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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.

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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.

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Member of the Media 2.0 Workgroup
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

Saturday, March 25th, 2006

The MSM and blogging: It’s about the conversation

Posted by Kevin Anderson

Gary had this comment on the post that I wrote about my presentation in Geneva on Friday about the Mainstream Media and blogging:

You also say “Why would we chop up content we already produce and put it in reverse chronological order?”

I understand why you say that, but I do have one answer: Because there are millions reading blogs that won’t read the other publication writing you do, but may come across your blog and begin a conversation from there.

You’re right George, but you’re right because you understand that blogs are about the conversation, not just a novel way to publish the same material that we already produce out at our audiences.

Yes, there are millions of people readings blogs. But why? Is it because it’s the same content that the Mainstream Media already produce?

There is no simple or single answer for why people read blogs, but if they are turning away from the MSM because they don’t like our content, I don’t think just because we chop it up and present it in reverse chronological order it will win our audiences back.

I think that they read blogs because they find it more engaging. Why? Because they feel a connection to the blogger. It’s social media not passive media.

For the most part, the MSM has missed the boat in blogging and that is not for lack of MSM blogs. It is because they just see it as a novel way to publish their content while still being stuck in a broadcast model or a passive print model.

It is only when the realise that blogging is about what I’m doing now, accepting the invitation that you, George, as a reader gave me to enter into a conversation with you that the MSM might actually ‘get’ blogging.

But being a MSM insider, I can tell a lot of us still consider any interaction with the audience as a threat not as an opportunity.

Many journalists see it as a nuisance at best and an unwelcome threat to their authority at the worst.

Blogging made me realise that there was a new and really powerful way to relate to my audience.

Many journalists I speak to talk about the public as the ‘unwashed masses’. Wow. How do we expect to have conversation with people we look down on like that? Answer is we can’t.

Our audiences sense that, and I would argue, that is why they are leaving us in droves.

They feel a sense of ownership with their media, but not with the stuff they dismissively call the MSM (the Mainstream Media).

Thanks for the comment Gary.

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One Response to “The MSM and blogging: It’s about the conversation”

  1. Gary Bourgeault Says:

    Kevin,

    I appreciate your thoughtful response. I don’t know if you have read this particular article online recently on the response of well known writer to blogging.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ucgg/20060320/cm_ucgg/withoutnewspapersamericanscantunderstandtheworld

    As you go through the piece it eventually blames incedents in the world on the decentralization of media and bloggers specifically.

    I couldn’t believe some of the conclusions that were arrived at. I would be interested in your comments. I don’t think it did anything good for the perception of MSM.