Sunday 10 October 2010

Take a deep breath

I am writing this on the train as I travel home from London. See, even I haven't lost the novelty of being able to type that sentence.

I spent Friday and Saturday in the company of bright young things (well all ages actually, but their demeanour demands they are referred to as bright young things) as part of City Camp Ldn convened by the rather lovely people of Futuregov. I would like to make it absolutely clear at this juncture that I really do think the Futuregov crowd are stars - frustration may have been in my tweets from the event over the last two days but the frustration has never been with the organisers.

Someone also commented that they hoped I was being paid to attend the event. I wasn't. He was referring to my rather public confusion at some aspects of the event. I feel it necessary to explain something to those who are new to this blog and me. There is no bullshit here. No facades and no fakery. I am an honest person, I wear my heart on my sleeve and at 33 years of age this is unlikely to change. It allows me to connect with people on rather fabulous levels, it allows me to know who is shiny and who is not. The very public wrestling with the world that I do on Twitter is intentionally there and it's there for a reason.

I am not alone in the way I feel. I know this from speaking to other people. Therefore if I vocalise the things I am struggling with, it means others who are less comfortable with being quite so open don't need to. Also, hopefully, somewhere out there is someone reading this blog and my tweets who can see the things I struggle with and also the things which fire my imagination and who is wondering if they could stick their head above the parapet too. In transparency, maybe there comes an encouragement, to try, to dip a toe in the water?

I don't know. I do know I unsettle some people. But I also know that if I don't ask questions, don't persist, don't be relentless in this, then I will just give up everyone and everything as a bad job and I don't want to do that. I don't for a second believe I can change the world. I just want to. There's a difference. I'm not arrogant or egotistical, not deluded or deceptive. I know what I know, I am honest about what I don't, and I expect people to be civil if they can't manage friendly.

Having got all that out of the way, which feels negative even though it shouldn't be, I think I'll start a separate post on the weekend. I suspect it's going to turn out to be a bit of an epic, for ewhich I apologise.


  1. Don't apologise! Looking forward to reading something that isn't full of BS. Tell it like it is. Maybe you can't change the world but your words will motivate those who can, so indirectly you will have done...
    ... you just won't get the credit.
    But we don't need credit do we, we just keep on trying to make sense of it all and get the shiny people to do useful stuff?
    I personally think we are the shiniest. Glad you aren't gonna hide your light under a bushel. Never stop trying, we need you to keep at it.
    Safe trip home, its sunny upt'north today.

  2. Nope, no credit needed. At all. The people who are important to me know what I am capable of on a professional level and in some cases a personal level and that's what matters to me. That those who I respect and admire can occasionally read my words and know they've inspired me, but also that my words, ideas and thoughts can inspire others.

    Bless you. You are amazingly kind and I am blushing.

  3. Dear Louise,

    Sorry I did not get to say hello at City Camp London. I often cite Blackburn with Darwen as a good example of a local authority actively encouraging staff to engage with, and communicate through, social media.

    For me one of the biggest challenges is the many local authorities who still do not allow their staff to access the internet.

    Looking forward to your posts.


  4. Hi Shirley,
    One of the things which became glaringly evident this weekend was a complete unawareness of things like GovConnect which act as an inhibitor to us viewing all the beautiful websites the bright young things keep building. If you can't view a website because it uses Flash, what on earth hope have we?

    Thank you for your kind words. It's appreciated.