Twitter, the NHS and other stories

The US healthcare debate and the UK's backlash with the We love the NHS campaign has finally prompted me to join the Twittering masses.

I've been keeping an eye on Twitter for a while now - any communications tool that can mobilise the country in support of our most simultaneously loved and loathed institution deserves some attention.

There are several things that strike me.

1. Even though it looks like it's aimed at nine-year-olds, it's companies that use it most. It suprises me that so many professionals, academics and media personalities take it seriously. (OK, I'm not really surprised about the media personalities.)

2. Its best use seems to be to let people know about something really interesting that they don't know about yet. Why, then, so many people use it to tell their friends what they had for breakfast is beyond me. (But they do - oh yes they do.)

3. It's got tremendous potential as a democratising technology - a free and open platform for anyone to have their say in 140 characters. Basically it promises many of the things the internet promised and didn't quite deliver back in the dotcom days. I love it when people take hold of a technology and turn it to their purposes (so often it's the other way around!) and Twitter's use as a campaigning tool is particularly interesting.

So, I've decided to venture out there into Twitterland, tweeting as my professional self to share links and ideas that might be of interest to people who care about similar things - social enterprise, media, the NHS, unemployment issues, homelessness, good employment practice and such like.

You can find me at

Don't worry, I've only posted one thing so far and I certainly won't be bothering you with what I had for breakfast.

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