Cake, culture, camping and a flame

Vanilla and orange cupcakes 2

Vanilla and orange cupcakes (for a charity cake sale) by Janet E Davis

There was a bit of a culture theme to several of Week 21’s 10 posts. Cake featured in a culture-themed post and made it into a post title this week. Four of the posts centred on digital media, and a fifth on recent technology that included digital.

Phil Jewitt started the week with culture. His views on the Overworlds & Underworlds in Leeds, one of the Olympiad events, is even more interesting because he does not usually attend such things and is not trained in how to understand and interpret them.

I continued the culture theme with accounts of my visit to The Late Shows (The Late Shows 2012 part1 The Late Shows 2012 part2), which is the Newcastle and Gateshead Museums At Night group of events – but breaks out of the museums and comes with added pizzazz. The visual arts on Tyneside can scarcely set foot out of the door without the performing arts dashing up to dance through the streets with them; and it is hard to tear apart heritage and contemporary in a place where two millennia of history are never more than fingertips’ distance.

There was also quite a lot of talk about cake amongst those who attended one of The Late Shows venues, proving it’s a useful foodstuff to connect people. Kate Bentham already knew the power of cake and used it to good effect to celebrate the birthday at her council of Family Information Services. She had written about this before the event and in Week 21 returned with an initial reflection on how it had gone – good, bad and cake: a social media campaign to celebrate landmark birthday – which could be useful to anyone in any public service.

Lesley Thomson does not make it clear whether cake is or is not involved in teacampscotland, but her account of the first one – Camping it up – made me chuckle at their efforts to discombobulate the café’s staff. Exciting things are happening in Scotland eg this weekend’s IslandGovCamp up in Orkney.

Peter McClymont got caught up in the excitement of the Olympic Torch Relay as it passed through North Devon this week. He tweeted, and captured the other social media coverage of the event using Storify, and then blogged to share the story of how he did it in Storifying the Torch Relay, providing another useful example to others.

Janet Harkin provided really useful, straightforward advice in 3 steps to writing a case study worth reading. We should all heed it, especially writing up social media case studies that are useful to those still arguing for using new-fangled technology.

Adam Jennison contributed a post on Benjamin Welby’s blog this week about the future of one local authority’s data: Hull’s open data future. This will be a particularly good one to read by those interested in how local government handles and shares information, and for those more broadly interested in open and linked data issues. I must admit that I started envisioning fun and useful hacks that could be done with geo-locations of trees, lamp posts etc (seriously – release that kind of data and see what can be done when it is mashed up with, say, historical meteorological data, commons or creative commons-licensed photographs (contemporary and/or historical), allow people to attach their stories to objects…).

Carolyne Mitchell was more concerned with administrative than digital boundaries moving this week. Her post – Let’s push some boundaries – makes some very good points about an idea by a think tank to change local authority boundaries. She also makes a really interesting point about who really comprises the ‘hard-to-reach’ part of a local authority’s population.

Finally, but not least, a return to technology as John Patterson contemplated what essential tech equipment he has taken on holiday over recent years and how much it has changed in Changing Luggage.*

As always, thank you very much to all who read and comment or ‘Like’ posts, as well as to those who write the posts and share their knowledge and thoughts. Writers are welcome to join at any time. Just have a look at the About page, and note that the deadline can be squishy when necessary.

Any thoughts on the [entirely optional!] theme for Week 22? Heat? Sun? The colour blue? I am hoping that we might see posts about the journeys some made up to Orkney, and about their experience of IslandGovCamp there.


Janet E Davis.

* If I could reduce the weight of tech I need, I could travel more and farther!

Summary of Week 21 posts

Overworlds & Underworlds by  Phil Jewitt.

The Late Shows 2012 part1 by Janet E Davis.

The Late Shows 2012 part2 by Janet E Davis.

good, bad and cake: a social media campaign to celebrate landmark birthday by Kate Bentham on the comms2point0 blog.

Hull’s open data future by Adam Jennison on Benjamin Welby’s blog.

Camping it up by Lesley Thomson.

Let’s push some boundaries by  Carolyne Mitchell.

3 steps to writing a case study worth reading by Janet Harkin.

Storifying the Torch Relay by  Peter McClymont.

Changing Luggage by John Patterson.


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.

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Posted in #WeeklyBlogClub summary, blogging, cake/caek, communicating, communities, cultural heritage, culture, customer service, data, democracy, digital technology, family, festival, local government, media, museums, Olympics, open data, public sector, social media, sunshine, unconferences, working practices

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