A few changes in these parts

Since work is now WorkSmart and I am retiring Kind of Digital as a professional thing, I thought it was time to sort out my blog.

After all, kindofdigital.com was once davepress.net and before that many incarnations over the years – going back to September 2004. Nearly ten years!

Anyway, the result of this is that business blogging will take place over at WorkSmart and this blog will transition to being about me me me. Well, it will probably end up still covering government and digital like it always did – because basically that’s all I think about these days.

I’ve also rehosted the whole blog at wordpress.com – mostly just to reduce the numbers of things  I have to think about. I’ll be playing around with themes and layouts for a bit I think, til I find something I’m remotely happy with.

Enough navel-gazing… carry on!

A new (additional!) job

Just before Christmas, I received the very excellent news that I have been taken up on my offer to become a trustee of Community Lincs, a local community development charity here in Lincolnshire.

I’m delighted, because it’s going to give me a chance to do my bit supporting the great work the organisation does in supporting rural housing, community led planning, rural broadband and new schemes such as bulk oil buying.

In truth, there aren’t many areas of rural policy that Community Lincs aren’t involved in, and I see it as a real opportunity to find out more about the challenges people are facing locally, and what the solutions are and how they’re implemented. As well as that, it’s my chance to do some volunteering and getting involved in the community locally.

I’m also looking forward to helping the organisation get the most from technology, and providing services and help to community groups throughout the county make the most from digital too.

Fiona White, Chief Exec at Community Lincs is a really determined and enthusiastic and she really convinced me that the organisation is doing important work which could benefit from my input somewhere along the line. You can follow Fiona on Twitter here.

It’s my first board meeting in the afternoon this Monday (16th). Wish me luck!

What I’m doing next: launching Kind of Digital

It’s a new financial year, and that seems an appropriate time to share my plans for the future.

Following a really enjoyable couple of years at Learning Pool, we’re going to reshape my role as Community Evangelist to enable me to focus on some other stuff.

In particular, I’m launching a new business.

Kind of Digital is that business, where I’ll be putting into practice everything I have been writing about here for the last few years. In other words, answering the question “how can we use the internet to make government more interesting?”

Services

How will I be doing that? Through a mixture of training, strategic advice and development work.

The training I see as a real priority at the moment. In many ways the arguments for more engaging use of the web by public service organisations are accepted by most – but the skills to get the strategy right, and to deliver it effectively, are all too rare.

I’ve got a range of training programmes designed which include face to face training and online support – and if you’re interested for your organisation, whether for staff or politicians, please do get in touch.

On the strategy side, if you need help putting together your organisation’s approach to digital engagement or just need some ideas for a campaign, I’d love to help out.

Developing new tools and engaging sites is another area of work I’m keen to get stuck into – with work already started on a couple of interesting projects that I’ll be able to discuss shortly.

Projects

It’s not just client based work though, I’m also looking to get involved in delivering some cool projects, exploring innovation in public service delivery. Again, conversations are underway on a couple of things and I’ll talk more about those soon.

If you have anything in mind though, it would be great to collaborate!

It’s not just Dave

Last time I worked for myself, I was pretty much a freelancer – it was just me. This time though, inspired by the time I spent hanging out with Mary and Paul at Learning Pool, I’m wanting to build a scalable, sustainable business.

As we’re just starting out, I’m going to be doing a lot of the doing to begin with, but I’m hoping to add people to the team to deliver projects in the future. If you’re interested, particularly if you can work on an associate basis, do get in touch.

I’m delighted that I’m being joined at Kind of Digital by Catherine – otherwise known as @davebriggswife. To say that she is the brains of the operation whilst I am the mouth is an understatement. Catherine will be helping me out with all the stuff I’m terrible at – admin, the financial stuff, project management, making sure stuff gets done. I’m incredibly relieved that she’s on board!

Kind of Digital and Learning Pool

All this doesn’t mean I’m abandoning Learning Pool, just that I’m going to be doing (even) less work there in the future. It’s not the sort of team that is easy to leave – and nor would I want to. I’m dead chuffed to still be working on various projects with LP, and I’ll always be happy to promote their products to the people I meet.

In fact, there are already a bunch of projects where KoD and LP can collaborate to provide a really great, unique service to public sector organisations to help them innovate using technology.

I also know that Mary and Paul’s considerable business brains will be a great asset to me as I build up the company – their advice will be vital if I’m to make a success of this thing.

And finally…

Obviously, given the business I’m in, there’s plenty of social media action going on with Kind of Digital. You can connect to the company by subscribing to the blogRSS or email – or by following us on Twitter or Facebook. In fact, anyone that does so with either of those channels over the next two weeks will get entered into a draw to win some awesome KoD goodies, including t-shirts, pens, laptop stickers and other tat Catherine has ordered from the internet.

Am I bribing you to follow my company on social networks? You bet I am. In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s a recession on…

Top posts in 2010

As is customary at this time of year, a list of the most popular posts I’ve published here is probably in order.

  1. Oh dear, Andrew Marr…
  2. Adventures in open source land
  3. Why chief executives should blog
  4. Where next for digital engagement?
  5. That was the ukgc10 that was
  6. Social media resources for Local Government
  7. Councillors! Here’s how not to do Twitter
  8. See, local gov *can* do Facebook
  9. Google jokes
  10. Google goes for Twitter

Not a particularly interesting list, if I’m honest. The list is by the number of hits the post got, and I suspect that skews things rather.

What is interesting is that by a mile, Twitter was the biggest source of traffic here over the year, more than six times the referrals than I got from the second largest, Google Reader.

Holiday

deckchair

I’m officially on holiday now, so don’t expect to see much here over the next 7 days. I was hoping to get some posts written up and scheduled to publish over the week I’m away, but in the end found better things to do.

We’re off to the Suffolk coast – the weather looks dreadful so I doubt we’ll be doing much sunbathing. Fingers’ crossed though that the Met Office have got it wrong!

If anything interesting happens while I’m away, be a dear and leave a link in the comments to this post so I don’t miss it. Ta!

See you on the other side…

DavePress in 2009

There have been about 60,000 visits to this blog in the last twelve months, and thanks to you all.

In December the site broke through the 1,000 subscribers barrier, which is very nice indeed. 50-odd of those subscribers choose to get updates from the site via email.

Big thanks to those that have contributed guest blog posts this year too. Hopefully there will be more in 2010 – if you fancy having a go, just drop me a line.

The most popular day was a Saturday, strangely enough, the 17th October. It looks like this was due to the myth of engaging with everyone post being stumbled.

Here’s a list of the top 10 posts on DavePress this year, with the number of views for each:

I suspect the reason for some of these posts’ success comes down to search engine traffic.