I feel I should warn you that this post is Safe For Work, despite initial appearances to the contrary! Jane McIntyre writes amusingly to make a very serious point about a topic that probably annoys and concerns most of us.
I struggled to think of a title for this week’s summary because there were so many posts (24!) to provide elements but decided to start early with the love theme since Valentine’s Day is flying towards us with bow and arrow in hand. Did anyone else spot that I was a week ahead of myself with the love [entirely optional] theme? (I blame the weather – no idea why, but the weather is a useful scapegoat).
There was a lot of learning going on in this week’s posts, in the workplace and in acadaemia. Samuel-James Wilson had been studying whilst bad weather interrupted work but he was back on site this week, on placement with Symm – Week 1, and seeks your opinion on the very different way of using materials that he came across this week.
The people at Participation Cymru have been training others in ‘Public engagement: theory and practice’ and Dyfrig Williams blogged about the importance of organisations communicating with each other in Powys Network Get Engaged. Louise Brown helped people to learn about a feature of the Lamplight database used by charities in Getting to grips with groups.
Lorna Prescott wrote about having to learn to share work with others in ‘Wired to share’ – but not educated to, and her experiment of putting notes from a meeting into Dropbox so others could add to them. Julie Oxley, Head of Information Management and Technology for Adult Social Care, Leeds City Council, has also been experimenting with sharing information using digital means (blogging) and has learned that people in her workplace are learning to engage with her more as a result. Julie’s story is on the The Sociable Organisation blog set up by Phil Jewitt.
Andrew Jacobs, on the other hand, was thinking about the challenge faced by Learning and Development people when those requiring training do not react with delight to the prospect, and asked for views, in Don’t want to; Can’t make me! Perhaps they ought to read Kenny McDonald’s Ignore this at your peril about the need to use social media in one’s work these days? Good luck to Kenny on taking up a new job on secondment.
Good luck also to two other contributors who are taking up new roles: Elaine Hunter and Professor Colin Martin. Elaine Hunter reflected on how Twitter has helped her so far, and how in her new job she hopes to spread awareness of what allied health professionals can do to help people affected by Alzheimer’s and their carers, in Twitter: Looking Back Looking Forward. As he looks ahead to his new job in London, Colin Martin reflected in The Chime of Midnight on the steep learning curve that he had had when he took up his post as Professor of Mental Health at the University of the West of Scotland.
Derek Barron wrote about his learning journey at the early stage of his PhD on a mental health care topic in Mindmap, ethnography and the smell of coffee (note to Derek, most research students require large quantities of coffee to get through the research and to complete their theses, so you will be smelling that coffee a lot for the next few years). Louise Atkinson is further down that road than Derek and in this week’s Practice as research [Week 20] post wrote about learning a language through a multicultural exchange as part of the White Rose Skills Development programme, a collaboration between Leeds, Sheffield and York Universities.
Carolyne Mitchell is keeping her mind even more active than it already is by doing some MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), and writes about the first one in My life has added complexity - and adds in a recipe – a cottage pie pretending to be a shepherd’s pie (with cowboy’s beans hidden in the bottom). Chris Bolton was advocating adding complexity, mixing ideas up a bit in order to innovate in Encouraging Innovation. Use some Naive Experts, Belbin Resource Investigators and send them ‘back to the floor.’ Ben Whitehouse was wondering how to encourage a local authority to do something that other local authorities have learned adds to their engagement with citizens in Lower those expectations, Benji. The Scot Health Monthly is innovating by collating links to and summarising various Scottish health care blogs in A new venture – January 2013.
The BlueLightCamp was an innovation last year and worked so well that it is happening again this year. If you want to know more, read Sasha Taylor’s post on the BlueLightCamp blog this week: We can finally announce….
The young woman in the photograph that Richard Overy shared with us this week – Young woman in prayer - looked as if she had seen the light. There were more images in Louise Atkinson’s About the artist (a collaboration with an Australian artist), and in my own Young chicken linocut 1 and Jacob ewe linocut 1. There were more animal pictures in Rough Cat’s 17-Toes Blue & The Cartoon Palace, or Last Week in My House. She loves her cats very much, and tells of the recent dramas caused by them in her house recently.
There was love of place expressed eloquently and vividly by Karen Hart in Warnings: Why I love the Warren (and I hope she feels at least a bit better by now).
There was even more love in this week’s posts. What the best thing about working from home? asked Peter Olding before revealing something that he loves about working from home, whilst Hannah Chia announced I Love You, David Beckham, and shared with us why she admires the footballer… well, admires him more than ever before.
