Fighting talk, scrutiny, Spinal Tap, and the odd zombie

The themes that emerged in Week 50 included the importance of being local (heritage and networks), scrutiny, communicating in better ways, and how to do things.

Mark Braggins started the week by looking at some of the images of his county in the out-of-copyright images released by the British Library recently. He includes a few of the pictures in Images of Historic Hampshire – thanks to the British Library. It would be great to see other people blogging about images from this British Library collection on Flickr that relate to them, perhaps the area they live in or perhaps connecting with the history of their work or workplace.

Peter Olding ended the week with a post about more recent cultural heritage in his local area. I don’t want to give away the subject before you read the post, but the title gives a clue: I don’t believe it!

Karl Green considered the modern phenomenon of zombies and how to survive a zombie apocalypse in A Zombie Story. I begin to stock up on tinned food even as you read – just in case, you understand.

The Art of War by Sun Tzu inspired Ross Wigham’s post on the art of public relations in his Week 50 post The art of communications: fighting talk. Do read it – it’s relevant to any work, including voluntary. I’m particularly keen on points 4, 6 and 7. I have been shouted at more than once for refusing to be rushed into a hasty, ill-considered answer.

Howard Walker became a first-time contributor when he decided to respond to Ross’s post with taking inspiration from the Spinal Tap manager, Ian Faith, in 6 life lessons from a man of Faith. I enjoyed this. There is always room for rock and roll in Weekly Blog Club.

Reading Twitter, there are times when I think some people working in commercial PR and communications might benefit from reading John Cane’s Reading Comprehension. He gives a really interesting breakdown of how he gets students to understand what they are reading, and many adults would benefit from it. I still hesitate to use some words in speech because I have never or rarely heard anyone say them and remain uncertain about pronunciation.

Of course, there are far greater challenges facing those caring for older adult patients, including patients with dementia. Lynn McLaughlin is a Senior Charge Nurse and wrote about Turning a negative into a positive on the Ayrshirehealth blog. I look forward to reading more about Lynn’s work and what she and her colleagues do to improve standards of care further, especially in helping those with dementia and the people who look after them.

On the dghealth (Dumfries and Galloway Health) blog this week, Professor Craig White wrote about Ten Things I Have Learned About Governance. Do read this. It might sound like a dry subject but it is concisely written, very readable, and applies to most work, not just health care.

Governance and scrutiny are key to good public services, and we had contributions from Wales and Ireland via Wales on scrutiny this week. Mandy at Participation Cymru considered how they can make scrutiny “sexy,” and how they can involve the public in being “scrutineers” in Scrutiny! scrutiny! scrutiny!. Shane Carton of the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (the Irish National Audit Office) visited Wales to attend the Scrutiny in the Spotlight seminar and to learn about what the Welsh public sector does. I was interested to read that a highlight for him was a presentation on inquiry into the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. Shane shared what he had learned from the day in Celtic Scrutiny – lessons shared across the Irish Sea on the  @GoodPracticeWAO blog, and made an interesting comment on how the seminar was bilingual.

Diane Sims was looking at communicating at a more local level in her post for Week 50: Local, Social, Networks. Have you thought about how you connect in your neighbourhood and how your neighbourhood connects with your local council? I will be re-reading and thinking about Diane’s post in the next few weeks as I look for inspiration on how communities can build networks that are inclusive (I’m currently the comms lead in a community group). Tell us about how your local social networks work – or how you think they could work better.

Finally for Week 50, we have Louise Atkinson’s Practice as research Week 56: Visiting the Do It 2013 exhibition post. The Do It 2013 exhibition was based on a concept first introduced by Hans Obrist Ulrich. I could argue that most art is about what the viewer brings to it as much, (sometimes more) than about what meaning the artist puts into it; and that the Do It 2013 type of participatory art is a more overt form of ‘audience’ and ‘artist’ interacting to form the pieces of art. The artist provides written instructions that can be interpreted in different ways. This is an alternative approach to the way in which artists in residence work, often giving form to the ideas that the local people have. Which produces the better art? Which would you prefer to do?

If you are thinking of blogging, Just Do It. We don’t provide instructions on how to blog (well, there is some advice, actually) but we do provide some support and encouragement, including a bit of help on how to set up a blog, if really necessary. However, we definitely provide guidelines on how to contribute to Weekly Blog Club on Our About page.

Thank you very much for contributing posts, and for tweeting, Liking, favouriting, and commenting on posts. It really does encourage people to write if you indicate that you enjoyed their posts.

I am still thinking about how we take things forward in 2014 – see my Week 42 summary Say hello, hug, say goodbye? and also Um… half our space is used up… – several people have commented and put forward ideas and we’re still interested in hearing from other members.


Janet E Davis

Summary of Week 50 posts

Images of Historic Hampshire – thanks to the British Library by Mark Braggins.

A Zombie Story by Karl S Green.

The art of communications: fighting talk by Ross Wigham.

Reading Comprehension by  John Cane.

Turning a negative into a positive by Lynn McLaughlin on the Ayrshirehealth blog.

Scrutiny! scrutiny! scrutiny! by Participation Cymru.

Celtic Scrutiny – lessons shared across the Irish Sea by Shane Carton on the  @GoodPracticeWAO blog.

Local, Social, Networks by Diane Sims.

6 life lessons from a man of Faith by Howard Walker.

Practice as research Week 56: Visiting the Do It 2013 exhibition by Louise Atkinson.

Ten Things I Have Learned About Governance by Craig White on the dghealth (Dumfries and Galloway Health) blog.

I don’t believe it! by Peter Olding.

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, charitable trusts, communicating, communities, democracy, digital technology, fine art, galleries, health, health services, ideas/innovation, leadership, learning, local government, medical practice, national government, patient care, public relations, public sector, public spaces, schools, setting goals, social media, society, teaching, training, working practices
3 comments on “Fighting talk, scrutiny, Spinal Tap, and the odd zombie
  1. Thank you for sharing our posts through Weekly Blog Club in 2013 – it’s been massively appreciated. Look forward to helping out in 2014! Blwyddyn Newydd Dda / Happy New Year!

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