Jan 18, 2018
What’s on Tap for 2018? Our New Year’s Resolutions
By: Allison Jolley
Topic: Communications / Outreach
I will comb my hair every day. I will call my grandparents more. I will practice gratitude.
Those are a few of my New Year’s resolutions. I know, I know, most of us cringe in regard to New Year’s resolutions, but at the same time, I believe that the tradition serves its purpose. The new year is a time to pause and reflect on what we envision for the year ahead, and resolutions can be a way to formalize those commitments and aspirations. As interested as I’m sure you are in my personal hygiene and familial communications, I’ll now move on to something a bit more relevant to your work: I’ll outline a few of FAC Net’s resolutions for 2018.
We’ll Use Four-Letter Words!
Well, OK, not all four-letter words, but we are using one word that definitely makes the hair on some people’s neck stand up: F-A-I-L. Last summer, we launched our Fantastic Failure Blog Series to catalyze honest reflection about FAC projects that go wrong. So far, we’ve heard about mitigation work that didn’t make a difference when a wildfire blazed through a community, a fuels reduction project that went astray, and an overly ambitious multi-jurisdictional project. The beauty of this series is that we’re talking about failure in a moving forward sense. The stories focus on what the authors learned, what they would do differently next time, and what advice they have for others who may one day find themselves in a similar situation. The authors who have participated so far would probably all agree that these posts weren’t easy to write. However, putting their pens to paper enhanced their ability to learn from their mistakes, and each post has received loads of positive, appreciative feedback. If you’d like to participate in the series, contact me. If you’re a bit uneasy about the idea, read the examples above, as they may give you some motivation to step out of your comfort zone and start talking about failure.
Fire management leaders throughout the country are interested in this approach to collectively learn from our mistakes. So much so, that FAC Net has been asked to lead a session focused on learning from failure at the 2nd Annual National Cohesive Strategy Workshop. I’ll be joined by our three pilot Fantastic Failure authors as we help workshop attendees understand how to develop and share their own failure stories, and I hope to see you there! If mistakes are inevitable, why not learn from them?
We’ll Ask for Less of Your Time, and We’ll Give You Something Fresh
Our longtime readers know that since launching our blog, FAC Net has published blogs almost every Tuesday and Thursday. This year, we’re going to scale back and try out posting once a week. The rationale behind this change is two-fold. First, we want to ask less of our readers. Did you know that on average, 1 in 3 of our blog subscribers read every single FAC Net blog? Other similar blogs have a readership rate of about 1 in 5, at best. And, you’re really taking the time to read them. On average, people spend about five minutes reading our blogs. The average time most people spend reading articles online depends on who you ask, but I’ve seen stats as low as 15–37 seconds. You guys are amazing.
But, you are also incredibly busy. Read one of our Day in the Life posts to get a sense of all of the wonderful, time-intensive work that your colleagues juggle. So, we want to ask for less of your time in 2018, and one way we’re resolving to do that is by experimenting with posting only one blog a week.
What, then, will I be doing with all the extra time that I, the blog manager, have on my hands? That brings me to the second reason for this change. In 2018, I will be creating new types of content. I hope that by sharing your stories in new formats, we will reach new practitioners. Stay tuned as those products unfold!
We’ll Make and Distribute More Great Resources
Did posts such as 6 Resources to Help Communities Recover After Wildfire, Prescribed Fire Outreach Assessment — The Verdict Is In or Top 5 Resources for Planning For Wildfire expose you to helpful, relevant resources that you applied in your community? Well, you weren’t the only one! This year, we will continue to identify and distribute resources related to community wildfire resilience. Our success in doing so, though, relies on you, so please keep us appraised of what resources are working well in your community and what additional resources you’re seeking.
We’ll Launch FAC SAT v. 3.0
The FAC Self-Assessment Tool (FAC SAT) helps communities understand where they are in their fire adaptation journey, and identify priorities and potential actions. Last year, we found out that organizations from numerous states (and even from around the world!) are downloading and using the FAC SAT. Users include non-profit, fire department, state government and emergency management professionals. Because of its usefulness, FAC Net is investing in an updated version of the FAC SAT that will include additional support tools. Stay tuned for the release of FAC SAT v. 3.0.
We’ll Keep the Science Tuesday Posts Coming
What would the FAC Net blog be without reader-favorite Lenya Quinn-Davidson connecting you to the management implications of the latest fire science? In 2018, Lenya will continue to blow our minds with new perspectives, and new science, related to community wildfire resilience.
Like “Dinner and a Movie”? We’ll Be Your Go-To Source for Movies!
Well, maybe that’s an overstatement. But, we will be creating shorter, topical videos that, if they don’t make the cut for movie night, will at least be a contender for videos you’ll want to watch on the job. If you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel.
We Will Keep the Spotlight on You!
You all are the ones in the communities, working on these issues. You each have a story to tell. You each have lessons learned and reflections worth sharing. Whether it’s a success or a fantastic failure, if you have a story that you think other wildfire resilience practitioners could learn from, contact me to explore how we can share your story with other practitioners.
So, here’s to de-tangled hair and FAC progress in 2018!
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