Not too many years ago, I went into an MLRO’s office in London and noticed that he didn’t have a computer. “We’re not given them,” he explained. “The secretaries do all the emailing for us.” Now, I know that’s an extreme example, but I also know that the financial sector in particular is very sensitive about computer-y access to the outside world (or – more accurately – the outside world’s computer-y access to it). There are still many financial sector employees whose computers are not connected to the Internet, and who are discouraged from using their smartphones to bypass the restriction. It’s one reason why I dithered for so long about launching this blog: I wasn’t convinced that the right people would be allowed to read it at work, and I don’t flatter myself that they will be so fascinated that they will read it at home instead.
And now we have Twitter. At a recent book festival I attended, a very successful author said that writers of non-fiction absolutely must have a “platform”, including a website (check), a blog (check) and regular Tweets (ah). I am somewhat reluctant, as I already spend hours a day writing in various formats (articles, books, website updates, blog posts), and, to be frank, my AML world does not change rapidly enough to warrant minute-by-minute updates. And I’m a bit scared. I’ve never even looked at Twitter, let alone learned how to use it – all I really know is that Stephen Fry likes it (although he may have gone off it by now) and that you need an “@” somewhere. So come on, my loyal blog readers: what do you think? Do you Tweet? Do you follow other people on Twitter? Or should I keep my beak shut?