The Christmas Edition

Sage Gateshead Christmas tree of empty plastic bottles

Sage Gateshead Christmas tree of empty plastic bottles.

Happy Christmas!

Week 51 turned out to be a busy blogging week – 24 posts (I think that is the 2nd highest number that we have had so far). If you had told me that we would have so many posts in the penultimate week of 2012, I would have struggled to believe that #WeeklyBlogClub would exist still. But here it is – as lively as ever. I will say more about it in Week 52.

Throughout 2012, we have shared joys and sorrows, tough times and humour, and Week 51 is no exception. I am sure that all Weekly Blog Club members will extend their sympathy to Phil Jewitt who lost someone else close this week, and whose post exhorts us all to treasure our loved ones: Just be there.

Since I spend Christmas on my own (this is not an unusual for me), I have time to think of people, and will spend time communicating with them by phone or online. The Internet is great for enabling people to stay in touch over time as well as space.

Mark Braggins shared with us this week a truly magical tale: Christmas Fairy Tale. I love the fact that it indicates that one of his colleagues likes his or her colleagues enough to go to such trouble, and that must reflect a good spirit in his workplace. Carol Woolley shared some snaps of Christmas trees that she liked on a work trip to Northern Ireland in Oh Christmas tree.

Christmas at home was the focus of Naomi’s post Excess in which she considered the madness of the seasonal shopping spree (I must admit that I was astonished at how empty the shelves were in a big supermarket with 3 whole shopping days to go), and what priceless things make her Christmas special. Rough Cat shared with us an amusing account of her first experience of cooking turkey in Evolution of a Turkey, or Coming of Age at 32, complete with pictures (including a couple of her cats who helped to eat it).

Jason Leitch took a Christmas carol as his inspiration for a seasonal post about standards in Scottish healthcare in The twelve days of Christmas. Another blog about healthcare questioned the new UK Government idea about tackling dementia. Martin Brunet started with an anecdote about a pastor, an evangelist and a bear in Screening for Dementia – Beware the Zeal of an Evangelist, and questioned the wisdom of the change at this stage.

Andrew Jacobs aims to innovate and be disruptive where useful in his workplace. He wrote about the many ways in which he and his team provide ways of learning and developing in Yes, reinvent the wheel. The idea of using comics caught my eye. I am a great fan of the Team Digital Preservation cartoons which get across serious messages in a fun format (maybe only some of us will find mention of metadata funny, but they should amuse most a lot more than a dry slide presentation).

Janet Harkin provided a wealth of infographics this week: The Social Sickness (challenging bad social media habits); Opinion burnout  (pointing out to those who create surveys why some do not work well); The evolution of time management tools (one of my personal favourites); The Common Phobias of Creatives (this one made me laugh with recognition); and the self-explanatory 4 steps to a social media strategy.

A certain train company might wish that it had seen the social media strategy advice before Ben Whitehouse felt a need to tell us about an encounter in MD of @LondonMidland has a bad “Meet the Managers” event at Birmingham New Street today (with tweets).

Several posts were looking back on the past year, or special events within it. Ross Wigham, recently decorated with shiny awards, reflected on the past year of his council using online communications and fitted in some Mad Men references in Smoke gets in your eyes. Ohh & content marketing. Matt Bond shared the results of a survey on how local councils now use films – Film in local government – which should be of interest to all who communicate on behalf of councils with citizens. Phil Copestake looked back on what OPM (Office for Public Management) had done in its work with public services and charities in OPM’s 2012 Roundup.

Diane Sims produced a lovely visual account of growing food and friendships in Growing Newsome and Stirley Farm 2012 – a year in pictures. I shared a set of photographs of the DIBI 2012 (Design It. Build It) conference which was packed with designers and was held in a serious bit of architecture: DIBI 2012 selection. I selected this set as I was narrowing my 2012 selection of my photographs for my Week 52 post. Andrew Jacobs attempted to describe My Life in Stock Photos, thus providing another challenge that others might like to take up in forthcoming weeks: describing their lives in stock photographs or clipart.

Peter Olding explained that My New Twitter Account relates to his project that started with taking some photographs when he was bored one evening and is now aiming towards a full website. Kate Bentham tried something new online recently and told us how it has worked out initially in Cometh the Shropshire Hour.

