The End of the First Year Edition

Cakes with black icing and sprinkles. Copyright Janet E Davis 2012.

Cakes with black icing and sprinkles.

I shall start this summary at the beginning and the end of this year. Weekly Blog Club was created out of a humorous exchange between Dan Slee and Sarah Lay on Twitter. I am delighted that Sarah found time (she is a very busy person these days) to contribute our last post of the first year of Weekly Blog Club since she was brave enough to contribute the very first post in the first week: The Fear. Her post for Week 52 – Another year over… – explains how she started our year and what she has been doing since. I think that what she has started doing this year is very exciting, and I very much enjoy reading her music articles and hearing (via tweets) something of her other music work.

I have to admit that when I set up this blog to provide a space for collating posts or – if needed – providing someone without their own blog a space to write, I did not anticipate that we would reach Week 52, or that I would be curating it. Quite honestly, I had set up the blog space and the Twitter account for others to do what they wanted after I had set them up, and thought that it would peter out somewhere between Week 12 and Week 26. But here we are, lots of posts later, at the end of the year.

Thank you very much to everyone who contributed posts, and who tweeted or mentioned #WeeklyBlogClub posts in their blogs (not least Dan Slee who also, along with Darren Caveney, produces the very useful and marvellous comms2point0 site – ‘a free online resource for creative communicators in public, private, third sector and HE comms & PR’ which makes great use of commons/creative commons images).

The range of topics and themes covered has been wider than I expected at the beginning. It is a delight to see what comes in each week because the subjects can be so unexpected. Do try exploring the posts via categories or tags. The posts have ranged from the professional to personal, from very serious to humorous. Our members have been through joy and grief and at least some of that has been shared through their posts.

I was so delighted that one of our long-time regular contributors, Peter Olding, shared Best day of my life with us this week: a picture of his very recent wedding day. It was a lovely post to have in our last week of the year, and I am sure that all Weekly Blog Club members would join me in wishing Sue and Peter a very happy life together.

Another long-time regular, Louise Brown, got married earlier in the year and mentions it in her post for this week Thank you Weekly Blog Club. Thank you, Louise, for being such a great contributor and friend, and for being one of the Weekly Blog Club curators.

Another wonderful Weekly Blog Club curator is Kate Bentham who often mentions cake, and she has not disappointed in her last post of this year My Year in 12 Cakes. Helen Blunden, down in Australia, shared the Christmas cake she was eating: Ready to hook into this boiled Christmas fruit cake now! I think that this is an Australian version of Christmas pudding. Cake (sometimes spelt caek, which the spellchecker tries to correct) is one of the things that brings together our digital community, especially when members of it meet up in person. The occasional cake or biscuit recipe post would be welcome again in our Year 2.

There has been a lot of focus on families during the year, both from personal and professional viewpoints. Ben Whitehouse provided a lovely seasonal post for Week 52 about family traditions in Something for Santa. Chris Bolton wrote about a professional issue that affects most in the holidays and proposed a radical solution in New Years Resolution and some Festive Gifts. How to deal with the backlog of works email on the 2nd January…. (it maybe ought to come with a warning that doing this to your own work emails could be risky!).

Derek Barron, another great supporter of Weekly Blog Club who regularly helps by retweeting tweets about posts, used the end of the year to reflect on the first six months of the blog that he set up: Meeting expectations – Ayrshirehealth reviewed. I was a little nervous when we first started to get Ayrshire Health posts that I would not be up to the task of summarising them in plain English, since they are written by healthcare professionals mostly for other healthcare professionals. I have found them all very interesting to read, and most have given me some insight into a public service that I use regularly.

It has been fascinating to gain some knowledge of public services or to see big public events (such as the Diamond Jubilee, Olympics and Paralympics) from different viewpoints. We got to know each other better through our posts. Sharing music that we enjoy or connect with things in our lives was also fascinating in a series of posts about themed playlists earlier in the year. Some of us got to know each other a lot better through our musical choices.

