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

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Journalists must set the tone for their communities

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!

Robert Niles has a must-read post on the Online Journalism Review about the role that journalists should play in terms of interactivity and community on their sites. Online communities need leadership: Will journalists provide it, or will someone else? he writes:

…writing in any interactive environment is an act of leadership. Your words, your tone and your style not only inform your audience, they provide a model – an example – for those in the community who will write for that community, as well. And your silence creates a vacuum of leadership that others may fill.

Since my career shifted

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Sacrificing web history on the altar of instant

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!

As I said in my last post about Twitter’s lack of a business model, I’ve been doing some research lately for a think tank. My research has basically consisted of three things:

  • Looking back on the media coverage of an event that happened in early 2010
  • Looking back at the way bloggers reacted to said event
  • And having a quick look at Twitter for reactions there too

Pretty simple stuff, I think you’ll agree. My assumption was that I would be able to tap into Google News; Google Blog, Icerocket and maybe Technorati; and Twitter’s archives. Then I’d be able

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

Twitter: Building a business-critical tool, then breaking it

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!

I remember four years ago, when Twitter was still a blossoming new service, the outages that they used to suffer. Within just a few weeks of joining, I realised what a great tool it was and how important it was to me. Like many others who endured ongoing disruptions to Twitter’s service, I publicly stated I was willing to pay. Indeed, people were begging Twitter to let us give them money, to have some sort of way of paying for a service we had so quickly learnt to love. Twitter, inexplicably, pooh-poohed the idea, much to our frustration.

Over the last

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

Digital journalists: You’ve got a choice

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!

As I said in my previous post, my good friend Adam Tinworth has highlighted a comment on the Fleet Street Blues blog. I’ll highlight a slightly different part of the comment:

It turns out, however, that the new skills are a piece of piss (particularly with current web technology), and promoting a yarn via Google, Facebook, Twitter etc is, in reality, an administrative task rather than a journalistic one. If you want to employ a proper journalist rather than a cheap web monkey, the SEO stuff really is secondary.

To which all I can say, bitter much? The commenter goes

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Social media is part of journalism

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!

Adam Tinworth has highlighted a comment on Fleet Street Blues that sees social media as “an administrative task” rather than a journalistic one and says that editors want to hire “web monkeys” because they are cheaper than real journalists.

This commenter wouldn’t be the first person to mistake social media journalism for nothing more than a promotional function best left to “cheap web monkey”. I’m sure if the commenter works for a large enough organisation to have its own press office that they would love to be called cheap web monkeys for . However, smart journalists long ago realised how

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Does journalism need another open-source CMS?

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!

I have to say that I’m a bit baffled by a $975,000 grant from the Knight Foundation to the Bay Citizen and the Texas Tribune, two very well funded non-profit news organisations in the US. The goal is to create a nimble open-source content management system. I guess WordPress or Drupal, just to name two open-source content management systems, didn’t fit the bill. PaidContent is reporting that news start-ups expressed this need during meetings last year at SXSW Interactive. PaidContent said:

  • Manage an integrated library of text, video and audio files;
  • Maximize search engine optimization by improving the way articles

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Journalism: Winning the battle for attention

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!

Last week, I had the honour to return to Sydney Australia for Digital Directions 11, a digital media conference sponsored by Fairfax Media and organised by the ever-wonderful XMediaLab team. I focused on the theme of the attention economy. It’s not a new idea. Umair Haque was talking about it in 2005, but if anything, the issue is more acute now than 6 years ago. Most media business models are based on scarcity. Across the English-speaking world, all but the largest cities are served by only one

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Ada Lovelace Day: 7 October 2011

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!

Cross posted from FindingAda.

As announced on the front page of the Ada Lovelace Day site a few weeks ago, the date of this year’s Ada Lovelace Day has moved to Friday 7 October 2011. Please put it in your diary!

I didn’t take the decision to change the date lightly. We’ve had two years of ALD being in March, and it was starting to become a bit of a tradition, so the idea of moving it to later in the year has worried me a bit, as I don’t want to lose momentum. But by early January it had

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Digital Directions 11: Josh Hatch of Sunlight Foundation

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!

Josh Hatch, until recently an interactive director at USAToday.com and now with the Sunlight Foundation, talked about how the organisation loves data. The transparency organisation uses data to show context and relationships. He highlighted how much money Google gave to candidates. Sunlight’s Influence Explorer showed that contributions from the organisation’s employees, their family members, and its political action committee went overwhelmingly to Barack Obama.

Sunlight Foundation Influence Explorer Google

The Influence Explorer is also part of another tool that Sunlight has, Poligraft. It is an astoundingly interesting tool in terms of surfacing information about political contributions in the US. You can enter the URL of

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Digital Directions 11: Fairfax’s digital business

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!

I’m in Sydney to speak at Digital Directions 11. I’ll post my talk to Slide Share in a bit. The conference is hosted by Fairfax, and yesterday, we got a look at their digital business. There are a lot of news and media organisations that have built credible digital offerings over the last decade without building sustainable digital businesses. Fairfax is one of the exceptions. Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood said that digital is its third largest division by revenue and soon to take over the number two spot. Yesterday, we were told that transactions were 60% of digital revenue. Transactions?