Okay, this page is a “landing point” for anyone clicking my profile on Twitter. If you want to know more about me then you can read About Andrew; I should also point you at my Disclaimer which basically says that anything on this blog, on Twitter, on Delicious or anywhere else is all my own work and  is not connected to my employer in any way. And of course, I can point you towards the front page of this blog so you can read the rest of the scintillating content on this site for yourself! But the point of this page is to talk about how I use Twitter and also Delicious, Facebook and some other sharing social media sites.

I love doing a blog; but blogs can take a lot of time – a decent blog post can take days to think about, and then a spare hour or two to actually bring together, compose and edit into a fit state to be published.Which is where Twitter comes in. I’ve been on Twitter (as draml) for quite a time, but certainly not the beginning. I think it was March 2008 when I signed up, thinking “What is this? I don’t see the point of it” and got hooked almost instantly in ways that I still don’t fully understand. I did at least get there before the outbreak of celebrities landed – not that I mind Stephen Fry, Jonathan Ross et al joining in, I’m happily following them myself, I’m just glad I can say “I was there before the rest of the UK piled on, but I’m delighted to be around to see everyone arrive.”

If you feel like it, please do add me to the list of people you follow. I don’t know what the “proper” protocol is, whether you’re supposed to say “hi” when you follow someone or not, but either way is fine by me. By all means say hi, but equally if you don’t want to right away then that’s fine too. And please don’t be offended if I don’t follow you back, I find the number of folk I follow produces such an amount of traffic that I’m very wary about adding anyone else straight off until I see what kind of updates they do, what sort of things people are talking about.

So what do I use Twitter for; what can you expect if you do choose to “follow”? Go to the Twitter and you’re asked the question “What are you doing?” and sometimes, that’s perfect – and the answer to it is exactly what I post. Watching TV, having a drink, heading into work. But people who only use Twitter for that purpose miss a good 75% of the appeal of it: there’s the news-gathering (both from ‘official news organisations who Twitter like CNN and BBC, and from individuals who happen to be on the ground where a major stroy breaks such as Mumbai, the Hudson River or Gaza); there’s the microblogging aspects, where you can genuinely say in 140 words something that you might have strained to work up into a full scale blog post in the past’ and of course the conversation and community with people on subjects that you suddenly find you share. And from all of these streams come useful links and pointers to all manner of things around the internet to check out, from pictures to videos and articles and blog posts and so much more. Who needs Google and RSS when the world comes to you on Twitter?

I also use Delicious to note some of those interesting links and share them on, and you’ll notice that those Delicious links show up on the blog as automated postings. The “post to blog” function has made Delicious a truly useful service for me for the first time: a lot of blog posts can be about stories that I’ve seen around, and with Delicious I can say everything I want to, in one quick and easy hit as I bookmark it, and share it with everyone. It’s sort of microblogging on links, in other words. But you’re also welcome to add my feed to your Delicious network if you use it, and I hope that you enjoy the stream of links there.

You may also notice (from the sidebar on the blog) that I have a Google Reader stream that you can opt into. I don’t usually add comments to these, and the links are just interesting things I’ve found from my RSS feeds that I wanted to point out or share but don’t have anything particularly to add to them (or otherwise they might go onto the Delicious feed.) The main reason I use Google shared itsems is that it’s a simple one-button click on both the desktop browser and the iPhone app to share something, where it’s a longer (and on the iPhone considerably trickier) process to transfer to Delicious.

And of course I’m also on Facebook. But this is really for people I know in person (or have become friends with via online communities such as The WELL or indeed through Twitter. It’s not a place where I make new friends, and so I only accept invitations from people that I already know from elsewhere. If you send me a friend invitation out of the blue and I don’t know you, I’ll probably ignore it. No offence intended. (So it’s always worth writing a quick covering note with a friend invite if I might know you under a different online persona, such as a Twitter or WELL user ID and not recognise your “civilian” name!)

And that’s really it. Hopefully that explains my use of the various social media tools and gives you some information about me, what I’m doing here, and how to interact most rewardingly for all concerned.

If there’s any information you’d like me to include on this page (or indeed elsewhere on this blog/Twitter/Delicious/etc.) then lease do add it as a comment below.

Thanks for taking the time to find out more about me!

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