About Andy Mabbett

My interests

Having programmed machines with paper tape and punched cards (at a very young age!), I’m glad to see things have moved on a little. I gave up programming many years ago, but was involved in the design and management of pioneering, large-scale websites in the UK’s public sector from 1994-April 2011. You can read about my past work on LinkedIn.

I am now working freelance.

I am a published author (of ) and journalist — but (as anyone who’s corrected my ‘tyops’ will tell you) I can’t type. My writing is uniquely identified by ORCID reference number 0000-0001-5882-6823. I am a trustee, and webmaster, of the West Midland Bird Club. My other interests include birdwatching, music (rock, especially , jazz, folk, classical, and more), photography (a few of my pictures are on Flickr) and HTML standards, especially microformats and issues around the marking up of “non-standard” dates. Several of my suggestions have been included in the draft of the next generation of vCard — the standard for contact information exchange used by mobile phones and computer/ on-line address books. All of which make me sound far more of a nerd than I am. Or that I’ll admit to, at least.


My work on HTML includes . I introduced microformats on Wikipedia have led their roll-out there. I’m the author of the , and extensions to “geo” for lunar and other non-terrestrial coordinates; and a contributor to several others. I think microformats are a great innovation, but have concerns about the ‘governance’ of the microformats community (which stifles their development and discourages community participation), the process by which they’re created, and the accessibility of some of the mark-up methods they use (accessibility concerns which I first raised in September 2006).

This page has a simple hCard microformat, containing my name, web address and location. You can download these contact details as a vCard and magically add them to your computer’s address book.


  • You can follow my status updates on Twitter, as @pigsonthewing. Messages to me there will usually get the quickest response.
  • People I know can ‘friend’ me on Facebook
  • E-mail:
  • Instant messaging/Skype IDs available on request (I rarely use them, so need to expect your “call”)


…I’d rather be out bird-watching!