Hello. It’s a momentous day. I’ll forgive you if you’re racking your brains as to why this might be.
It’s exactly a year since I joined Twitter, this very day.
I don’t mean to sound sensationalist, but it has changed my life.
2 April 2012 – Join. Find and follow employment law tweeters. Implore friends to follow me – I don’t want to look like I have no mates!
4 April 2012 – First Tweet “I’m getting back to business properly from next week. Will be tweeting emplaw news and views #ukemplaw”. Who cares, Teago? You only have 18 followers, and one of those is your Dad.*
11 April 2012 – Official return from maternity leave, blogging “what happens if an employee returns from maternity leave pregnant?”
BOOM! Teago has arrived.
9 May 2012 – Live tweeting the Queen’s Speech, helped me to connect with some stalwarts of #ukemplaw. @hrbullets was an early connection and has become one of my best Twitter buddies. We’ve never yet met, although we would have last month if it weren’t for a pesky tree falling on his car #damnyoufoliage
I must add that I have never met, seen or spoken to Gaby Hinsliff, we have no
mutual acquaintances, nor is there any possible way she would ever have heard of me. I am simply a Twitterer (and a massive fan of her writing) who caught her at an opportune moment, with a Tweet that intrigued her sufficiently to read my blogpost and which she felt worthy of a retweet.
Wow. And that was only 6 weeks in!
Unbridled passion (for employment law…)
1 June 2012 – “spent Gldn Jubilee w/e writing about #ukemplaw. About to spend D’mnd #Jubilee w/e writing about #ukemplaw. Where did 10 years go? #lovemyjob”
8 June 2012 – “I’ve had 2 #FF in one day thanks to @HRBullets and @anywhere_work. What a great end to another great week in #ukemplaw #lovemyjob”
14 June 2012 – “Coffee, check. #Beecroft, check. #ERRB, check. Expl Notes, check. Hansard, check. Umm, more coffee. Heavy afternoon in prospect #ukemplaw”
19 June 2012 – “finalising tmrw’s whistleblowing lecture with chilled glass of pink. Umm, guess that’s “whistleblow and wine” then #emplawgag…”
8 October 2012 – “”shares for rights”? Is that a bit like “new lamps for old”…? #ukemplaw”
31 October 2012 – “#halloweenpopstars Ghoul and the Gang… ”
4 November 2012 – “Only one thing for it on a day like today. Log fire and a Sunday roast #yorksirepudsallround”
7 Novemver 2012 – “Trying to explain “America”, “President” and “election” to a 3yo. Help! Morning everyone. #earlyshift”
16 November 2012 -“@dougshaw1 @nakedwines *mouth waters* looks like it will pack a punch. Will await verdict.”
Teago hits Westminster
Purely down to a connection made on Twitter, the Anywhere Working consortium kindly invited me to a Parliamentary Reception in honour of Anywhere Working week. What a privilege to meet and chat to people united in the pursuit of flexible working for the benefit of businesses and their people, including Microsoft and Vodafone
Meeting the Tweeps…
I’m sure I’m not alone in this sequence of thoughts when meeting a Twitter connection for the first time:
1. From a distance… “I think it’s them, best strike my avatar pose so they recognise me..”
2. Say “oh, you look just like your avatar” (unless they have no avatar, in which case likening them to an egghead might not go down too well).
3. Try to remember contents of all tweets between us and work out what mutual connections we have – after all, we don’t have anything else to go on!
4. Relax, connect, enrich and cultivate a relationship that has thus far been characterised by abbreviations, shorthand and #hashtags.
My hall of fame – Tweeps I know purely from Twitter and have so far met IRL (in real life!)
@seanjones11kbw, @michaelscutt, @perrytimms, @projectlibero, @anywhere_work
My Twit List – some (but by no means all of the) Tweeps I am literally aching to meet
@hrbullets @HR_Gem, @mjcarty, @dougshaw1, @alisonchisnell, @martincouzins, @simonheath1, @mervyndinnen, @onatrainagain, @HR_Katherine @HR_Cass @kattyfox @ariadneassoc @mjreed @MattEJackson @hrmusings @grumpyoldmum @anyapalmer @daznewman @jyc_wragge @ben_pickerings @leylarazavi @sheenateli @bettybbrave @neilmorrison @emmalgrossmith – I could go on for some considerable time here!
Now and next
Last week, together with three people I know only because of Twitter, I published my first short film about (what else?!) employment law. You can find the film, the back story and even the outtakes right here.
Today, I am following 888 and am followed by 761. It changes daily and I don’t fret about being *stage whisper* unfollowed like I used to. It’s par for the course on Twitter, people weed you out and cut you off, sometimes automatically sometimes consciously.
What next? Well, I’m hoping to make the next #ukemplaw tweetup. I’m trying very hard to persuade the Anywhere Working consortium to run an event in Daventry, heart of the country. I have the embryo of an idea taking shape with @michaelscutt (watch this space). One of these days I will, for as much as a whole hour, manage to match the boundless energy of the inimitable @perrytimms. And I continue to police the #ukemplaw tweet stream for inexcuseable cliches (with my #ukemplaw soulemate @hrbullets).
Here’s to another year, Twitter!
*apologies to my long suffering Dad