About me

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Me and my website

Hi, I’m Simon, and I have a blog. Let me answer some questions…

Who are you?

Back in May 2003, when I started this blog, I was an 18 year old A-Level student studying in the North West of England. I’m now a Consultant in Health Protection on the other side of the country. You can find out more about me here.

If you glance through the archives, you’ll note that I once worked for the DIY chain Homebase, too. Clad in their delightful orange and green uniform, I advised people on their wallpaper and paint combinations – despite colourblindness. Now that’s equal opportunities.

This photo is pretty dated, but I haven’t changed it because it’s been there for so long that I’d miss it.

Where did this site come from?

My first ‘proper’ website appeared on the web in 1997, and was once featured on a programme on BBC Radio 3. There’s a claim to fame.

For a while, I went through every web-based fad going – including a pretty dire Flash phase – eventually settling on the domain name simonhoward.co.uk for my experiments, which initially went by the name of ‘SiSite’ and then ‘Network S’, before changing simply to ‘simonhoward.co.uk’ in 2000. In 2002, I got very excited as I’d racked up 5,000 hits over the course of several years.

In 2003, I was convinced to start participating in a new-fangled ‘blog’, along with several other teenage writers, called ‘The LBSC’. This took on a life of it’s own for a while, and became mildly popular in a cultish sort of way. At the same time, I lost the rights to the simonhoward.co.uk domain, so moved my own website to sjhoward.co.uk (‘John’ being my middle name).

In late 2004, the LBSC fell offline. So, on Christmas Day 2004, I decided to go it alone, porting my posts from the LBSC over to the sjhoward.co.uk domain, and continuing to blog, initially on the Blogger platform.

Over the next sixth months or so, I moved across to WordPress (and never looked back), and the site design pretty much settled into something not dissimilar to its appearance today. The site became briefly well known in an internetty sort of way, caught up in the noughties fad for blogs, featuring everywhere from Newsnight to Channel 4 News and beyond. It got me a short-lived local newspaper blog (long since lost to the mists of time). It spawned manifest spin-offs from its own book to its own bookshop.

These dates, it’s a bit more of a sedate affair where I mostly post book reviews and links to interesting things I’ve found on the web, interspersed with occasional essays on things I find interesting.

Help! I desperately need to know your favourite colour!

It’s blue.

Are you spying on me and stealing all my data?

I’m not. Since I turned commenting off a few years ago, and since only I write on the site, everything new that appears on the site is my own. Functional cookies are used to make the site work for those who login to administer the site (i.e. me), but I don’t track visitors using cookies. I don’t store data about users (except for published comments from long ago).

The exception to the above is where users have signed up to receive copies of posts by email. In that case, fairly obviously, your email address is stored so that the system can sent copies of posts by email. This is kept private and shared only with the third parties required to make the service work.

There are embedded media players and stuff used on the site, such as those from YouTube. Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website. These websites may collect data about you, use cookies, embed additional third-party tracking, and monitor your interaction with that embedded content, including tracking your interaction with the embedded content if you have an account and are logged in to that website.

Can I steal stuff from your site?

Maybe, maybe not. Check the Copyright Policy.

Getting in touch

If you have any other questions, there are loads of ways to contact me, all of which are listed in the site guide. But the easiest way is probably to email me.

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