A fabulous post this week from Janet Davis offering some very helpful tips and advice for anyone thinking about blogging but not really sure how to go about it, or concerned that they may not have the skills or technical know how with how to blog. Janet has lots of blogging skills and experience which she so willingly shares in this Blogging for Beginners post.
Sarah Ball, who will be looking after the blog and social media accounts for Participation Cymru after Dyfrig Williams goes off to his new job, writes her first contribution to Weekly Blog Club. She went on the same accredited public engagement training course in Cardiff as Dyfrig attended (and wrote about last week), and writes about what she found most interesting: the importance of feedback in the engagement process.
This post, the summary of Week 19 Year 2 posts, is the 1,194th on this blog. There have been 16,577 views of the blog. We have created 193 categories and 1,771 tags. 246 people follow this blog, and there have been 970 shares (using the buttons on the posts – so does not count all the sharing activity), mostly on Twitter and next most popular are LinkedIn, and Google + (someone does use it!). I have just binned 71 spam comments. There were 17 posts in Week 19.
Healthcare, tourism and leisure were key topics that emerged during the week, with a mini theme of stages of life, and a lot of learning threaded through many of the posts. If you lack inspiration for a post, do just tweet about it to @WeeklyBlogClub and someone will try to help – or you could look back on previous posts (be aware that some links will be broken due to Posterous shutting down last month).
Health-related posts during Week 19
Scot Health monthly is settling in and Becoming part of the landscape, pulling together health blog posts from throughout Scotland. The number of health bloggers in Scotland seems to have grown every month since I first read the Ayrshire Health blog last year, set up by Derek Barron. This week’s post on Ayrshire Health blog – Interprofessional learning…bridging the paradigm gap - was by a paramedic for the first time. John Burnham started his post with an example of learning from another emergency service’s ‘hot debrief’ held immediately after and by the site of the incident. The recent BlueLightCamp unconference (which included organisers and participants whose names are already familiar to Weekly Blog Club readers) focused on how digital technology and communications are and could be used by the emergency services.
Catherine Howe used the Dan Slee approach to unconference blogging and wrote 20 things from BlueLightCamp13 as her ‘general’ post on the event and issues raised. It is always interesting to listen in on such unconferences and to read the blogs about them since the issues raised are often relevant to other areas of the public sector (note to future historians, once upon a time, the UK had public fire, police, and ambulance services).
Joseph Conaghan suggested some radical solutions to the problems in staffing Accident and Emergency in hospitals in Accident and Emergency in Trouble….Quick, Paint Out The Signs. The Dumfries and Galloway Health blog contributed a post with the most authors for a single Weekly Blog Club post thus far with Maureen Stevenson, Laura Graham, Mhairi Hastings, and Natalie Oakes writing London 2013- International Forum on Quality & Safety in Healthcare by The Patient Safety Team. They picked out some of the key points at an international forum, including learning from healthcare professionals in countries with far less resources, and Robert Francis QC talking about his report on the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust Inquiry.
Chris Bolton had been thinking more about jargon and specifically about National Health Service jargon and shared what he had found in Don’t spend any money on NHS Jargon Busters – it’s sorted! Download the Apps. Having worked on hierarchical word lists myself (including a rather substantial one), I was very interested in this post. The NHS must have several different ‘languages’ with the different types of professionals that work within it, and including both the medical and the non-medical staff. It would be a fabulous challenge to pull together an NHS hierarchical word list.
Stages of life
Phil Jewitt contributed a lovely guest post to the Shropshire Family Information Service blog on the challenge of being a parent of children as they become adults: Letting go. Jayne Holgate of Age UK Business Directory (Nottingham & Nottinghamshire) wrote a guest post on Weekly Blog Club about one of the challenges that face people at the other end of adulthood: Protecting Older People from Rogue Traders. Hannah Chia wrote about a very busy stage of her life as she settles into a new job at the same time as trying to arrange her wedding from several countries away in Excuses & Being A Good WAG.
Louise Brown asked What can I teach about content licensing in 15 minutes? in her post. She was preparing a short teaching session as part of her course about teaching adults. It is a complex topic and requires accurate information. Her question certainly made me think a lot, even though I have quite often had to give people some basic information about it in my work. Feedback by Sarah Ball at Participation Cymru covered learning from the learner angle. She had been on the same course as Dyfrig Williams (his post last week about it was Drilling down), and it was interesting to read what had resonated with her.
Tourism and leisure
Karl Green was looking into the future and trying to forecast whether and how television might change in TV Programmes: The Future? Will people in the future be sharing the Eurovision experience at the same time and still sharing comments about it with complete strangers online?
