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I set up this blog post way back in 2008 (autumn) and began by contemplating what I found as I rambled round the interwebs.  It occurred to me the other day that this had been quite a journey.  I have never been scared of IT, or nervous of the internet – I got a Computing O Level in 1979, so I know my stuff!  What I hadn’t really realised was how much control I could have on the interwebs.  So what’s happened since I set up this blog?

  • Attended a Birmingham bloggers meet (December at the Frankfurt Farmers Market)
  • Attended the Birmingham Twestival (12 February in the Arcadian)
  • Set up and hosted a B’ham City University Tweetup (January, with about 15 attendees)
  • Set up and about to host the next one (19 March, over lunch, Bar 42)
  • Was in at the concept and helped deliver #wxwm (the antidote to SwSWi, March Kings Heath)
  • defined a hashtag @tagref and @tagalus
  • had over 2,640 views on this site since November
  • Created a brand new website celebrating great Brummie Women
  • Had a couple of impromptu social media lunches in the Fighting Cocks on Moseley Farmers Market Days
  • Instigated a late night snow hunt with 6 other people in Cannon Hill Park (url available on request)
  • Crowd-sourced ideas for Modern Day Plagues and found 10
  • created a tumblr website with my dort – and lost it!
  • posted photos on twitpic
  • become an iphone addict (thanks to our uni)
  • made so many new friends, I’ve lost count

Some say the social media world in Birmingham is a clique.  Well, I have to say it’s a very easy clique to break into.  I don’t know where else a newbie like me would have been allowed to get away with quite so much.

So, one of the categories I’ve been filing blog posts under is “the ramblings of a novice interwebs adventurer“.  As we know, my newbie days were not very long ago.  But what I also know, is that if I met someone with that list I would not think them a newbie.  So I’ve decided it’s time for a new category.  I’m thinking “the further adventures of an interwebs adventurer

So what next, I do want to start embedding this into our work more.  Our website is coming along, but we need to be having conversations with our stakeholders through the internet.  Meanwhile, thanks for reading my first term report.  I look forward to stumblin’ over you in the ether sometime soon…


Andy Mabbett quite rightly pointed out that in my earlier blog post “7 things” I was supposed to name 7 more people to similarly do a blog post on 7 “thangs” about themselves.  Oops… I pass the gauntlet or indeed baton on to the following fab women:

Happy writing one and all…

Thanks to Joanna Geary for choosing me for this task.  I say thanks, the further down the list I’m getting, the less thankful I am.  7 is a hard number.  To find 7 things that are interesting enough to read and which one is content to share is something of a challenge.  So here goes:

  1. I used to hate doing the bins every week, I started a blog post as a record of just how late I did them, never before midnight.   Now I post on it, they’re done before 9 every week!
  2. I appeared in A Very Peculiar Practice as an extra (student in the freshers talk scenes).  I was clearly recognisable: when at a new job in a College of HE 2 years later I was left a message from a lecturer surprised that I’d been a student at Lowlands University.  I still own the top I wore for the filming (in 1985!)
  3. I don’t do pets.  Whenever I have, I haven’t done them well.
  4. I am a gran, to my husband’s delightful granddaughter Jasmine, who lives in Sheffield
  5. I won the Business & Professional Women‘s Young Business Woman of the year award back in the day – when I was young!
  6. I am proud to say, that I have claimed to be the first person to direct Liz Light, Artistic Director of Stage 2.  She took part in the school house play I directed way back in the late 70s (Our Town).  I imagine it was one of the worst productions she has ever been associated with.  When she was the first person to direct my dort in Spoonface Steinberg in January it was one of the best.
  7. 7 is the square root of my favourite number and that’s why it’s my favourite number.

Phew.  Didn’t think I’d make it but actually managed to finish before the @cluedo game on twitter…  night all.

lovely-stats2My reputation goes before me, my most admired stats to date were irresistible.  So I thought I’d save them here, so I can get on with Tweeting again!

The lines have closed (ok, so they haven’t, I don’t know how to!), the votes have been counted and verified, and I can now reveal the 10 Modern Day Plagues as:


Of course they might change over time, but here’s the link to the poll for you to see for yourselves!

Thank you all for your voting.  I hope you, like me, enjoyed our little bit of fun…

In an earlier post I reported on a crowd-sourced view of modern day plagues.  Such was the popularity of this question, we ended up with way more than 10, and anyone who knows their Exodus can tell you there were only 10 plagues.  So, it’s democracy time again.  This is your chance to decide on the modern day plagues.  Vote early and vote often.  Vote for as many different ones as you like (but really, voting for all of them is only for those with way too much time on your hands.)  When I’m bored – or have enough votes to declare it over, I’ll announce.

So, remember you’re voting to keep them in the plagues…

Thankyou for voting, it is appreciated.

The City Council are attempting to get feedback from the people of Birmingham on their Big City Plan.

That in itself seems quite ambitious to me.  However, the plan is really quite hard to penetrate and the feedback mechanisms do not encourage a deepening of understanding or indeed a conversation.

Well it seems some of my very impressive social web friends in Birmingham decided they could do something about this.  They created a place to talk about the Big City Plan .  And not only does this (online) place allow you to add comments to every section of the plan – which is great, it also allows you to see other people’s comments and therefore develop rather than repeat the conversation – which is also great.  But most impressive of all, these fine people have completely re-written the plan in plain English and posted it alongside the original. 

