Between personal and professional

exploring work life balance


social media

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 lucky; a forgotten set of keys and what might have been.

We were in Paris the weekend of the terrorist attacks. Whilst deeply saddened, shocked and since troubled by it; we came home. Hugged by friends and relatives and helped through the weeks after at work by colleagues, we thank everyone for their concern. Others weren’t so lucky. 

Continue reading “Respect in how we share”


Walking the digital corridors


A few years ago I ran a pilot project at Leeds City Council looking at ‘voice, context and digital identity’. I’d been intending to write about digital confidence once the follow up work was more developed.

I’ve also being following the work of Catherine Howe on networks and democracy. A particular post ‘Digital leadership or just leadership’ was particularly relevant to our work in Leeds. Catherine’s latest update on Social Media why bother? spurred me to write that post about digital confidence.

Continue reading “Walking the digital corridors”

Will digital love tear us apart?


‘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?”

Tonight Matthew, I’m going to be….


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….”

White smoke

Analogies help explain things that are complicated; whether we overcomplicate them in the first place; possible and in some cases probable or whether they are things or processes that just aren’t easy to explain. I suppose it’s a sort of translation for the ‘man on the street’. Continue reading “White smoke”

Joining up

Going to the pub in work time is not suggested as good practice in my organisation’s social media guidance which is fair enough.

The Shoulder of Mutton, as it once was, is now @inkwellArts. Inkwell is a project about developing creative skills, whatever an individual’s background or ability, as an integral part of the journey towards recovery from mental health issues. There is no beer cellar or drinks, other than coffee and tea etc.
Continue reading “Joining up”


In July 2012 I was pretty much incommunicado for nearly a month and, in line with the original purpose of why I started blogging to understand the expectations of my use of social media, I decided to share why and how I found it.

Continue reading “Offline”


imageSome really long days at work finishing off a project to replace a website have been the reason for not posting on here recently so I wanted to explain why I’ve been a bit of a socmed recluse lately and also reflect on good times.

It left little time for the usual social media interaction, which I have missed. It however took my mind off what I expected would be our last family holiday together and was a bit nervous about to be honest. I have two sons and the eldest will hopefully be off to university in September; the first steps in leaving the nest.

Continue reading “Contented”

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