We are continuing with love as the [entirely optional] theme for Week 7 (since I was a week too early for Week 6), which will be hosted by Dyfrig Williams of Participation Cymru. Love can be love of people, animals, places, work, things… Interpret it as you like but - bearing in mind we aim to be quite Safe For Work! I may offer a love-themed playlist because music is the food of love, apparently.
As always, 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. As I write, there are 168 followers of this blog (wow!). If you want to join in, more about how to can be found on our About page.
Over to Dyfrig for the next week now… (have fun!!).
Summary of Week 6 posts
Week 5 brought slightly less posts (19) than the first four weeks of the year (over 20 each week), but no less variety.
Sasha Taylor shared with us the plans for a new start on moving forward with the CityCamp Coventry projects in A new Year and a New Start – CityCamp Coventry and I look forward to hearing more about these through 2013. I was at the first UK CityCamp (part conference, part seminar and workshop, part hack day) in London a few years ago and was very interested in what could come out of these.
Carolyne Mitchell in her Week 5 post - Why I love my job - wrote about a conference she live-tweeted recently where they discussed the need to change attitudes to chronic illnesses such as HIV; and where she met a graphic facilitator who was recording the proceedings in cartoons. She also shared her ‘Perfect-every-time Yorkshire Puds’ recipe.
In A Nation Built On Beige, And Stronger For It, Rough Cat shared with us her menu of beige food that apparently is traditional for this celebrating the early-in-the-year Scottish ritual of Burns Night.
Paler stuff was on other people’s minds due to recent snow. Ross Wigham returned from his blogging sabbatical to recall in Snow blower how Northumberland County Council had started to connect with people through social media during a severe winter that saw 12 foot snowdrifts in the county (and there are a couple of great snowy landscapes in his post).
Do you recognise yourself or your boss in Kate Bentham’s Snowed under? It certainly made me think about how managers signal their willingness to listen to their staff, and how much people communicate (or not) to the people above and below them in the hierarchy. I liked Phil Jewitt’s comment at the bottom.
Phil’s own post – It all starts with a ‘thing’ - started out with a tweet which led him to discover that making things in the snow enabled him to have unexpected conversations with people, and inspired him to think about how people connect.
Kenny McDonald recommended keeping in touch more regularly with people through LinkedIn in Time to blossom: branch out your social network, whilst Derek Barron considered why people might say I don’t do Twitter and it’s your fault. If you need to persuade your colleagues that social media is useful, Derek’s post could make you rethink how to do it.
How much have you thought about what personal qualities, what type of personality, your social media avatar conveys to others? Claire not only thought about it but asked people, analysed the results and shared them in #Johari’s Window – public, real-time CPD on Twitter. Claire also considered her own attitudes towards others in Checking my cissexual privilege #transdocfail as a social media discussion revealed how some healthcare professionals fail to treat some people with respect.
If everyone makes the effort to listen to others as well as to regard them with respect, perhaps many of society’s problems would be lessened? Sarah Jones emphasised the importance of listening, giving feedback and remembering that we are all citizens in the Participation Cymru post: Words from Sarah Jones on her last day as Participation Cymru Officer.
Focusing on person-centred care in the health services is important to Alex Neil, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing at the Scottish Government. His post on the Ayrshire Health blog – Putting patients first - emphasised the need for compassion as well as excellence.
Chris Bolton looked at a different aspect of the woman who changed nursing so radically in the 19th century in Florence Nightingale; the mother of Infographics? (btw she was also a nurse……). Her strength in changing things lay in data, and using it in a way that made sense to others.
Florence would have been in her element at last year’s CultureCode hack days. There were a greater number of women than I usually see at digital technology events, and using data creatively to convey information differently featured strongly. I finally finished a post about this initiative that started in the North East of England last year and is already spreading: CultureCode – cultivating creative technology.
Louise Atkinson wrote about fine art in a PhD context for an’s Artists Talking series Practice as research. I remain curious about these practice-based fine art PhDs and look forward to reading more about what Louise does for hers.
Andrew Jacobs wrote about the Pace of learning this week – a short but wise piece, whilst Jo Smith considered at slightly greater length the importance of continuing to learn in If practice makes permanent should you practice something you’re already good at?
Kate Bentham had suggested writing about something we are good at, or that other people think we are good at, as the [entirely optional] theme for Week 5, and it was picked up by Karen Hart in her charming post (complete with pictures) The naming of cats.
