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

Monday, September 24th, 2007

We’re back

Posted by Kevin Anderson

Ypsilon Mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park

We meant to leave an ‘out of office’ post while Suw and I were visiting the United States for the first half of September. It was strictly pleasure and no business trip so we actually left the computers behind. Yes, we went unplugged for a couple of weeks.

We spent the first week near Chicago where I grew up, and the last week and a half, we spent in Colorado. Suw joined me for my annual week in the wilderness walk. We hiked up to Lawn Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park and then up to Ypsilon Lake. The weather was beautiful with some storms rolling in just as we went out. The nights were crisp without being too cold, and the rain helped cut through some haze, and unfortunately, some pollution that had been obscuring the views.

But we’re back and plugged back in for a the busy autumn ahead. Blog on.

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Friday, July 23rd, 2004

Welcome to Strange Attractor

Posted by Suw Charman-Anderson

“When [a] process is applied to the function

f: (z) –> a + b z exp i[k - p/(1 + |z|2)]

a strange attractor emerges … With a suitable choice of parameters all sorts of different swirled and folded patterns can be made.”

– from Strange & Complex

If you could visually represent the ebb and flow of my thoughts, you’d find a lot of swirly folded patterns emerging. The cause? Blogs - my very own strange attractors.

But blogs have a far wider effect than just making me think in swirly folded patterns, they are perturbing the business world as well. A disruptive technology that is more often than not smuggled in through the back door by evangelist employees, blogs are helping to unite previously scattered communities of interest.

Like instant messaging, blogging is gaining such a strong foothold amongst business users that by the time the management realises they have been infiltrated, they no longer have the power to switch it off. The corporate cat has to sit back and watch as the Trojan Mouse struts its stuff.

The thing about strange attractors is that they bring their own kind of beautiful order to chaos, but it is still chaos. You don’t really see the strange attractor, you just see the chaos flowing around it and know where it is.

– Joi Ito

In this blog, I want to understand the processes and functions that create these strange attractors, these swirly folded patterns. What makes for a successful blog? How do we counter high churn rates and rapid abandonment? And how do we implement blogs in business in a way that engages users and brings most benefits?

Over the coming months, I will be examining these questions as well as looking at some of the side issues, for example, what is the role of storytelling in business blogging? Are the best bloggers also the best storytellers? Or does content trump language?

What comes after Cluetrain?

Imposing command-and-control solutions to business problems - particularly around knowledge management (a jaded term if ever I heard one), e-learning (ditto) and internal communications - has been shown to be ineffectual. Instead, statements of facts are being replaced by conversations and the flow of mutable, context-sensitive information from person to person in an intimate and informal manner. The important behaviours are emergent, bottom-up, organic.

New paradigms are coming not from theorists saying ‘This is how I think you should work’, or from software companies saying ‘This is how we will make you work’, but from people bending a diverse set of tools to their will on a day-to-day basis. Danny O’Brien’s LifeHacks translated into non-geek terms.

If you have come over from my personal blog at Chocolate and Vodka, you’ll already know that random chaos is my base state - my mind tends to skip about a lot. It’s a useful trait, however, as my job here is to be the butterfly that flits from flower to flower, hopefully stirring up a storm in the process.

So, settle in, get yourself subscribed to the RSS feed, and enjoy. I still have a bit of rearranging of furniture to complete, but I hope you will bear with me whilst I decide where the sofa goes. Next to the window, perhaps?

– Suw