Tartan, jelly babies and Rolf Harris

Week 8 of Weekly Blog Club started with lots of questions about use of digital media and finished with memories of analogue ‘shinies’ and Rolf Harris. In between we had seeds, jelly babies, tartan, and some writing on the wall.

Sarah Lay was the first contributor this week. If you work in public services, you should find Is there anybody out there? a useful post (and please do respond to Sarah’s questions). She gives facts about Internet usage that are thought-provoking and useful for those planning website content and using social media.

There was a theme of firsts in some contributions this week. The second post of the week was by first-time blogger Mandy Atkinson. She tells the story of her career to date and why she has now started to blog in Overly Modest Anonymous – and it is a very interesting story. Many readers will probably identify with the idea of being “overly modest” (the public sector is a natural place for such people). I hope all readers will wish Mandy success in the LG Comms Future Leaders programme upon which she has embarked.

Ian Curwen shared a couple of firsts. In his second post of the week – My guest blog: toes in the water – he told of his council’s first year of using social media. Ian then wrote about A new first in his third contribution to the Week 8 posts

Ian Curwen , and shared his latest results of his giving up of unhealthy food in his first post of the week in That’s more like it. This fitted a spontaneous theme of giving up (or not giving up) that developed during this week when Shrove Tuesday (or Pancake Tuesday) fell and Lent began. Phil Jewitt told us about why he has given up Facebook in Interesting people. I mentioned giving up smoking three years ago, and reflected on how many photographs I had taken during those three years in Coast, 3 years on… Kate Bentham did not write about cake in Appreciating Giving Up – and revealed in a subsequent tweet that she had asked Facebook friends what she should give up for Lent and they had decided on chocolate, cakes, and biscuits. On not giving up (for Lent) was Diane Sims’s fascinating post on a drawer full of seeds, growing food, and growing a community (something that takes even more patience and leaps of faith than growing food but produces equally satisfying results).

There was a sense of place in Harry Barrett has written on your wall by Rachel Jane Snook (a lovely message from the past). Mark Braggins reported on talks about geographical information and open data at an event organised by the Society for Location Analysis in SLA Event (Part 1): Open Data: Powering the Information age. There was also a very distinct sense of place in Carolyne Mitchell’s “quick post” – Tartan Tweeple – about an event that she organised, the Tartan Tweet Meet, which was the first Scottish public sector national tweet meet, held in cities across Scotland on the same evening.

Peter Olding explained in Talking in Public how he has trained himself to talk in front of an audience by taking the opportunity to talk at meetings of a society to which he belongs. Despite (or maybe because) his mates heckle, he find it fun. Janet Harkin wrote about using a fun approach to training people in a master class that she and Paul Webster (aka @watfordgap) held that involved Snakes and ladders and jelly babies.

Finally, but not least, Peter McClymont got back into his blogging groove by remembering his love of records (including one by Rolf Harris), and other analogue shinies of his youth in Shiny – part 3.

Please do give positive feedback to the writers, especially since several are very new to blogging so encouragement would be A Very Good Thing. It is lovely that people click the Like button on posts on this blog, but it would be great if they also click Like buttons where available on individuals’ posts (or if there’s no button, leave a comment to say why they liked it).

Do consider becoming a contributor if you are not one already (see the About page). I would suggest the (entirely optional) theme for Week 9 could be an end of winter/beginning of spring one of ‘new growth.’

The optional theme for Weeks 10 and 11 will be women for International Women’s Day on Thursday 8th March (Thursday being our end and beginning of the Weekly Blog Club week makes it appropriate for each week either side).


Janet E Davis.

Summary of Week 8 posts

Is there anybody out there? by Sarah Lay.

Overly Modest Anonymous  by Mandy Atkinson.

That’s more like it by Ian Curwen.

My guest blog: toes in the water by Ian Curwen.

Interesting people by Phil Jewitt.

Coast, 3 years on…  by Janet E Davis.

A new first by Ian Curwen.

Harry Barrett has written on your wall by Rachel Jane Snook.

Appreciating Giving Up by Kate Bentham.

SLA Event (Part 1): Open Data: Powering the Information age by Mark Braggins.

On not giving up (for Lent) by Diane Sims.

Tartan Tweeple by Carolyne Mitchell.

Snakes and ladders and jelly babies by Janet Harkin.

Talking in Public by Peter Olding.

Shiny – part 3 by Peter McClymont.


Weekly Blog Club was set up in early January 2012 to encourage people to blog regularly, and especially to encourage those working in and with the public sector, charities and voluntary organisations in the UK to find their own 'voice' through writing.

Posted in #WeeklyBlogClub summary, cake/caek, communicating, communities, digital technology, food, health, horticulture, leadership, local government, music, open data, photography, public sector, setting goals, social media, sports, storytelling, websites, working practices

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