And now the end is near
After four years of posting a blog every week come rain, shine and holidays, leading to 215 blog posts, Ayrshirehealth blog is coming to an end – it is a situation of mixed emotions and necessitates some important thank yous.
Two main groups of people need to be thanked.
We have read blogs from over 50 bloggers throughout the four years, some are multiple bloggers and some are one-off bloggers. I’d like to say a massive thank you to each and every single of one them – they’ve taken the time to write the blogs and to share their thoughts, ideas, expertise and experience.
The second group of people to thank are you, the reader (especially those that follow the blog and get a weekly email directly into their inbox) – without you joining us in the journey of sharing and co-learning the value of the blog would have been greatly diminished – you are the essential life blood of any blog.
Throughout the years many of you have posted comments on various blogs; thank you for doing so, our bloggers appreciate you taking the time to do so, it’s a useful avenue to explore thoughts, feelings and actions.
Individually I was always encouraged on the road around digital engagement by Fiona McQueen (@fionacmcqueen) and via the support of May Smith (Comms)(@mayjs_93) – both of whom have now left Ayrshire. The ongoing support from the Comms team in A&A has been much appreciated.
Ken Donaldson (@kendonaldson), NHS Dumfries and Galloway started dghealth.wordpress.com a short time after Ayrshirehealth. We have collaborated and shared our blogging journey, I’d highly recommend it to you, it follows the same format of having different bloggers each week – some clinical, some not, but always interesting and engaging.
Why the end?
And so to why Ayrshirehealth is coming to an end?
After 32 years in the NHS I am leaving to take on a new opportunity (@dtbarron) – this time, just like the NHS, with another much loved organisation – Erskine, the veterans charity, where I’ll be privileged to take up the post as Director of Care.
Begin with the end on mind
It would be a fair to reflect on if the blog has achieved what it set out to do.
In June 2012 the ‘target’ was to have the blogs viewed 3000 times by December (six months) – extrapolating that to the eight half years the blog has been running would mean 36,000 views of the blog over the four years – so having had 113,800 views the blog has exceeded my expectation, especially as that equates to 48,384 visitors. As can be seen in the link above, instead of 3000 reads of the blog in the first six months we achieved 6000 reads.
Additionally I underestimated the reach of the blog, seeing readership in over 120 countries was beyond anything I had imagined, even if year one stats made interesting reading.
Lessons for us all
The lesson for us all when considering how to engage is to look at social media, and blogging specifically, as an additional route to reach audiences that might not be reached via traditional methods.
It can, where required, open up global networks of professionals, service users and carers allowing the sharing of knowledge and information.
If you are thinking of starting your own blog – consider adopting Stephen Covey’s second habit “Begin with the end in mind” remembering, if you don’t know where you want to go, then any road will take you there:
Hopefully you’ll agree the Ayrshirehealth blog had a purpose, which it achieved in sharing knowledge and experience related to health and care across Ayrshire and beyond, as laid out in the Driver Diagram.
It simply remains for me to say thanks to each of you for reading this – I wish you all the very best for the future.
This week’s blog was written by @dtbarron (Derek T Barron), Lead Nurse, North Ayrshirehealt & Social Care Partnership | Associate Nurse Director, NHS Ayrshire & Arran.