Well it’s that time of the year again. Next week the Stonetree Harm Reduction blog will have been operating for three years and, as has become the tradition, I take time out to reflect on what has been happening in the previous 12 months.
The blog has been incredibly busy with over 32 000 page views logged in the last twelve months. This is about the double amount of page views when compared with the previous year. The development of a Gallery page and the publishing of 150 visual messages promoting harm reduction has driven a lot of this traffic. While the numbers are a nice exercise in vanity, what has been more satisfying has been the numerous messages I’ve received from people, telling me how they are using the various visual projects. I have been very grateful to receive feedback from harm reduction and alcohol and other drugs workers in Canada, US, UK and from all over Australia, letting me know that they are using the images. I always crack a little smile whenever I’m reading something online and see one of the images I’ve created being used too!
Apart from the Gallery and the subsequent increase in traffic to the site, I’ve also been fortunate enough to be involved in a number of events both large and small in both the virtual and non virtual world throughout the last 12 months.
Global Drug Survey
Not long after celebrating 2 years of the Stonetree blog, I had the pleasure of playing a very small part in the promotion of the Global Drug Survey. This one of a kind online survey not only provides a way of collecting information about drug use and related issues on a global level, it also enables people to have their say. I’m sure that this year’s survey will be even larger than last year.
Harm Reduction Café
The 20th of August 2013 marked the first ever Harm Reduction Café to be held in Australia.
I was lucky enough to attend the very first Harm Reduction Café, held in Liverpool in 2012. It was a great event that provided me with the opportunity to meet many of the people I had heard about and chatted with on social media. Since that time I’ve wanted to organise my own, but got distracted by other demands.
The first Australian Harm Reduction Café event was a small gathering in a pub in Brunswick (in Melbourne’s inner Northern suburbs). While the number of attendees were small, they more than made up for it, in terms of the far-ranging and informative discussions that took place. There was no format jus an opportunity to meet with others and talk about harm reduction. I’m hoping to organise some more of these events soon.
Participation in the annual tweet up under the hashtag #OD13 coinciding with International Overdose Day has become a Stonetree tradition each August. Yet again it was fantastic to be involved, tweeting with harm reduction advocates from across the globe.
You can check out a transcript of the tweets at Symplur #OD13 Transcript
Social Media Training for Harm Reduction Advocates
This year also marked the first social media training provided under the Stonetree umbrella. The turbocharged 30 minute training presentation was provided to the staffing group of a small harm reduction organisation. I’m hoping to do a few more of these in the future.
As always there are way too many people to thank. While this blog is an independent project not attached to an agency or organisation, it does not occur in a vacuum. There are many individuals and organisations that have provided feedback, advice and opportunities over the course of the last twelve months. So thank you to all who have read, commented or just prompted an idea during a discussion, it is all valued. Special thanks as always to Nigel Brunsdon who has always been more than ready to provide sage advice and sounding board.
Recovery oriented service systems, recommissioning of the Victorian alcohol and other drugs treatment sector, the introduction of peer naloxone in Victoria and the changing landscape of drugs and drug markets means that I’m guessing I will have plenty to write about in the coming 12 months.