Nerd Alert Issue 8: Hello! This is Dog!


Dog here. I fetched you some links.



What we're reading this week

  Adam: Many people don’t think giving good advice is a skill that can be learned and developed, but this article thoroughly explores ways to get the most out of an advisor/advisee relationship with helpful tips for both sides.

  Ben: I’ve been coming back to this vim tutorial a lot this week. It introduces you to a new way of editing text just a bit at a time, starting with the things you already do and then introducing you to new ways of thinking. I’m still using a traditional text editor for most coding, but the cult of vi is growing on me.

  Denise: I love to read “how I did the story” blog posts. I almost always learn something practical that I can put to use. In this post on the IRE website, two data reporters from the Wall Street Journal talk about the importance of listening to sources who are skeptical of your data (yes, even data from official sources such as the FBI).

  Kaeti: OK, so we know that criticism is essential to growth and learning. But how do you give productive feedback that will actually make things better (without crush spirits, hopes and dreams in the process)? Dennis Field offers some great advice on how to give designers better feedback, and most of this advice can be applied to all types of work. In short, focus on the problems you’re trying to solve and treat each other like human beings.

  Meredith: Inspired by a tweet earlier this week about designing for older adults, I found this piece on designing user interfaces for your mom.  The fun is reading folks comments, as many people  have experience supporting their parents and helping them stay connected.

  Ryan: The folks at De Correspondent spent some time exploring how the function of simple links, which have gone untouched for decades, might be changed to improve the reading experience for their audience. They describe three approaches: info cards, side notes and featured links, all of which look to minimize distractions and enable the reader to focus on the story or article at hand.

  Will: Forget checking man pages for common tasks with less than obvious commands. With bropages, you get at that tar command you need without having to remember a thing.

  Bert: Sorry not sorry.

This week's guest contributor: Tom Meagher, The Marshall Project -@ultracasual

Over the past couple days I’ve been thinking about two very different people whose careers inspired me.

The first is Emanuel Ocasio, who spent 45 years as a pressman at the New York Times. What struck me about Emanuel’s story was the way he and other newspaper press operators and printers invested in learning their craft. He spent a decade studying every aspect of typography and the printing process, poring over a tome called “Newspaper Course” by the International Typographical Union (I’d love to see a copy of this book).

The other is Rear Admiral Grace Hopper. Gillian Jacobs produced this short documentary about the admiral that appeared on this week. For nearly 40 years, from World War II to the dawn of the internet, this mathematician helped build the world of computing and programming as we know it.

For those of us figuring out how to do journalism in this still young and freewheeling medium, it’s good to remember Emanuel and Grace and the generations of journalists, printers and programmers who preceded us. They cared about their craft, because their work mattered. We should care just as much.

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


This week we officially announced the release of Largo version 0.4 (our WordPress framework for news publishers) and we also revamped the project website! (in 24 hours)

Some Other Stuff

Gather ye rosebuds

LISTEN: More taiko drums, you say?

COOK: Nordic Food Lab is a non-profit, open-source organization that investigates food diversity and deliciousness. This blog is something else.

WATCH: The immortal Thumbs Carllile.

GIF: It's Friday. Dance it off.


Did you read the whole thing? Feel free to forward it to all your friends. Human or canine.