Tag Archives: blog

How a Facebook page helps my #hyperlocal blog Cwmbran Life #OiConf13

The Cwmbran Life Facebook page has given my WordPress blog a new lease of life and helped me pick up some quirky stories. The Cwmbran Life blog was set up in August 2011 but I only set up a Facebook page in January.

Forget the stories you read about Facebook use declining. Statistics are meaningless when you can see results (also called red Facebook notifications), in front of your eyes.

It’s helped me think differently about content as a hyperlocal blogger. I love using WordPress  but on times the short and snappy updates I want to share seem a bit out of place.

You get to try writing in a different tone of voice on Facebook and be human. I’m friendly and informal and sometimes a WordPress post left me feeling a bit removed from the quirky stories I was picking up.

Mark Schaefer said at yesterday’s OiConf event in Cardiff that content has to “meaningful, targeted and authentic”.

Facebook has really made me feel like I’m helping people. Everything I post is about the town so it’s definitely targeted and as for authentic well if I was brave enough to have a tattoo it would feature the word Cwmbran.

Here are some examples of how I’ve used Facebook :

Robbie Kennedy appeared on Britain’s Got Talent and this simple photo and caption got shared 76 times. He didn’t win it but certainly hit the spot with a lot of people helping to share the fact the town was so proud of him.

Vote for Robbie Kennedy

Vote for Robbie Kennedy

Any videos I’ve done have had to be uploaded to YouTube and then embedded in post. This is fine but sometimes you get a spark of an idea that you just want to share quickly. I was walking around Cwmbran Boating Lake and remembered how as a kid I used to jump over the channel between the small ponds.

I thought ‘can I do it as a 36 year-old?’. The answer was yes and click here to watch the death defying leap 🙂. This went a bit crazy and got  762 likes and a reach of just under 40,000.

Boating Lake leap

Boating Lake leap

This question posted on Facebook helped me track down my singing postman. There can’t be too many of them in Cwmbran and judging by the comments other people like to hear him as well. I now need to persuade him to be interviewed.

Cwmbran's singing postman

Cwmbran’s singing postman

For as long as I can remember this has been known as the ‘mushroom house’. A few days ago I  grabbed this quick photo that led to loads of comments and over 250 likes. Next plan is to interview the person who trims it.

The Mushroom Tree

The Mushroom Tree

This quirky job in Cwmbran has come up on Facebook. I posted one hour ago that anyone who is interested can contact me if they want to talk about social media and already one person has sent a message.

Social media job in Cwmbran

Social media job in Cwmbran

Cwmbran Community Council said on Facebook they were looking for ‘seven more likes to reach 100 and the 100th person would get a Cwmbran goodie bag’. A quick share on the Cwmbran Life Facebook page saw them reach 100 in under five minutes.

Help Cwmbran Community Council

Help Cwmbran Community Council

I love Cwmbran. I love Facebook. It’s a good mix.

Do you use Facebook as part of your hyperlocal blog? Do you find it useful? 

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My attempt to become paperless

Four notepads and eight pens in my top drawer

Four notepads and eight pens in my top drawer

Websites, tweets and emails, iPads, laptops and smartphones. All of these things have been daring to kill off paper yet look around your desk right now or open up your work bag. I bet you will find scraps of paper along with notepads and PDF print outs.

The top drawer of my home desk contains four notebooks and eight pens. That’s a lot of thoughts and notes in different places.

The last time I felt organised with a notebook was when I worked as journalist. Spiral bound pads were tagged with the start and end date along with a summary of the stories they contained. Then they were popped in a box for safe-keeping. This was something to do with your notepad possibly being used in court one day. Gulp.

Since then a mixture of bad handwriting and a habit of writing in whatever notepad I pick up meant things are a bit all over the place.

The paperless office is pretty unlikely but how about a paperless person? Can you make changes to your day to day work to cut out the paper?

To me being paperless doesn’t mean:

1) never carrying a pen and paper.

2) refusing to use paper.

3) reading everything online.

To me it means:

1) having a system for dealing with paper (I haven’t got one yet but expect it to be along the lines of keep, recycle, shred, read, action, share etc).

2) setting aside time every day to follow this system at home and in work.

3) having fun trying out different ways of working until you find a system that works for you.

This is my first post on going paperless.

To help I’ve stumped up £35 for a year’s premium subscription to Evernote. This seemed like a reasonable investment for this experiment. The free Evernote product is very good but it felt right to put my money where my mouth is.

Here is a quick video on Evernote.

Axl Rose, Dane Bowers, 4yo skater boy and a year of local blogging fun on Cwmbran Life

In 2012 there were 73,792 hits on Cwmbran Life. It was a cracking year that was topped by winning Best Community Blog at the Wales Blog Awards. Other highlights were finding out a Cwmbran man is the lead singer in the world’s best Guns N’ Roses tribute band and bumping into Dane Bowers in a pub.

Today WordPress emailed a summary of this year and you can read it by clicking this link.

Here are the ten links that had the most views in 2012

Home page 22,057 views

Building work has started on a new Morrisons supermarket in Cwmbran 4,440 views

New Chinese restaurant has opened in Cwmbran 1,5823 views

About Cwmbran Life 1,201 views

4-year-old boy stuns visitors and skaters at Cwmbran Boating Lake 1,074 views

Cwmbran mum’s text to teenage daughter goes viral with 27,000 likes on Facebook 1,046 views

Missing dog in Cwmbran £100 reward 922 views

Cwmbran man is Axl Rose in the world’s leading Guns N’ Roses  tribute band 881 views

Dane Bowers has signed to play for Cwmbran Celtic football club 637 views

Photos of today’s fire in Old Cwmbran 558 views