I'm was in more philosophical mood than normal this morning.
I've heard Tom Reynolds on Radio 4 twice in the the last week; first on "Midweek", then on "Meet the blogers" Tom works for the London ambulance service, and his blog "Random Acts of Reality" has lead to a "blook", wonderfully titled "Blood sweat and tea". His post "These boots" which he read on midweek is poetic and moving. And if you want to persuade someone to stop smoking, if they don't after hearing "Why I Hate smoking Parents" they never will.
We expect a service to be there, but it's faceless: vehicles and uniforms. Blogs like Tom's show the human beings in those uniforms. Like Microsoft, LAS takes a positive view of blogging. Our guidance for bloggers is two words. Blog Smart - which covers a lot ! e.g. (1) Don't say in public things others need or want to keep secret. (2) Don't embarass, annoy or shock your manager with what you post. My manager reads what I post (Hi Eileen), and there's a level of trust involved - which is one of the good things about working in this bit of Microsoft. If I go off my technical patch too often she'll say "Get an MSN space for heaven's sake" but I can (and have) blogged about aspects of working for Microsoft, and this isn't the first time I've blogged about the effects of blogging. Tom's blog "How to blog and not lose your job" expands a bunch of aspects of blog smart.
I found a police officer's blog, "Inspector Gadget", last night, via Tom's blog. It gives a human face to another often faceless organization. And his post "May the force be with you" is the funniest thing I've read this week. My dealings with the police usually releate to speeding: I want them to do something about motorists speeding out of my village, but I resent speed cameras everywhere else. I see this as double standards on the part of the police, not myself, like most other members of the public, and I've given the (faceless) Inspector at my local police station some grief about it. A perspective from "Inspector Gadget" helps: the following is from a post called "White noise"
One in ten of the complaints I deal with deserve further investigation. The other nine are usually the direct result of unrealistic expectations.... As an Inspector, I have to listen... I’m getting all this for the third time. Having heard something entirely unacceptable (i.e. the truth) from a PC, they then complain to the Sergeant. The Skipper looks afresh and decides the PC was spot on. Public respect for Police Sergeants having entirely gone out of the window along with everything else, the fool now calls for an Inspector. This is clearly going nowhere, but a rainforest will have to die to record it. Meanwhile, some poor citizen with a legitimate enquiry is on permanent hold. This generates a new complaint.
It seems that his force have the knives out for the inspector - for developing this understanding of what it is really like to serve the rest of us. Idiots! Not only is the man doing them good, but acting against someone for saying things the public thinks are reasonable will do you harm. (c.f.the Gina Ford saga on which a great new article by one of the protagonists has appeared in prospect magazine.)
This morning the police had put out some new "Your speed is" signs in the Village; doing the school walk I could see the effect on the traffic was amazing. Looks like speeding in my village was worth investigating, but odd that it should come the morning after reading that.
When dealing with data privacy, we need to think about proper use of Personally Identifiable information