So, I hear some of you say, where do these people get the brass neck to walk all over the council’s work.  To which I say, what a fantastic privilege for Birmingham to have such active and passionate citizens that they would put so many of their own hours into such a project.

A group of volunteers from the Birmingham Bloggers’ Group has built this site and put this document into plain English, because we wanted a place to discuss the issues and options and help each other (and everyone) understand the Big City Plan.

The site was built by Jon Bounds, and he along with Nick Booth, Nicky Getgood, Julia Gilbert and Michael Grimes have written the plain English text. The help and support of a large number of the Birmingham online community was very much needed and appreciated, especially Stef Lewandowski who has blogged extensively about the Big City Plan.

I want to say an enormous THANK YOU to you all, you have my utmost admiration.  I just hope the council refrain from becoming territorial and incoporate the feedback on this site to their process…


This is a truly inspirational website.

Take one Update on Twitter and it’s just fascinating what can follow…

Following a chat with my 9 year old dort about the 10 Plagues of Egypt, I wondered how many “everyday folk” could remember them and which old testament book they came from.  So I asked.  It’s fair to say a couple of people took me at my word and attempted to list them all.  Well done to Abby Corfan for her 9/10 and to Digibrum_Si for correctly naming Exodus.  The correct list is of course easy to find on web, I got it from here.

So what of all the other contributions?   Well thanks to everyone here named who took a rather more entertaining slant on my query:

We’ve got a lovely list of 15 modern day plagues, in no particular order:

  1. A plague of telemarketers trying to flog thou discount kitchens
  2. A plague of consultations
  3. Credit running in the gutters
  4. A plague of consultants
  5. A plague of ill-conceived and largely unworkable laws which if fully implemented would erode our civil liberties
  6. A plague of barely caffeinated, freeze dried coffee tasting of decayed rodent droppings
  7. A plague of drunken yahoos rampaging through the city streets
  8. A swarm of Flips
  9. A plague of raging fuckwits
  10. And lo! He did smite them with toilet roll multipack wrappers that looked like they had rolls in them but were actually empty
  11. aplagueofpolypocketsscatteredonthefloorsoyouskidonthematnightandhurtyourself
  12. No WiFi
  13. A plague of chuggers
  14. A cake shortage
  15. A plague of spam

It’s fair to say that although I feel we are living with crises and disasters of a biblical nature, I was thinking more of tsunamis and terrotism, not cakes and polypockets.  Neverthelss I thought this was a great list, with some very amusing images created.  But, too many.  So, I might run a bit of a poll and see who fancied which plague as the one which best captures modern day plagues.

But first, maybe there are more out there.  What do you think, leave a comment and I’ll add to the list.

Thank you so much to everyone who has put up with me banging on about voting for as best UK blog in the weblog awards.  At the close of voting here was the outcome:

In order to ensure fair play and yada yada yada they now check for cheating and announce winners on Thursday morning.    I can’t begin to imagine what will happen if they take this away from us!

Well done to the highly impressive Chris Unitt, Pete Ashton and Stef Lewandowski who are responsible for all this excellence.

By ickle bro’ @podnosh aka Nick Booth very kindly acknowledged the lovely people who are supporting Create in Birmingham’s bid to win a coveted weblog award, with links to their posts which help you decide it’s a brill cause. So in keeping with his loveliness:

Thanks and a little bit of link love to:

Mail Watch


Pete Ashton (also in the race but the bloke who set up CiB)

Bob Piper


Blue Gal

Other Excuses

The Stirrer

Podnosh (!)

Nosemonkey is sacrificing their own vote. Thank you: ” vote often. To those still voting for me – thanks, you’re very sweet, but even I’m not voting for me any more.”


Indymedia Ireland

John Band

Art Stalking “I’m keen for them to win not just because I think their hearts are in the right place, but because it’s a way of saying that Birmingham has a strong creative community.”


Bostin (through a facebook group)

Spaghetti Gazetti

Joanna Geary “It has changed the way I think about my industry, about the businesses that form it and the organisations that claim to support it.”

Gavin Wray

Peter Bacon “Strength and influence are both crucial to the vitality of the arts and creative industries, and strength and influence are greatly enhanced by those who link us all together.”

Shona. (politer than sometimes) “If you don’t, I will scweam and scweam and scweam and scweam. And you wouldn’t want to be responsible for a breach of the peace now, would you?”


Sunny at Pickled Politics “You’ll be doing humanity a favour.”

Anthony Herron “It was started by Pete Ashton, who is also up for the award but who has already asked people to vote for CiB instead. Pete is renowned for his blogging and he puts a massive amount back into the community, along with Chris Unitt, who has been running CiB for the last year now. CiB is about to be taken over by Kate Spragg for the next year or so I guess. Let’s not forget the contributors and people who’ve help CiB start up – Stef Lewandowski, Danny Smith, Frankie Ward, I’m sure there have been a few more.”

If I’ve missed you off please leave a comment – if you blog vote CiB in the next few days let me know and I’ll add you to the list.

Oh, and don’t forget to vote…



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