This blog is one today. I started a year ago in order to consolidate some of the writing I was doing in various places around the ‘net. Suffice to say that’s happened. Or rather, I’ve ignored the other spaces and just write here instead.
My stats indicate I’m updating this space regularly enough (176 posts = twice a week) and getting a modest amount of comments (408 in total, about two per post). I have no idea what a good measure is for traffic but feedburner tells me I have about 100 subscribers to my RSS feed and 20 people subscribe via email. I was averaging about 30 unique visitors a day although lately (and especially since Sunday’s London Marathon) that’s jumped to circa 150-200 visitors a day all looking for information on this year’s Birmingham half-marathon. You’re all very welcome, do take a look around.
The top five posts that best represent what I hope this blog is about are below:
My Long Lost Family
On finding a whole new branch of my family. A podcast I made that I still struggle to listen to this without welling up. Some great Irish accents here.
Social Media’s Hidden Legacy
On Birmingham’s social media scene and what it says about the city.
Getting Birmingham Businesses Online
On what I do for work and how I’m trying to think it through.
Allotment Year One
On the stuff we grow in our allotment patch
Tour of Bournville
A series of posts on running with my clubmates at Bournville Harriers.
Thanks for all your contributions over the past year – Birmingham is a good place to be blogging in and about; a really strong sense of community. Hope you’ll stick with it as I enter year two.
(pic monroe’s dragonfly)
View Lunchtime run in a larger map
As I continue to plod my way through Edinburgh Marathon training I’ve taken to doing a bit of running at lunchtimes (now that I at last work somewhere with shower facilities). I thought it worth sharing the route with you as it’s a fantastic, popular, traffic-free run with a few interesting sights along the way.
The start could be from anywhere in the city centre or Jewellery Quarter but, as the map indicates, I start from the B1 building opposite Spring Hill library. I enter the canal near Summer Row and then proceed towards the National Indoor Arena. You could cross here and continue down the Birmingham and Worcester canal but better by far to head up the Birmingham Mainline canal, the M6 motorway of the West Midlands canal system.
I say that because it’s dead straight, very wide and with a towpath on both sides. And it’s full of lunchtime runners. Most just go up and down but I do a loop round the Soho loop. This runs at the back of the prison and then comes out again on the Mainline canal where you can head straight back to base. The straightness of the canal really lends itself to some short sprinting if you’re so inclined. There are several bridges so it’s worth trying to push hard between them and then recover to the next, repeating until you run out of bridges.
In total the run is just over 5 miles. It would make a pleasant enough walk as well. If anyone fancies coming along with me one lunchtime just ask.
On Saturday I presented my experience of being part of the Act on CO2 People Power campaign to a group of web development types who meet under the Multipack banner. The group have been meeting for about three years I think but recently have combined their informal meetings with a ‘Multipack Presents’ element. This month’s was called Going Green and I volunteered to talk about my experiences using a smart electricity meter and about what it felt like to be part of a PR campaign.
It was a fun hour with a nice bunch of people. They have beer and food! It was hosted at the rather nice studios of One Black Bear in Fazeley Studios.
My slides are below but if you need to hear what I was blabbing on about there’s a video also (bit dark though).