52: Week One


I’m giving week notes another go as a way of trying to kickstart  my blogging mojo and thought this time I’d go with a bit of a comic book theme to brighten things up (learn about DC 52 here..)

This week I started my new job at the ONS. At the moment there is some slight confusion about what my job title is but it seems to start with ‘Head of..’ and then be a pick and mix from Rich, Digital, Content and Media 🙂

I am responsible for the social media, analytics, design and web editorial teams and am operating as part of a major change programme. It is all very exciting with all sorts of opportunities but it is clearly a challenging environment with some unique constraints around publishing and security that effect everything on the digital side.

A lot of the topics for discussion so far have been very familiar (social media policies, podcasts, video, blogging, accessibility, CMS improvements…) but a major strand around visualising data (rather than Data Visualisation which is a respected department in its own right) is something I need a more in-depth understanding of so I am reading ‘Facts are Sacred‘ by Simon Rogers, late of the Guardian, on my commute and have the ‘Digital Journalism Handbook‘ waiting on my Kindle (funnily enough I was a Mozilla volunteer at the event that spawned that book and watched it unfold a little!). I have also signed up for ‘An introduction to visualising data‘ which is a Guardian ‘masterclass’ on my own dime and am hoping to learn a little at OpenTech in 2 weeks.

The team have been great so far – I am very much the new boy – a lot of people I am working with have been at the ONS a long time and have an incredible depth of knowledge about how the organisation ticks but they have all been lovely so far and made  it easy to settle. The tendency for meetings to be booked in over lunch and people starting at dawn (well 7!) is going to take some getting used to though.

The team I am a part of is once again split over two sites but this time instead of the commuter train to London I catch the little chugger down to Fareham once a week. Prettier journey and less commuter angst seems like a positive so far. My daily commute to Newport has also turned out to be much easier than I was expecting (and even cheaper).

All in all it was a good, if intense, first week. I’m not sorry that this is a long weekend thats for sure 🙂

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