Category Archives for "Website Guide"

Easter Festivities

Someone recently pointed out whilst the Christian season of Lent, of fasting, is 40 days, the season for Easter festivities is 50 days!  Apparently Facebook events allow a maximum duration of 14 days. Such ongoing fun is unheard of outside of Church circles.

Anyway, as usual I shall pause my blog over the holidays.  This time it will be a bit different.

Mondays – I may break for a couple of weeks but will pick up and finish the Market sequence, relating to the Circuit questionnaire, as soon as I can.

Wednesday and Friday posts will cease until early June.  This will allow me time to prepare for the Success Summit on 20 May.  This link is to a blog post with details of coming events in the Sheffield area.   I shall keep this post up to date for now, while I work out a more permanent approach to publishing events on my website.

I shall post occasionally over this period when inspired.  There will be new developments for this blog and I shall announce them once I’ve worked out the details.

Revived blog posts will continue over this period.

This is a very busy time for me and big changes are close.  Stay in touch to see what’s happening!

Village Grill curry

Local Economy Events, Spring 2017

Here are the Local Economy Events I’m organising and participating in during the Spring.  If you are local, this will be a useful guide to upcoming events in Sheffield.  If you live elsewhere, they are ideas for activities you can organise yourself.  For more information about them and how we are organising them, simply leave a comment.

Updated 28 April 2017

Success Summit 2017

If you live in travel distance of Sheffield, put this date in your diary!  On 20 May 2017, a small group of businesses is organising a business and personal development event.  We are aiming for 200 people to attend for networking and informative, entertaining speaking.  You will see from the website, I am one of the keynote speakers at the event.

I have tickets and can sell them to you if you’re likely to run into me in Sheffield or else you can book through the website.

Curry Club

The Curry Club is a twice monthly (first and third Thursdays) business network event.  For £10 you get a three course curry, networking with an average of 20 business owners and a keynote talk.  The same group of businesses organises this event, each leading and promoting in turn.

The next meeting of the Curry Club is on 4 May 2017.  As usual there will be a speaker on some business related topic.

If you would like to attend, follow the link to Eventbrite.  This helps the restauranteur prepare the food.  Payment is in cash on the door.  If you can’t make this one, future meetings shall be on Eventbrite.

Telling Stories: Making Business

Telling Stories: Making Business is a twice monthly (second and fourth Thursdays) lunch and learn event I organise for business owners who want to use stories to promote their business.  My aim is to build a dynamic group who will take turns to share a story they use to promote their business.  Over the weeks we shall explore different types of story.

The idea is to take the story apart and put it back together to help the storyteller tell it to its best effects.  We’ll explore how it can be used and possible media to tell it.  Each meeting shall end with an elevator pitch where everyone can say what they have learned during the meeting.

If you would like to meet with a small group who can help you tell your story and use it to promote your business, contact me through the comments.

The fee of £10 includes lunch: burgers, wraps and similar with a drink.

Here is a brief account of the meeting on 13 April 2017:

Speaking Accelerator

I am currently polishing my speaking skills by taking part in the Public Speaking Academy’s Speaking Accelerator course.  There will be a couple of final days where there will be an opportunity to hear short speeches from the participants.  This will be an opportunity to hear some brilliant speeches and see what you could do with training and support.

The meetings are at 6pm on 25 April and 9 May 2017.  I spoke at the first but it is worth hearing the remaining speakers at the second meeting.  I have a few free tickets for the event.  If you would like to attend, leave a comment.  Or check out Eventbrite for more information:  The Accelerator: May 9.

And … Finally …

I shall soon launch my new lead magnet on my website: “Five Proven Steps to be Paid What You Really Deserve: Getting the Most Out of Coaching, Consultancy or Freelancing”.  You can reach it through my Business Success Quiz – a quick and fun way to assess your business viability!  Quizzes are a new way to promote lead magnets because they are, apparently, irresistible!  Do let me know if you manage to resist it!

Check back to this page over the next few weeks as I shall update as and when there is new information.

After the Summer Break …

I’m taking a summer break for the month of August and will return on Monday 5 September.

However, if I can get the plug-in working to my satisfaction, I hope to recycle some old posts over this period.  These will go out on social media but it’s possible they will not appear in weekly round-up emails.  If you find them, feel free to comment on these posts, especially if you can spot anything dated in them.  As they appear I’ll make an effort to bring them up to date.

Website Improvements

As always I intend to use the quiet time to review and improve my website.  Most of it is becoming dated and it would be good to describe my consultancy business more effectively.

I don’t know how far I’ll get with this but I intend to complete some tidying, if not writing entirely new copy.

The other thing I want to do is showcase Thrive themes more effectively.  Their themes and plug-ins are constantly developing and I am aware my site hardly does them justice.  If you want to look at their offer, scroll down to the very bottom of any page and click on the link.  Remember, this is an affiliate link.