Richard Overy showed a more active leisure experience in his post this week of a vintage photograph of Swimming, taken at a busy lido or outdoor pool. I found myself wondering who took the photograph.
Photographer Mark Wood contributed his first blog to Weekly Blog Club - New blog & inspiration - and told us of his week which, although full of work rather than leisure, did include a trip to the major tourist centre of London.
I take photographs wherever I go (or, at least, I did till my DSLR stopped focusing on 1st January this year), and find the stunning Northumberland landscape one of the most difficult to photograph because the views are so wide and often so distant, so sometimes I paint them instead. I rediscovered a couple of my old watercolours of Hadrian’s Wall landscapes recently. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Northumberland. Ross Wigham wrote about his and his team’s work in promoting Northumberland as a tourist destination to local people as well as those more distant, and reveals some interesting statistics on the use of digital and more traditional offline methods of promotion in Travelling in your own back yard (and getting a social buzz for your event).
Karen Hart’s description of a narrowboat holiday experience in Out of town was so lyrical that I felt really tempted to try it myself. It is almost magic realist in feel and conjures up an England that you think you recognise as an idyllic past, perhaps over a century ago, although it probably could not have existed then. If you only have one post to read out of this week’s collection, perhaps this is the one, especially if you need to be transported to a more peaceful place.
If I have left out anyone’s post, please tell us – it can be difficult to sift through the hashtags at times. As always, thank you very much to all who contributed by writing, reading, liking, following or retweeting the Week 19 posts. If you are inspired to join the contributors, more about how to can be found on our About page. I did not set the [entirely optional] theme for Week 20 since it was already through by the time I wrote this but if you need help or inspiration, tweet us and someone usually helps quite quickly.
Summary of Week 19 posts
London 2013- International Forum on Quality & Safety in Healthcare by The Patient Safety Team by Maureen Stevenson, Laura Graham, Mhairi Hastings, and Natalie Oakes on the Dumfries and Galloway Health blog.
Catherine Howe takes the Dan Slee approach to unconference blogging in her general post about BlueLightCamp13. She writes about 20 things – grouped into 3 thank yous, 6 research questions, 6 points relating to the question ‘what is the future of social media and policing?’ and 5 bits of random stuff. Quite a few of the research questions and points about social media could be relevant to other frontline public sector areas.
Scot Health monthly summarises the excellent blogs from Scottish health bloggers during April (plus one that escaped from the March roundup).
It really is impressive to see how health blogging is growing in Scotland. This month’s collection of posts include what can be learned from healthcare in Alaska, encouraging students by offering them placements, how students and trainees be inspired by being with experienced healthcare professionals, sharing experience on preparing for a media interview, introducing a digital casenotes system, person-centred care and leadership – and more besides.
Ross Wigham writes about the Our Places, Our People weekend which gives Northumberland residents access some to the county’s best tourist attractions for free or discounted prices. He shares the very interesting breakdown of how many people used which type of medium, analogue or digital, to get their vouchers and entry tickets.
I might have missed some (do tweet us if I have and point us at the relevant link, please), although I did look carefully (several times), but there were only twelve posts in Week 18 of Weekly Blog Club – which makes it our lightest week of posts so far this year. The quality and range were still there though.
There was a strong focus on person-centred care and the need for a compassionate approach this week, and not just in the healthcare blogs. Louise Brown wrote about a fascinating memorial to a woman with a tragic story in A church app and a martyr to excessive sensibility.
The Speech and Language Therapy student whom Susan Munro is supervising on a placement wrote about learning a very different approach to working with people with mental health problems and communication difficulties in Therapy Through the Looking Glass; and understanding the need to see the person, not just the condition. Elaine Hunter also gave us a glimpse of what a difference person-centred care, treating people with dementia with humanity and compassion, can make as just one of the elements in her Week in the life of an AHP Dementia Consultant.
Cameron Sharkey, in Don’t Panic, clearly was impressed by the compassion with which he saw people being treated by healthcare professionals during his induction on NHS Scotland’s Management Trainee Scheme. Dr Ewan Bell wrote of the need for person-centred care in hospitals, and gave as an example of what should not happen his own experience when he as a child had to have an operation in his post: Abuse of the Body – Person-centred Care. It seems plain common sense that a child should not have been on an adult ward with his parents only allowed scant access during fixed visiting times. A little compassion and understanding, as well as better communication, could have improved greatly the care he received.
