After discussion with writers, this post is an assessment of what has happened so far. It is about half way through the 52 week life of the blog. Here goes.
At the start of 2015 blog club members weren’t sure about the amount of material we would have to blog. As it turns out, there has been ample. Enough for a post each working day and 70,000 words so far. This is thanks to the writers and their colleagues who have contributed ideas and feedback (sometimes unwittingly). Thank you to everyone who has contributed in some way.
The readership has been unexpected. Given it is a niche topic and focussed on Australian local government, the fact that most readers are from overseas has been a revelation. I am not sure whether it is the topics attracting attention or whether there is genuine interest in Australian local government. Most overseas readers have come from the US or UK where there are some similarities in the way local government works. The lack of comments posted by readers (there have been lots of ‘likes’ and small band of ‘followers’) was a surprise. Maybe this is common for new blog sites.
The topics that have emerged have also been a surprise. Different writers have been drawn to the same themes, either independently or as a result of others’ posts and feedback on them. Some of the popular themes have been local government services, integrated planning, high performance, customer service, rate capping, public and private value, systems thinking and operational capability. A range of points of view have been expressed in posts. Hopefully, the posts have been more positive than negative and they have been helpful or instructive. It is easy to have a whinge when you start writing a post.
Some sources have been used more often than others. Books by John Seddon, Mark H. Moore, Geary Rummler and Alan Brache, Peter R. Scholtes, Richard Farson, and Nigel Slack have featured. Likewise, articles by Robert Simons, Richard B. Chase and Christopher Stone have been discussed in posts.
I have been trying to discern what the evidence of readership so far might mean for future posts. The level of interest is encouraging for writers. There is no shortage of material (writers report coming home from work every day with an idea or two). Any comments on posts by readers will be helpful.