in this blog she shares the military style operation needed to care for him over a weekend, while his partner had a weekend away. The blog not only highlights the important and vital role that carers play, but also looks at the relationship between parent and child, and the sadness that can bring when the role is reversed.
In ECCF personal and professional improvement by Graham Kane, Graham looks at the Early Clinical Career Fellowship for newly qualified nurses and midwives, supporting them to develop the personal, professional and academic skills they need to become nursing leaders. Ultimately the end goal is to become a better nurse and to offer the best in patient care.
If you have an interest in health care related blogs then you really should check out Better late than never, probably! by Scottish Health Monthly. This blog curates Scottish health care blogs each month and covers a wide range of health topics. Plenty of good stuff here.
I really enjoyed reading United Leadership (part 1) by Andy Johnson, which looks at the leadership styles at Manchester United Football Club and in particular that of Sir Alex Ferguson. The blogs looks at communication, vision, learning and mistakes. Eddie Coates-Madden Eddie Coates-Madden recently pitched a session at the LGComms Academy unconference session on how to move into sexy and leadership jobs in central government. Eddie led a lively discussion which questioned whether comms folk, who are skilled at representing others, may not have the confidence or belief to sell themselves for jobs or professional development opportunities. Those involved in the session agreed that this needs to change, that comms folk need to regain some pride, recognise their value and go for those sexy leader jobs. Un-like us is a good read for anyone who needs a boost.
Karl Green shares Some Classic Karl…with us this week, and shares a piece of fiction he wrote when he was 13. I think this is the second piece of fiction we’ve had submitted to Weekly Blog Club, showing again that a blog really can be anything and everything.
The final post this week is Diverse by Mark Wood. As a professional photographer Mark has been photographing a number of weddings recently. He tells us how he gets the best out of his subjects, which might also involve tucking their shirt in for them. Mark has also been experimenting with techniques, which involves remote wizards and other interesting sounding gadgets. I am sure with Mark’s skill everyone involved will be pleased with the results.
So, that’s your lot. Thank you to all of you who have submitted, shared, commented on the blogs we’ve had this week. If you want to have a go a writing a blog for week 25 then you can find out how on our About page.
This week’s [entirely optional] themes are:
- Dads – with today being Father’s Day – either what it means to be a dad, or what your dad means to you.
- Education/school days/learning
- An interview with someone you admire
- A review of a book/album/film
- A photo with a few sentences around it.
That’s it from me, back to the lovely Janet Davis, unless of course you want to volunteer for week 25? #hint
Sunday 16th June 2013
Summary of Week 24 posts
- Better late than never, probably! by Scottish Health Monthly
- United Leadership (part 1) by Andy Johnson
- Diverse by Mark Wood
- A Beach Walk May 2013 by Kate Bentham
- Urban walk June 2013 part 3 by Janet Davis
- Urban walk June 2013 part 2 by Janet Davis
- Urban walk June 2013 part 1 by Janet Davis
- A walk to Dog-Eared Corner by Karen Hart
- Volunteering rocks – my volunteering week by Louise Brown
- Carers need more than hugs & chocolate by Jane McIntyre
- Un-like us by Eddie Coates-Madden
- ECCF personal and professional improvement by Graham Kane
- Some Classic Karl…. by Karl Green