Blogging for and about Youth Work and Young People


I’ve had an interesting discussion today with regards to transparency which has led me to wonder how transparent I should be on this blog. At the moment I haven’t been very specific as to where I work although I don’t think it would take too long to find out! It’s not that I don’t want to be transparent it’s just that part of the issue is that we don’t have any specific gudelines yet within the authority as to what is / isn’t allowed. As someone who will probably end up writing the guidelines for the Youth Service I thought that it was best to try it out – or at least get started – in order to work out what we might need in the guidelines / policy.

After the conversation I got around to wondering how much transparency is needed? Does it help to know which area someone is from? Does it increase the flow of conversation or lend more credibility to what is being written about or does that come from the nature of the conversation and online interaction? Will online transparency affect my relationship with colleagues? There’s a lot to reflect on here. The post here – from Tony Hung has also given me some more food for thought too. The next step is talking to colleagues to get their view on the way forward too.




Comments on: "Transparency?" (4)

  1. I think it depends on what you see to be the purpose of your blog. If you’re trying to raise the profile of what you do and want people to contact you then of course more detail would make that more likely, but that doesn’t look to me to be your motive.

    If you’re posting your own thoughts I think anonymity is probably sensible and also to make it clear that this your personal space where you offer your personal opinions – not somewhere you want to be subjected by local authority rules & restrictions.

    Of course if you’re blogging during working hours you might not get away with that so easily.

    I think its sometimes much harder to say what you want once you now that people know who you are so maybe factor in how restricting you might find it to say some things if you do reveal your identity!

  2. billybean said:

    Thank you – this helps. I’m not sure if I’ve quite worked out what my motive is yet!!!! 🙂

    At the moment this seems like a good spot to reflect and interact with people on a number of different subjects related to youth work. I cover so many topics and have a rather chaotic mind so think that as I gradually progress things will hopefully settle and focus on a few areas rather than a random sampling of many.

    It would be good to become part of a community of like minded folk and share experiences and information – I’ve already found looking at your site and Tims really useful and stretching and hope that this will develop over time.

  3. In a past life I was [mistakenly and for my sins] a Chief Youth and Community Officer so I identify closely with your concerns around ‘transparency’. I’ve not thought this through enough, but I operated on at least three levels:

    – internally with my fellow workers I prided myself on telling the truth [although, obviously, I had with my lapses].

    – externally with senior management and councillors I painted astutely the best picture I could [ without going over the top] so as to defend and even extend jobs and provision.

    – externally in the wider sphere, area and national groupings, the trade union etc. I retrieved my identity once more and tended to say what I really thought.

    And I think this sketch of my tactics needs to be set in the context of a Service or of an arena of work , which struggles to be honest in the public domain. The majority of Youth Work reflection is aimed at bureaucrats, managers, funders, inspectors and politicians and leans inevitably to the self-congratulatory. To be self-critically reflective or critical of government policy is not the name of the game.

    So, good on you for launching your Blog. I think a measure of anonymity is wise, especially if discussion sharpens, but you are the best judge of your circumstances. Forgive me if this waffle is off the point, but I’ll try to keep in touch with your thoughts. And, to be honest, for now at least, there’s only a few folk blogging or commenting.

    Best Wishes

  4. billybean said:

    Thanks for your comments and thoughts. I’ve spoken with colleagues and have decided to be more transparent……have to see where this goes but hey ho, don’t know until we try it, and as you say….it’s only a few folks at the moment.

    Thanks again and I enjoyed visiting your site…..

    All the best

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