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 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

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

links for 2010-02-25

Posted by Suw and Kevin

Strange Attractor has now permanently moved to charman-anderson.com. Please pop over there to to read and comment on the full version of this post. Thank you!

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

links for 2010-02-24

Posted by Suw and Kevin

Strange Attractor has now permanently moved to charman-anderson.com. Please pop over there to to read and comment on the full version of this post. Thank you!

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

The truth does not lie midway between right and wrong

Posted by Suw and Kevin

Strange Attractor has now permanently moved to charman-anderson.com. Please pop over there to to read and comment on the full version of this post. Thank you!

There’s a habit amongst journalists to act as if there’s a continuum between opposing viewpoints and that the truth must therefore lie somewhere roughly in the middle, especially on health, science and certain tech stories. We saw it before with the reporting on now disgraced ’scientist’ Andrew Wakefield and his very well debunked claims that MMR causes autism. And we’ve seen it regularly since.

Now the House of Commons science and technology committee has examined homeopathy provision on the NHS and has concluded that evidence shows homeopathy works no better than placebo and that the NHS should not provide or

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

links for 2010-02-23

Posted by Suw and Kevin

Strange Attractor has now permanently moved to charman-anderson.com. Please pop over there to to read and comment on the full version of this post. Thank you!

  • Kevin: A fascinating interview with Michelle Leder of Footnoted.org, a financial news site that was recently acquired by Morningstar. Footnoted digs through securities filings to find nuggest of interesting information. She challenges a number of assertions made about the web and journalism. She challenged Jeff Jarvis on the sustainability of the advertising only model for blogs. For entreprenuers, she says that they need a safety net and a backup plan. Excellent advice based on some experience and success. One

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

links for 2010-02-21

Posted by Suw and Kevin

Strange Attractor has now permanently moved to charman-anderson.com. Please pop over there to to read and comment on the full version of this post. Thank you! 100…

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

Public speaking made easy

Posted by Suw and Kevin

Strange Attractor has now permanently moved to charman-anderson.com. Please pop over there to to read and comment on the full version of this post. Thank you!

A couple of weeks ago I went to an event organised by Laura North aimed at helping people become better public speakers. I do a lot of presentations. I recently added them up and realised to my surprise that I have done 60 planned presentations over the last five years, not to mention all the unplanned ones! But I still feel that my technique could use some improvement so I was really glad that Laura put this event on. She is now planning a series of speaker training events, which I look forward to.

Meantime, here are my notes from

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

links for 2010-02-20

Posted by Suw and Kevin

Strange Attractor has now permanently moved to charman-anderson.com. Please pop over there to to read and comment on the full version of this post. Thank you!

  • Kevin: A great interview with Matt Haughey of Metafilter. Freelance journalist Sue Medha writes: "At the heart of web journalism is the opportunity to engage, respond to, and learn from the community. Successful entrepreneurs have been able to figure out what online communities want and then give it to them." That's a great point, and it's a great interview. It also shows that online size doesn't necessarily matter as much providing a valuable service to a focused audience.

Friday, February 19th, 2010

links for 2010-02-19

Posted by Suw and Kevin

Strange Attractor has now permanently moved to charman-anderson.com. Please pop over there to to read and comment on the full version of this post. Thank you!

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

links for 2010-02-18

Posted by Suw and Kevin

Strange Attractor has now permanently moved to charman-anderson.com. Please pop over there to to read and comment on the full version of this post. Thank you!

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

The press, the internet and the 2010 British election

Posted by Kevin Anderson

Last night, I went to a panel discussion at the Frontline Club here in London looking at the role that the internet and social media might play in the upcoming general election. I wrote a summary of the discussion on the Guardian politics blog. As I said there, the discussion was Twitter heavy, but as Paul Staines aka Guido Fawkes of Order-order.com said, Twitter is sexy right now.

The panel was good. Staines made some excellent points including how the Conservatives were focused on Facebook rather than Twitter for campaigning. Facebook has more reach and was “less inside the politics and media bubble“, Staines said.

Alberto Nardelli of British political Twitter tracker, Tweetminster, said that the election would be decided by candidates and campaigns not things like Twitter. No one on the panel thought the internet or the parties’ social networking strategies would decide the British election. Alberto said that Twitter’s impact would be more indirect. People are sharing news stories using Twitter, which is causing stories to “trickle up” the news agenda.

Chris Condron, head of digital strategy at the Press Association, made an excellent point that so many discussions of social media focus on its impact on journalism and not its impact on people. Facebook and Twitter allow people to organise around issues, which is another form of civic participation. As I said on my blog post at the Guardian, I would have liked for the panel to explore where this organisation around issues might have an impact in marginal constituencies.

Like so many of these discussions, I thought the questions were binary and missed opportunities to explore the nuance of several issues. The moderator, Sky News political correspondent Niall Paterson implied in his questions that if social media didn’t decide the election that it had no relevance. It was an all or nothing argument that I’ve heard before. Change is rarely that absolute. In the US, the role of the internet has been developing in politics for the past decade. Few people remember that John McCain was the first candidate to raise $1m online, not in 2008 but in 2000.

Paterson portrays himself as a social media sceptic, and I can appreciate that. I can appreciate taking a contrarian position for the sake of debate. However, some of his points last night came off as being ill-informed. The panel was good in correcting him, but he often strayed from moderating the discussion to filibustering.

His portrayal of the Obama campaign was simplistic. Alberto said at the Frontline Club that Obama had a campaign of top down and bottom up, grass-roots campaigning, and as British political analyst Anthony Painter pointed out, Obama’s campaign was a highly integrated mix of traditional campaigning, internet campaigning and mobile. (Little coverage focused on Obama’s innovative mobile phone efforts. Most people don’t see the US as a particularly innovative place in terms of mobile, but it was one of the more sophisticated uses of mobile phones in political campaigning I’m aware of.) I love how Anthony puts it, Obama’s operation was “an insurgent campaign that was utterly professional”.

Paterson also implied that Twitter would tie journalists to desks. The only thing tying journalists to desks are outdated working methods. I’ve been using mobile data for more than a decade to stay in the field close to stories. During the 2008 election in the US, my Nokia multimedia phone was my main newsgathering tool. It allowed me to aggregate the best stories via Twitter and use Twitpic to upload pictures from my 4000 mile roadtrip and from the celebrations outside the White House on election night. As I said on Twitter during the discussion:

moderator makes assumption that social media chains journalists to desk. Ever use a mobile phone? It’s mobile!

Sigh. Sometimes I feel like a broken record. Technology should be liberating for journalists, and more journalists should be exploring the opportunities provided by mobile phones and services like Twitpic, Qik, Bambuser and AudioBoo.

You can watch the entire discussion from the Frontline Club here, and here is Anthony Painter’s excellent presentation on the state of internet campaigning in the US and the UK: