Ada Lovelace Day

About The Authors

Suw Charman-Anderson

Suw Charman-Anderson

Suw Charman-Anderson is a social software consultant and writer who specialises in the use of blogs and wikis behind the firewall. With a background in journalism, publishing and web design, Suw is now one of the UK’s best known bloggers, frequently speaking at conferences and seminars.

Her personal blog is Chocolate and Vodka, and yes, she’s married to Kevin.

Email Suw

Kevin Anderson

Kevin Anderson

Kevin Anderson is a freelance journalist and digital strategist with more than a decade of experience with the BBC and the Guardian. He has been a digital journalist since 1996 with experience in radio, television, print and the web. As a journalist, he uses blogs, social networks, Web 2.0 tools and mobile technology to break news, to engage with audiences and tell the story behind the headlines in multiple media and on multiple platforms.

From 2009-2010, he was the digital research editor at The Guardian where he focused on evaluating and adapting digital innovations to support The Guardian’s world-class journalism. He joined The Guardian in September 2006 as their first blogs editor after 8 years with the BBC working across the web, television and radio. He joined the BBC in 1998 to become their first online journalist outside of the UK, working as the Washington correspondent for

And, yes, he’s married to Suw.

E-mail Kevin.

Member of the Media 2.0 Workgroup
Dark Blogs Case Study

Case Study 01 - A European Pharmaceutical Group

Find out how a large pharma company uses dark blogs (behind the firewall) to gather and disseminate competitive intelligence material.

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All content © Kevin Anderson and/or Suw Charman

Interview series:
at the FASTforward blog. Amongst them: John Hagel, David Weinberger, JP Rangaswami, Don Tapscott, and many more!

Corante Blog

Thursday, February 10th, 2005

According to Google, the rest of the world does not exist

Posted by Suw Charman-Anderson

It’s no real surprise, although a little disappointing, the new Google Maps feature only covers the USA and the bits of Canada they could squeeze on the page. If you scroll east, for example, in order to locate the rest of the world, you just get lots and lots of blue.

I know the Atlantic is big, but it’s not that big.

Now, I know there’ll be lots of terribly valid arguments about why this is so, but I still think there’s a fundamental mental block regarding the rest of the world from a lot of American companies and developers. Ok, yada yada stating the obvious. And yada yada Google search localisation. Ok, so I can use Google in Welsh. That’s nice. But why can’t I set the time in Gmail to GMT? Why must all my emails be stamped PST? [UPDATE: Problem explained if not solved.] And why isn’t there at the very least a note on Google Maps to say that they know the rest of the world exists, they just haven’t quite got round to adding the data in yet?

So much for the internet being a global village.

Thursday, February 10th, 2005

Fighting ‘feed intimidation syndrome’

Posted by Suw Charman-Anderson

Tammy Green takes my post about RSS overload and turns it into a great guide for people who want to start using RSS but really aren’t sure where to start.

I agree with Tammy that the blogosphere, and RSS, can be very intimidating for those who are just starting to feel their way, and think her suggested methodology is eminently sensible:

  • Start with a list people or authors whose opinions you know and respect, and then check if these folks have blogs.
  • Subscribe to their feeds, if they have them…
  • Live with the feeds you’ve found for a few days and then ruthlessly delete those that don’t add value to the topic you’re pursuing.

Tammy has some other intermediate steps, but that last one is the one that I think is both the most important, and the hardest.

Thursday, February 10th, 2005

Business blogging primer

Posted by Suw Charman-Anderson

Steve Rubel writes a long and thorough primer on business blogging as a marketing tool, but ignores the use of blogs internally for knowledge sharing, project management, team building etc. He’s not alone - it seems that more and more the focus in business metablogging is on external uses. Stick around - I’m going to change that very soon.

Thursday, February 10th, 2005


Posted by Suw Charman-Anderson

Jakob Lodwick discusses how tagging reflects how humans process information and how tagging tags (metametatagging? metatagtagging?) would allow us to build an emergent ‘tagweb’ which would allow for visualising and understanding relationships between tags. It’s a long article, but the movies help and it’s worth the effort because it might even change the way you view the usefulness of tags.

Thursday, February 10th, 2005

Spreading your meme with and Technorati

Posted by Suw Charman-Anderson

Great post from Bud Gibson at The Community Engine on spreading and tracking your meme using tags in and Technorati.

Thursday, February 10th, 2005

Flickr Graph

Posted by Suw Charman-Anderson

Flickr Graph - visualising the social relationships within Flickr using ‘the classic attraction-repulsion algorithm for graphs’. Neat!

