Songs of us – and life on Mars?

The sun came out during Week 32, and some of the Weekly Blog Club writers had a spontaneous summer music festival – virtually, of course – whilst others contemplated forthcoming or recent holidays and sitting around on sofas.

We start with the work and work-related posts first this week. Sasha Taylor’s post (with input from Mark Braggins) – Tearing down the wall – Talking with the Police – was about the very useful points that he had found on how police use (or could use) social media in the North American police weekly chat on Twitter under the #copchat hashtag. This is a useful post for anyone in public services or with a customer service element to their work. Some of the advice was very similar to some I had been given in the heritage sector about two decades ago, when I was a contact point for the public, contractors and others before emails and long before Twitter was a twinkle in an eye.

Andy Wilson’s Week 32 post, Heroes Live Forever, was more about the families of police needing to talk. He wrote about a charity to which he will be contributing during the next couple of months through sponsored challenges. The charity helps the families of police officers who have been lost in the line of duty. He includes a moving account by one woman, who was helped by the charity when left a widow with young children and who now helps others in the same situation.

Helping people with care needs was key to John McConway’s post, Glass half full – AHPs and assets based approach to service delivery. At a time when his area’s health and social services are being merged, he considered a different, more positive approach by Allied Health Professionals, and how it can deliver positive outcomes for individuals and communities.

Peter Olding contributed a post on a professional event that he and most others attended in their ‘spare’ rather than work time, LocalGovCamp 2012. It was very interesting to get another person’s view of this recent unconference, and useful to all of us who might lead or participate in sessions at such events, or in Twitter chats using hashtags, to read about what might make people feel that a session or chat excludes them. I have been shamelessly gate-crashing the weekly #lgovsm chat on Twitter whenever I have time, even though I do not even work for a local authority at present. Most things that are shared in the open on social media, for example on Twitter, are open to anyone to participate. If a hashtag is unfamiliar, you should receive a helpful response from someone if you ask what it is.

Stuart Mackintosh quite possibly wrote his post, That’s got a ring to it… this week from the sofa, as he contemplated how much time he had spent there to watch the Olympics, and how good the media coverage of the event was. Elaine Walton has also been spending more time than usual on a sofa and explains why she has been sitting but not blogging in The Baby Ate My Homework… (and I have high hopes that Elaine will contribute another post soon).

Carolyne Mitchell’s post in Week 32 – Putting the social into media – explained all about the mysterious hashtag that I had seen her and others bandying around: #epicdinnerparty. It sounds as if it were, indeed, truly epic (she must have burn up lots of calories just shopping for the ingredients) – and she even includes the recipes for all the dishes she made.

Holidays and relaxing were on Dan Slee’s and Phil Jewitt’s minds this week, and both advocated not just having some ‘down time’ but also switching off from social media when on holiday. Dan recommends not even taking a device capable of linking to the Web in Do one thing on your holiday… switch off. Phil, on the other hand, had the safety net of a hotel with an Internet connection in Offline so, strictly speaking, he wasn’t entirely offline for a whole fortnight, just when he was out with his family, enjoying mountainous outdoor spaces.

Carol Woolley wrote A postcard from space…. since Week 32 had a couple of really momentous events: the sad passing of the extraordinary astronomer and physicist, Sir Bernard Lovell, who set up the iconic Jodrell Bank Observatory; and the landing on Mars (via a Skycrane) of the Curiosity rover which tweeted its landing and its first snaps of the planet.

The rest of the Weekly Blog Club posts in Week 32 were about music. It was all my fault. I think that I spotted a post about the Guardian’s Six Song of Me challenge by Mark O’Neill (whose choice was, as I expected, mostly music I did not recognise). They asked about songs that we associated with specific events or periods of our lives, which is even more difficult that putting together a ‘Desert Island’ list. I loved making mixtapes when I was young, really like playlists now I have a digital music collection, and naturally felt compelled to think about and blog: The songs of me part 1. Then others joined in: Martin Howitt made his Six songs his first contribution to Weekly Blog Club; Louise Brown wrote her Six Songs of Me, and Kate Bentham wrote her Six Songs of Me.

Around that point, I decided to try thinking of six more questions of which songs I would choose for specific events or phases of my life in The songs of me part 2 ( I could not narrow it down to less than eight); Mark Braggins revealed his Six Songs of Me; and Phil Jewitt was tempted into writing a second post for the week and rebelled by calling his Big hair and guitars (but it is a ‘Six Songs’ post).

I will try to put them all into a playable Weekly Blog Club playlist at some point – but I think some of them might be a bit obscure for most of the music services. You will have to read them all to find out who shuddered at Sparky the Piano, and who adored Nellie the Elephant as a child, and other revealing musical secrets. If you feel inspired, do join in (see our About page which tells you what you need to know. New contributors are always warmly welcomed).

Mark Braggins is taking over for Week 33, so perhaps I should leave him to decide upon the (entirely optional) theme for the week? My continuing suggestion would be ‘Six Songs.’ We have at least one or two more due in Week 33 based on the original list, and I have already started what may be two or three posts on my second set of questions. Perhaps the Olympic Closing Ceremony will provide inspiration if you need it. The Opening Ceremony certainly made many people think. Good luck to Mark – I know he will do a great job and I look forward to reading his summary next week!


Janet E Davis.


Summary of Week 32 posts

Offline by Phil Jewitt.

Tearing down the wall – Talking with the Police by Sasha Taylor with input from Mark Braggins.

That’s got a ring to it… by Stuart Mackintosh.

The songs of me part 1 by Janet E Davis.

Six Songs of Me by Louise Brown.

Six Songs of Me by Kate Bentham.

The songs of me part 2 by Janet E Davis.

Heroes Live Forever by Andy Wilson aka Police Geek.

Six Songs of Me by Mark Braggins.

The Baby Ate My Homework… by Elaine Walton.

Big hair and guitars by Phil Jewitt.

A postcard from space…. by Carol Woolley.

Six songs by Martin Howitt.

Putting the social into media by Carolyne Mitchell.

Do one thing on your holiday… switch off by Dan Slee on the comms2point0 blog.

LocalGovCamp 2012 by Peter Olding.

Glass half full – AHPs and assets based approach to service delivery by John McConway on the Ayrshire Health blog.

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, astronomy, blogging, childcare, communicating, communities, customer service, digital technology, family, festival, health services, holiday, local government, medical practice, music, newspapers, Olympics, patient care, police, public sector, social care, social media, special events, travel and exploration, Uncategorized, unconferences, walking, working practices
One comment on “Songs of us – and life on Mars?
  1. […] has already kicked off with some great posts and I also noticed Kate Bentham too. There have been others 1 since this post started to be drafted […]

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