Cameras, cannibals, cartography

Week 9 was a busy week for Weekly Blog Club, and the deadline was at its most elastic (stretched till after midnight for the first time). There were (eventually!) 17 posts, covering as wide a range of topics as ever, but some connected with each other. It was another week when people took their inspiration from other WeeklyBlogClub members, and even more people indicated that they had enjoyed the posts.

The week started with new member Hannah Chia who writes as the Sporting Wag, and her pseudonym gives a clue to her subject: sport. She started her contributions to Weekly Blog Club with Real Men Play Rugby. Little Boys Play Football, and then made it clear that she is also a football far in: Why I Support Manchester United.

You would need to have the salary of a Premiership footballer to afford – and the muscles of a rugby player to carry – all the gear in Matt Bond’s first two contributions to Weekly Blog Club in a “How to…film” series: Part 1: Cameras  and Part 2: Tripods, lights and accessories. These useful articles prompted Matt Murray to write about the not much cheaper (though far more versatile and the 21st century urbanite’s equivalent to the Swiss Army Penknife) type of camera: Mobile photography – why your smartphone is the best camera (note that these apps work on an iPod Touch too).

Yet another first-timer, John Patterson, started his contributions with some interesting suggestions in Micropost, including asking about a Hangout possibility. Louise Brown’s report on her experience of using Google Hangouts in Hanging out is where it’s at will be helpful to many.

Dan Slee suggested that local authorities should think about how they appear on Facebook to communicate effectively with their communities in FACEBOOK: Not One Big Page Please, But Lots of Little Ones. Communicating was also a key topic in Janet Harkin’s post – A week of new growth, new adventures and new beginnings – in which she reported a new online community for people with mental illness. Cupcakes helped me to start communicating more with people, on and off-line, when I had severe depression. In Cupcakes connections I also explained why I was making cupcakes this weekend that will eventually reach from a community in North East England to one in Romania.

Communities were strong threads in another three posts this week. Peter McClymont wrote about attending the Village SOS conference Sending out an SOS (tell me that I’m not the only one now to have Police’s Message in a bottle playing in their head!). Peter attended the conference because he is one of the people trying to save their village shop, an essential part of the community. Diane Sims also wrote about the threat to the existence of her community’s landmark (a somewhat larger one) in Saving Newsome Mills (part one): Tenterhooks (and this tale does leave the reader on tenterhooks).*

Cartography has become a more social activity in the digital age. Ordnance Survey has made some of its data open to a wider community to encourage different ways of using map data. Mark Braggins wrote about some of this in his second part of the Society for Location Analysis event The SLA Event (Pt 2): Ordnance Survey Open Data and GeoVation.

Another first-time Weekly Blog Club contributor in Week 9 was Rob Stewart. The news this week of Raspberry Pi and enabling youngsters to learn how to code reminded Rob of how the legendary Sinclair ZX80 helped him towards his career: The Raspberry Pi and why I got into working with computers.

Phil Jewitt mentioned his career in passing in his post – Stuff I know nothing about. He also mentioned his admiration for fellow Weekly Blog Club contributor Ian Curwen’s blog about his journey to health and fitness (The only man in the room), before revealing how finding out how what he did not know had helped his own health.

Kate Bentham and Sarah Lay both anticipated the Weeks 10 and 11 (strictly optional) Weekly Blog Club theme of women in their Week 9 posts. Kate gave a glimpse of female friendship in the wonderfully-titled Shoes you can’t lose (and provides one solution to some of the examples of abandoned footwear I come across in all kinds of places). Sarah Lay considered the issue that many women quietly worry about in her truly thought-provoking post: Cannibal ambition.

Hopefully, there will be more posts on the theme of women, and especially about their place in society, the workplace, and public life. My reason for suggesting this theme for two weeks is because International Women’s Day falls on Thursday 8th March, at the end of one Weekly Blog Club week and at the beginning of another. I discovered this week that there is a project in Scotland to encourage volunteers to map the memorials to women: http://womenofscotland.org.uk/getinvolved. I am unaware of any such projects in other parts of the UK. This is the sort of thing that public and voluntary sectors can do to help raise awareness of women’s roles in communities and workplaces; and to find and provide more role models for girls so that we have more women engineers, board directors, and coders.

You can join Weekly Blog Club at any time. More information on how to participate is on our About page. Thank you to everyone who has read the posts, ‘liked’ or commented on them this week. The reader participants are just as necessary as the writer participants.

Summary of Week 9 posts.

Real Men Play Rugby. Little Boys Play Football by Hannah Chia (aka @SportingWag).

Part 1: Cameras by Matt Bond.

Part 2: Tripods, lights and accessories by Matt Bond.

Cannibal ambition by Sarah Lay.

Stuff I know nothing about  by Phil Jewitt.

Mobile photography – why your smartphone is the best camera by Matt Murray.

Hanging out is where it’s at by Louise Brown.

Shoes you can’t lose by Kate Bentham.

A week of new growth, new adventures and new beginnings by Janet Harkin.

Saving Newsome Mills (part one): Tenterhooks  by Diane Sims.

Why I Support Manchester United by Hannah Chia (aka @SportingWag).

Micropost by John Patterson.

The SLA Event (Pt 2): Ordnance Survey Open Data and GeoVation by Mark Braggins.

The Raspberry Pi and why I got into working with computers by Rob Stewart (aka @Digitalitay).

FACEBOOK: Not One Big Page Please, But Lots of Little Ones by Dan Slee.

Sending out an SOS by Peter McClymont.

Cupcakes connections by Janet E Davis.

* If you ever wondered what tenterhooks look like, I found some in northern England http://focusnorth.posterous.com/tenterhooks

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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, culture, digital technology, education, food, football, gender, hardware, health, horticulture, manufacture, open data, photography, public sector, rugby, setting goals, social media, software, sports, textile manufacture, town and country planning, websites
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