Nerd Alert Issue Seven: Five-alarm nerd at the corner of 24th and Broadway

False alarm. But since you're already here...some links for your trouble:


What we're reading this week

  AdamThis article really resonated me with this week, particularly the discussion of why rookies often outperform their more experienced peers. Sometimes, ignorance and inexperience are virtues, particularly for managers because our teams perform their best when we hire and encourage people who are smarter than we are.

 Ben: Quick Left’s 2014 CSS Report is an interesting look at how websites are styled. Who would have thought that Bootstrap’s default blue color (#428BCA) would be so prevalent? If you want to get the same sort of report about your own site, check out

 Denise: Journalists are pretty good at pointing out problems. What if we also focused on solutions to those problems? We just might have more impact and become more relevant to our audiences. This handy, illustrated (and free) guide from the Solutions Journalism Network gives some pointers on how to report, write and promote stories with more solutions.

 Kaeti: Why are some teams smarter than others? During recent studies, psychologists found that the best teams were distinguished by three characteristics: members contributed more equally to discussions (versus one or two people dominating), they were better at reading the emotional state of their colleagues, and teams with more women outperformed teams with more men. What could this research mean for how we work together and how we design our organizations?

  Meredith: Users will share what they want, their ideas for improvement and their frustrations.   Two Rdio users took to Medium to share their wish list, a mock up of a mini player, and finally why they are abandoning the service.   They offered thoughtful feedback from users who care about the service.  The question is what will happen next.

 Ryan: Chartist is a charting library that aims to simplify charting libraries. It does not include an events framework, it does not have any enormous external dependencies. The syntax, structure and "flow" of the code is the easiest to follow of any charting library I've seen. Oh yeah, its charts are also responsive out of the box. I'm looking forward to using this on an upcoming project. It looks very promising!

  Bert: Shut up and take my money.

This week's guest contributor: Ben Byrne - Chief Creative Officer  at Cornershop Creative - @drywall

It’s old now, by Internet standards, but I return to this piece (and others like it) regularly. Maybe I suffer from imposter syndrome more than others, but I suspect not… although how pervasive it is probably varies by field. Regardless, I think it’s important to take time to remind ourselves that we’re not perfect, and that in fact we probably do better work — code, journalism, art, whatever — if we embrace that fact.

Each week we ask someone from outside our team to contribute a link, tool or idea. Are you our next guest star? We think you might be. Send us a note at

We Made A Thing

Our projects, manifest


We wanted you to be the first to know.

On Monday we'll be releasing version 0.4 of Largo, our WordPress theme/framework developed specifically for news organizations. There are far too many exciting things in this release to list them all here but we're really excited to share them with you.

If you're an INN member using our hosted version of Largo we'll be taking some time to work with you to make the update, which will be available to you starting on Monday. If you want to be among the earliest sites to make the switch, please send us an email and we'll add you to our list.

A major focus of the past few months has also been to improve documentation for Largo so we're also happy to announce updated docs (now hosted on readthedocs), a new knowledge base and help desk system to make it far easier for you to get help should you need it, and an updated and now heavily-documented WordPress child theme to help developers get up and running with Largo.

Look for the full launch announcement on Monday at, but if you want to start checking out the code it's available here. If you want to see the new version in action, INN members Wisconsin Watch, City Limits, Chicago Reporter and Voice of OC are some of our early beta partners who already have sites in the wild.

Shout Out

Work we admire by our journalism peers


NPR's visuals team shares useful insights into how users interacted (or didn't) with their election app, which was designed to be experienced passively.

Some Other Stuff

Gather ye rosebuds

LISTEN: Adam's wearing out his copy of Red Sovine's 1966 release on Starday Records, Town and Country Action. A few highlights.

COOK: "This version of Momofuku’s ramen broth hails from 2010. It has changed since then, but we present it here in the interest of open source broth sharing and an abiding interest in soup!"

WATCH: Supercharged Smart Cars? Of course that's a thing.

GIF: Until next week!


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