Future Blog Sequences

I’m fairly happy with my routine posts and so I shall continue with the MWF pattern, as follows:


I completed the third element of the Circuit Questionnaire, companion posts last Monday.  You can review the first two elements, on the Circuit Questionnaire page.  I shall add in the third element, Proposition, posts in the near future.

So, in September I shall start on the fourth element, Problem and then move on to the fifth and last element, Market.  There is about 30 weeks worth of material to go, so I haven’t given any thought to what follows afterwards.


This day is where I cover sequences apart from the Circuit Questionnaire.  Earlier this year I completed a long sequence about Spirituality and I have not yet completed the post summary on this page.

Since then I have completed a sequence about In-Person Techniques (the last one was two days ago) and I will prepare a page some time soon that summarises these posts.

I have two ideas for future Wednesday posts and haven’t decided which to publish first.

I want to write about self-employment and its contribution to the local economy.  In this sequence I shall explore work / life balance in various ways and the contributions self-employed people make to both work and life.

The second sequence I have in mind is the contribution marketing makes to community development.  Businesses don’t just contribute finance to local economies but perhaps we’re a little slow to appreciate all they do and could contribute.


I write my Friday posts during the week before and the idea is they can be more topical.  I sometimes use them to review books, resources or websites.  At other times I comment on some issue that has come to my attention.  I’m hoping to find time to review more material about co-production, for example.

This is your opportunity to suggest issues you would like me to write about.  Suggest a topic and if I haven’t already written about it, I’ll have a go (within reason).

Guest Posts

Just a quick reminder, I’m happy to write guest posts for other sites and welcome relevant guest posts on this site.  If you are an expert in a related area to my posts, please contact me and we’ll see what we can do together.

Community Development Online Christmas Interlude

Community Development Online will take a short break after today and resume in three weeks time on Monday 11 January 2016.  I’m taking a break over a period when people are less likely to read blog posts!

This blog will accumulate into a reference resource and so you could take this opportunity to read past posts.  If you do, remember comments are always welcome, especially if you can suggest future topics.  It also helps to know what you find helpful.

You can explore the blog in two ways.  If you look under resources in the main navigation, you will find a series of cornerstone pages.  These list the blog posts in sequence, with brief introductions.  You can see what sequences are about and decide whether to read more detail.  These are almost up-to-date and I shall add recent posts during the break.

If you prefer a more usual blog, you can get access to it in the right hand column.  You can find recent posts using the calendar or explore the categories.  To help you navigate the blog, I have five main category headings:

  • Mutuality – covers all aspects of collaborative working and under this heading you will find posts about community development and co-operation.
  • Marketing – is about promotion of all things, commercial and non-commercial.  Usually marketers blog about products and services.  I have added causes to these offers.  But I also consider promotion of products and services by third sector organisations (and causes by businesses!)
  • Purpose – perhaps is best understood as how we deepen our understanding of what we offer and what we represent.  Many organisations struggle with expressing their purpose and this category suggests approaches such as consultancy and conversation that may help.
  • Technique – considers some of the technical challenges met by organisations working online.
  • Miscellaneous – covers everything else that doesn’t fit the other four main categories.

So, what can you look forward to in Community Development Online, in the New Year?

On Mondays I shall continue my exploration of the circuit questionnaire.  This will become a resource for people using the questionnaire.  If you follow the link, you will find a summary page covering the posts so far.  This sequence will continue a while longer as I’m not halfway through yet.  I’ve completed the branding element of the questionnaire and I’ve made a lot of progress with Products, Services and Causes.  After that I shall cover the three remaining elements, Propositions, Problems and Markets.

On Wednesdays I shall continue with the sequence about spirituality.  I’m writing these posts with churches in mind but contain some themes that might be of interest to a wider audience.  In the New Year, I shall start a new theme within this sequence, exploring how we perceive communities.  This will be less theological and closer to my posts about community development.

On Fridays – I shall continue to offer a mixture of posts on a variety of topics.  This is where I publish reviews of books and websites.  It is also where I can respond to requests for posts on specific topics.

There is plenty of space for more material and as usual, time is a major constraint.  If you would like to write a relevant blog post or even a sequence, let me know.

I’m going to do some work on the website over the break in preparation for some new initiatives that are in the pipeline.  Keep reading and watching the website to find out more!

Return of Community Development Online

Community Development Online Blog

I’m about to restart the Community Development Online blog, after a break of almost 5 months.   I shall continue to build resources for anyone who aims to follow community development principles, particularly where it intersects with local economies.  I’m happy to write about any aspect of community development and one of the first sequences I’m planning is about models of community development.  I shall explore how to extend community development principles from neighbourhood work to online marketing approaches for community and voluntary sectors.

This will work best if you guide me, so please comment on my posts and request posts on topics I haven’t touched upon yet.  I shall respond to all the comments I receive.

