Things have changed quite dramatically with my work, since I was nominated to appear on Channel 4 and I received my most recent programme of treatment. As I have mentioned previously, the only way I could see, to extend my reach, was going onto the Internet, and I knew that I had to have my blog up and running, by the time the show was broadcast, as I knew that a lot of people would be introduced to my work and want to know more about it.
My assumptions have proved correct, and the blog audience has increased dramatically, since it was launched, which is brilliant, but the bonus is that it is being read by some very senior people who are beginning to understand why I do, what I do. They are really starting to understand the needs for cancer patients outside the hospital environment.
As far as I am concerned, the internet is now my weapon of choice! My experience of working as a volunteer, working within large organisations has shown me that to enable effective change, can take years, if it ever happens at all! Evaluations, questionnaires, data analysis, facts and figures and bean counters, all play their part. Meeting upon meeting, about even wordings of documents. All very valid by the way, but somewhere in amongst all this analysis, needs to be some realistic time frames. I talk mostly about cancer patients, but you can also include any other long term serious illnesses.
These people generally don’t have time on their side, so certain things need to move quicker than they currently do. I feel that sometimes, large organisations, get so tied up in their own red tape, HR, Health and Safety, Risk Assessment, Equality and Diversity, to name but a few, that it takes the focus from where it should be! People are so worried about doing the wrong thing that they do nothing, for fear of rocking the boat and putting their own positions at risk. Which is no good if you are an older vulnerable patient awaiting some form of action.
At the risk of being controversial, if I was talking to a large organisation about my intention of launching a blog, we would still be discussing a risk assessment etc, by which time I would have totally lost the enthusiasm! The beauty of the internet is that it is open to most people, (of course only if they have access to the web!) and it can be as independent or corporate as required.But what is best of all, is that because it’s under my umbrella, we can discuss almost any subject quite openly. It retains it’s independence, and I will talk about things in real terms. Not sugar coated!
It is fantastic that you are helping me create this community, which actually is a very large number of people that we need to reach.I am seeing some real positives from this method of communication, which I never thought of before. Firstly, people can remain anonymous, and receive comfort from the posts in their own home, as and when they choose. They can be as loud or as quiet as they want to be, and contribute or not, as they wish.
You can be a member of the community, in the way that suits you most, but you will still see everything that everyone else sees. No pushy emails, no marketing, and hopefully language you understand. We have come a long way in just over a couple of months, and have received our 2000th hit and we are read in about 10 countries now. The problems I talk about are the same for people in every country, as cancer shows no discrimination.
My only form of advertising is word of mouth, so if you enjoy this blog, and think it might be of use to someone you know, please don’t be shy, and share it with your friends.Things are generally easier if we are working together.
Please feel free to add any comments you feel might be helpful. Is there a subject that you would like me talk about? Just post a comment.I look forward to hearing from you.