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

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

Yahoo/Flickr get the bullyboy tactics out

Posted by Suw Charman-Anderson

If there’s one thing I hate, it’s being told what to do. That’s why I’ve been a freelance for so long. I like making my own decisions and resent having them made for me, so it’s not surprising that I feel royally peeved with Yahoo and Flickr for sending me this email:

Dear Old Skool Account-Holding Flickr Member,

On March 15th we’ll be discontinuing the old email-based Flickr sign in system. From that point on, everyone will have to use a Yahoo! ID to sign in to Flickr.

We’re making this change now to simplify the sign in process in advance of several large projects launching this year, but some Flickr features and tools already require Yahoo! IDs for sign in — like the mobile site at or the new Yahoo! Go program for mobiles, available at:

95% of your fellow Flickrites already use this system and their experience is just the same as yours is now, except they sign in on a different page. It’s easy to switch: it takes about a minute if you already have a Yahoo! ID and about five minutes if you don’t.

You can make the switch at any time in the next few months, from today till the 15th. (After that day, you’ll be required to merge before you continue using your account.) To switch, start at this page:

Nothing else on your account or experience of Flickr changes: you can continue to have your FlickrMail and notifications sent to any email address at any domain and your screenname will remain the same.

Complete details and answers to most common questions are available here:

Thanks for your patience and understanding - and even bigger thanks for your continued support of Flickr: if you’re reading this, you’ve been around for a while and that means a lot to us!

Warmest regards,

- The Flickreenos

This email does not fill me with the warm fuzzy glow I usually associate with Flickr. Instead, my brain reinterprets if for me thus:

Hey! Unhip square kid with no friends!

You may not have noticed, but we’ve been making it increasingly difficult for you to sign in to Flickr using your original Flickr ID by burying the sign-in page deep in the bowels of our site, where we hoped you’d never find it. It seems, however, that you haven’t taken the hint, and are still using your old ID. For shame. From March 15th you’re not going to be able to use your old ID anymore, and we’re going to force you to either sign up to Yahoo or use your Yahoo ID instead. We don’t really care if this is an inconvenience for you - you’re just going to have to lump it.

We’re making this change now because it makes life much easier for us. We also want to introduce you to a plethora of Yahoo services that you’ve never shown the least bit of interest in, and probably neither want nor need. We’ve already introduced some new features to Flickr and we made them Yahoo-only, so that we can pretend that we’re doing you a favour by forcing you to use your Yahoo login. Just to prove it, here are two things that you can’t currently do. Fool.

Anyway, you’re so old-fashioned and behind the times that you’re one of only 5% of cretins who still use the old Flickr ID, so give it up already. You’re like one of those little grannies who refuse to move out of a hideous towerblock that’s scheduled for redevelopment by nice coffee shop owners, just because it’s ‘home’ or some such nonsense. This is progress, dammit.

OK, OK, we’ll give you a couple of months to come to terms with the fact that we own your ass. But after that, you will be assimilated, like it or not. Resistance is futile.

Of course, we do appreciate that you were one of the people who coughed up cold, hard cash for a proper Flickr account back when we really needed the money, but hell, Yahoo gave us big bucks a while back, so meh. Whatever.

Warmest fuzzy wuzzies. No really, we do care. Honest. No, don’t look at us like that. Look, we’re about to turn into squirrels even cuddlier and cuter than the Trotts. Just you wait and see… Look! Look!!

- The cutesy wutesy Flickreenosywosy

You know, I like Flickr. There are some astonishingly good people working there. There are also some astonishingly good people working at Yahoo, but yet I don’t like the Yahoo brand at all. It’s unpleasant. It says ‘ignorant false-hearted redneck who always hangs on other people’s coat-tails’ to me. They are a brand that started off ‘pretty cool’ in the mid-90s, sank to ‘horrible’ in 2001 and have now rebounded to ‘icky’ (in no small part to some absolutely awful TV adverts), with a hint of ‘cool’ because of the services they’ve bought. That’s a shame, because I think that the people I know who work for Yahoo and Flickr are some of the smartest cookies out there, and all lovely to boot.

