Seeds, sports, stabilisers – and a bit of Northern Soul, plus more besides this week. We had the largest number of posts in a week so far with 22 contributed to Week 10. Several people wrote more than one: Hannah Chia was the busiest with four entries (all very readable and amusing); Ian Curwen managed to write three; Diane Sims and Matt Bond provided two posts each. We also had new contributors again this week, and quite a few new followers of this blog.
One of our new bloggers, John Patterson, tweeted what he thought about the Weekly Blog Club members’ content:
just finished on my self commitment to read every #weeklyblogclub. Enjoyed them all! Such a diverse and entertaining mix. Keep blogging
— John Patterson (@JonoPatterson) March 9, 2012
Whilst we do get some themes emerging each week, we do retain a diversity that is probably quite unusual for a group of bloggers. I read them all, sometimes more than once, and find that I enjoy reading about topics that I would not normally choose to read, including sport.
There was a wide range of sports and exercise covered in posts this week: cycling in Ian Curwen’s Hello? Anybody there and more cycling as well as running in his Hitting the wall; cycling on a static bike in Peter Olding’s Looking at the bigger picture; running in (first-time contributor) Irene Souroup’s Lightening Bolt and the Ginger Dwarf; swimming, cycling, running in Hannah Chia’s On Competition. From the Sofa, Pilates in her On My Hands & Knees; and rugby, then a rugby player’s off-field behaviour, was covered by Hannah in Rugby In The Sunshine. It’s A Tough Life! and Danny Care & the Curious Incident of the Small Bladder in the Night Time.
Some who have participated in or watched those dancing to Northern Soul might put Ian Curwen’s post about it in the sports category too (possibly in an ‘extreme sports’ sub-category).
Some of us will be unsure still whether creating useful and much-used public websites is an extreme sport or (they can require much training and leave one totally exhausted after a lengthy periods of working on them) – or one of the dark arts. Sarah Lay shared with us what she had learned about the process in a day spent with the Government Digital Service (GDS) people: ReallyUsefulDay – GDS meets localgov. Louise Smith shared what she had learned in a workshop about something that can be useful content for websites: Creating your own data visualisations.
Matt Bond shared advice about increasing viewers of local government short films that can be used on websites and intranets – Increasing video views – and then provided a practical (and impressive) example of his own experiment in getting more viewers: How my short film got 600 views in two days. Dan Slee considered what local government can learn about effective communicating from social surgeries: SOCIAL SURGERY: Building the Art of Good Listening.
Another contributor who has been on a course this week, Kate Bentham, was provoked by her training to speak up for the quiet leaders: Introverts – Shout it Loud, Shout it Proud. In the meantime, Phil Jewitt found his voice and felt that he had reached the stage of blogging when he felt sufficiently confident to take off the metaphorical stabilisers: Finding my voice. Phil’s post should be really helpful to other public services people who are thinking of or just started a blog.
Diane Sims wrote posts on both her village’s community project’s blog and and her personal blog this week. There was a news item, fully illustrated (apart from the cakes, which disappeared too quickly for her to photograph them) about Potato Day – Our first Potato Day – 10 favourite things – obviously a hugely fun community event. On her own blog, she then explained more about how they had got to the point of holding Potato Day: How empty is my basket?
Peter McClymont wrote a rather poignant piece about memories and how they can be not quite what they seem: First memories. This is always an important issue for historians, especially for community heritage projects that focus on people remembering what a place was like in the past. My own post was about my remembering the historical records, including photographs and paintings when I take photographs of my environment : A slightly different view.
It was great to see that two people had responded directly to the suggested theme of women in celebration of International Women’s Day on Thursday 8th March. Rob Stewart looked at what web resources there were (very worth looking at): How the web is celebrating International Women’s Day 2012. John Patterson did some research on how many women work in technology, and why the male/female ratio in technology might be as it is, in The Incidental Researcher. Case 1: Women in Technology.
Women is also the suggested theme for Week 11 because the Weekly Blog Club week started on International Women’s Day this week. I must admit that I am really looking forward to a post that should be coming in Week 11 from a new contributor about a heritage project that focuses on historical women and involves volunteers and the Web.
Well done to all the contributors who wrote the 22 posts this week. Thank you to everyone who has read them and provided positive feedback by way of comments or ‘Likes.’ Anyone who is thinking of contributing – check out the About page, then make a cup of tea/coffee, and get on with writing.