Smoke, journalism, knickers and a mermaid

This was a week in which many saw unusually deep snow for the UK in March, with some being snowed-in and left without power. Despite suggesting that people could use their time spent tucked up indoors in the warmth to blog, we had a slightly smaller number of posts this week. This was probably due to people still catching up after a busy period for conferences and unconferences.

I was delighted to see that we had a few unconference posts this week. Simon Hope did indeed provide what his title promised in Food for Thought – CommsCamp13. UK GovCamp 2013 was covered by Louise Kidney in UK Gov camp 2013 (I definitely would have gone to her session had I been there); and by Mark Braggins in HOW TO GET AHEAD IN GOVCAMPING. Mark included a video in which you can see him, Louise, and various other people whose Twitter names could be familiar to you, including Catherine Howe (@curiousc) who has contributed a post to Weekly Blog Club this year.

We also had a couple of conference posts. Lorna Prescott contributed Feeling safe to learn and share, in which she considered the issue of people in the public sector being able to feel that it is safe to share their work experience, including under the Chatham House Rule, and whether the Rule needs updating in the digital age. Eddie Coates-Madden wrote about what he said at Journalism Day, a conference full of journalists. It was provocative, it considered the digital world, and quoted both Ghandi and Dan Slee. Eddie got his photograph taken with fellow speaker, former war reporter and former MP, Martin Bell. I would like to see that image of two men with differing but equally distinctive styles.

Chris Bolton wrote about a man who did things in a distinctive style in ‘Lancashire Speaks’ (issued by Cyril Lord). Textile Workers Voices 1950’s style, a 78rpm vinyl record that he found but could not play (there is a happy ending to this record’s story).

Hannah Chia wrote about some changes to her personal style as she makes savings (in advance of her wedding this summer) in Introducing Austerity WAG & Her Wonderful Fiance. Rachel introduced me to a piece of clothing I had never imagined to be fashionable in “The Power of Orange Knickers” – which was actually about family, love, and mixtapes. Not all of you were here when we had our ‘Songs of Me’ posts last year but you might like to find them in Week 32 to Week 37 in our list of 2012 posts (they have ‘Song’ in the title). If you want to take up the ‘Songs of Me’ challenge and blog your selection, we would love to read your post/s.

There was more about love in Rachel’s other post this week – Meet me on the corner of Twitter – in which she considers romance in a digital age (and, remember, if you meet someone online, do be very careful about what information you give them and about meeting them offline).

Lindsay Narey wrote about a love of one’s home town or city this week in Home advantage    (in the wonderfully-named The High Tea Cast Blogzine), and came up with some really great suggestions of being a tourist in your home environment. Carol Woolley has done some lovely posts about her area in the past, spreading the word about places you might not think of visiting.

Good communication was at the heart of several posts this week. Tanwen Berrington, guest-blogging on the Participation Cymru site wrote about the challenge for people in public sector services of Channel Shift: Making the best use of your citizen communication channels. Graham Budd (lovely to see Graham contributing again) and Kenny McDonald wrote a two-part post – A Training Environment for Twitter (Part 1) (Graham) and A training environment for Twitter (part 2) (Kenny). It was interesting to see such a cautious approach to using Twitter in the public service. Phil Jewitt is involved in a local authority pilot project about using social media more to communicate, and he considered events and situation where the outcome is uncertain in White smoke.

A first-time contributor to the Ayrshire Health blog (and to Weekly Blog Club), Simon Bradstreet, thought about A person centred NHS and why successful change takes time and quotes John Kotter’s ‘Eight Steps to  Successful Change’ which has “communicate the vision” in the middle of it.

Communicating about fine art was at the heart of Louise Atkinson’s post this week as she contributed a piece about some of her work in an exhibition Albert and the Dots: Reading Rooms. I was having some arty thoughts this week in I had an idea about images for a band but lacked a few things to make those thoughts more concrete. Karen Hart wrote about a very tangible piece of art – The Folkestone Mermaid – which has provoked discussion and more art (a series of interventions that reminded me of how even The Angel of the North has had such an intervention, and makes me wonder if I should write a post about interventions and statues and try to reach some pretentiously profound conclusion about communicating with citizens).

Many, many apologies for the tardiness of this summary post. My only excuse is being deep in doing community things, including thinking about an online communications strategy for an offline local community, reading up on and writing about Neighbourhood Forums and Planning, attending community meetings and an event. Before I get a fresh mug of tea and go on to finish writing up the notes from the last community meeting I attended, I had better think about an [entirely optional] theme for Week 14 (since Week 13 is almost over already)…

Week 14 [entirely optional] theme could be a public statue or sculpture in your locality; or Easter; or the Songs of Me challenge (the Songs of Me Part 1 explains the initial challenge if you did not do it last year, and The Songs of Me Part 2 has the 2nd part of the challenge).

Most of you could probably do a better job than I did of being Weekly Blog Club this week – and if you think you’d like to volunteer as a guest curator, all you need to know is here. 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. If you want to join in and contribute posts yourself, more about how to can be found on our About page. Do join in at any point during the year. If you’re nervous, tell us and we will encourage you.

Nearly time for the Week 13 summary now…


Janet E Davis

Summary of Week 12 posts

Food for Thought – CommsCamp13 by Simon Hope.

Home advantage by Lindsay Narey on The High Tea Cast Blogzine.

UK Gov camp 2013 by Louise Kidney.

Journalism Day by Eddie Coates-Madden.

Introducing Austerity WAG & Her Wonderful Fiance by Hannah Chia.

“The Power of Orange Knickers” by Rachel.

Channel Shift: Making the best use of your citizen communication channels by Tanwen Berrington on the @PartCymru blog.

A person centred NHS and why successful change takes time by Simon Bradstreet on the Ayrshire Health blog.

White smoke by Phil Jewitt.

‘Lancashire Speaks’ (issued by Cyril Lord). Textile Workers Voices 1950’s style by Chris Bolton.


Meet me on the corner of Twitter by Rachel.

Feeling safe to learn and share by Lorna Prescott.

Albert and the Dots: Reading Rooms by Louise Atkinson.

I had an idea about images for a band by Janet E Davis.

A Training Environment for Twitter (Part 1) by Graham Budd.

A training environment for Twitter (part 2) by Kenny McDonald.

The Folkestone Mermaid by Karen JK Hart.


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.

Posted in #WeeklyBlogClub summary, blogging, communicating, communities, conferences, digital technology, family, finance, fine art, health, journalism, leadership, national government, newspapers, public sector, public spaces, sculpture, snow, social media, textile industry, tourism, town and country planning, unconferences, women, working practices
One comment on “Smoke, journalism, knickers and a mermaid
  1. […] One Weekly Blog Club optional theme this week was a ‘public statue in your locality’. I am not from Tranås: I was born in London at a Catholic children’s home and moved, at six weeks, to my adoptive parents’ home in Folkestone. […]

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