Friday, 22 May 2009

Blogs and funerals

Well, apart from being on holiday, this is longest I've gone without updating this blog. Writer's block maybe? Or just too busy to blog? A combination of circumstances I think. It's been a funny sort of week. A visit to Chelsea Flower Show - a highlight of my year. Then the funeral on Wednesday of a much loved and respected colleague - Terry Shepherd, the University's Clerk of Works for many years and all round good bloke. It was good to see such a high turnout for his funeral, with not only University colleagues, but many contractors who Terry had worked with over the years there as well.

Then on Thursday it was the memorial service for Bob Boucher at the Sheffield Cathedral. Another well attended event with many representatives of the City there - I counted at least 4 previous Lord Mayors for example. I was rather suprised when a number of people congratulated me on the contribution I'd made to the obituary of Bob in the Independent - I hadn't seen it, and certainly hadn't been aware that I'd been quoted in it. I later realised that it was a cut and paste job on the blog post I'd made just after his death. Should I be offended that someone had lifted part of my blog without permission - or flattered? I'm still not sure!

More blog issues earlier on in the work when for the first time I had an encounter with a troll - over the space of an hour many fairly nasty and personal comments left on a number of different posts on this blog. All quickly cleared up, but left a rather nasty feeling. I have always had a policy of not moderating comments and not requiring any sort of registration, and I intend to keep it that way if I can, but I might rethink if this happens again. Be interested to know what other bloggers think.

Other things happening this week - a project meeting to look at progess on our new mail and calendaring service for students run by Google, and a discussion with our alumni office about the potential for an email account for life as part of this contract.

Our Business Continuity Steering group met to look at how prepared we are if the flu pandemic happens. This was a University wide meeting, not just looking at IT, and really centred around priorities - what takes priority if 25% of staff are absent, how do we continue to deliver teaching and research, what are the issues around redeployment of staff, working from home etc. We will continue to plan over the summer because of the possibility of the pandemic arriving in October/November time.

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