gilest.org

Brexit

Published in photo diary.

       

Office view

Published in photo diary.

       

Unreel #2

Published in radio.

Listen again. Spotify playlist.

Track list:

  • Cottonmouth, by Throwing Muses
  • Held down, by Laura Marling
  • How to build a groove pt 1, by Wilsoni Tha’ Funk Master
  • Star Roving, by Slowdive
  • Every night, by Paul McCartney
  • A pessimist is never disappointed, by Theaudience
  • It’s a trip, by The Last Poets
  • Check the rhime, by Tribe Called Quest
  • Love is the slug, by Fuzzbox
  • I don’t know where I’m going but that’s ok, by Sarya
  • Are you that retail snob, by Aspen

New mic, so sound quality is better but still sounds a bit muffled. Need to fiddle with the settings a bit; not 100% sure what I’m doing tbh.

       

I took my pink socks for a walk

Published in photography, walking.

A couple of weeks ago I had a quiet-ish sort of day, so I took my pink socks for a walk in the countryside between Hunstrete and Compton Dando, villages that lurk in the pretty valleys south of Keynsham.

The final quarter of the walk took me through Lord’s Wood and Hunstrete Plantation, a huge and completely deserted woodland valley. I got a bit lost, because the paths shown in my OS maps app did not reflect the paths in reality, but it was fine because I encountered a warning sign about mud, and that made everything better.

I did not enter. I found another way.

       

B is for barrier

Published in photo diary.

       

Tips for writing good weeknotes

Published in weeknotes, work, working in the open.

Screen with text saying "This week was [grinning face] because we managed to deliver our thing"

Weeknotes are a format for regular communication. They’re well suited to teams who want to communicate about their work to colleagues or management. They work in other circumstances, too, such as individuals communicating to the teams they’re part of, or leaders communicating to the people they lead.

Weeknotes work well as blog posts, but they can be emails instead. They can be like an email newsletter, delivered to a list of subscribers; or a simple blind-carbon-copy list in someone’s email software; or just sent from one person to another.

Weeknotes are flexible. They can be:

  • from one person to their team
  • from a leader to the people they lead
  • from teams to leaders, sponsors or stakeholders
  • from one team to other teams
  • from supplier to client
  • from an organisation to the world
  • published in the open, or kept private

There’s a difference, I think, between weeknotes and newsletters. It’s about the audience, and the intended purpose of the communication:

  • If you want to tell specific people or stakeholders what a team or a person has been up to recently, start writing weeknotes.
  • If you want to build a reputation or a brand in a specific subject area, and you don’t care much who reads your words, start a newsletter.

If you decide to write weeknotes, here are some tips for making them work.

Don’t worry too much about structure

I’ve worked with teams who fretted a lot about weeknote structure. They asked for templates, then rigidly stuck to the template every single week. Don’t do that – a rigid format gets boring very quickly, for both readers and writers.

Instead, have a bucket of content ideas and repeat them often, but don’t feel like you must use every idea, every week. One idea might be “This week’s weeknote is just five photos.” That’s fine.

Dip into the bucket and use what feels good. Don’t limit yourself to what’s in the bucket either – if some new creative idea hits you one week, go for it.

Sometimes there’s not much to say, and that’s fine

Not every week is news-packed. Sometimes there are slow weeks, or weeks where the only stuff that happens is stuff you’d rather not talk about. If there’s not much to say, you don’t have to say much. Maybe five photos will do the trick.

It doesn’t matter if you say explicitly that “it’s been one of those weeks”. And it doesn’t matter if you skip a week every now and then.

You can include jokes

People often send or publish weeknotes on Friday afternoons, when the working week (for most people) is finished. It’s safe to assume your readers are tired, looking forward to their weekends, keen to stop thinking about work. Make them smile and they’ll appreciate it (and remember you).

If you’re a leader, write your own weeknotes

Writing weeknotes shouldn’t feel like a chore that you delegate downwards. It should feel like a precious opportunity to speak to your team, or your stakeholders, or your users, whoever it is.

Write your reflections on the past week, the way you see it. The more you can write like this, the more likely it is that people will bother to actually read your weeknote.

Not all weeknotes should come from leaders, mind you:

Let team members take turns to write weeknotes

BERG were really good at this, a thousand years ago. Different members of their team wrote the weeknote each week, and each individual developed their own style. It was wonderful to see, and made me look forward to seeing each new weeknote, each week.

I think BERG pioneered the weeknote as I’m trying to describe it. Just do what BERG did, and you can’t go wrong.

If you treat weeknotes like a burden, they’ll feel like a burden

Very rarely, I’ve seen weeknotes become a cause of stress. I’ve seen team leaders worrying about their Friday weeknote from Tuesday onwards. I’ve had them contact me saying: “What am I going to say in the weeknote? Can you draft something for me?”

When this happens, it’s usually because the weeknotes have been elevated to become a governance tool, a means of ticking items off some comms-related todo list.

Weeknotes are good as part of your team’s governance, because they’re a great way of showing the thing. But if there’s so much pressure on them as a reporting tool that they become a burden on the team, something’s gone wrong.

The best way to write weeknotes is as a genuine personal reflection of the week. Allow them to be personal. Allow thoughts and feelings to creep in, alongside news. Be open, be candid, be the sort of refreshing honesty that most colleagues are yearning for. That will result in excellent weeknotes.

       

Middleman

Published in photo diary.

       

Soak

Published in photo diary.

       

Unreel #1

Published in radio.

Listen again. Spotify playlist.

Playlist:

  • New grass, by Talk Talk
  • Say something, by Kylie Minogue
  • Think about things, by Dadi Freyr
  • I’ll find my way home, by Jon & Vangelis
  • Why can’t we be lovers, by Lamont Dozier
  • Tried to tell me something, by Wesley Gonzalez
  • Hostages, by The Howl & The Hum
  • On, by Kelly Lee Owens
  • Never gonna cry again, by Eurythmics
  • What part of me, by Low
  • Lithium, by Little Roy
  • Gotta get up, by Harry Nilsson

New show! Recording from home, because virus, obvs. I know the mic levels are off; working on it. Have ordered a proper microphone, so I can get it wrong more expensively.

       

A new radio show: Unreel

Published in radio.

I’m back on the radio!

WHAT: A new weekly music show called Unreel, playing the songs you hear less often.

WHEN: 8pm, Monday 31 August 2020, and every Monday at the same time after that.

WHERE: westwiltsradio.com

WHY: I was sad at not being able to do my radio show, so decided to do something about it. I’m recording this show at home, using whatever rudimentary equipment I have to hand. I’ll buy a better microphone soon, promise.

Unreel is a different sort of show, playing a more eclectic and possibly slightly weirder mix of tunes. Expect a variety of old and new, weird and accessible, singable and bleepy.

To begin with it will be a 1 hour show, but once I’ve got settled we might expand to 2 hours. See how it goes eh?

       
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