Andy Carvin

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Andy Carvin
Andy Carvin in 2013.jpg
Carvin in 2013
Andrew Wayne Carvin

c. 1971 (age 50–51)
Notable work
Digital Divide Network

Andy Carvin is an American blogger and former senior product manager for online communities at NPR. He accepted a position at First Look Media in February, 2014.[1] Carvin was the founding editor and former coordinator of the Digital Divide Network, an online community of more than 10,000 Internet activists in over 140 countries working to bridge the digital divide.[2] He is also an active blogger as well as a field correspondent to the vlog Rocketboom.

Carvin lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.


Born in Boston and raised in Florida, Carvin graduated from Northwestern University in 1993.[3] While working for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in 1994, he authored the website EdWeb, one of the first websites to advocate the use of the World Wide Web in education.[2]

In 1999, he was hired by the Benton Foundation[4] to help develop, a philanthropy website that eventually became known as At the December 1999 US National Digital Divide Summit in Washington DC, President Bill Clinton announced the launch of the Digital Divide Network, a spin-off of edited by Carvin.[5]

In 2001, he organized an email forum called SEPT11INFO, an emergency discussion forum in response to the September 11 attacks. Following the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004, he created the RSS aggregator, and served as a contributor to the TsunamiHelp collaborative blog. He also joined Global Voices Online in the end of 2004 [6]

In January 2005, Carvin began advocating mobile phone podcasting as a tool for citizen journalism and human rights monitoring; he called the concept "mobcasting". Utilizing free online tools including FeedBurner, Blogger and Audioblogger, Carvin demonstrated the potential of mobcasting at a February 2005 Harvard blogging conference and at The Gates, the Central Park art installation created by the artist Christo. He later demonstrated mobcasting as part of a collaborative blog called Katrina Aftermath, which allowed members of the public to post multimedia content regarding Hurricane Katrina. For Carvin's work on mobcasting and the digital divide, Carvin received a 2005 TR35 award from Technology Review, awarded annually to the 35 leading technology innovators under age 35.[7] Carvin has also been honored as one of the top education technology advocates in eSchool News magazine and District Administration magazine.[8]

In May 2006, Carvin began serving as host on a blog called on PBS. According to's website, it explores "how new technology and Internet culture affect how educators teach and children learn. It will offer a continuing look at how new technology such as wikis, blogs, vlogs, RSS, podcasts, social networking sites, and the always-on culture of the Internet are impacting teacher and students' lives both inside and out of the classroom." is part of PBS TeacherSource, PBS' educator website.

In September 2006, Andy Carvin became a staff member at NPR as their senior product manager for online communities.[9]

An avid Twitter user, the popular revolution in Tunisia in late 2010 caught Andy Carvin's attention when the microblogging service "seemed to explode" with messages about an uprising. Carvin had traveled extensively in Tunisia, had many contacts there, and was able to develop others. Carvin's curation of Twitter feeds as well as traditional wire services have generated a great deal of interest in the journalism community. He has given interviews about his news curation of citizen journalism on blogs, journalism sites, as well as mainstream media sites.[10][11][12][13]

In March 2011, Andy Carvin and his Twitter followers utilized crowdsourced research to debunk false stories that Israeli weapons were being used against the people of Libya.[14]

By April 2011, The Columbia Journalism Review dubbed Carvin a "living, breathing real-time verification system" and suggested his might be the best Twitter account to follow in the world.[15] The Washington Post called him "a one-man Twitter news bureau".[16] His hometown paper, Florida Today, published a profile describing him as having "global impact" and saying he provided "a unique window into the unrest sweeping across the Middle East."[17]

A few days before a foreign policy speech on the Middle East by President Barack Obama in mid-May 2011, the White House contacted Carvin and asked for him to co-host a Twitter interview chat with a White House official. Although NPR had refused to allow the White House to specify particular reporters in the past, Mark Stencel, NPR's managing editor for digital news, granted the request, saying that Carvin was "uniquely suited" for the role.[18]

Carvin was a recipient of the Journalism Awards: Special Distinction Award, Knight-Batten Award for Innovation for his Twitter reporting, July 2011. Link

On August 21, 2011, as armed fighters rolled into the city of Tripoli, Libya, in a bid to oust Muammar Gaddafi from his 42-year rule of the country, cable news stations in the U.S. appeared unprepared to cover the breaking news event, but Carvin tweeted over 800 times, "recording the oral history in real time."[19] He was profiled in Britain's The Guardian newspaper as "the man who tweets revolutions".[20]

The Daily Dot recognized Carvin as second only to online hacktivist group Anonymous in his influence on Twitter in the year 2011. In its writeup of Carvin, the Dot compared him to Edward R. Murrow, whose radio coverage of the London Blitz established him as a household name in the United States during World War II.

On January 25, 2013, Carvin conducted an AMA on Reddit to promote his new book, Distant Witness.[21]

Carvin donated the iPhone he used to tweet during the Arab Spring to the American History Museum.[22]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Post, Washington. "Newspaper".
  2. ^ a b "Digital Divide Network – Andy Carvin". Archived from the original on 17 May 2006. Retrieved 2006-05-07.
  3. ^ "Class of 1993 Honor Roll: Andrew Wayne Carvin". Northwestern Alumni Association.
  4. ^ Gleason Sackman. "Andy Carvin Joins the Benton Foundation". Retrieved 2009-04-18.
  5. ^ "Remarks By The President On Bridging the Digital Divide". Archived Presidential Press Releases. William J. Clinton Presidential Center. December 9, 1999. Archived from the original on July 19, 2011. Retrieved 2009-04-18.
  6. ^ Andy Carvin in Global Voices
  7. ^ "TR 35: Technology Review's top 35 innovators under the age of 35". Technology Review. October 2005. Retrieved 2006-05-07.
  8. ^ "eSchool News 1st Annual Impact 30". eSchool News. 1999-02-01. Archived from the original on November 17, 2006. Retrieved 2006-05-07.
  9. ^ "Andy Carvin (acarvin) : NPR". Staff profiles in the NPR community. NPR. Archived from the original on 5 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-18.
  10. ^ Stelter, Brian (13 February 2011). "Twitter Feed Evolves Into a News Wire About Egypt". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  11. ^ "Curating the Revolution: Building a Real-Time News Feed About Egypt". The Atlantic.
  12. ^ "#gave4andy: Andy Carvin and the ad hoc pledge drive". Nieman Lab.
  13. ^ "NPR's Andy Carvin on Tracking and Tweeting Revolutions". Public Broadcasting Service.
  14. ^ "Israeli weapons In Libya? How @acarvin and his Twitter followers debunked sloppy journalism". Storify.
  15. ^ "Is This The World's Best Twitter Account?". The Columbia Journalism Review.
  16. ^ Farhi, Paul (2011-04-13). "NPR's Andy Carvin, tweeting the Middle East". The Washington Post.
  17. ^ "Florida Today".
  18. ^ "Why NPR's Andy Carvin moderated White House Twitter interview about Obama's Middle East speech". The Poynter Institute.
  19. ^ "Does NPR's Andy Carvin tweet too much? He says he's recording 'oral history in real time'".
  20. ^ Kiss, Jemima (4 September 2011). "Andy Carvin: the man who tweets revolutions". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  21. ^ "R/IAmA - Comment by u/I_eat_cereal_AMA on "I am Andy Carvin, and I use social media to cover Arab revolutions for NPR. Ask me anything!"".
  22. ^ "The Phone That Helped Andy Carvin Report the Arab Spring is Now in the Smithsonian".

External links[edit]