Monthly Archives: May 2014

Blog academy

I’m running a day long workshop in London on the topic of blogging – might you be interested?

Here’s the skinny:

Join Dave Briggs for a day’s practical, hands-on workshop learning how to be a better blogger!

There are only 10 places available for this workshop, so sign up quickly!

It’s suitable for anyone who wants to start blogging, or who wants to improve their blogging to enable them to meet their goals. Equally, those who want to encourage blogging within their organisations will find this workshop helpful.

The day will cover:

  • Why blogging is a good idea and how it can be used
  • Choosing a platform
  • Setting up a new blog
  • How to write engaging content
  • Ideas for different types of blog posts
  • Using different types of media
  • Practice writing and publishing posts, with constructive critique
  • Post event support by email for those that need it

The event will take place in central London at a venue to be confirmed. Lunch and refreshments will be provided, as will laptops to enable practical work to be undertaken.

Interested? Sign up on Eventbrite. Register before the middle of June and you get a discount!

cloudHQ – fantastic cloud syncing tool

I’ve just found a tool that is making some of my biggest Google woes go away!

It’s called cloudHQ, and it’s really cool. You give it access to your cloud storage accounts – such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, Evernote and so on; and it enables you to transfer files between them – whether on a one-off basis or as a continuous synchronisation.

You can also add details of more than one account for the same service, which is dead handy.

There is a free trial, and if all you are doing are one-off transfers you might get away with just using that. I’ve signed up for a Pro account which gives me unlimited data transfers, so I can leave it whirring away in the background.

Here is what I am using it for at the moment:

  1. Transferring all the files in my old Google Drive account into my new one (this was one of my biggest headaches!)
  2. Copying all the photos I have in Dropbox into Google Drive (which I can then make accessible in Google+ and on the photo gallery app on my phone)
  3. Copying all the notes I have in Evernote into a folder on Google Drive as a backup

Here’s a video explaining it better than I can.

Hurrah for cloudHQ!

Podcast episode 2 – Carl Haggerty

Here’s the second episode of the podcast, where I chat with Carl Haggerty who does digital at Devon County Council, chairs LocalGovDigital and is a keen promoter of reflective practice at unconferences. Here’s a link to Carl’s blog.


Here’s a link to download the original mp3 file if you would like to do that.

If you would like to subscribe to the podcast in your favourite podcasting app, the feed is http://davebriggs.libsyn.com/rss or you can find the podcast on iTunes.

Show notes and related links (in a slightly jumbled order):

Google account hell

I’m currently on a big mission to sort my online life out.

I’m simplifying as much as I can. Shutting down sites, consolidating email accounts, deleting old social media guff I never use.

One thing I have been putting off is the Great Google Nightmare.

Here’s the thing: I’ve been using Gmail since it launched as an invite only service a decade ago. My email address, briggs.dave@gmail.com has been a trusty ally over that time. It’s never let me down. I, on the other hand, have strayed.

I didn’t stray far, to be fair. Instead, when I decided I needed an email address for my work, using my own domain name, I chose Google’s service. This is all fine and dandy, except that with Google’s email service comes a Google account. Just like my trusty Gmail account. Only different. I now have two.

I want to get rid of the Google email on my kindofdigital.com domain. Sorting out the email is the easy bit, set up a forward here, some filters and labels there, and I’m done.

But what about all the documents in the dave@kindofdigital.com Google account? The Google+ profile registered to dave@kindofdigital.com? All the apps and services I use that are tied to dave@kindofdigital.com? Apps I have purchased through the Play store with dave@kindofdigital.com?

Even my browser set up is tied to dave@kindofdigital.com and I am struggling to see how I can easily transfer this to my vanilla Gmail account.

I’m sure I will get this all sorted over time, with a bit of irritation and some foot stamping, no doubt. But here’s the moral:

Always use a vanilla Gmail account as your main Google identity. Don’t be tempted to use anything else.

Seriously. Save yourself a load of hassle.

Blogging about WordPress for DXW

I’m pleased to be working with my friends from DXW, writing for their blog on the topic of WordPress, with a particularly slant on using it in the public sector.

I’ll be covering stuff from the basics right the way up to more sophisticated uses, advising on plugins, security, hosting, some of WordPress’ lesser known features and more.

If you’ve any topics you would like to see covered, let me know!

Dave Coplin’s got a new book out…

…and you really ought to read it.

Dave‘s last book, Business Reimagined, was a cracker. Full of insight, humour and delightfully short. I wrote a bit about it over on WorkSmart.

His new one is called The Rise of the Humans and sounds great. From Dave’s write up:

Essentially, this book continues the conversation we started in Business Reimagined and is my call to action, for both individuals and organisations to become more familiar with the opportunity that the digital deluge places at their feet every single day. As we begin to understand it more, this opportunity will change what it means to be a customer, to be an employee or an employer and, as you will find out, will even change what it means to be human. We can no longer afford the luxury of either ignorance or fear of this potential. We must understand that the digital deluge is not a threat but a gift to our society, but it will be up to us to rise up to the challenge to make it work.

It is bound to be a cracking book, and is now on top of my to be read pile (which currently towers over our house).

You can get it now, in electronic format, for free. If you want a paperback, you’ll need to wait for Amazon to deliver it.

Am hoping to grab Dave soon for a podcast to talk about the book.

An internal email newsletter?

Here’s an idea for those wanting to get some engagement going within your organisation. Send some emails.

Actually, let’s be more specific. Send some really good emails.

People are inundated with email at work, and adding to the burden might sound counter-productive. How about sending an email that reduces the burden though?

Since I’ve been publishing daveslist, I’ve had some great feedback from people. Some of it has been commenting on the links I have shared, but most is just conversation, often responding to the brief introductory paragraph, which is often not particularly tech-related, but a brief note about what I’ve been up to.

It strikes me that email is great way to engage with people, when you get the tone and the content right, and it’s a lot easier for people to just hit ‘reply’ to provide a response, rather than visiting a blog post and filling in a comment form, say.

So how about you start an internal email newsletter within your organisation? Maybe do it weekly, on a Friday, and summarise the important stuff that has been going on that week that people really can’t afford to miss. You don’t even need to use a sophisticated newsletter delivery service like MailChimp – to get started just use the BCC field.

This could take the form of links to useful and relevant blog posts and news items online, or an intranet update that people may have missed.

Or, how about you use your email newsletter to curate the best and most important of all the other emails people may have received, and not quite got round to reading? In other words, saving people the bother of having to work out which are the emails they have to read.

Starting an email newsletter for your colleagues to opt-in to might be a great way to start getting your message across – why not give it a go?