If you prefer, you can write for this blog as a guest author.  If you’re interested, leave me a comment or send me an email (my address is in the footer) and we’ll take it from there.

Community Web Consultant Website

You may have noticed changes to my website. Most important, the content is about local economies, see the home page about a thriving marketplace in every neighbourhood as well as introductory material about non-directive consultancy and my approach to website design.

If you sign up to my email list you receive a short introductory email sequence about how to support your local economy and the option to download my ebook, “Community Development is Dead! Long Live Community Development!“.  As before you will receive notice of new blog posts every Tuesday morning, if there are any.

The site promotes two things.  First, a community committed to sharing experiences, ideas and insights about local economies.  This is long-term work, neglected over the years.  The second is my business offer of consultancy services for local businesses owners or leaders of community organisations.  This will take you to my offer of a free consultancy session, where you can test your desired outcome for your business or community group.  There is no obligation to use my consultancy service.

More About the Blog

My aim is to build a resource of information about local economies, community development and how both can be resourced online and in real life.  For the immediate future, new posts will have a somewhat looser structure than before.  I shall aim for a minimum of three posts per week, starting next week.

Local Economy – Online Resources

I  shall review and share some of the resources about local economies I’ve found.  These are mostly websites.  My aim will be to review one website each week.  Unlike the sites I’ve reviewed previously, my focus will primarily be on content and not so much on how it works as a site.  I may point out some design issues en passant but the primary aim will be to open up the site to greater use, if it deserves it.  I’ll focus on the value of its content, opportunities to collaborate, etc.

Community Development Models

My plan is to start by bringing my old email sequence about community development into the blog.  The reason I initially produced it as an email sequence was that it didn’t quite fit my plans for the blog.  The sequence complements the ebook and may suggest approaches to how community development might be revived.  I’d love to help build a professional body for development workers and this may become possible as an online community becomes a reality.  In the meantime I hope to build a resource of ideas to support the work of those who are on the front line.

Needs Assessments

I started to write on this theme towards the end of my last sequence and I’m now I can write about a new approach.  I’m planning to review it some detail and use my work as an example.

Finally, publish posts on topical issues as they occur to me.  This should mean the blog will take on a more spontaneous tone.  So, please read and enjoy.  Tell me what you like and what you would like me to cover.  Don’t forget, I’m open to offers from guest authors too!

Community Development is Dead!

This post is your opportunity to comment on my ebook, “Community Development is Dead!  Long Live Community Development”.  Scroll down to make a comment.

If you haven’t read it yet, use the form below to download the 20 page ebook.  There is no charge for it.

Community Development Online, Future Developments

Now is the time for the Christmas break.  It is an exciting time because I am at the point where I am planning major developments for this site.  This blog will return in the New Year in a new context.

I am planning to offer support to people and organisations active in the local economy, particularly those who are collaborating in real life and want to promote their joint venture online.  This will allow me to bring together 30 years experience in community development with knowledge of online approaches to collaboration.  There are many ideas out there that deserve wider promotion.  I hope this site will become a hub where ideas and good practice in the local economy can be shared.

It’s an enormous challenge to plan do something on this scale as a one person, low-budget enterprise.  I want to show what is possible with modest resources, an idea that is at the centre of some of the most inspiring initiatives in the local economy.  Online resources offer opportunities to local businesses and community projects that have never existed before.  This will be one place where they come together.  The challenge will be to get the conversation started.

So, what changes will you see?  I’m planning

  • new content for the website
  • a new look for the site
  • the blog to continue with a new approach
  •  more promotion of the site, initially through social media
  • new products and services, including free offers.

This will take a few weeks to put into place.  I’ll post updates as I add new features to the site and then re-start the blog when everything is in place.

Watch out for new developments in the New Year!


The Community Web Consultant Website

If your third sector organisation needs to develop or review its online presence, the ‘Community Web Consultant‘ website is your first call.  I am an experienced community development worker and this site can help you find the most economic and effective way forward.  What you see on the site today is only the beginning of the story.

The Blog

I wrote about the blog Community Development Online last Friday.  This will build into a reference for your web presence, written with the community and voluntary sectors in mind.  The best way to follow it is to sign up for the email list.  The form is on the site at the top of the right hand column.  If you do this, you will receive three things:

  • every Tuesday, a summary of the last week’s blog posts.  This means you can review what I’ve written about and read anything that interests you.  You need return to the site only when there is something that interests you!
  • you will receive a free email sequence “Real Community Development”.  This series of emails introduces some key issues in community development; it contains nothing about websites but plenty of ideas and challenges to community development practice.
  • sometimes, I’ll send you an extra email about new developments on the website.  I’ve got lots of ideas for making life easier online  for community and voluntary organisations.  I hope we can share ideas on the website and together we develop online tools to help groups get the best from limited resources.

