Looking back, looking now, looking forward

It was an unusually quiet week for posts during Week 37, quieter than during the summer holidays period. I wondered why. Maybe people are still getting back into the swing of the weekly work and school routines this week, and lacked time to blog? The number of posts might have been small but the quality was undiminished.

Dan Slee was quick off the starting blocks with his post 18 wishes post-London 2012. He looked back at the recent Olympics and Paralympics and looked forward in his wishes for what will come out of them for people everywhere as well as his own family. Irena Souroup was also looking back at the Olympics and Paralympics in The End of It All, and looking ahead to when the glamour and shine of London 2012 begin to give way to the everyday normality again. She and her mum had an unexpected teary moment during the Paralympics. Phil Jewitt did not write about the Olympics but was also thinking of his family as he looked back, at now and into the future (and he quoted a song) in See the lights.

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, apologised on Wednesday 12th September to the  families of those who had died in the Hillsborough disaster, and to all the survivors. People who had fought for the truth to be told for so many years, were officially acknowledged as having been right. You might like to visit also the Hillsborough page on Liverpool Football Club’s website. It has the names, ages and photographs of the 96 fans who died at Hillsborough. It is important that we do not lose sight of the individuals affected by this disaster. Please think also of their families, of the 766 people who were injured, and the thousands who were traumatised. People have been struggling for words since Wednesday to describe their reaction to discovering the terrible truth about Hillsborough.

During her journalism training, Carolyne Mitchell was given the case study of Hillsborough to show her how a traumatic story was told through pictures and words in a newspaper at the time. She remembered it in her post this week –  In memory of Hillsborough – and raised the difficult question of how it would have been reported through social media by people without journalism training. We have not even begun to think through the full implications of how such ubiquitous technology changes and will change our world.

Pennie Taylor wrote the changes in approaches to communicating in the National Health Service in Scotland on the Ayrshire Health blog this week. She considered the opportunities that social media presents for dialogue and the challenges of such two-way communication in Social media and NHS Scotland  Although she was looking at this in the context of Scotland, it is worth reading by all in the UK, whether they are health professionals or patients.

The need for clear communication between local authorities and their citizens at a reasonable cost was at the heart of Mark Braggins’s and Sasha Taylor’s post for Week 37, A local GDS, for Local People. They looked at the Government Digital Services’s (GDS’s) work for the national government, and wondered if and how such an approach could work for local government. Mark and Sasha considered how the geographical challenges could be overcome, and provide a list of other recent blog posts tackling the same issue.

Kate Bentham had been looking into the future with lots of other people in Digital Futures 2012, held in Shrewsbury on Monday 9th September in My 15 Favourite quotes from #digifutures12. Her choice of quotes give a wonderful flavour of the speakers and their presentations. I agree with all the quotes apart from the second, and there is a great quote in the comments too.

Carol Woolley’s contribution to Week 37 was in response to Kate Bentham’s Week 36 photomarathon challenge: Photochallenge #1: a postcard from Kidderminster. She decided to photograph something that celebrates someone and something that I did not know had a connection to Kidderminster. I wonder if you can guess correctly before reading her post? Incidentally, Carol, we would be happy to see one or two of the other subjects you considered as representing your town!

Janet Harkin wrote about 5 posts I liked enough to share for her Week 37 contribution to Weekly Blog Club. They include some great tips on using social media, formatting WordPress posts, and how to write a good story.

I could probably have benefited from the ‘how to write a good story’ advice before I embarked on my ‘songs of me’ series of posts. I had not intended to write so much, or so many parts when I responded one week (so long ago now) to a challenge set by the Guardian to think of 6 songs to answer 6 questions about one’s life and character. The songs of me part 6 is my final post, and in my final 3 answers, I looked back, at now, and back at a conditional future. I will eventually try to put all the songs put forward by everyone into a playlist (or 6).

Thank you very much to the Week 37 contributors, and also to those of you who read, like and comment on the posts. We passed 500 Likes on this blog alone this week, and there are many more Likes on our authors’ individual posts. We do really appreciate people making the effort to show that they have read and like what we write.

I have not yet thought of an (entirely optional) theme for Week 38, although my own thoughts will be very much on community social media and planning issues as I establish new social media accounts and create a website for a community group relating to one area of the city. There is, of course, the continuing A Weekly Blog Club Photomarathon Challenge set by Kate Bentham.

I can, however, give you advance warning of a future theme. In early October, the (entirely optional) theme will be healthcare. The Ayrshire Health blog will have several different people writing posts that week, and I think that it would be a good theme for all since everybody is or is related to, a patient who uses health services at some point. As always, you can write about something entirely different and we will, of course, include your posts.

Please could those who have offered to help out with looking after Weekly Blog Club add their names and weeks or days that they can cover on the Who looks after Weekly Blog Club when page if they have author access to the blog (if not, please @ tweet @WeeklyBlogClub).

New contributors are always welcome. As other members have reassured people during the last week, we do provide a supportive and encouraging environment for blogging. If you get writer’s block or are nervous about publishing your post, tweet us about it and someone will help you. Our About page which tells you what you need to know about contributing (and you do not get chucked out of Weekly Blog Club for not writing a post every week).


Janet E Davis.

Summary of Week 37

18 wishes post-London 2012 by Dan Slee.

The End of It All by Irena Souroup.

The songs of me part 6 by Janet E Davis.

My 15 Favourite quotes from #digifutures12 by Kate Bentham.

See the lights by Phil Jewitt.

Photochallenge #1: a postcard from Kidderminster by Carol Woolley.

In memory of Hillsborough by Carolyne Mitchell.

A local GDS, for Local People by Mark Braggins and Sasha Taylor.

Social media and NHS Scotland by Pennie Taylor on the Ayrshire Health blog.

5 posts I liked enough to share by Janet Harkin.

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, communicating, communities, cultural heritage, customer service, digital technology, family, health, humanity, leadership, media, national government, Olympics, Paralympics, photography, public sector, sculpture, social media, special events, storytelling, town and country planning, websites, working practices

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