The Week 42 posts made me think again about Weekly Blog Club, as people move on and things quieten down.
Joseph Conaghan wrote a thought-provoking post Is Ambulance Reality TV …Insight or Voyeuristic? I can see an argument for producing such television programmes to educate people on what the emergency services do and what real emergencies are, but I avoid all these programmes because they feel voyeuristic to me. And if anyone asks, I definitely would not want to appear as a patient in any of those programmes!
Peter Olding is looking for some help from Weekly Blog Club members. He would like you to take pictures of historic churches, add a bit of information about their names and where they are, and send it to him for adding to a website he’s creating to share the pictures and information with everybody. If you’re going for walks in the countryside this week during the half-term holiday, it would be an ideal opportunity. Find out more about what Peter is doing in Update on my Historic Churches Website.
Karl Green went further back, way before history, and tackled the small issue of The Complete History and Future of the Universe (in 1,635 words) in Week 42. He considered stars, planets, black holes, what came before the Big Bang, the possibility of other universes and more besides. I remember my maths teacher explaining to me the mathematical concept of dimensions beyond the four-dimensional (length, breadth, depth, time), and that alternative universes or realities were mathematically possible. Maybe the next Doctor Who story will help us to understand…
Say hello and smile at people! Samuel-James Wilson advised this in his post about finding a job: Smile, it might just work. It depends on your type of work whether social media is more or less useful when looking for a job.* Even if your work focuses on social media, it certainly is a good idea to try to get out and meet people at events where digital media people will be, and to smile warmly at them.
On the dghealth (Dumfries and Galloway Health) blog this week, Ros Gray advocated Getting to know you, getting to know all about you… at work, starting with a smile, saying hello and introducing yourself. She pointed out just how much time you spend with colleagues and other people you meet at work, and what a difference it can make to be people-focused. Seeing people clearly and without prejudice is the best start to understanding their needs. Joanne Payne in Let’s get back to our roots…. on the Ayrshirehealth blog wrote about being involved with establishing a new Occupational Health service in Ayrshire and Arran that focuses on what the patient needs rather than preconceptions of what help they should want.
When did you last give or receive a hug? I can’t remember, but it was months ago. I rather miss visiting London where there is more of a custom of hugging people in a work as well as social context. The funny thing is when I see people from The South whom I’ve met at London events and I’m suddenly unsure whether hugging would seem too forward in the less touchy-feely North. Georgia Parker reminds us of the good things about hugging in Hugs have health benefits.
Mark Wood described his role in a very different physical activity in Change of tempo – literally. He has been photographing the BUPA Birmingham Half Marathon. I found it fascinating to read about a commercial photographer’s work at such an event. I hadn’t realised that they had to arrive so early at such things or had so little artistic control over the pictures they take.
My own modest photographic contribution was Ouseburn viaduct scaffolding, a photograph from last year when conservation work was undertaken on an early 19th century viaduct that carries the East Coast Mainline across the Ouseburn Valley in Newcastle upon Tyne. I had thought about adding Ouseburn walk October 2013, a set of snaps on Flickr but ran out of time to add words to them so they’re not officially a contribution.
Ouseburn is where I’m involved with developing online resources and communication for a community group. I’m looking for tips and pointers as to how we can do this effectively so I was particularly interested two posts from Wales relating to accessibility and building online communities. Sarah Ball wrote on the Participation Cymru blog about October regional participation networks: Accessible information and technology, with lots of useful links and details about what they did in the workshop. I really liked their very practical approach to accessibility. What is the point of communicating in a way people can’t understand? Chris Bolton wrote about the development of online communities for Good Practice Exchange at the Wales Audit Office in The Rule of 1%. Why it matters to your online community. I was interested in how low the percentage of active members of online communities is, and the example of the thriving one and the secret to it.
I think that the engagement with Weekly Blog Club has lessened over the past few months. There seems to be less interaction on Twitter and less response to the weekly summaries. I have asked before whether you want to end it. I’m wondering again if we should end the blog at the end of this year? Is it time to say goodbye at the end of 2 years? Although I would miss the community we have developed, I wonder whether too many people are too busy doing other things now to be actively involved regularly.
Another option that I have considered before is possibly finding some sponsorship, turning this blog into more of a magazine, get a WeeklyBlogClub domain, inviting people to contribute directly or give permission for their posts to be re-blogged in the WeeklyBlogClub magazine, possibly with a summary going out as a newsletter with pictures. I had hesitated about such an option because it would be a very different way of doing things. There was also indication that the forthcoming press charter would affect all online magazines which would make it necessary to have insurance, I think, and add a lot of complications.
I will leave those ideas with you to think about, discuss if you wish, put forward alternative ideas.
Thank you very much to everyone who contributed this week. If you want to contribute to Week 43, our About page tells you everything you probably need to know. If you would like to help look after Weekly Blog Club, there’s the Admin info page to tell you about what’s involved. If you want inspiration, how about storms, or Lou Reed, or half-term holidays as [entirely optional] themes for this week?
Hope you and yours survive the storms safely!
*(Incidentally, I’m still looking for paid work, should anyone be wondering…)