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Entrepreneurs Panel

Julie Meyer
Debbie Pierce
Laura Tenison
David Pollock
Brian Hay
Richard O'Sullivan
Jennie Johnson
Charlie Mullins
Tony Caldeira
Steve Purdham
Jeremy Roberts
Michael Oliver

Messing about with Twitter

Steve Purdham

Has worked in the software industry for more than 25 years. Founded Surfcontrol in the early 80s and built it into a global provider of internet filtering software before it was sold to California-based Websense in 2007 for £201 million. Moved straight onto the launch of We7, an advertising-funded music download company supported by rock legend Peter Gabriel. We7 was relaunched in 2008 as an internet jukebox with 3.5 million songs which users can listen to for free. Purdham is hoping for user figures of two million in 2009.

Question: 

I’ve been mucking about with this Twitter lark and think I might have said something ill-advised about one of my most important clients after my third large glass of Pinot Noir. How can I make amends?

Answer: 

Either pray and hope it gets lost in the noise and doesn’t rear its head ever again or quickly grovel and get in fi rst as long as you think it’s recoverable. Twitter, Facebook and the like is all in the public domain and, as a result, is searchable, so actually the “pray” option is grasping at straws – you can guarantee that the more contentious your statement the more likely it is to be found and circulated.

I have heard of technological solutions with the introduction of “drunk filters” – where it holds back “inappropriate” messages until the following day just to give you the chance to stop that comment that sounded good when under the influence – but at the end of the day, you just need to be very careful because in today’s world a comment is for life not just for that drunken moment.

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