Highlights, hopes, growing places & 2013 in review

This is the #WeeklyBlogClub Week 52 summary. That means that we’ve been going for two whole years – which is not bad since I thought that the blog would trail off and end by March 2012. We have had over 200 contributors so far. That’s a lot more than I had expected in January 2012.

Well done to all who contributed to Weekly Blog Club in 2013, and especially to those who took on the challenge of looking after it. I think (I may have missed 1 or 2), Dyfrig Williams hosted twice; Louise Brown managed to fit in 5 weeks; and Kate Bentham generously looked after it for 13 weeks. I was very grateful for this help, especially during the weeks when I had major computer breakdowns (resulting eventually in losing quite a lot of files, having to replace the hard drive and reinstalling all the software, apart from the software that was too outdated). I have also enjoyed seeing Weekly Blog Club take on a different character as other people assumed the mantle. It enriches it so much.

We passed our 1,000th blog post recently. The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys (WordPress calls them “monkeys”) prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog. The fireworks animation (you should see it if you click through to the full report) shows our daily stats as fireworks (visitors, I think).

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,900 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

I was interested to see that our visitors came from 81 different countries. That’s not bad for a little blog that started out with a focus on UK public and third sector bloggers. I’m delighted that we have regular contributions from Scotland and Wales, and at times from Northern Ireland, as well as from England – and that our English contributors are spread throughout England, not just clustered in London.

But back to the Week 52 posts…

Richard Overy contributed a lovely vintage photograph of a father and child: At last. Look at the baby’s expression – and what he is looking at that suggests a strong odour.

Families were important elements in more than one of the last posts of the blogging year. Kate Bentham’s life includes families in her professional life (working in a local authority) as well as personal life. In Nurture1314 Highlights, she also writes about the voluntary work she does. I felt honoured but unworthy of a mention amongst all the other people Kate had met and worked with over the year. I really hope that you also read her companion post: #Nurture1314 Hopes. What are your hopes for 2014?

Phil Jewitt focused on his family during the Christmas holiday and looked ahead to 2014 in his post: 2014 – has to be more than an interest. Like Kate, he will be facing interesting challenges at work (also in a local authority), including a move to a smaller office with less desks than staff, and working with councillors to raise awareness of the potential of social media.

Growing Newsome and Stirley Farm 2013 – a year in pictures by Diane Sims is a lovely record of community involvement in growing local relationships as well as plants. The photos include some of the bad spring and the results of stormy weather later in the year.

Professor Fiona McQueen was looking at how people in the National Health Service must go forward positively in It may be stormy on the Ayrshirehealth blog. She provided some perspective on the current healthcare issues, with some examples of how bad healthcare issues could be in the past and how good leadership had improved things, as well as looking at the need for a more collaborative approach.

My post, despite its title The artery of influence, was not about anatomy but about the lifeblood of art influences, prompted by a tweet about the Slade Archive which has about a century of pictures of that school of art’s staff and students. The communities to which we belong or have belonged are not always evident but leave their traces in our present.

Finally, Karl Green was another one Looking Forward – 2014. He has a lot more writing planned!

If you want support in blogging more regularly during 2014, do join us in Weekly Blog Club. Our About page tells you everything you probably need to know about contributing a post.

It would be great if a few more people could help out with looking after Weekly Blog Club this year*, so I propose experimenting for at least the first few months of the year with reducing the essentials to:

  • producing a list of the week’s posts;
  • adding any new contributors to the contributors list;
  • putting the weekly posts summary list in a post (with categories and tags) to be published usually by the Sunday after the week’s end (noon on Thursdays, with Squidgy Deadlines at the discretion of whoever is looking after Weekly Blog Club up till Friday lunchtimes);
  • tweeting about the approaching deadline and about the summary

and beyond that, it is up to the week’s curator to produce the summary as they wish, and to do individual post summaries if they wish. We have had a couple of audio summaries this year, and a summary via Pinterest. Other approaches might include a Wordle or other graphic representation, or maybe a video. Just bear in mind the need to be sensitive to the appropriateness for the content of the week’s posts since contributions regularly include serious issues.

Thank you for all your contributions, Likes, follows, mentions and retweets on Twitter, links from your blogs and on LinkedIn. I have read most of the posts this year. There have been times when it has been quite difficult simply because the content has been so moving. Other times it has just been pure sheer pleasure. I have learned a lot from reading posts that I wouldn’t have read if they hadn’t been Weekly Blog Club contributions.

You have all been amazing during 2013. Thank you for all the support and nice things you have said. And a big thank you to Sarah Lay and Dan Slee without whom Weekly Blog Club wouldn’t have started back in January 2012.

I hope we manage to keep going through 2014.


Janet E Davis.

* see the Week 42 summary Say hello, hug, say goodbye? and also Um… half our space is used up… for previous discussion of the issues on whether and how to take Weekly Blog Club forward in 2014.

Summary of Week 52 posts

The artery of influence by Janet E Davis.

Nurture1314 Highlights by Kate Bentham.

At last by Richard Overy.

Looking Forward – 2014 by Karl S Green.

#Nurture1314 Hopes by Kate Bentham.

It may be stormy by Fiona McQueen on the Ayrshirehealth blog.

2014 – has to be more than an interest by Phil Jewitt.

Growing Newsome and Stirley Farm 2013 – a year in pictures by Diane Sims.

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, blogging, childcare, communicating, communities, education, family, fine art, health, health services, leadership, learning, literature, local government, management, photography, public sector, setting goals, social media, society, storm, Third sector, training, working practices, workplace

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