One of the things that makes hospitals rather intimidating is that the doctors and nurses use a lot of very unfamiliar words and terms. Explaining the medical jargon without being patronising could make hospital visits and stays a little less scary. Chris Bolton considered language in workplaces in his post: Jargon. A tool of exclusion, efficient technical language or just the ‘cheeping of birds’? I think we all use specialist language in our workplaces, because there are things, materials, technologies, processes and techniques that are specific – or have several polysyllabic words and need to be abbreviated for frequent everyday use. Sometimes, however, jargon seem to be used more as part of a group identity – and you know who those professional groups are.
It would be interesting to know how much jargon used within different departments, and different professionals within services hampers communication as the project (evolution?) on which Phil Jewitt is working at Leeds City Council moves towards breaking down barriers and becoming The Sociable Organisation. His post explains more about it, and is probably the must-read post of the week, especially for those who work in or with the public sector. If they succeed, it could lead to a radically different approach for a large local authority. Personally, I have found the enclosed nature of departments, services and units decidedly bemusing when I have worked in or with local authorities or other large organisations and have always wanted to know what other people.
It was lovely to read A weekend @BlueLightCamp by Karl Loveday on the @BlueLightCamp blog because he was so clearly inspired by everyone and learned a lot, including what can be achieved in a short time when working collaboratively. As one who was following the weekend remotely (and decided too belatedly that she could and should work on a hack – and will eventually get her idea written and sent to Mark Braggins, one of the organisers), I was delighted to hear that at least one attending in person got so much out of it.
Andrew Jacobs was less than impressed with a method of learning offered in an email that got through the net of his office spam filters and explains why in Buy, buy, buy!. I was rather surprised that any company would even try offering something even less interactive than a 19th century classroom.
Dyfrig Williams was gaining knowledge this week on a course about public engagement and shared something of his experience of it (and a couple of good illustrations) in Drilling down. Karl Green considered other mediums of conveying knowledge and literature in his post for Week 18 - Books and E-readers: The Future?
Finally, after all the food for thought provided by everyone else this week, I provided a link to Modern Art Desserts by Caitlin Freeman with pretty pictures of cake inspired by great art – true soul food, I think.
If I have left out anyone’s post, please do say. As always, thank you very much to all who contributed by writing, reading, liking, following or retweeting the Week 18 posts. If you are inspired to join the contributors, more about how to can be found on our About page. Do join in at any point during the year, and if you need help, tweet us and it should get a response from one of us. One of these days, I will write an article on starting to blog (since people are beginning to ask more often).
Now I need to try to catch up on Week 19 posts so lovely Kate Bentham can take over for the rest of Week 20.
Summary of Week 18 posts
Phil Jewitt is involved in exploring how Leeds City Council can become a truly collaborative workplace, a truly “sociable organisation.” He writes about what he and other people said at this event.
Do read. It is particularly relevant to people in public sector organisations, especially in local authorities. It really is quite radical in how it could change the way a local authority works.
Thank you very much to Kate Bentham for looking after Weekly Blog Club for two weeks and to Louise Brown for looking after it for a week. It was good to get a break from it and to free up my thinking to tackle other things for three consecutive weeks. If you want to help out by volunteering as a guest curator, all you need to know is here.
When I set up the blog and Twitter account, I thought that people would probably stop contributing after a couple of months, and I do get concerned that Weekly Blog Club is not sustainable because looking after it is quite time-consuming. I mentioned this in conversation to someone a couple of months ago who said “just stop doing it – if people want it, they’ll pick it up.” I was startled, slightly shocked, at the suggestion and realised that I feel a sense of responsibility to keep it going. I might try different approaches to the weekly summary though.
I had wondered some time ago about it becoming more of a magazine (or zine), with articles appearing directly in here (either written straight into this site or copied from the original blogs (always with links back to original blogs, of course), and with a more designed, magazine look to it. It would be one of the most eclectic zines on the Web! The question has also been raised as to whether it could be a sponsored site. Since I am also being asked more often for advice on blogging for beginners in the public sector and community groups, I had also wondered if it might be viable at any time in the future as a Community Interest Company, with modest payments for maintaining the website and being host/editor. The post-Leveson Royal Charter could be a problem though, since it could affect multiple-author blogs that are sponsored. Your thoughts on these issues are welcome.
But back to the thick of it… There were slightly fewer posts (16) in Week 17 than has been the usual so far in 2013. The variety and the quality remained undiminished, however. Most of the posts could be broadly grouped as being about communications, public sector or, more specifically, the health services.
Murray Glaister’s post demystified the process of moving to using The Electronic Casenote (eCn), how case notes are being digitised and the system is being used. Having been involved with digitising mainly historical texts and images in cultural heritage, including developing controlled vocabularies (I might write a post about this sometime) to embed in metadata, I was very curious as to whether anything like that is or would be included in the Electronic Casenote system.
