Friday, 15 March 2013

Thing 4 - Do you Blog?

Again this week we are going to look at a few questions for "being out there" 

Do you host a blog?
What do you talk about?
How do you attract followers
Blogging platforms available

I obviously host a blog, your looking at one! When I started the Anglers Rest blog it was 2002. It was the early days of blogging. What exactly did one put on a blog? and how do they differ from web pages?

Anglers Rest was formed and was, and still is a reflection of MY world - books, genealogy, holiday and anything else that takes my fancy. Since those early days I have developed other blogs, those that relate to specific projects -

I also contribute to Historical Tapestry a blog devoted to historical fiction. 

I also write several columns -
Personally, my blog(s) are MY space. It is an opportunity to share whatever is on my mind. The wonderful thing is that over the course of the time I have written my blog I have received comments and built friendships from fellow readers. 

Where can you host a blog?

The most popular are Wordpress & Blogger which is linked to Google. I prefer the latter, although have a small project (Loose Ends) on Wordpress to see how I get on.

Blogging Tips
  • Be mindful of what to include on your blog. Remember about the sensible stuff, not writing about your boss or naming your employer and then having a whinge!
    • Personal & hobbies
    • Work related
  • Comment on other similiar blogs - develop blog friendships with likeminded bloggers
  • Blog Hops
    • This is where a topic is posted about on several blogs and the link on YOUR blog shared with the host - usually via a linky. An example of this is the Progressive Book Group
  • Writing Prompts
    • There is a whole series of blogging prompts for the genealogists located at Geneabloggers
Further words

Having a blog and writing regularly  - say twice a week or so along with reading and commenting on others will gain your place in the blogosphere. On the whole, it is a friendly, helpful, supportive and informative place and one that should be enjoyed.

So do you blog? 
Are you going to change your blogging habits?
Are you going to create a blog?

Friday, 1 March 2013

Thing 3 - Discovering Online Presence & Personal Brand

Everything we look at, read, see these days has a Facebook or Twitter symbol. Social media is everywhere.

This week we have a series of questions

  • What is your on line presence?
  • Do you have an alias or do you use your own name?
  • Do you have a Twitter account?
  • Are you on Facebook?
  • Any other social media presence?
What do you share?
  • Is there a potential breach of professionalism or confidentiality?
There is almost a trade off. 

Personally I have both Twitter and Facebook accounts. Twitter reflects my various interests and Facebook tends to be for friends and family. There is relatively little reference on either medium of my day job and barely a mention on my blog.

Where there is a mention of my day job there is never a mention of patient specifics or financial, business or sensitive data. I also have signed the Official Secrets Act, so there is a whole chunk of my professional life that I can never talk about. 

Most employers have a clause in their employee handbooks with reference to social media and should those stipulations not be followed then employees are liable to be held to account - gross misconduct and in some cases reporting to a professional body.

The upside is that those social media sites can of course assist with networking and the sharing of information that is non specific. I recently shared a tip about recording CPD within my profession via Twitter. I made the comment as me, with no secrecy because it was nothing more than I would have told the person if they had been sitting next to me or on a telephone. In fact now I think of it, it was exactly what I have told various colleagues at training events.

Do you need to make any adjustments to your social media habits?

Friday, 15 February 2013

Thing 2 - Discover Yourself

How did you get on with Thing 1? Did you decide to share your discoveries? If you did leave a comment!

This week is perhaps immediately thought of as easy, but is it?

Questions - 
  • Where are you at? 
  • And are you happy where you are?

This week's questions is about self reflection. It is about awareness of yourself. 

It is all too easy to simply exist and try and believe that you are happy where you are. It may be that you are, but perhaps not.

This is the week to find out!

Friday, 1 February 2013

Thing 1 - CPD? What is it all about?

Continuing Professional Development or CPD  is really about development in whatever field you work or are involved in. It is about being current, aware of best practise and furthermore, it is about development. It is an opportunity to explore new areas of interest and look to see where you are professionally heading.

Certainly within my own profession, CPD should be linked to my area of practise, but it also encourages "getting out there" and exploring.

Therefore, my own personal CPD reflects my main area of practise and it also reflects other qualifications that I have undertaken, all linked in to my profession. By ensuring there is an element of those aspects, my CPD is current across the broad spectrum of my career.

It is worth pointing out, that CPD will be personal to YOU. It is about what you have learnt from the experience. What you learnt from reading that paper, article or document.

Courtesy of Life Long Learning 2010
An example of a CPD cycle
  • Reflection - thinking about practice in your profession
  • Planning - how and when you learn and what
  • Action - recording what is learnt, attending an event
  • Evaluation - identification of the benefit of learning
There might be specific requirements for your own profession, my own for example states that I must record 9 entries a year and 3 of those must start at reflection. Essentially all CPD cycles follow the same structure. 

Question - What is your current CPD requirement?

Monday, 21 January 2013

Schedule & Structure

Over the coming weeks we shall explore an understanding of Continuing Professional Development (CPD), what is is and how we can get the best from it.

Inspired by the project 43Things, I have structured the forthcoming schedule with a Thing each fortnight.

We will kick off on Friday 1st February with each Thing published every two weeks on a Friday giving chance to catch up and allow for all that life throws at us.

If you fall behind the schedule there is no detention! you can simply catch up during the two week cycle or during the reflection weeks.

Between now and then it might be useful to decide how you are going to tackle the Things. Are you going to record your discovery and participation in a written journal or via a blog?

However you choose to participate there is no right or wrong answer. This is about YOUR development, exploring, reflection and discovery.

You can sign up HERE

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Getting Ready....

We are almost there. Over the next few days the sign up page will be added to the site inviting participants to take part.

I have written each part as a stand alone piece and they can be started at any time and revisited as you wish.

At the moment it is planned that each piece will be published on a two weekly basis, giving chance to catch up and allow for all that life throws at us.

If you fall behind the schedule there is no detention! you can simply catch up during the two week cycle or during the reflection weeks.


Saturday, 8 December 2012

Introduction

During the course of 2012 I undertook a series of Continuing Professional Development workshops for the day job.  As part of that I had endless conversations with colleagues, both professionally established and those just joining the profession who each asked

"What is good CPD", "Am I doing it right?", "what is the point" and "how can this be really used as a development tool"

So, whilst I embarked upon the 46 hour journey from where I live in the South West of England to where my family live in Australia I contemplated on whether I could answer those questions in such a way that would appeal to anyone involved in CPD, across any sectors of employment.

This is part of that project.

At the moment I am in the process of completing the written text ready for publication and the launch day will be during January 2013.

So, watch this blog, or the twitter feed for further updates of the launch.