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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 BBCNews.com.

And, yes, he’s married to Suw.

E-mail Kevin.

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Dark Blogs Case Study

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

Corante Blog

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2005

Now Public now public

Posted by Suw Charman-Anderson

Whilst I was at Northern Voice, I had an interesting chat with Michael Tippett about citizen journalism and his site NowPublic, which was then in beta. NowPublic’s remit is simple - marry photos and news stories so that anyone with a digital camera or cameraphone can become a photojournalist.

Once logged in, you can either request photos to go with a story that you’re interested in, add photos to a story someone else has uploaded as an assignment, or just browse the news. Assignments are as diverse as a multi-car pile up or U2 playing a surprise gig at Brooklyn Bridge, and can be voted on by users so that there’s a clear indication to photographers as to which stories are important.

Even though NowPublic is in its infancy, it shows what’s possible when you give people the right tools for collaboration - it’s a clear example of citizen journalists adding depth and detail to stories that were covered either cursorily or not at all by the mainstream media. It’s not that the mainstream media don’t have the skills, it’s that they don’t have the manpower to get photos of everything.

I can see sites like NowPublic changing the way that we take photos too, changing the way we think about what we are doing, what we are involved in. By giving people an outlet for citizen photojournalism, I think we’ll see more people taking photojournalistic pictures rather than just the family snaps or artistic vistas that make up most people’s photo albums. Instead of passing by an incident or event, people will be more likely to stop and document what has happened if they have a community with which to share the resultant imagery.

This existing snaps-and-vistas photographic paradigm is Flickr’s domain, but although brilliant for sharing photos and serendipitous discovery, it’s not so useful for finding them, particularly if the photo does not have a short, obvious tag attached. Etech05 is easy, yes, but how would you tag/search for photos of a multi-car pile up or the underfunding of the public transport network?

By giving people the ability to upload related photos, NowPublic gives people the opportunity to add their personal experience of the news and create a richer, more vibrant, more relevant news media for all of us.

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2 Responses to “Now Public now public”

  1. Strange Attractor » Blog Archive » Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the most verbose of all? Says:

    [...] I would have cared about this, especially coming from Now Public. I was one of the first people to write about Now Public, back in March 2005, and I’ve had a soft spot for them ever since, even if I never did get as [...]

  2. Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the most verbose of all? — Chocolate and Vodka Says:

    [...] I would have cared about this, especially coming from Now Public. I was one of the first people to write about Now Public, back in March 2005, and I’ve had a soft spot for them ever since, even if I never did get as [...]