But I feel like I’m being both patronised and bullied at the same time by this email. Not once do they apologise for any inconvenience they may cause me, not a single ’sorry’. Come on Flickr, you can do better than this. You are the Web 2.0 posterboys, your site is the one everyone talks about when they want a good example of community and social networking. Surely you are the people who understand that someone’s attachment to a site, even to a log-in, isn’t logical but emotional, and that you have to factor that in to how you deal with your community?

I didn’t join up to Yahoo Photos, I joined Flickr, and I rather resent the way I’m being told to move my log-in. You can be sure that I will be one of the bloodyminded few who will hold on to their Flickr log-in until the very last moment, just out of principle. Is there truly no behind-the-scenes solution to this? Would it not be better to use an OpenID solution, so that people have the option of using one log-in for whichever services they like? Or is this the beginning of a new mega-login trend? Are they going to start forcing people to use their Yahoo ID to log into, or Upcoming? Oh god… you’re not trying to be Google are you?

Don’t let us down here Flickr. You created something wonderful, and now you have an opportunity to do something cool about your login problem, instead of just forcing users to dance to your tune.

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Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

A little bit whoooa, a little bit wheeea

Posted by Suw Charman-Anderson

Despite the guys at Corante making some good advances in fixing our blog, we’re still having a few uncooperative moments from the MT installation. Sometimes Strange is here, sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes you can comment, sometimes you can’t. Sometimes we can get in to the admin pages, sometimes we can’t. At least now I don’t have to connect via my mobile phone to access the admin pages! All I can say is please bear with us and with Corante. They’re working as hard as they can to fix things!

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

links for 2007-01-30

Posted by Kevin Anderson

Monday, January 29th, 2007

links for 2007-01-29

Posted by Kevin Anderson

Monday, January 29th, 2007

Joining the Media 2.0 Workgroup

Posted by Suw Charman-Anderson

Names are strange things. You don’t always need to be able to define what a thing is to know it when you see it, but having a name for it helps you talk about it. That’s what happened with Web 2.0. We know what the 2.0 implies: change, development, progress, advancement. And we know how some people interpret 2.0 when smooshed together with the word Web: strong social components to web services and applications, agile development and the everlasting beta, networks of friends and co-workers, aqua-effect fills, rounded corners, and names with the letter E missing.

Once O’Reilly had kicked it off, the ‘2.0′ trend rapidly expanded, to Journalism 2.0, Marketing 2.0, Business 2.0, Office 2.0. You name it, it has a Version 2.0.

Even Media. Which makes sense, when you think about it. We’ve already had New Media, but it’s clear that New Media isn’t keeping up with the incredibly rapid development of the web and Web 2.0. New Media is antiquated, obsolete. Any business that pats itself on the back because they have some sort Head of New Media needs a kick up the butt and a lesson in Media 2.0.

So when Chris Saad invited Kevin and me to join his Media 2.0 Workgroup, we thought it sounded like an interesting opportunity to help give Media the kick it needs to get it moving in the right direction.

Chris doesn’t quite put it like that though. He says:

Media 2.0 is a term used to describe the emerging social media industry. Every community needs some help to grow. The long tail has a head, and conversation needs a topic. So in this spirit, we have gathered a group of people who are passionate about the issues of Media 2.0 to help propel and focus the conversation.

The Media 2.0 Workgroup is a combined feed (or OPML of feeds if you prefer) that we’ll be sharing with luminaries such as Ben Metcalfe, Jeff Pulver, Ian Forrester and Jeneane Sessum amongst many others. So go on, get it in yer aggregator!

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Sunday, January 28th, 2007

links for 2007-01-28

Posted by Kevin Anderson

Saturday, January 27th, 2007

links for 2007-01-27

Posted by Kevin Anderson

Friday, January 26th, 2007

links for 2007-01-26

Posted by Kevin Anderson

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

Why it’s been quiet

Posted by Kevin Anderson

No, Suw and I have not been lazy bloggers, as a matter of fact, we’ve been itching to blog. A lot of you have mentioned to us in e-mails how slow Strange has been and time outs you’ve had when trying to post comments. Corante has been getting pummeled with spam (still is), and Movable Type doesn’t really handle spam or lots of comments very well. Lots of MT sites are struggling with this issue. The Corante tech team has been working hard to sort this out. An MT upgrade ‘borked the server’ and we’ve been down. But we’re back.

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

links for 2007-01-18

Posted by Kevin Anderson