What people are highly-practiced at doing but results in less-than-great prose was the subject of Stuart Mackintosh’s post for Week 5: Press release rules: a prestigious post…. It did make me wonder if I’ve ever been guilty of purple prose in press releases. I hope not because I have only had to do them for cultural heritage events that I found genuinely exciting or interesting.
Apologies for delay in this week’s summary. If I have missed your post, tweet us. 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, more about how to can be found on our About page.
The [entirely optional] theme for Weeks 6 and 7 is love (of a person, cake, work, place, in the air, or however else you would like to interpret it, bearing in mind we aim to be quite Safe For Work!) since Valentine’s Day falls on the last day of Week 6 and first day of Week 7.
Janet E Davis
Summary of Week 5 posts
Words from Sarah Jones on her last day as Participation Cymru Officer by Sarah Jones on Participation Cymru‘s blog.
Jo Smith’s post for Week 5 always wants to improve her horse-riding skills, and recommends low-cost options for keeping up-to-date with skills and knowledge for comms people.
Sasha Taylor is inviting us all to hang out at Charlecote Park at 4am and take photos of the delights you may find in the middle of the night. There are some amazing images already captured as part of the Warwick 4am project, and this is your chance to contribute.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 11,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 18 years to get that many views…
There were 803 posts in this first year…
Hello lovely Weekly Blog Clubbers, it’s me, Kate Bentham, as your week 50 host. Yes, that’s right 50 glorious weeks of top blogs by top bloggers. Award yourself a pat on the back, a high five and a slice of lemon drizzle cake for making it to week 50. In honour of this momentous achievement Ross Wigham came up with a great entirely optional theme of Landmarks – which could of course relate to landmarks in life, work or even landmarks on the land.
After suggesting the theme Ross Wigham blogged about Landmarks and reflected on some significant moments in life, on being a parent, some recent successes in work and wearing tweed, all of which are classed as landmarks but what do they all matter if being happy isn’t in the mix? Chris Bolton also took up the Landmarks theme this week in Why us Welsh make the best guides at German Museums We loved the fact that Chris rates the museums on 1) Attendance Interaction, 2) Go Backwards Factor and on 3) Boring my Family Later with the new information he discovered. We note that the Welsh factor will also boost a museums rating on Chris’s chart.
It’s hard to escape the fact that Christmas is just around the corner, especially as the first signs of Christmas started to appear in October, and so naturally we’ve had a few blogs about Christmas this week. First up is My Advent Challenge by Ben Whitehouse. Hats off to Ben who has set himself an amazing challenge of blogging on each day of the advent (we sometimes struggle with the weekly blog club challenge) The blogs so far include book reviews, favourite songs, and a great letter to Santa. We look forward to the remaining days of advent to see what Ben blogs next.
My well-travelled Christmas Tree by Kate Bentham looks at Christmas decorations from around the world. Kate shares photos of some of her favourite decorations, which include a dreadlocked snowman and a holly clad boomerang. A lovely collection. Finally on the Christmas theme we have Carol Woolley who is singing her way to Christmas with the classic Mud song I wish it could be Christmas every day….. Carol has been busy performing concerts with the band she is part of, singing some classic hymns and some modern day tunes. I wonder if they do my favourite, Fairytale of New York?
I often find I become quite reflective over the Christmas and new year – thinking about the lyric in the John Lennon and Yoko song which starts with ‘And so this is Christmas, and what have you done? Another year over and a new one just begun’. I’m starting to think about #my2013wishes and it was great to see that Louise Brown was also thinking about some of her hopes for the new year. In Turning online into offline in 2013 Louise talks about the important relationships she has made online, and especially on Twitter, and how she hopes that in 2013 some of those relationships can be developed into offline relationships. We certainly hope to be able to meet up with Louise in the new year.
In the learning and development section this week we have 2 blogs. Andrew Jacobs is keen to connect with others in public sector learning and development who also blog. Andrew asks Are you using old tools? and suggests that for facilitators to retain their expertise and to be successful they need to consider using new tools like blogging. In Chris Bolton’s second blog this week he also talks about using new tools. Chris has recently upgraded from a clockwork cat timer to a digital stopwatch devise. In Facilitation Essentials #1. Why I upgraded from a clockwork cat timer to a countdown /stopwatch app Chris shares the impact this has had on his students and how it has helped to deflect any angst or frustration they may have had towards the facilitator onto an inanimate object.
