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Editor’s letter: Twitter – it’s not just for twits

That’s because, as we come to the end of our 25th anniversary year, we’ve been playing with the look and feel of the magazine and thinking about what it is FDs want from it.

In my conversations with FDs this year I’ve been asking that same question wherever possible, probing as to how a monthly printed magazine can serve this audience in the face of the social networking, rolling news era (which, incidentally, I happen to love most of). Don’t worry, we aren’t starting up a Twitter account, unless I receive hundreds of emails pleading me to reconsider. Happily, it seems FDs still value having something, which – in this age of the virtual everything – they can hold and read while they travel up and down the country or fly around the world chasing meetings and clients.

What we know is that FDs, like everyone else, are online and use the internet to find a range of things they need for their job – from financial data to salary and other business information. I recently had a call from a FTSE-250 business you’d recognise, if I could tell you their name, asking for more data behind our recent audit fees survey, the full results of which we only publish online, because they like to supply it to their board before they face investor or results presentations – glad we could oblige. But I’m jealous of those glossy, interactive, all-singing websites you see so much of these days – so get in touch and let me know what you’d like and could use from ours.

I’m about as handy with computers as a grizzly bear with a pair of knitting needles, but I know from my own use of the internet that we need to connect more with you online.

We try to guide you to our huge archive of FD interviews, analysis pieces, whitepapers, guides and ‘thought leadership’ (shudder!) articles by adding links to them online at the end of each page of this magazine, so you can easily find us and we heartily encourage you to comment on them on the website, which you c an do anonymously.

We’re publishing more information about our events and web seminars than before because we want to meet more FDs and open up the burgeoning community: I love seeing FDs chatting to each other over a glass or two after one of our evening events.

Everyone seems to get something from the chance to swap notes with someone doing the same job – often a lonely job – in another company, market, in their own way. Why not online, too?

I recently attended a training course on social media which, though that wasn’t how it was sold to me, focused almost entirely on the merits of Twittering. I left quietly incensed, because the majority of those singing its praises were basically salespeople Twttering to other salespeople. I may annoy the techies among you and be proven wrong in my assessment, but I can’t see Byron Grote Tweeting BP’s latest results.

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