I'm astonished to note that it's one day short of a month since I last posted here. I think that might be the longest gap in posting since I started the blog over 15 years ago. Thankfully, the reasons are good: the last month has been hectically busy with work, while also working fewer days than normal, due to the way nursery run/school run day swaps with my wife have worked out.
I've been planning to start doing "Month Note" posts about what I did each month - inspired by Peter Bihr, an acquaintance through Next Conference, who does these well. Now seems like a great time sto start that, juts to get myself back on the blogging wagon. Here's what I've been up to this month:
The end of November saw me frantically busy with the closing weeks of the first term at City, University of London. It's my busiest term for teaching, and there are two major submissions to be prepared for: the Interactive MA portfolios, which the students are working on now, and the video projects for the Newspaper and Interactive MA students, which were submitted in the lst week of term. The latter was challenging, because the average quality of final submissions has been the highest I've seen yet, the students were the most worried about their own abilities. I think I'll make some changes around the delivery structure next year to assuage that, if the module continues in its current form.
(And if you fancy learning what they learned, I have a "digested" one/two day version of it — Creating Social Video — I can teach as an open course, or in-house).
The end of November marked the start of a busy period for training work. I delivered two webinars twice each on getting started with social media for business, for an international client. This was a new experience for me — I've actively avoided webinars up until now, as I prefer to be able to work with people personally in a room. Happily, the work has cured me of my reluctance, and I'm keen to do some more of that work.
It was also nice to do some social media training again. In some ways, it's the field I'm most versed in, and where I've had the most success at a university level. Many of my former students now hold senior roles in social media, including Beth Ashton, social media editor at The Telegraph, who is my co-tutor at City, while Sarah Marshall is on maternity leave. I've avoided marketing it too aggressively, as I didn't want to get too involved in competing in a crowded field. However, with the growing shift away from the social media platforms, and into more holistic community development again, it might be time for me to set our my stall once more…
(You might find my brand new Audience Engagement Strategies course a worthwhile day, if you're interested in this.)
I've also delivered:
- an analytics course for a B2B publisher, with follow-up support
- an SEO workshop for the comms team of a university
- a bespoke content strategy course for a consumer publisher planning a soft paywall
Every single one of them was great fun, and challenging in their own ways.
Another quiet month on this front - and possibly just as well, given how busy I've been. However, I'm keen to land a few more long-term consulting gigs in the New Year, if only for the satisfaction of being involved in something over a longer period. I have a couple of on-going conversations about this - but if you're interested, you know where to find me.
My beloved long-term client, Hamburg's NEXT conference, continues to tolerate my scribblings on their blog. You might enjoy:
- My predictions for 2019 in the tech world
- Some suggestions on building a sustainable company culture in the digital age
- My key take-aways from the NEXT book
Today is my last full working day of the year - but hopefully now most of the big jobs are off my desk, I can get back to some steady blogging across the Christmas period - when nobody is around to read it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I'm also planning some issues of my curated reads newsletter Commonplace Reading, if you'd care to sign up…