I’m Sharon. I’m an experienced web professional, specialising in intranets and social media. I’m a communicator, a blogger, a geek, a weekend tinkerer, and much else besides. I wear a lot of hats, literally and metaphorically.
I started my career early, writing for The Guardian at the age of 14. I went on to work as a journalist in La Paz, Bolivia, then moved into communications, working for a number of high-profile public sector organisations, including Westminster City Council and the Houses of Parliament, where I delivered an award-winning mobile intranet platform for MPs and Peers. Along the way I found myself working as an advisor to the Iraqi parliament in Baghdad, dodging roadside bombs in my quest for better web services.
In April 2012 I joined Standard Chartered as Senior Manager, Digital Communications – looking after web, intranet and social media channels for this global bank. There I am working on a wide range of digital projects across internal and external comms.
I genuinely love communication. Done well, effective communication brings enormous benefits to both employees and the organisations that employ them. I love communication theory, too. I studied it at Goldsmiths, and in 2009 completed the CIPR Internal Communications Certificate, with a final assessment on social media and employee advocacy.
My experience of social media is wide-ranging and as an early adopter and longtime geek I’ve been interacting with strangers via the internet for over 20 years. Ironically, I was also a contributor to a printed guide to Facebook, and to Share This Too, the second volume of the CIPR’s handbook for social media professionals, which was published last summer.
I tweet a lot; about intranets, mostly, but also UX, usability, technology and public services. Plus food, TV, whimsy and regular rants about South West Trains. Despite this, Ragan.com named me as one of their 25 top comms industry tweeters in 2011.
As well as sporadic blogging here, I also blog over at Intranetizen, where I write about all aspects of intranet strategy, design and management. I love to talk about intranets – both online and in person – and have presented at many conferences and events. If you’d like me to speak, present or facilitate at your event, drop me a line. I’m passionate about the potential for the social web to allow people to collaborate, participate and make their own choices, both at work and in their communities.
Women in tech
I’m one of the co-founders of 300 Seconds, a series of lightning talks for the digital industry. We want to make more voices heard in our industry debate, and in turn make the tech industry better reflect the makeup of our species, by giving new speakers the opportunity to gain confidence and experience in speaking in public.
We believe that digital is better when we hear from the many, not just the few.
We’ve delivered six events in the UK, working with Facebook, the Guardian, the BBC and Mozilla. We’re launching a series of spin-off events in cities across the UK; the first took place in Brighton in March, with more planned throughout the year.
I live a stone’s throw from the river, with my husband, David. I like to travel. I run a bit. In fact, I’m training for the 2014 London Marathon. Read more about training the geeky way on my marathon training blog, sharun.co.uk.
Finally, although I talk about my work in my blog, any views expressed here are my own, not those of my employers.