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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.

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.

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

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

Your questions about US Elections: a(nother) experiment in journalism

Posted by Kevin Anderson

Suw and I talk about the US elections over breakfast all of the time, and I realised since I came back to Washington last week that despite having very little interest in politics when I first came to Washington DC ten years ago, my geekiness has now spilled over into politics. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had about politics and the economy with a range of people since I came back. Suw was asking questions that I’m sure on the on the mind of many Guardian readers, and instead of letting these conversations disappear, I realised that I wanted to capture and share those conversations.

We recorded this conversation this morning over Skype. She was sitting in our flat in London, and I was sitting in my hotel here in Washington. We used the Skype Call Recorder from Ecamm (a bank breaker at US$14.95), but if you use a PC, Pamela will do the same things plus can automatically handle uploads to FTP servers and auto posting to several blog services. I used Pamela to record broadcast quality interviews when I was at the BBC. If you use a nice broadcast quality mic such as the Snowball from Blue (a lovely wedding present that Suw and I received from our friend Vince), the sound quality is stunning. We simply used the mics on our MacBooks. The Call Recorder software has a side-by-side split screen option so we didn’t have to do anything to edit the video apart from top and tail it (edit out our pre-call and post-call chatter). In the end, it took very little production time apart from the time for the call. Viddler, the site we used to host this doesn’t like stereo audio so I had to merge the channels, but QuickTime Pro handled that with ease.

That’s the technical side of things. Technology is simply a means to a journalistic end for me, and the real aim is to expand my little experiment to anyone with a Skype connection, a webcam and a question about the US elections. Sure, I love talking to Suw about anything and everything, and she wants to talk after the vice presidential debate next week between Democratic nominee Joe Biden and Republican nominee Sarah Palin. I want to use this to open up a discussion with as many people as possible about the US election, around the US and around the world. I’d also like to see how feasible this is on the road. After next Thursday, I’ll be traveling across the US. The technical challenges are pretty minor, especially compared to previous election trips that I’ve taken. The real measure of success for this and many other journalistic experiments I have planned for the next month is the depth and breadth of the conversation. If you’d like to take part, drop me an email or leave a comment. Let’s talk. There are lots of important issues on the table, and I’m so excited about how technology opens up new possibilities for civic dialogue.

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One Response to “Your questions about US Elections: a(nother) experiment in journalism”

  1. Jill Foster Says:

    This was really enjoyable and interesting Kevin. Thanks for giving Suw a chance to share questions from a UK viewpoint.