Time to consider weeklyblogclub evolution?

I must admit that was not really expecting that Weekly Blog Club would not only continue this far into the year, let alone grow to have so many people contributing to it during its (so far) 30 weeks of existence. It was one of those things that came out of a conversation on Twitter, and I just thought that I would set up an online space that people could use so that it could happen. I did, however, think from the very beginning that I would like it to be a collaborative thing. One of the joys of doing something that one is not paid to do is being able to experiment by quickly setting up something and then seeing what happens.

You will have seen that we have been trying out sharing of looking after Weekly Blog Club recently. So far, Louise Brown and Kate Bentham have been Weekly Blog Club for a week each and they have both been brilliant. Mark Braggins has offered to do a week in August, and will also be fabulous. I would love to see more people have a go. If they do not have time to take over for a whole week, perhaps just a day here and there? 

I am open to other ideas on how Weekly Blog Club should evolve.

One of my original purposes in setting up this blog was to provide a blog space for those who hesitated to set up their own blog, or felt that they wanted to write a post that did not fit in with their usual blog (perhaps because they normally write a work blog). We have not used it that way thus far but should we promote that more?

Another thought that I had had originally was that we could evolve this into a magazine format, pulling the contents into this blog via feeds so that they could be displayed as a short excerpt, possibly with picture. After some thought, I decided that it was far preferable for people to get traffic on their own sites so they could see their own stats more easily. I am open to everyone else’s thoughts on this.

I have been thinking recently that it is time to get some of our own images into the headers. Would you like new header images? If so, would you like specific places or more abstract images? Would you like to contribute images? The recommended size for this theme’s header is 288 pixels high and 1000 pixels wide. Of course, I have a range of my own photographs from which I could cut images that size, but it would be great to have pictures by other people.

I am thinking of picking out more of the how-to and other working practice posts to include on the Links – useful page. I was also wondering about creating an alphabetical listing of Weekly Blog Club authors – mainly because I lose track of who is a first-timer, but also because I think that it is another, interesting way of exploring posts.

As I write, I think that Mark Braggins and Sasha Taylor are brewing up a post that will include some suggestions for Weekly Blog Club. There had been some mention of ideas about it in tweets about LocalGovCamp. I am looking forward to reading that and hope that people will respond.

Do contribute your thoughts as to whether and how Weekly Blog Club might evolve.

 

Janet

Janet E Davis.

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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9 comments on “Time to consider weeklyblogclub evolution?
  1. Kate Bentham says:

    I do think we need to share the load, after my week stint it became clear how much work is involved in reading the blogs, preparing the promo posts, tweeting them out and then the weekly summary. It is a LOT for one person – especially as the number of posts could grow week on week, I am more than happy to help out for another week or on a daily basis, if we get more people willing to do some of the admin we could have a day or two where we are responsible for writing the promo posts etc that come in on your ‘duty’ day and then a rota for the summary. Or have a rota week by week for the admin. I also wondered if whoever did the promos and tweets also did the summary for the week – as that person has already read most of the posts when preparing the promos that is would be easier to do the summary, rather than start your stint off by having to read all of those submitted.

    I like the idea of the work practice/how to posts being on a links page, there ‘s a lot of great ideas and solutions out there, it would be good to promo Weekly Blog Club as a ‘go to’ resource for anyone in local gov/vol sector and social media etc. I also an A-Z of contributors.

    Really keen to explore the club being a platform for those who don’t have a blog to be able to blog through the club – maybe email a blog for it to be posted through WBC. The header on the blog is encouraging people to write – it doesn’t say blog, so the club can be their blog – or maybe with recent posts it might need something up there about blogging but that it can be writing or images and audio etc. – so it’s not just writing.

    Sorry but I don’t know enough about the magazine format to be able to comment.

    It’s wonderful that the club is still going after 30 weeks, and going from strength to strength. Well done all.

  2. Louise says:

    I agree with Kate about realising just how much work goes in to each week of WBC. It does seem to make sense that the person promoting the posts for the week also does the summary at the end. I also think it’s better for people to do a week at a time (rather than the odd day) as it takes a little while to get into the swing of knowing who’s blogged what and what’s already been posted etc.

    I’d love it if at some point we could all meet face to face, to talk about blogging and life, the universe…. Although I do realise we’re pretty spread out so not an easy task.

  3. Thanks for your comments, Louise.

  4. I have no misconceptions about how much effort maintaining this must be! Very much appreciate the efforts being put in to do so – I don’t think my blog would have survived very long without #weeklyblogclub peeps and site! Big thanks to all above and Mark Braggins when he takes the helm for a while.

    Sadly I can’t volunteer much aid at this point much though I would love to! I don’t know if there’s a way to share the process out a little. Maybe a few people watching the hashtag and jumping in to write a summary or two? Could the weekly summary be pared down somehow to become a list perhaps? I don’t know – it’s great how it is (really fun to read the epic weekly posts) but I appreciate it must be a hog and a pressure.

    MAybe the onus for summary posts should be on the authors after the first 3 blogs – e.g. I would write my own -or perhaps I would write someone else’s and they would write mine. The focus is then on the weekly summary but it would need a workflow/checklist area for co-ordinating.

    Tough one!!!

    (Love the idea of changing headers)

    • Organising a summary that needs a workflow/checklist area and coordination of multiple contributors (if I understand the idea correctly) could probably take more time than for 1 person to write.
      Thank you for even thinking of volunteering – and it does really help if people simply retweet others’ posts during the week as they spot them.
      I will try to encourage header image contributions…

      JED

  5. Janet Harkin says:

    I too think the WBC is fantastic and I love being part of such an elite group of writers which is is how the weekly summary post makes me feel (I still feel a bit shy when I see my name next to theirs!). There is much skill and insight that goes in weaving the seemingly disparate posts together at the end of each week and I can see how this must take time.

    As someone who’s benefited from the club pretty much each week I’d be happy to help out. I like Kate’s suggestion of being responsible for a day or two each week as the posts come in and then rotating the writing of the summary post. Creating the summary is a different kind of writing (editing) skill and one that not everyone gets to practice.

    An A-Z of contributors is also a great idea to keep tabs on newbies. It’s inspiring to see how many more people have posted since the beginning. Perhaps contributors could write an optional (short) bio about themselves too?

    • Thanks very much, Janet. I’m delighted to hear that you get such a positive feeling from being part of this.
      I’ll have to create a page for sorting out who’s WBC when, as well as an A-Z of contributors. It will be interesting to see if people will be willing to contribute a short bio (I find it the hardest bit of writing to do).

      JED

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