Goodbye from Ramblings…

So this is it…the end of the Ramblings of a Remote worker blog. Now the time is here I’m not actually sure what to say! I guess thanks and goodbye are probably the main things! Here’s a few photos from over the years to fill the space that words can’t.

remoteworker

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Closing Census

So I’m going to be officially closing my blog tomorrow (Friday 11th September). It will be my last day of remote working and I’d like to make sure all the loose ends are tied up before then. Today I wanted to share a few stats on the blog and on my work related to remote working (a bit meta there!), so here goes…

My blog has been running for quite a while, pretty much since I started working remotely back in 2008.

The blog has been running since 17th September 2008. That's almost 7 years, or 2551 days to be exact - 6 years, 11 months and 26 days!

It was pretty easy to write stuff at the beginning. I was actively encouraged by my line-manager (Brian Kelly) and it was a great way to support the team at UKOLN. Remote working was a new thing and there seemed so much to learn and not a lot of useful information out there. Over the years it has become harder to find topics to cover. My move to Open Knowledge and working as part of a distributed team gave me lots of new fodder, but often I’ve struggled to stay on topic and have strayed into the areas of e-learning and social media more generally. Here’s some of my favourite topics courtesy of Tagxedo:

talk topics

To be honest remote working is so normal to me now that I’m pretty scared about returning to an office! I’ve been having dreams/nightmares about turning up for work in pyjamas! I’ve mentioned my fear of being ‘home institutionalised’ to people – can I function normally in a more traditional working environment? We shall see – I hope the answer is yes!

378 blog posts

At times when I’ve struggled to come up with ideas for topics then guest blog posts have really helped keep things ticking over. These have allowed me to give a voice to others and establish a much needed community around remote working. They’ve also allowed us to hear about some great tools that people are using. I recently created some data visualisations looking at the authorship and timing of guest blog posts.

59 guest blog posts

Talking of tools I have used a couple of other social media ones to support this blog and my remote work. The main one is Twitter (here I just tweet about anything – not just remote work), but I also have a Pinterest board dedicated to images of remote working and Delicious account that saves related links.

1809 Delicious links

95 items on my Pinterest board

When I first began writing on this blog remote working was a lot more unusual than it is now and I actually ended up writing 4 published articles about it and giving a number of presentations on it. You can see my presentations on Slideshare. I’ve also written quite a few guest blog posts on other people’s blogs.

8 Slideshare presentations

So has it all been worth while? Has any one visited the blog or found the posts useful? I don’t know. There are some statistics on sites that link to this blog below but do they really show the value?

Google has found there to be 4,300 results when looking for this domain. Obviously 500 or so of these are the actual blog.

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 10.14.39

Moz is finding 2,387 links.

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 10.10.57

Check Your Link Popularity is coming up with 7,867 backlinks and 2,247 links to the home page.

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 10.07.57

Quite a lot of people have passed through this site over the years and a lot of people have emailed and talked to me about the blog. The numbers aren’t amazing but they’ve been steady.

stats

This blog began as a way to record my thoughts and findings and to some degree it has been a personal development tool. I’ve often referred to my blog as a memory aid – I tend to forget what I’ve done so it’s useful to have a record of it all online. Wherever I am I can search for my own ramblings on a particular event or tool. While being an open practitioner means anyone can see (and perhaps benefit from, or even criticise) your thoughts, it also means that you have access to them too. That has been a huge help for me and I’m going to miss it.

So tomorrow I’ll say a last goodbye…

A Remote Farewell

In true remote worker style earlier today I had my online leaving do in a Google Hangout. (I went for a drink in London with some colleagues last week – a proper F2F thing). I’m not properly leaving Open Knowledge till the end of next week, but a lot of people are off to AbreLATAM ConDatos so today made more sense.

It was a drop in affair – and really lovely to catch up with people. For a bit of fun we also played a quiz. The idea was that I provided a clue for a place (city, country, place) and people on the hangout had to decide on the place and the Open Knowledge person that the place is connected to.

hangout

I also received some great (virtual) presents – a voucher from Cos (so I can buy some smart new work clothes – no more pyjamas for me!), a remote worker t-shirt and some personalised post-it notes! My amazing colleague Cecile LeGuen has also made me a fantastic OK:FM playlist of farewell songs (on Spotify).

present

I want to say a massive thank you to everyone at Open Knowledge for my lovely gifts and for being such fab colleagues over the last 2 years!

marieke

Moving On…

So I have some pretty exciting news! After 8 years of working from home I will be moving back to working in a physical location!

From mid-September I will be taking on a new role as a data analyst in the research department at the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). The QAA is the independent body entrusted with monitoring, and advising on, standards and quality in UK Higher Education. It is based in Gloucester.

qaaThe QAA is currently at an interesting juncture. Our new(ish) government is already making changes that will affect QAA work, and QA processes in HE are also being reviewed by HEFCE. The QAA needs to be flexible, reactive and grounded in its ability to deal with significant policy issues including: value for money for students, putting teaching at the heart of HE, expansion of the HE sector, increasing student numbers, widening participation and the increase in Internet-based provision. I am very lucky to be joining the QAA team at a point when there will be opportunities to contribute to the organisation’s future direction. Areas I feel passionate about, such as online learning and open education, research data management, open data and transparency, are all highly relevant for them right now. In fact they have recently released this report MOOCs and Quality: A review of the recent literature and have established a QAA MOOCs Network.

Although I am little apprehensive I am really looking forward to joining the QAA team!

This move is a huge scary step for me. It is going to mean commuting to work everyday and spending 8 hours+ in a place that isn’t my house! I’m expecting a big culture shock, but I’m also excited about being part of a physical team! It’s to going to be great to be able to chat in coffee breaks, attend F2F meetings and have a real lunch break!

I am very sad to be leaving Open Knowledge, the 2.5 years I have been there has flown by in a whirlwind of great projects, new skills and wonderful communities. Open Knowledge does truly amazing work and I’ve never met such a dedicated and talented bunch of people – both staff and community. I hope to stay in touch with both people and initiatives. I’d like to wish Open Knowledge all the best for the future.

So what does all this mean for my blog…?

I think after 8 years it’s time to archive Ramblings of a Remote Worker. Over the next 2 weeks I’ll add some summary posts and after that the site will remain here for people to use but there will not be any more new posts. I haven’t decided yet whether I’ll continue to blog or not. I may not have time! Then again a need may arise and who knows what will happen!? I’ll be keeping my website up to date and of course you can catch me on Twitter too.

A big thank you to everyone who has dropped by this blog over the last 8 years or has chatted to me on social media. You have been my watercooler, my colleagues and my friends! You stopped me from going crazy! Thanks!