Dan Slee has been using old tools to communicate with people who are used to using new tools. In EXCLUSIVE: ‘My #Hyperwm Blog Newspaper Hell’ blog Dan shares his pain of producing a print newspaper for Hyperwm. Dan talks about meeting deadlines, not taking editing as rejection and swearing a lot. In his second blog this week Ross Wigham shares how the television or film industry has had an impact on tourism and the economy in the area. His local authority has been able to tap into the impact of the Silver screen and have signed up to the Filming Friendly Charter to proactively encourage further filming in this beautiful part of the country.
Two interesting posts this week looking at data, records and information. Mark Braggins looks at the supply and demand for open data in the UK and is surprised by the requests being made and those not being made – especially around geospatial data. Open sesame: UK open data is a great read. Janet Davis also looks at openness of data – but from a healthcare point of view, and asks who actually owns medical records. In Do I look gruesome in this? Janet explores the rights of the patient in the sharing of medical records for teaching, and also considers how a patient would feel if those records were shared through social media. A challenging subject.
Two blogs from a health perspective this week, on the Ayrshire Health Blog. The first But Why? by Susan Munro looks at team work in patient care and explores why a professional may be involved in a patients care even if they aren’t necessarily the lead carer. Susan answers the why question by suggesting it is whoever the best person for that patient is. We really like Andrew Moore’s proposal in Giving something back where he suggests a time bank of co-production to help improve patient care and to support the organisation. When there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day already Andrew acknowledges there would need to be a significant organisational culture change for this to work.
Phil Jewitt has also been looking at culture change to ensure his local authority become truly social. In Relevance Phil suggests that for residents to feel able to engage it must be something meaningful to them, otherwise it becomes a bit of lip service and box ticking. Phil summaries with how while it’s good to talk it’s more important to listen. Gareth Morgan also looks at his organisation in SHADES OF BLUE Gareth talks about how different elements of policing all make up the culture of the police force and represent the continued dedication of officers. The elements maybe different but they are all a shade of blue.
One organisation which needs to look at its interaction with customers is the shop described in Eddie Coates-Madden blog called A man without a smiley face should not open a shop Eddie shares photos of notices he saw in a shop window warning customers on what will (dogs) and won’t (snotty nose children, pushchairs) be welcomed and tolerated in the shop. We doubt this shop has any customers, and wonder if this might also contribute to unsustainable high streets.
Finally a look into the past with a photo shared by Richard Overy This photo not only shows a Dairy-Man but Richard has also been able to share some information about the life and death of the man in the photo. We love these glimpses into the past, and also because Richard demonstrates that a blog can simply be a photo with some words around it – and we can all manage that, right?
So, I make that 18 top blogs for you to enjoy this week. You lucky, lucky people. Of course Weekly Blog Club is not only about the blogs, but it’s also about those that read, share, like and comment on blogs. It’s about the coming togther of all of these people and elements which makes the club work, which has made the club work for 50 weeks. There is also one more important factor to Weekly Blog Club and that’s Janet, who has curated the club since setting it up at the beginning of the year. Thank you Janet.
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.
Have a great week folks, see you next time.
Summary of Week 50 posts
- Giving something back by Andrew Moore
- SHADES OF BLUE by Gareth Morgan
- Dairy-Man by Richard Overy
- Relevance by Phil Jewitt
- Why us Welsh make the best guides at German Museums by Chris Bolton
- Turning online into offline in 2013 by Louise Brown
- My Advent Challenge by Ben Whitehouse
- Landmarks by Ross Wigham
- Do I look gruesome in this? by Janet Davis
- My well-travelled Christmas Tree by Kate Bentham
- Open sesame: UK open data by Mark Braggins
- Are you using old tools? by Andrew Jacobs
- I wish it could be Christmas every day….. by Carol Woolley
- Facilitation Essentials #1. Why I upgraded from a clockwork cat timer to a countdown /stopwatch app by Chris Bolton
- Silver screen on the Ross Wigham blog
- EXCLUSIVE: ‘My #Hyperwm Blog Newspaper Hell’ blog by Dan Slee
- But Why? by Susan Munro
- A man without a smiley face should not open a shop by Eddie Coates-Madden
Janet Davis blogs on the very interesting subject of who owns the rights to medical images, and what right a patient has to these images. Janet also discusses the use of social media and consent to share – and wonders if this would change if the patient realised the image would be published online? Finally the blog looks at medical images from an artists point of view.