A blog is your contribution, over time, on the internet

I love this post by Giles Turnbull about what blogs do for organisations. Giles argues that

“A blog provides something that posting on social networks has never been able to match: a searchable, linkable archive of thoughts over time. A blog is a terrific way of explaining what you’re thinking and how those thoughts change.”

I agree. My blog shows my thoughts over time. Sometimes my thoughts are “I would also like to modify the citational practices of digital government, which as an intellectual project rests almost exclusively on a canon written by white men” (December 2014, pretentious, true). Sometimes they are “I’ve been doing a bit of talking” (December 2015, less pretentious, also true).

But blogging has another purpose for me – recording my contribution. I try to write a factual summary of the work I’ve been doing every month or so. Partly, I record my work because I want people to hire me to do more work. Mostly, I do it because I want my contribution to be publicly recorded. I blog to take up space. Too many people (women) I know have had their contributions written out of the story of things they’ve worked on. Writing down what I do might not solve this, but I hope it will help.

An ‘eek I haven’t written anything for 3 months’ update

In my last monthnote I mentioned I had a new project, working at UK Trade and Investment (UKTI). Things have been busy since then, hence the radio silence.

I’ve been setting up a team to work on a new service for UK businesses that want to export, which you can read about on the UKTI digital blog. I’ve been very fortunate to hire a talented and determined team who are doing excellent work in sometimes challenging circumstances. I’ve also been working with UKTI colleagues on our internal tools, and doing regular skills-sharing sessions how you can use agile outside digital teams. It makes me very happy when people in finance teams tell me they’re doing stand ups.


(Photo by @mskatiebenjamin)

I’ve been doing a bit of talking too. I spoke about doing digital transformation in departments to government officials from Australia, New Zealand and Canada at Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Digital Government Symposium. I spoke to cool design types at UCD2015 about feminism, punk rock and public services. This was the first time I’ve talked about my work in a personal way. I loved it and other people seemed to like it too. Girls to the front!