Finally, another post with interesting images was contributed by Samuel-James Wilson who wrote about his first week on placement with someone who is an expert on historical brickwork: Dr. Gerard Lynch [The Red Mason] – Week 1. Reading about what Samuel-James had not previously learned at college and how interesting he is finding it, I wondered if our architecture, and especially our domestic architecture, might have been different if people had learned more about traditional and historical methods over the past 50 years or so. As our cultural heritage organisations are threatened with substantially reduced budgets, we risk losing more skills and knowledge than we have already. Anyone reading Samuel-James’s blog should realise that it is worth investing in passing on those skills and knowledge to the next generation.

As always, thank you very much for reading and writing for Weekly Blog Club. Readers are  as important as Weekly Blog Club members as writers, and we appreciate the Likes and the comments. If you would like to contribute, the simple guidelines are on our About page. You can join any week and (keep it quiet), nobody will chase after you with a big stick if you do not contribute a post, although there is a danger that we may get excited when you do share a post after having been quiet for months.

If you would like to volunteer to look after Weekly Blog Club. there is information about what is involved is on the Admin info page, and you can suggest a week (or even weeks) that you could do on the Who looks after Weekly Blog Club when page.

The end of Week 52 is hurtling towards me as I write this post. I know everyone will be busy doing Christmas things with their families and friends but I hope that we will have a few posts at least. Snaps of your Christmas trees or cakes will be very welcome as Week 52 posts (remember, we always point out that posts need not contain lots of words – pictures or audio or video posts would be great contributions too). If you have time for doing something more, Kate Bentham has suggested the #nurture1213 – “12 great moments from 2012 & 13 high hopes for 2013.” This [entirely optional!] theme will continue into the first week of 2013.

I hope that you all enjoy warmth and love over Christmas, whatever else is happening in your lives.


Janet E Davis.

PS That reminds me – I have a slight problem: do we continue counting upwards for Weekly Blog Club weeks, that is, start 2012 with Week 53? Or do we simply start with Week 1 again?

Summary of Week 51 posts

Screening for Dementia – Beware the Zeal of an Evangelist by Martin Brunet.

Christmas Fairy Tale by Mark Braggins.

My Life in Stock Photos by Andrew Jacobs.

Yes, reinvent the wheel by Andrew Jacobs.

Dr. Gerard Lynch [The Red Mason] – Week 1 by Samuel-James Wilson.

Evolution of a Turkey, or Coming of Age at 32 by Rough Cat.

Excess by Naomi on The Minimal List.

The Social Sickness (infographic) by Janet Harkin.

Film in local government by Matt Bond.

Opinion burnout (infographic) by Janet Harkin.

Who do you work with? by Andrew Jacobs.

The evolution of time management tools (infographic) by Janet Harkin.

My New Twitter Account by Peter Olding.

Just be there by Phil Jewitt.

Oh Christmas tree by Carol Woolley.

The Common Phobias of Creatives (infographic) by Janet Harkin.

Growing Newsome and Stirley Farm 2012 – a year in pictures by Diane Sims.

OPM’s 2012 Roundup by Phil Copestake on the OPM (Office for Public Management) blog.

MD of @LondonMidland has a bad “Meet the Managers” event at Birmingham New Street today (with tweets) by Ben Whitehouse.

Smoke gets in your eyes. Ohh & content marketing by Ross Wigham.

Cometh the Shropshire Hour by Kate Bentham.

The twelve days of Christmas by Jason Leitch on the Ayrshire Health blog.

4 steps to a social media strategy (infographic) by Janet Harkin.

DIBI 2012 selection by 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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Posted in #WeeklyBlogClub summary, architecture, blogging, budget cuts, Business, charitable trusts, childcare, communicating, communities, conferences, cultural heritage, digital technology, family, film, food, friendship, health, learning, media, national government, natural environment, photography, public sector, setting goals, social media, special events, storytelling, Third sector, training, trains, websites, working practices
2 comments on “The Christmas Edition
  1. dtbarron says:

    Another fabulous summary, gave me something to look forward to once all the wrapping was complete. Just sitting reading the various blogs and listening to some relaxing music, 45 minutes until Christmas: still time to write a blog for week 52.
    BTW Interesting question re starting again at wk 1 or continue to wk 53: wk 53 gives more of a feeling of continuity and building of momentum – although eventually a calculator may be required 🙂 Derek

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