11 June 2008 | Team Tamar

When Celebrities Network! Part 7 – Rory Cellan-Jones

As we get in to the third day of our social media celebrity interviews, we step up a techy gear and talk to the BBC’s own Rory Cellan-Jones – Technology Correspondent and all-round technical guru. If anybody knows the power of social media, it’s going to be Rory…

Rory Cellan-Jones

Rorycellanjones Before moving in to his current role as Technology Correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones was business and economics editor and a technology author – after the dot com crash he wrote the book "Dot.bomb". Since 2007 he has been the BBC‘s Technology Correspondent with a specific remit of "expanding the BBC’s coverage of new media and telecoms, and the cultural impact of the Internet." He is a regular contributor to the BBC’s blogs, including the dot.life blog amongst others.

You’re on Facebook – do you use any other social media and to what extent?

I use most of them – or rather I have signed up to Facebook, Twitter, Bebo, MySpace, LinkedIn, Dopplr – but really only bother with Twitter and Facebook.

What has your experience of Social Networks been like so far?

I started just as a journalistic exercise – I cover this area so needed to know what it was about – but then got sucked in. I’ve found it very useful for professional more than personal contacts – but have been in touch with people that I hadn’t seen for thirty years, and have made connections online that wouldn’t have been possible without social networking… There is, for instance, a small group of people who write about technology stories and I know most of them through Facebook and Twitter rather than "real-life" encounters..

As a public figure, how do you feel about / deal with fans (or critics in some cases) contacting you online?

Most of the people who contact me online tend to be PRs rather than "fans". I get a lot of friendship requests on Facebook – and used to add them all but now only respond if their profile shows them as friends of friends… 

What would you class as the main reason you use social networks – personal interaction, publicising your work, research, feedback etc?

The main reason for using social networks for me is adding a bit of personal interaction to my professional dealings with contacts – plus it’s also a good way of spreading the word about your work. This time last year a lot of people of my (advanced) age-group were suddenly joining Facebook and it became useful socially – but I think they’ve all melted away now.

Do you use any of Facebook / MySpace’s added features or is your profile fairly basic?

I used a lot of Facebook apps for a while – but was eventually driven mad by them – so I’ve gone back to basics.

Thanks to Rory for answering our questions, it’s great to get a different perspective on these things. Join us again later today for the next Celebrity…

Team Tamar