My “Digital” Habits

I was interviewed for a company newsletter a few weeks back; it was to be a fun, short Q&A about my digital habits. Apparently the metrics show that this section is one of the most read items within the newsletter and I was interviewed because I was deemed a “Collaboration Guru” and might have something interesting to say. You can be the judge of that!

Here’s the transcript:


Background: It might not tow the party line, but I’m always slightly cynical. I initially hated the term “digital”. I could’t help thinking this just another case where powerful technology companies have manufactured a wave of hysteria to increase dwindling sales figures. I’m thinking SOA (now microservices?) here. Don’t worry, it’s just the term I disagree with, I love the pace of technology innovation and the increased enablement of consumers and end users that we’re witnessing.

I’ve spent the majority of my career in  IT delivery and Technology Architecture roles. I am a cross-industry technologist, but I’ve throughout my I have always seemed to end up at either energy, utilities, chemicals or natural resources companies, with a particular focus on consumer and retail..

My current role is at Shell where I’m a Technology Architecture & Delivery Lead for a global marketing and retail analytics program.

How many hours are you online every day in total? Sixteen hours – my iPhone is automatically set to “do not disturb” between 10:30pm and 6:30am.

Are you an innovator or conservator? Neither. I’m always curious of new technologies and gadgets, but haven’t created anything new myself! Therefore I would class myself as a fast-follower rather than an innovator or conservator.

Best digital invention? I love my Pebble smartwatch (I was an original backer on Kickstarter) but it’s very hard to pinpoint just one. I think the start-up revolution itself is a great innovation. Even though most fail, creating a business has never been so easy or cool. Small teams of focussed intelligent people are making headway in a marketplace where huge corporations have historically dominated. That is very exciting to me.

Website you can’t live without? – I don’t think that answer has changed since I was at university.

App that are you using the most right now? Strava – an exercise tracking platform that uses your smartphone GPS. Leverages gamification and social collaboration techniques to push you to exercise further and faster.

Website you’d most like to send to the trash? I don’t tend to visit poorly designed websites unless I really have to. Some of the intranet sites at work are notoriously bad though.

When was the last time you liked, commented on, or microblogged on a collaboration platform? A few hours ago, in my company instance of Yammer.

If you could set up a digital business what would it be? If I knew that, then I wouldn’t be working in consulting any more!

What’s the most useful digital tip you’ve picked-up recently? Putting an iPhone into Airplane Mode allows it to charge faster.

The future’s bright? Definitely. Any advances in technology that can make people’s lives safer, healthier, more enriched and more productive have got to be good for humanity. I’ve firmly jumped on both the “quantified self” and “wearables” bandwagons recently. I’m starting to see them merge and cross-over now, which makes my life a lot easier. I can’t wait until the new wave of health platforms/ecosystems (Apple vs Microsoft vs Google) become more mainstream. For me, there’s still some way to go to make them seamless.


LinkedIn or CV? They have very different use cases in my opinion. I use LinkedIn frequently keep in touch with ex-colleagues.

Twitter or no Twitter? I’m a regular twitter user, but mainly as a “lurker”. In particular I find it hugely useful for real-time service disruptions to South West Trains. I tend not to use twitter in a work context, but I’m sure that will change in the future.

Facebook or good book? I use Facebook in a social context, but I’m not connected to many work colleagues. A good (Kindle) book or streamed (Sky Go / iPlayer) movie helps me pass the time during my daily commute.

To blog or not to blog? I publish this blog on a very irregular basis. I do have great ambitions of keeping up to date, but I always get distracted.

TV or laptop? I don’t tend to watch much live TV these days. Given I have a young family at home, it’s mostly just pre-recorded stuff via TiVo or Apple TV.

Newspapers or iPad? I haven’t bought a newspaper for over a decade, so it has to be my iPad.

Current Favourite Gadget? Sonos Play1.