 Community Web Consultancy

Community and voluntary groups often waste scarce resources paying for websites that don’t work for them.  They can’t afford commercial rates and so their sites are either developed by experienced designers, who don’t understand the sector and because they have a business to run design a low-cost site that is basic, or else they find a volunteer who doesn’t always understand what works.  The upshot is sites that do not work properly and can be a liability.

We need to approach developing a web presence on a shoestring in a different way.  Wasting scarce resources on sites that don’t work is hardly satisfactory.  If you have time to invest, then you can learn the basics, perhaps calling in professional help when you get stuck or want to try something new.

An assessment is a good starting point and you can find out what it involves on my website.  I’m planning a host of tools to help you develop your web presence and maintain it in-house as far as possible.

If after you’ve read about assessments, you’re not sure whether it is right for you, I’d be happy to take a look at your current website.  I can do this in a very short time and offer some ideas about where it is going wrong (and where it is going right!).  A site review might help you work out why your site does not attract support.

One last thing.  I do charge for some services.  If I say something is free, it is free and subject only to the usual constraints in law, eg copyright,  you are welcome to use the free material on the site.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, tell me.  The site is nowhere near complete and so I will be delighted to add material to help you if I can.  We desperately need to develop online communities that will help us re-build our real life communities.  If we’re going to do this we need to learn how to buy and sell online.  Stay with me and find out what I mean.

It would be brilliant to hear from you.  Let me know what you think and what you would like me to write about.  And don’t forget to sign up to the blog!

A Guide to the Community Development Online Blog

Today I shall explain how I’ve organised this blog and so help you track down the threads you might be interested in.  If there are other threads you would like me to cover, leave a comment.

The blog has 4 main categories, each with several subcategories and these can be seen in the sidebar.  If you click on “Resources” in the main navigation, you will find pages about the subcategories.

Stay with this post and I’ll show you where I’m taking the blog for now.  As I receive feedback comments, I can change direction and focus on what interests its readers.

Many third sector organisations have poor websites and do not use their online presence to support their work.  There are several reasons for this but they mostly relate to lack of financial resources and a shortage of staff or volunteer time.  So, the challenge is how to use the available resources more effectively.  So, my emphasis is how to deploy your resources so that the techniques you use are subject to your overall strategy.


This category is about community development and how it can be supported online.  It is not just for community groups.  Many organisations working in neighbourhoods need to know what works and what doesn’t.  So, if your church wishes to develop work in its neighbourhood or if you are a local business seeking to build community in a neighbourhood or across a city, this category will help you.

Currently, I’m blogging about New Deal for Communities and the lessons learned in its final evaluation in Burngreave, my community.  I’m going to show you how grants often do not build community.  I’ll show you how the local economy is central to any neighbourhood work and how it can be supported online.


Marketing is relevant to your work whether you have something to sell or do not!  If you have a cause and want to bring people together around it you need to understand marketing.  Your web presence is a powerful marketing tool.  If you’re not using it for marketing, for what are you using it?  Too many websites don’t do anything at all!

At the moment I’m writing about the structure of websites and the various types of pages you might find on them.  Each page should have a single clear purpose for your marketing strategy.


This category shows how you can work out the purpose of your site.  It explores how you generate conversations online and build relationships.  The internet is a communications tool and if you’re not using it for that purpose, your organisation is missing opportunities.

This sequence explores some general principles for seeking donations online.  Donations are by no means the best way of generating income online but many organisations will recognise this approach and it illustrates important points about building relationships online.


This category demonstrates how to do things online.  There are plenty of sites that will show you details of how to use applications and techniques.  When I describe an application or a technique, I shall always introduce it from a strategic viewpoint.  How can we use this to be more effective?

These posts at present cover ways you can drive traffic to your site.  This is an important topic for many organisations trying to promote their cause or business online.

Could be Anything

The idea is to respond to your requests on Fridays.  I can write about anything and respond to your ideas without breaking the sequence on other days.  So, do let me know what you would like me to cover!

And don’t forget you can subscribe to the blog for a weekly update so that you can easily review the topics I’m posting about.  If you subscribe you will also receive a free email sequence about community development.

Next week I shall write about how I plan to develop this site to support brilliant online voluntary sector work!


Blog Launch Monday 11 November

I’ll start posting regularly on this blog on Monday 11 November.   I’ll start by posting by category according to this schedule:

Mondays – Mutuality

Tuesdays – Marketing

Wednesdays – Purpose

Thursdays – Technique

Fridays – Set aside for anything that comes up through comments, the news or the work I’m doing.

I value your comments for two reasons:

  • they will help me write blog posts you want to read
  • I have a ferocious spam detector and I want to test it is not too ferocious!  If you post and it doesn’t appear, please let me know (email address at the foot of the page) and I’ll look into it.

Thank you