One step at a time

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There’s a trend in some of the things I’ve been working on recently. Not a huge surprise it involves information as I work in communications but I’m talking about data sharing; things like Leeds Care Record, care.data, information governance and accessible information standards.

All of these projects rely on people contributing personal information which can benefit them directly or indirectly. Some information will be shared confidentially with health and care professionals to help with their direct care and support, some will be anonymised before sharing for the greater good.

On a really basic level, some information we all might share is useful because it makes it easier to contact the right people in a way they prefer. Think of work email signatures with a phone number that helps people contact you without needing to look up your number. That’s helpful to us all, or can be really annoying if there is no number, so we are more likely to think about putting our own phone number on our email signature. Think of social media profiles with your details, interests, ambitions etc… reasons why others might find you worth engaging with or considering you for employment.

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People like us

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I really haven’t felt like saying this in a fair while, so to put it down in words obviously means something has changed. This week has been a good week. I mean really good.

Good, not so much for what’s been produced workwise or on the home front, though I’ve had my moments, but in terms of realising I’ve had a period where I’ve been saying I’m fine in the usual pleasantries, when actually it’s been a bloody hard slog and I probably haven’t been fine.

I’ve noticed things this week that made me realise I’ve got my mojo back, which is good.

So hello again, it’s been a while since I posted😉

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Respect in how we share

It wasn’t the trip we’d planned. It wasn’t the Friday night the majority of people had planned. We were fortuitously lucky; a forgotten set of keys and what might have been.

I was in Paris during the recent attacks. Whilst deeply saddened, shocked and since troubled by it; we came home. Hugged by friends and relatives and helped through this week at work by colleagues, we thank everyone for their concern. Others weren’t so lucky and our thoughts are with them and their families.

Events in Paris last Friday night circulated round the world unbelievable quickly leading to all sorts of issues. For us, it meant trying to contact family and friends to let them know we were safe without alarming them. Work colleagues were sending messages of concern too. We responded as best we could, using social media where appropriate.

Clearly, people didn’t need to be there to be affected. Events like these affect many people in many different ways.

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Waiting for the little, big stuff

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The following words are from a partly overheard conversation – “I just wish they’d get on with the little, big stuff”. I didn’t hear the response but the words struck a chord.

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Considerings from #localgovcamp 15

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In the true tradition of ‘post event considerings’, due to time restrictions, this year I’ve used some of the suggested feedback questions to tease out my thinking on Localgovcamp 2015.

Firstly a big shout out to the organisers, sponsors, attendees (especially those who came a long way to Leeds). It was a good couple of days and I hope you enjoyed your trip to my home town. I learned stuff and it was good to catch up with others who care about local government.

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Ethics of sharing

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The decision to print the image of the younger Syrian brother, who drowned whilst his family were attempting to get to Greece, became a focal point, increasing debate about the migration issue but also about use of the photo.

This isn’t a post about that photo, however I’ll watch that debate with interest as it will no doubt be compared to Nick Ut’s Napalm girl and the image of the Iraqi soldier from the Gulf war. Both images had significant potential to change public opinion if published; which they were.

This is relevant because I’d just launched a photoblog about people watching, following a recent realisation that I’ve moved from seeing where I go not so much in terms of places but more in terms of how people interact with those places.

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In the eye of the beholder

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There are many sculptures in Opatija, Croatia where I spent my summer break. Most of them portray people who have influenced its history. One however has created its own history and captured my imagination. The maiden with the seagull by sculptor Zvonko Car.

I passed it many times whilst walking along the promenade into town, often sitting and wondering who it was, why it was there and how many others had seen it. I imagined she came alive at night and sat on the benches for a rest and talked through people’s problems with them.

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