Elspeth Briscoe, co-founder of award-winning online schools, MyGardenSchool and MyPhotoSchool, shares her favourite online haunts.

Elspeth Briscoe is the co-founder of award-winning online schools, Learning With Experts, formerly known as MyGardenSchool and MyPhotoSchool. Previously Elspeth held senior strategy positions at eBay, Skype and as an advisor to The Digital Guardian.

My Favourite Website... Etsy. I buy regularly from them, and love that it’s a truly global site. I recently bought some seed bombs from North of Scotland. Also its environmental stance appeals to me; I feel strongly that we are ruining our planet partly because of our obsession with consumerism – so I like their recycling ethic, the fact that its community driven, and that each product is hand made by someone who cares.

My Favourite App... I like any apps that remind me of things and help me to become more organised. I keep thinking of extra functionality they could do with – but one of my favourites is The Royal Horticultural Society’s – it tells you what to plant when.

My Favourite Blog... I’m a bit of a blog fly and have very little loyalty to any one in particular. Blogs that I do land on regularly though include some of the best photography and horticultural ones. Noel Kingsbury’s blog is very personal and also great for a global perspective on horticulture. I also like our own MyPhotoSchool photography blog for a mixture of expert advice and stunning photographs.

My Most Recent Buy Online... A gift from Not On The High Street for my parents' 70th birthdays. It's great for different presents and anything unique and personal. The service is also excellent. I’ve never been disappointed.

My Favourite Tweeter... I keep an eye on what @cape and @jbilefield say most days. They were Directors at Skype when I was there, and always have a good handle on what’s new and going on in the internet and tech space. They pass on a lot of good industry stats too, so I don’t have to look for them.

My Favourite Pinterester... Anthony Paul is probably one of the best landscape designers in the world at the moment. He doesn’t court the limelight though: no Chelsea Flower Show, no showy magazine articles, or big press presence. Simply beautiful designs that speak for themselves. Pinterest boards about his work are inspiring.

Social Media Allowed Me to Meet... We hired our MyPhotoSchool blogger, Geoff Harris, via social media on LinkedIn. I wouldn’t underestimate the power of social media for recruitment. We wrote a detailed job spec and really put it out there as an experiment. Geoff is former editor of Digital Camera Magazine, and has become a very important member of our team. I was astounded by the quality of applicants. We had several very high profile editors applying. I will always recruit through LinkedIn now.

My Stand Out Online Memory... I think it’s something that happened recently illustrating the power of passion-driven communities. We’ve been working with a very famous photographer and author recently (Michael Freeman) to produce an online photography foundation course. We unintentionally turned the course live a little early (we had done no marketing because we were actually still editing the lectures) – and within a couple of hours we’d already had half the course booked up. This was purely viral – someone spotted that it had gone live and posted on Twitter. Er we got editing fast..

Most Worthwhile Newsletter Subscribed To... Savvy Woman.

My Favourite new Gadget... I’ve just bought myself some tiny lenses for my iPhone – telephoto, fisheye and macro lenses. I was inspired after seeing the David Bailey exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery. He had an entire room dedicated to his iPhone photos.

My Pet Hate About Life Online... I don’t get frustrated by the volume of information as I know many people do. Nor the quality – in fact I like that there is so much freedom of choice. I suppose my hate is the darker side of online. The shady deals, scammers, and unethical practices that thrive in hidden corners of the web.

15 October 2014