Welcome!Twitter Avatar

Thanks for stopping by. I’m assuming you’re here, having followed the link from my Twitter profile.

Let me start off by introducing myself; my name is Matthew Smith, AKA @smiffy. My Twitter profile describes me thus:

Freelance technologist into science, the arts, language, social inclusion, good food.

Artist, cook, vintage tractor driver, veg grower.

Married with dogs.

Which I regard as being a fair summary, without going into my (not very interesting) life-story.

The technologist is “mostly writes accessible, web-based, database-driven, software,” although I am very much a generalist and do way more than that. My LinkedIn profile (link below) tells you more about this, if your interest is professional in nature.

I live and work in rural South Australia, where tractor driving is necessary to control vegetation round the property, which gets dangerously flammable during the summer, and harbours snakes.

Twitter is my primary communication channel for work, news, education, and socialisation. Living in a fairly remote area and with chronic health issues could mean isolation – but I converse with a diverse range of people from several countries, on a regular basis. I am probably less isolated now than when I was working in a town.

Different people use Twitter for different purposes. For me, it’s primarily about engagement and conversations. Not long after I joined Twitter, I wrote a couple of articles which proved quite popular at the time Smiffy’s Rules of Following and Smiffy’s Further Rules of Following. These no longer really reflect whom I follow or why; here and now, I follow either because I am engaging with a user or, for a much smaller number of accounts, find what is being said worth listening to, even if no dialogue is taking place.

The factor that has changed my use of Twitter the most is the emergence of rotation/curation accounts. These have been a source of education, entertainment, inspiration, and – above all – an opportunity to meet some truly wonderful people. The @realscientists account has seen some particularly amazing curators, with many of whom I am privileged to interact on a regular basis. My first essay into curation was the music account, @we_love_aural. Since then, I took to following @WetheHumanities, an account inspired by @realscientists, from the other side of academia. Despite being neither an academic, not working, nor having any education in the humanities, I spent one very interesting and enjoyable week curating this account myself.

So, if you’ve just found me on Twitter, please say hello, especially if you decide to follow me.


As of the 29th September, 2014, I am also on ello as @schamiyam. Whether I do much there remains to be seen, as I have some serious issues with the user interface.

Professional CV

See my profile at LinkedIn, or just ask me questions!


If you want to get in touch and an @reply isn’t for you, here’s a contact form you can use. I no longer post phone/email details online because spam, spam, spam, spam.