What writing this blog taught me about pull

There’s always been a strong tang of resigned self pity running through this blog, like the reek of faeces in a brace of grilled andouillettes.
This post however should truly please the connoisseur of bleak despair. Read on, and enjoy your schadenfreude Kind Reader….

About 50 days ago someone in the Executive Office of the President of the United States of America read this blog. Look, see. The actual Washington DC.





It was that one about learning to be a policy officer. My soulless prefabricated office in a business park somewhere in English suburbia is being plumbed for detail on policy making by the bleeding West Wing. How odd.

In the last three years this blog has collected a wide variety of regular readers and subscribers, but there’s been also the following groups.
IT people. Finnish, Swedish, foreign mainly. But LOADS of them.
Insurance company staff. Two large UK insurance companies.
Random consultants. Systemsy types.
Local government. Be surprising if there weren’t. Mainly councils from Wales, the West Midlands and the South West of England. There seem to be leylines of systemsy influence that run through those areas.

The above screen shots added a giddy excitement until I googled Executive Office of the President, and found it’s basically as exciting as the DCLG is.

Regardless though, I’m excited when I bag a new subscriber or am tweeted by someone clever and important. It validates and says to me that other people somewhere else are doing systemsy things and find my blog relevant, interesting and even possibly useful in what they do.
From looking at patterns of retweets, and clutches of views in the same organisation, I can infer there are networks of like minded systemsy types passing on links.
I am delighted and surprised when I get emails out of the blue, saying they like the blog and get fresh angles on things from it.
I love getting subscribers with local authority email addresses, because I can Google to find out exactly who they are, LinkedIn tells me their background etc and my curiosity is sated BUT….

DESPITE all the above, there has not been one single instance of anyone in my organisation ever looking at my blog unprompted.
Zero, apart from a few who I’ve strong armed into it, but only ever because I sit next to them and made them through constant drip drip drip.

I think this is because there is zero interest in anything systemsy therefore zero pull on any blog that is systemsy.

Looking at the West Midlands, Wales and South West councils, there seems to be a background to them of systemsy work being carried out, which I’m guessing leads to people Googling or following other systemsy types on twitter, and hey presto, that’s how links are made.

But with my place there is no interest, no background, no curiosity in this area, so there’s no reason why anybody out of the thousands of staff here, would ever Google to sate a curiosity they don’t have about something they’ve never heard of. So they haven’t.

This is FINE of course, my ego is quite big but not THAT BIG.
[compulsory modesty statement that i don’t believe]
Nobody has to pay attention to me…


…yes they do…



…of course they do…


…WHY don’t they!


What this blog has taught me about pull

There is an exquisite irony that this place provides such good material I can keep people in OTHER local authorities entertained and informed for years, but there is no pull from here to be in the slightest interested in learning from their own antics.

There are several Local Authority Directors who will get this post today, emailed direct into their work inbox. I don’t imagine they’re sitting their on the edge of their seat exactly…


“WHAT WILL TP SAY TODAY! I’m so excited, I’ll ring all my Director pals and tell them ALL about it!”

But there they are at least. In my place they aren’t, despite the fact that I sit directly opposite their offices.  This is the difference between the internet and a bureaucracy.

The internet is flat like a sheet of ice, if you want to pull something on it, it is dead easy. You can pull anything, from anywhere in the world, purely because you’re interested.

A bureaucracy is a pointy triangle. If you’re not at the very top then you’ve got to push uphill, and only if it is pushed very forcefully will it budge.

People will pull all sorts, when they want to or they need to. Until then, they won’t.
Just like you can’t make a bird fly. But when it wants to fly, it will.

Until then, it’s as flightless as an ostrich, and what do they do with their heads?

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