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, July 28th, 2011

The Daily: Digital publishing at the speed of a slow-motion car crash

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!

The Observer has an entertainingly scathing report about The Daily, News Corp’s iPad “newspaper”. Murdoch-haters will probably enjoy the reference to the family patriarch as a “cuddly Emperor Palpatine”. For long-time Murdoch watchers, the key thing to watch for in reports of any digital project at News Corp is the attention and focus given it by Rupert Murdoch. Once he bores of a bauble, you can put the project on watch for the dead pool. (*See MySpace)

I read The Daily for a few days, when I could be bothered to wait for it to download. Initially it was slower

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

The Daily: Digital publishing at the speed of a slow-motion car crash

Posted by Kevin Anderson

The Observer has an entertainingly scathing report about The Daily, News Corp’s iPad “newspaper”. Murdoch-haters will probably enjoy the reference to the family patriarch as a “cuddly Emperor Palpatine”. For long-time Murdoch watchers, the key thing to watch for in reports of any digital project at News Corp is the attention and focus given it by Rupert Murdoch. Once he bores of a bauble, you can put the project on watch for the dead pool. (*See MySpace)

I read The Daily for a few days, when I could be bothered to wait for it to download. Initially it was slower than a download of photographs of an issue of Wired, known to some as an iPad magazine. More than its early clunkiness, even as an American, I found the content uninteresting, which surprised me. The Observer said that it’s aiming to be middle of the road populist. You can accuse Murdoch of a number of things (queue begins to the left these days), but one thing you can’t accuse him of is boring content. The Daily is boring.

The Daily also lives up to its name. It’s a daily newspaper with some tablet navigation, and The Observer explains why it seems so slow and clunky.

But the sleekness of The Daily’s presentation belies a “devilish” production routine for those inside, according to one source. Attempts to perfect the content management system were abandoned in order to launch closer to the announced date. After copy is filed, coders work a night shift to build the pages, each of which must be laid out both vertically and horizontally. Those familiar with the operations report long, frustrating nights.

Ouch. On one level, I’m willing to cut them some slack. The iPad is a new platform, and the tools are still emerging. However, when you’re creating a new product, it hardly seems wise to make life so difficult. I wonder what requirements were made editorially in an attempt to justify such a painful production process. This is often the source of a lot of bad production, editorial requirements that actually ‘cost’ more than they are worth.

Digital can and should work at the speed of news. Just look at the rise of live blogging. Tablets and e-readers can take digital backwards. If they slow down the production of news, it’s an unnecessary speed bump that can’t (or at least shouldn’t) be justified with their small use compared to the web (at least until the revenue picture improves). Fortunately, we’re getting through the teething process with tablets. HTML5 is maturing much faster than anyone expected, and soon, we’ll get past these very first generation efforts. It will be interesting to see if The Daily survives to see that day.

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

Unbalanced coverage in the US balanced budget debate

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 almost never, ever write about politics. I steer well clear of it. However, I’m going to risk it because I’m not sleeping well right now because it looks like my country, the once United States of America, is about to drive itself off a cliff.

When I say the coverage of the almost entirely self-inflicted US debt crisis is unbalanced, I don’t mean lacking objectivity or prejudiced, I mean insane. Balanced coverage would quote Tea Party darling Michele Bachman saying that there isn’t anything to worry about and Tea Party darling Jim Demint saying this is “manufactured crisis” on

Monday, July 11th, 2011

The Huffington Post, ‘over-aggregation’ and the attention economy

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!

When does aggregation become appropriation? The question needs to be asked.

A writer for the Huffington Post has been suspended for “over-aggregation”.  The suspended writer had linked to and paraphrased an article by Simon Dumenco of AdAge, who writes about it.

I aggregate a lot of content here on Strange Attractor, via Delicious and also through the social networks I use. Whether it’s here on the blog or for the journalism organisations I work for, I view it as sharing my attention with others, which they in return share with me. There are quite a few posts that I have

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Huffington Post UK: What does it add?

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!

The head of AOL Europe, Kate Burns, says that the newly launched Huffington Post UK has no competitor. Really? Let’s ignore the over-served national newspaper market here in the UK for a minute and focus on the aggregation plus blogger network model of the Huffington Post. While Burns points out Rue89 as one of the European competitor, she conveniently overlooks the Guardian’s Comment is Free here in the UK. Both sites were inspired by Huffington’s success in the US and roughly follow the same model although adapted for their markets. Beyond that, the Telegraph has a blogger network, MyTelegraph, that

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Advice to a younger self

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!

The Media Briefing is using LinkedIn very effectively, and on one of their discussions, they have the following question:

Q: If you could go back in time and talk to yourself as a fresh-faced young entrant to the media industry what advice would you give?

I thought about this for a while, and to be honest, some of this advice I’d give to myself just a few years ago, not in the distant past of my career. One criticism that I would have of myself is that I’m absolutely horrible at office politics, well I used to be horrible.  Being

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Google Plus as Google’s glue

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!

Suw and I have been using Google Plus for the last day. The company’s latest effort to try to get social definitely learns a lot from it’s previous failed attempts to inject some social into its ever growing collection of services. More than learning from past failures such as Buzz and Wave, Google does something that it had to do, it started to knit together that sprawling collection.

Google was running the risk of pulling a Yahoo. With the rise of web 2.0, Yahoo not only developed its own services but also went on a shopping spree, buying up Flickr,