Susan Munro considered the issue of having a student working on placement in her post Look To The Future. As someone who has supervised students on placements in the culture sector quite regularly over the years, I was very interested to read Susan’s views on this in the much more sensitive area of mental healthcare. Whatever sector you work in, it is worth helping to teach or train the next generation of professionals, and can be surprisingly rewarding.
Another mental health professional, Derek Barron, wrote a post this week that would be relevant in all sectors, Leading in a new environment, about the issues of starting a new management job, what kind of a difference he might make on this short (three-month) secondment, and the nature and stages of leadership.
In Changing Times on the OPM blog, epidemiologist Kate Pickett, Professor of Inequalities in Health at York University, shared her thoughts on the inequalities in our society, and on what needs to change and how things could change.
The North East of England needs change to improve the future chances for its citizens, environment and regional economy. Could things change for the better in the with more effective communications between people in the region and those in Parliament? Ross Wigham, after spending years trying to convince friends that his job is not like The Thick of It’s Malcolm Tucker, hosted a CIPR North East event recently on how communications people in the North East can engage with those in ‘the Westminster Village’ The thick of it – 10 tips for engaging with Parliament.
Dan Slee blogged about FOUR REASONS: Why I’m not in the CIPR and his post brought forth some interesting responses, including an amusing blog-length one from a CIPR person on what benefits Dan (and others) would gain from belonging. Of course, a CIPR person would know that Your PR is only as good as your product, as Kenny McDonald wrote, with examples of what happens when the product is not adequate.
Carolyne Mitchell was asked about how to narrow down the selection of PR professionals who had applied for a job. Since it was a role involving digital communications, she recommended looking at their presence online. In Meet my professional digital footprint, she went through how to do it (bear in mind that most search engines give results skewed to what your preferences are perceived to be), sharing examples of her own. I must admit that I spent a few hours checking out mine (if you have a common name, it is advisable to try it also with keywords relating to your work). You should be aware of which data about you emerges through search engines.
Lesley Thomson was focusing on Jamming with Learner Journey Data on the OKFN Scotland (Open Knowledge Foundation Scotland) blog this week. It is always interesting to see what people think of doing with public data at such hacks, and hard work but enjoyable to participate. Do have a look at the prototypes the hackers produced.
The ‘How to Hack into a Government Website’ section in Peter Olding’s My report from UK GovCamp 2013 was probably one of the reasons why it was the most popular post of Week 17. His very clear and readable account of the sessions he attended at this annual public sector unconference was particularly helpful, especially for those of us who had not been able to go.
The organisers of UK GovCamp 2013 did try to provide some live feed of the event this year. It would be great if more people thought of using technology as an alternative for those who cannot be in a specific place at a specific time. Chris Bolton, in his post Better Understanding – the benefit of meetings. Remember the first time? considered whether alternatives to face-to-face meetings can be useful.
Karl Green was thinking about the benefits of the analogue versus digital this week, and wrote about the The Joy of Real Books in a world in which people are increasingly reading books on electronic tablets.
The demise of another boy band was the subject of Lindsay Narey’s amusing post: JLS won’t Beat Again – dealing with another boy band bombshell. I must admit that I struggle to see the difference between most boy bands and have never understood the attraction. My tastes in music and men have always been somewhat different.
I was delighted to see that Lesley Thomson was unable to withstand the lure of the songs of me challenge any longer, and that her songs of me was her first personal post. Of course, she had interesting songs and stories relating to them. If we ever have a Weekly Blog unconference, we will have a very substantial and mixed playlist from all the songs of me posts as our pre-/post-unconference party.
Richard Overy’s vintage picture posts prove that one does not have to write great swathes of text for a post. His weekly posts are inevitably Liked and retweeted. A well-chosen image and a couple of sentences about it can be exactly what people want to see. Richard’s post this week was Uncle Joe, an intriguing image that lacks something that would tell you at a glance how Uncle Joe won his trophies.
If I have left out anyone’s post, please do say. It is not always easy to keep track of which posts are to be included in a week when handing over from one host to another.
Thank you very much to all who contributed by writing, reading, liking, following or retweeting the Week 17 posts. If you are inspired to join the contributors, more about how to can be found on our About page. Do join in at any point during the year, and if you need help, tweet us and one of us should respond quite soon.
Now I must get on with the Week 18 summary. (If you are writing a post, we are in the middle of Week 19).
Summary of Week 17 posts
JLS won’t Beat Again – dealing with another boy band bombshell by Lindsay Narey on the High Tea Cast blogzine.