Welcome Back

    Time for a post about the blog, as in thoughts and goals for next year.

    Essentially the blog was started as a way to publicly (and easily) share my knowledge and studies of the funeral industry with some friends.  After doing some research I found there was nothing out there which explained the funeral industry.  There were things like coffin talk which did discuss the industry. But these things were by undertaker for undertakers and did not explain what certain things were or how they were done (like a transfer).

    For the most part there was no way for my friends to understand what I had done for a year or why I was so passionate about continuing to research it.  So I created the blog as a way to publicly store my view and findings.  There really was nothing more or less to my objectives with the blog, it was something I worked on before bed very casually.

    The blog was never created with a future in mind.  When starting it there was an assumption that within 12 months the blog would be gone.  Either shut down by a company, or much more likely abandoned due to lack of interest and engagement.  My assumption was that there was no website out there with this information as few to none were interested in it.  To be proven wrong was as nice as it was surprising.

    The blog slowly grew, as time went on it became more refined and I would spend more effort and time on it.  Slowly more people were reading it and the posts themselves were developing nicely.  This is when my audience started to shift quite interestingly.  No longer was it mostly friends or random people reading the blog, it was people with a strong interest in the funeral industry.

    Here was a significant turning point for the blog.  Not only was the audience and content changing, but so was the focus and purpose.  Now it was no longer simply me storing my thoughts publicly  it was becoming a description of the industry.

    Then in September came a second significant shift.  Suddenly the blog was getting traction, without promoting it my little blog had been viewed over 1,000 times.  A rather sharp and sudden rise on last month which continued.  In October there were 3,690 views, which actually took my completely by surprise.

    This sudden and shocking rise in views, along side the evolving nature of the blog made me realise something.  That the blog had become a 'real' thing.  Until now it had just been something to play with, to amuse myself and share my knowledge.  But now I was seeing it as something more, with actual potential and ability.  This got me thinking about the future of the blog and where I might want it to head.

    Over time the blog grew and evolved.  It started as little more than a "why not" and has become something quite substantial.  As such it is now only appropriate to give it a proper direction, a reason and purpose.  To do this I thought about possible uses for the blog, as well as what I wanted.  In the end I came up with four rough goals for the next year.

1. Explain and describe the industry
Aim: To discuss how things are done, from washing cars to preparing bodies.  But to also convey the atmosphere and what the industry is like.  To help educate those joining the industry or just interested in it.

Rational: There is a lot of assumed knowledge for those joining the industry.  This will help make it easier on those people as well as give different perspectives on how to do certain things (like driving a mourning car).  At the same time it will also demonstrate what it is like to work in the industry to the public.

- How To style posts on various things.  To help illustrate how things are done to those new to the industry or not part of it.
- Funny stories.  To show what the industry can be like (through guest posts and my own posts).
- Guest posts.  To get different perspectives and ideas.
- Inside look posts.  To present different companies and attitudes within the industry so others can learn of the variety that exists.

2. Work with the industry on a frank and public discussion
Aim: To 'fix' many of the misconceptions of the industry and help create a public place where companies or individuals can discuss the industry.  A public place where the industry has a voice and is not just talked about.

Rational: There are many incorrect or unfounded assumptions of the industry or companies within it.  And the industry is publicly discussed here and there.  Yet there is no real discussion from the industry which enters back into a public setting.  Little to no way for the industry to explain things or correct misconceptions.

- Inside look posts.  To show what companies are really like behind the scenes.
- Guest posts.  To get a variety of perspectives and attitudes and create a more diverse discussion.
- Engagement with the funeral industry, as in comments and posts.  To give the industry its own say and let it be directly involved in content publicly and safely.

3. Support those who support me
Aim: To help those who have helped me or are helping me in my research of the industry.  Creating a more equal and rewarding relationship for everyone involved.

Rational: It is only fair and polite that those who help me (individuals or groups) get something in return.  As a thank you and to demonstrate that this can benefit everyone.  At the same time it should also help connect different people interested in the industry.

- Organising informal events, such as picnics or tours to museums.  To show my appreciation to individuals and to help connect different people.
- Inside looks posts.  To give some fair and honest publicity to companies who support me.
- Discuss companies in posts.  Again, to give fair and honest publicity to these companies.
- Look at services of companies.  Talking about different or unknown services the companies offer will not only publicise them but also better explain these companies to others.

4. Facilitate honours research
Aim: To make it easier to conduct my research over the year.

Rational: Due to ethical concerns content cannot be exchanged between the blog and the honours thesis.  The two have to be very separate.  However, the blog can be used to illustrate or explain my intentions publicly.  As well as find and connect with key or relevant people.

- Updates on how the research is progressing.  To explain what is going on and help find relevant people.
- Discussion of my intentions and research.  To explain what I am doing and why so others can better understand it and be more likely to help.

    Those are the four main goals for the blog over 2013.  Of course they are subject to change as things evolve and such.  For example, I have no idea how much time or effort I can devote to the blog while working on honours.

Proposed Schedule:
    Right now I would like to update three times a week (monday, Wednesday and Friday) as I feel this should be reasonable while working on honours.  Naturally this depends on content, as in if I have enough to generate three posts a week.  Due to ethics concerns the stuff I do for honours cannot and will not be used on the blog.  Which does limit things somewhat as my focus is on honours.  But for now the plan is three posts per week.  Failing that I will at least write one post per week.

Writing Style:
    I would really like to keep the style casual and informal.  This is not something I want to see turn into something too polished and professional.  So I will continue to write posts without editing or proof reading them.  Doing this might mean the writing is to a 'lower' quality than it could be.  As in things do not link up properly and are sometimes poorly written, plus typos creep in here and there.  But I find this also keeps the writing simpler, which sets a more casual tone and focus.  It does not get bogged down in detail so much as stating a case and moving on.

Honours & the Blog:
    At this point I have no idea how much these two things will work together.  It might turn out that the blog and honours work perfectly along side each other.  Or it could be the complete opposite, no way to say for sure.  All I know for certain is that honours comes first, although I will try to keep up with the blog.

    The biggest issue is the ethics behind honours.  Unfortunately my honours research cannot be used on the blog, or the blog in honours.  To do so would mean jumping through ethics hoops and could risk getting my thesis disqualified.  And I am not about to take such a silly and unlikely risk.   So the two will be kept as separate as possible.  However, I will have updates on how the research is going and such.

    With this out of the way let's get ready for a fun year.  I know I'm excited!!



  1. Anonymous13/1/13 18:07

    This is a fantastic rundown and explanation of this blog. I hope you have a great year and am looking forward to more reviews, photos and latest news from the industry.

    1. Thanks, I appreciate it :)

      For now I'm more focused with honours and just hope I get enough spare time that the blog deserves. It's certainly grown into something worth wild.



Never hesitate to ask a question or comment on something, this is an open minded and free space.

If you want to contact me privately do so at: theothersideoffunerals@gmail.com