On leaving Twitter

I have left Twitter. Actually, my account still exists but that’s just so that anyone I only know through Twitter can still get in touch. It has been good to me. I have made many friends, learnt a lot and collaborated with a number of people as a result of it. As Twitter was my only ever foray into social media, one might say I have left social media. For now at least I have not migrated elsewhere.

My reasons for leaving Twitter are similar to my reasons for not joining other platforms. Ethical reasons. I’m not suggesting I am deeply principled, even less so wholly consistent on ethical issues, but it was enough for me to move on. I have questioned my relationship with Twitter for a while and this pushed me over the edge.

The problem is, Twitter was very much part of my process. Some of you reading this will be familiar with my ‘work in progress videos’ where I would post what I was building. It was warts-and-all and helped to spur me on. I hope it was also enlightening for other makers / artists.

One other area I will miss is cycle advocacy. There’s a good crew around these parts and I’ll miss contributing in the unique way one could through 280 characters.

Since leaving, I have definitely gained some time each day…and my Twitter Voice has faded away nicely. I have been blogging in longer form again and so far I have stuck to the promise I made myself: to engage more in real life. I’ve even made it to the AGM of that cycle advocacy group I mentioned and contributed to a project of theirs.

The bit I am not yet clear on is how to document my work. I think that too is going to become more long form. That would fit nicely with where I am at in my PhD, as I start to transition from tireless experimental musical instrument builds to more formal ‘writing up’. I have also been thinking hard about what documentation I find useful and inspiring. Ideally, it’s a mixture of video and audio demos with text and images to show specifics of the build – plus links to any resources and materials. The problem is, even I have found this easier to do with some sort of ‘audience’. I guess we’ll see how it goes…

Lastly, I am trying to extract various themes covered over the years in my tweets. I am starting to log these on my research site. There are many common threads but they are impossible to consolidate (or even find) if searching a Twitter history. Maybe I can make something more useful out of the thirteen or so years I was on that platform.

As ever, do please post any comments on this. I welcome your thoughts.

Image by Ben Waddington


What a time we’ve had of late. Has been crushing for so many musician/artist friends and of course even worse for some. Like many, I’ve been trying to work out what the future holds and how to “stay safe”.

I’ve not gone away though, despite my apparent absence here. In fact, since September 2020 I have both started a part-time PhD at BCU and I took on an intern from Design Academy Eindhoven for six months (slightly truncated by Covid). Both of these endeavours have their own spaces online, if you’d like to find out more:

PhD &c – www.mrunderwood.co.uk/research

Miles The Intern – https://www.mrunderwood.co.uk/milesmeetssam/

HackSpace – The interview that wasn’t…

Sometimes in life, things come out of the blue…and before you know it they pass you by. That’s what happened with this interview for HackSpace magazine.

This particular bolt out of the blue was very welcome and came at a time when things were somewhat soggy around these parts. Very soggy. So soggy in fact that the photographs taken of me in my workshop for this article were shot between floods! One week either side and I’d have been knee deep in water…

The crazy timing of this led me to not quite appreciate that the call I was having was actually the interview; until quite near to the end of it. This resulted in a really open and enlightening insight into my world and why I do what I do.

If you’d like a read—accompanied by some particularly hilarious photographs—you can buy a physical copy here. Or there is a freely downloadable PDF version.

I’d like to thank my girlfriend for capturing my inner goon in the photographs and a HUGE thank you to Andrew for supporting my work in this way. You rock!