A year of work in progress – day 210

Day 210 – 5 December 2014

Some months ago, when it was warm, Tony and I agreed to help Alli and Ashley to do some leaflet drops (Tony then claimed to know nothing about it!). It was all to improve the Digital Durham take up. Today it was very cold and it didn’t seem such a good idea but what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander and if some of the team are expected to do it then so should I (and Tony).

The issue was though how was I going to get a blog out of it? Write five hundred words on stuffing flyers through people’s doors and try to make it interesting. There is a challenge and so here it goes.

A couple of things have come to light over the last few days with regards to our demand stimulation efforts. Our first cabinet was lit just before Christmas last year. Indeed it is nearly the anniversary of its launch. Our second cabinet however was not enabled for several months after that. Our take up figures have been recorded as if our programme started four months ahead of when it actually did. Hopefully you are still with me but the net result is that our take-up figures, rather than being on plan, are actually slightly ahead.

Yesterday when I was in Morpeth I had the chance to speak to Fay who runs their iNorthumberland programme. It transpires that BT tells them how well our programme is doing and that they have lessons to learn from us, particularly in managing the roll out. Of course BT tell us how well the Northumberland programme is going and that we have lessons to learn from them, particularly in managing demand stimulation. We are onto the tricks of BT.

Northumberland has an exchange on Holy Island and so they have FOTC, fibre over the causeway.

Alli decided that we would go to Sherburn which lies about five kilometres to the east of Durham. She had suggested that I dress up warmly and so I’d brought some gloves, a scarf and my Russian hat. It was cold to start but after the sun had come out and we had a few streets behind us I got quite warm.

I never appreciated how complicated a leaflet drop could be. Firstly we could only put leaflets through certain numbers (those that were attached to the cabinets) and secondly the street numbering and naming conventions defied logic. Other things to watch out for is that letter boxes come in all shapes and sizes, some houses don’t have one and they can be anywhere on the door. Many houses have brushes behind the letter box to keep the drafts out which make it nigh on imposable to put the leaflets through. Some had gates, some had winding paths and then there were the dogs. I didn’t have to face one but I could hear several of my leaflets being chewed to pieces as I walked away.

Between the three of us we managed to cover five hundred and sixty properties which equated to less than one per cent of the total. My legs and feet felt it.

I managed my five hundred words.

Learning points for today: There is a tankopedia dedicated to all things tank; the best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas; he’s gone down in my estimation; walking is not my forte and; things that seem simple aren’t always.

Today’s enjoyment rating 8/10 – a nice walk out.

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