Continuing my reflections on Twitter, some people think you should keep your work tweeting separate from your personal Twitter account.
I’m not so sure. My Twitter handle (see, I am learning all the lingo) is @AndyWinterBHT. I know I am slightly hindered in what I can say given the “BHT” suffix. But then, even if I had a separate account, I still couldn’t speak my mind freely because I would still be identified with that organisation I work for, whose name temporarily escapes me!
I actually like knowing that people have a hinterland, such as the Sunday ritual of @LisaSaysThis and @AMOQ1 who for some obscure reason tweet about archery or, more specifically, about The Archers themselves. The flower arranging prowess of the Handsome One, as recorded by @Huxley06, gives me hope that I too will one day be able to arrange a vase of daffs, but I sadly won’t ever become the top flight football referee that @ConallBartlett4, according to his dad, is destined to become. Then there is the Muesli Hill soap opera brought to us by @anthonyzach and @dzyrl, or baking by our very own Delia Smith, @ValPearceBHCC.
Of course all of the above successfully combine professional tweets with personal reflections and insights. I apologise unreservedly for the above comments. I think their Twitter content is the better for this fusion.
In addition to tweeting about @BHT_Sussex, and issues that impact on the organisation and its clients, I have been known to tweet about @SussexCCC and South African rugby and cricket. I have even been known to tweet about @StokeCity. This comes at some cost because every time I tweet about the Mighty Potters, I lose 2 or 3 followers. I just can’t imagine why.
I tend to keep my private life just that, private, although I have been known to mention I am watching cricket with @ClareCalder or offering her paternal advice about not getting another piercing. (She ignored me).
What gives me a great deal of pleasure is retweeting others, not least those posted by amazing third sector organisations locally. I know how much I appreciate being retweeted by them. I also retweet much of what is posted by @OurDaughtersUK, a campaigning organisation for whom I act as treasurer.
Many people put a disclaimer on their Twitter. My biography had such a disclaimer which said: “The views expressed here are Andy’s and not necessarily those of BHT”. Why I felt it necessary to write about myself in the third person, I don’t know. I set up my own account unlike the CEO of another charity (not local) whose PR team would not give him the password to his own Twitter account. This caused no end of amusement when that became public knowledge.
So today I changed my twitter profile. Gone is reference in the third person, and as for the disclaimer, I have changed it to: “The views expressed here are probably not those of BHT other than tweets relating to Stoke City which are all official BHT policy”. It is about as valid as any other worthless disclaimer!