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perception

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. Continue reading “Ethics of sharing”

Judging books by covers – #blimage

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I’ve struggled to get back into the swing of things since my summer break. Returning to work has been tough which isn’t normal for me and somewhat concerning. I respect not everyone gets a holiday and I’m lucky to have a good job. This post is partly me giving myself a good talking to, to snap out of it.

I think a lot of folk, in the public sector especially, are going through big changes and waiting for clarity following May elections which is perhaps unnerving. Others are interpreting changes and what it all means and comparing thoughts. Continue reading “Judging books by covers – #blimage”

Becoming an older person

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We often use the term ‘I feel old’ rather than ‘I am old’. Maybe there’s something telling in how we express our age. My gran always dodged the age question by responding with “I’m as old as my tongue and a little older than my teeth.” Never would she tell us her age.

In six months I will be 50. Five. Zero. That’s a notably half decent number in cricketing terms but not so much if you were playing darts. I suppose it’s a significant number, as is any birthday with the zero on the end, apparently.

When I fill forms in I know that shortly I won’t be in the 45-49 category anymore but I’ve never really felt different because I’ve reached a certain age. With everything I’m involved in at work with colleagues and at home with family and friends, I’ve really not thought about it as ‘the big Five O’. Until today that is. Continue reading “Becoming an older person”

Will digital love tear us apart?

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‘Love will tear us apart’ is the title of a classic song by Joy Division. Apparently, the last song ever performed by Joy Division was called ‘Digital’. It was the final song of the last gig recorded on 2 May 1980 in Birmingham.

Sort of ironic that I spent Saturday 21 June 2014 in the same city debating most things local government and seemingly sharing the love of digital.

I attended #localgovcamp; an unconference. These are different to traditional conferences in that whilst there’s an overall theme, you don’t have a pre-set programme of speakers or sessions and you certainly don’t get preached at for the whole time.

The day is split into sessions and attendees pitch for what sessions they want to run or topics they might want to find out more about, if they are prepared to lead a session. That’s an important distinction. If it was all the former then it might be more a conference, without attendee input. The important point being if it isn’t the session you thought it was going to be, and your input can’t make a difference; then you can freely up sticks and go find another session that might be more up your street. Continue reading “Will digital love tear us apart?”

#commshero – sometimes ‘different’ is where we need to go

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For this post, you need to know I’m a proud Yorkshireman. Apparently there’s a perception we are minded to tell it how we see it. I’m also an honest comms chap and don’t spin things either, ever.

The foundations of my music tastes were laid down in the 1980’s. ‘Club Tropicana’ and ‘Wake me up before you go go’ do not feature in my top 100,000 fave choons or will ever. So if you’d said to me back then, that 30 years later I’d walk down Deansgate in Manchester carrying a red canvas bag with ‘Wham’ splashed all over it, I’d have probably laughed myself silly.
Continue reading “#commshero – sometimes ‘different’ is where we need to go”

Tonight Matthew, I’m going to be….

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The title of this post is taken from a TV series that ran for nearly 20 years. Called Stars In Their Eyes, it involved members of the public, sometimes celebrities, impersonating famous people from the music industry. At the beginning of each impersonation you got to see the person going about their own life and giving clues about who they were going to be. Just before their transformation into the pop star, they would introduce themselves by saying the words, “Tonight Matthew, I’m going to be [insert pop star’s name].”

I’ve no desires to be a pop star or impersonate others but this week has been helpful in better understanding the need to define the difference between me as Phil from Moortown and as Phil from the council.

Continue reading “Tonight Matthew, I’m going to be….”

Having a say, it’s our culture

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Things get messy sometimes but mostly, when the dust has settled, some good comes out of it.

I’m writing this as ‘Phil from Moortown, Leeds’ rather than ‘Phil from the council’, although sometimes I can see it’s difficult to tell. More on that here. Does that matter? On this occasion; yes – big time.

On Friday night, my football team – Leeds United, got itself in a huge mess. The story is still unfolding but in summary the club announced it had sacked the manager and then yesterday announced it hadn’t. Who knows what will happen tomorrow. Messy, very messy and a bit embarrassing for the club, the fans and the city. It made me feel embarrassed to come from Leeds. Stupid I know, but true. I care about my club and my city. It’s times like these that you find out how much. Twitter and various other forums lit up with unanimous condemnation of what had happened. Some immediately disassociated themselves with the club, something they had loved for years. They will probably return. Continue reading “Having a say, it’s our culture”

Ambition for better

IMG_20120906_223430Online, as with offline, to get people to really hear your voice and message, you need to be effective in both word and deed. Just being nice or popular doesn’t mean you are going to be effective or influential or make people take notice of what you have to say. To really make things happen you need to have the respect of and respect for others and be trusted to conduct your self in an appropriate manner, even when debate is fierce.

Continue reading “Ambition for better”

Questioning Y

Budgets in the public sector have been hit hard so you have to be really creative (and be supported!) to both keep your professional development on track and also be increasingly innovative in doing things that make people think and behave differently. So on Tuesday I went to Birmingham to #commscamp13  Background here. Continue reading “Questioning Y”

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