Tuesday, February 8th, 2005

Yahoo Japan launches blog service

Posted by Suw Charman-Anderson

Susan Mernit and discuss Yahoo’s blog launch. I agree with Phil that the use of RSS in the My Favourites blogroll and in the tracking of subscribers to your blog is great. Wish more blog tools would utilise RSS more.

Tuesday, February 8th, 2005

BrandShift - new Corante blog

Posted by Suw Charman-Anderson

A warm welcome to Corante to Jennifer Rice, Andy Lark, Johnnie Moore and John Windsor, who together are blogging on BrandShift:

What does it mean for a brand to mature? The same thing as when people mature… we become more honest, direct, transparent. We become better listeners and communicators. We stop seeing ourselves as the center of our world and begin to see ourselves as part of an interconnected whole. We move from following rules to making value judgements.

The BrandShift contributors are all passionate about helping brands through this transition. We’ll not only discuss the theory of branding, but also the practice. We’ll have podcast discussions with CEOs and brand owners on how their brands are evolving in the new economy… growing pains and all. And we’ll cover the new social technologies and discuss their impact on brands.

Monday, February 7th, 2005

The Fall and Fall of Journalism - an LSE debate

Posted by Suw Charman-Anderson

The London School of Economics has invited me to take part in a panel debate called The Fall and Fall of Journalism on Monday 28 February, at 6.30pm (tickets £8):

A panel of speakers will debate whether the traditional role of journalists is being usurped by simply anyone who has access to a digital camera, camcorder and the internet. This debate will explore the new phenomena of citizen reporting, blogging and other new technology/new media-enabled reporting.

I will be discussing the impact of blogging on journalism with Leslie Bunder, Editor,; John Lloyd, Editor, Financial Times Magazine; and Professor Robin Mansell, Dixons Chair in New Media and the Internet, LSE.

This should be an interesting debate, which I am very much looking forward to. I’ve been keeping my eye on the discussions that have happened in the States, not least because I am both blogger and, occasionally, journalist so I can see things from both sides of the fence. Of course, the situation here in the UK is slightly different, because the nature of our media is slightly different, but I think the main premises stand.

So, if you’re in the London area, do drop in and feel free to say hello afterwards!

Saturday, February 5th, 2005

Fired blogger gets hired

Posted by Suw Charman-Anderson

Joe Gordon, who was fired by Waterstone’s for blogging a few frustrated comments about his employers, has now been hired by Forbidden Planet, thus making at least one of my predictions come true - a better job with better pay.

Joe is still waiting for news of his appeal against Waterstones, and to see whether an industrial tribunal will be required. Whilst it would be tedious for Joe to have to go to these lengths to gain recompense for Waterstone’s idiotic behaviour, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, I am sure I am not be the only person to wonder curiously how the lawyers and trade unions view blog in relationship to such concepts as freedom of speech, public domain and bringing a company into disrepute.

I’m also curious to know what internal changes will or have occurred at Waterstone’s now that the person who fired Joe for allegedly bringing the company into disrepute has managed to actually and measurably bring the company into disrepute. But I guess that’s something I’ll never find out.

Reading through Joe’s archive, though, it seems that he was not actually the first person in the UK to get fired for blogging - JGram and Dykenee Crossroads (whom I can’t find online) have also been fired for their blogs. Back in November, JGram blogged the official letter and reason for his firing, however, the original posts have been removed, so it’s impossible to say whether the company he worked for were overreacting or not.

My belief remains that frequently blogs are an excuse - whether used by the company to get rid of someone that they just don’t like, or the blogger to cover up some other misdemeanour. Blogs remain a minority occupation misunderstood (or not understood at all) by many. People frequently fear that which they do not understand and fear can breed illogical over-reactions at worst and a pretence of non-existence at best.

Illustrative of this was the conversation I had with my Lloyds TSB business bank manager on Thursday as I attempted to update him as to what I am doing with myself. The subtext - and it was not a particularly well hidden subtext - from him was ‘I do not understand what you are doing, I do not believe that what you are doing is important, and I do not believe that you will be successful’. Not only did he actually tell me that he didn’t understand what I was doing or how I could make a living from it, he actually implied that no amount of effort on my part would ever result in my being successful and that no amount of explaining would ever make him understand.

Now, this doesn’t have a particularly big impact on me, but it will do on Lloyds TSB when I move two business accounts and at least one personal account away from them to another bank because I’m fed up of having to deal with an ignorant, rude and ineffectual idiot of a bank manager. Ah, the power of the customer.

But all this is is just another illustration that it doesn’t matter which side of the fence you are on, employee/employer or business/customer, you’ve got to keep your eye on that blog-shaped ball.