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How Do You Twitter: Niall Harbison?

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niall harbison twitter

Super chef, blogger and entrepreneur who has actually been in the Dragon’s Den! Without further ado, I give you Niall Harbison.

I guess a lot of people know you as ‘that fella who was on Dragon’s Den’. :) But who is @niallharbison?

niall harbison twitter
If I had a penny for every person who asked me was Peter Jones as tall in real like I could retire and lead a comfortable life. I used to work for billionaires as their private chef flying around the world cooking for them. While doing that I realized there was huge potential for online cooking videos so left the world of the rich and famous to move back to Ireland and launch Lookandtaste.

Will we still be tweeting in 5 years time?

niall harbison twitter
I have a feeling we will and as the service evolves I can see it becoming a far more widespread manor of digesting news and sports events from all over the world in real time.

How has Twitter helped you in self promotion and business?

niall harbison twitter
I don’t like to think of it as promoting the business as I think that people who do that on Twitter inevitably fail. Where I do see the value is the massive amount of feedback I get on our site from developers, designers and expert marketers all 100% for free. I also love personalizing the business through Twitter. Smart brands have a human side to them on Twitter and engage with people rather than just trying to push stuff out.

Has benefitted a lot from Twitter?

niall harbison twitter
More than you could ever imagine.

Is it a crime for a business not to be on Twitter in 2009?

niall harbison twitter
The bigger crime is to be on there because you have heard you should be and start spamming people with links to your profile. You can do a lot of damage to your brand on Twitter by using it incorrectly. is a fantastic idea, and so well designed! Do you think there will be an even bigger surge in Twitter creations in 2009 or when will the bubble burst?

niall harbison twitter
I think they are fun to make but people trying to build an entire business out of a twitter app are playing a risky game as Twitter haven’t even monetized their own site yet! I think twitter is sexy at the moment but I can’t see a huge amount of financial gains to be had for 3rd parties.

How can a big name brand be trusted on Twitter?  You don’t know who is tweeting, it could be anyone from the CEO to an intern.

niall harbison twitter
As a rule I wouldn’t really follow big brands. The only area where I think they can add value through twitter is by using it for customer service and feedback. I see it more as a tool for the small boys like us to leverage ourselves up against the big boys.

Are we losing our ‘real life’ social skills because of the increase in social media tools?

niall harbison twitter
Not at all in fact I think it is the opposite in that I have met 100s of super interesting people through twitter at meet ups that I would never have normally met. I think it is super important to switch the internet off 100% the odd time and take a day off though.

How do you decide who to follow?

niall harbison twitter
I don’t really have any rules apart from I would never follow somebody following a couple of thousand people as I would be suspicious of their motives.

Any advice for someone who just signed up today?

niall harbison twitter
I was getting sick of trying to explain it to people as I would just ramble on and not really get the point across to people so I made this video to answer people’s questions.


Next time you’re in Belgium (which might be in the near future) Niall, there’s a few Duvels on me. Look out for some drunk tweeting then everyone. Also look out for, LookandTaste and Twecipe to find out what Niall is up to. I’m sure I will need to add to this site list as Niall is sure to come up with more fantastic ideas soon!

Further Interviews

I’ve interviewed a whole host of other Internet gurus over the past few weeks including Guy Kawasaki, Mr Tweet, Tim O’Reilly, ProBlogger, Smashing Magazine and Chris Coyier so don’t forget to check them out.

Be sure and follow me at @paddydonnelly if you want to find out first about more exciting Twitter interviews :)

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