My own post for the last week is a visual one about the past year: 12 months of 2012 – a set on Flickr. They are not a selection of perfect images: some are very low resolution snaps from my iPod Touch which can only produce 2 Megapixel images and probably has a scratched lens cover, and most are taken on my Canon 450D which I stretch too far in trying to capture things in low light (resulting in grainy or slightly blurred photographs). They are images that show something of what I have done, whom I have met, and where I have been.

Blogs can be pictures, charts, infographics, videos, audio files as well as words written on a page. If you feel that you lack the time to write a finely-crafted piece of prose, do consider sharing a snap from your mobile with just a caption. It can be that easy to blog. Kate Bentham has suggested the #nurture1213 – ”12 great moments from 2012 & 13 high hopes for 2013” [entirely optional!] theme for the first week of 2013 – or you could do the traditional topic of New Year resolutions, of course. More about how to join in can be found on our About page.

Thank you very much to all those who have read, Liked, commented on, followed this blog (and our members’ blogs), tweeted and retweeted our posts as well as to those who have contributed posts over the past 52 weeks. I hope that we can continue over the next year. And a huge thank you from me to all those who have taken over curating Weekly Blog Club some weeks: Kate Bentham, Mark Braggins, Louise Brown, and Phil Jewitt (I really hope that I have remembered everyone). It is a pleasure to be a curator of Weekly Blog Club but it is quite hard work. I hope that will not put off more trying it, however. Mark, Kate, Louise and Phil all seem to have enjoyed doing it, and I have thoroughly enjoyed experiencing a different ‘voice’ behind Weekly Blog Club. You can find out what is involved 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.

Louise Brown asked me a few days ago how many people had contributed posts over the year. I had no idea, although I had started a page some months ago to collate the authors’ names. So I got on with creating the list today. I was stunned at how many entries there are. It contains a couple of blogs that have multiple authors, but almost all entries are individuals. There are currently 111 entries. We look forward to welcoming more in 2013.

Happy New Year! I wish you happiness and health – and a little cake now and then, of course.


Janet E Davis.

Summary of Week 52 posts

My Year in 12 Cakes by Kate Bentham.

Thank you Weekly Blog Club by Louise Brown.

Ready to hook into this boiled Christmas fruit cake now! by Helen Blunden.

Something for Santa by Ben Whitehouse.

Best day of my life by Peter Olding.

New Years Resolution and some Festive Gifts. How to deal with the backlog of works email on the 2nd January…. by Chris Bolton.

12 months of 2012 – a set on Flickr by Janet E Davis.

Meeting expectations – Ayrshirehealth reviewed by Derek Barron on the  Ayrshire Health blog.

Another year over… by Sarah Lay.

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, Business, cake/caek, charitable trusts, childcare, communicating, communities, culture, digital technology, family, festival, food, friendship, health, national government, natural environment, Olympics, Paralympics, private sector, public sector, social media, sports, storytelling, Third sector, websites, working practices
3 comments on “The End of the First Year Edition
  1. This summary is dedicated to Dan Slee and Sarah Lay who started this; and to Kate Bentham, Mark Braggins, Louise Brown, and Phil Jewitt who have helped to keep it going (even when my computer was broken for a few weeks).

    • Dan Slee says:

      Janet, a hearty well done for this achievement. And it is an achievement that you should be richly proud of. It’s hard work keeping the ball in the air as you have done so well. Big pat on the back to Kate, Mark, Louise and Phil for helping. I know from my own experience with comms2point0 that a good web thing run over time needs more than one person.

      It’s lovely of you to dedicate it to me and Sarah for our role in the initial conversation that helped shape the rough idea. But that’s actually an idea you’ve taken, shaped, looked after and built into something far greater than anyone could have thought.

      Well done!

  2. Thanks very much, Dan. I do admire what you do with comms2point0 (and often read it!).

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