Nerd Alert 78: Platforms. Publishers. Pupcakes.


What we're reading this week

  Adam: Facebook this week announced yet another set of changes to further devalue content posted by publishers. With the increasing importance of third-party platforms in publishers’ content and revenue strategy, Mark Armstrong has a list of things to consider when platforms show up with money, and Sarah Lacy argues publishers need to own their own audience and destiny.

  BenIf you want to break an experiment, keep reading. There’s a billboard company in Utah that’s testing the efficacy of billboards by asking Utahns who the 9th president was.

  Gabe: Editorial cartoonists play an important role in American political discourse. How are social media and the increase in Internet vitriol affecting this form of journalism?

  JackThe modern tech industry has gifted us with some amazing opportunities and affordances. This includes, says Pinboard founder Maciej Cegłowski, “the greatest surveillance apparatus the world has ever seen.” Some food for thought about our work as technologists.

  Julia: For the niche subset of nerds who appreciate both typography and science fiction, check out Typeset in the Future – the blog dedicated to type in classic sci-fi films. The writing is hilarious.

  Inndy: Look at this robot salamander.


Work we admire by our journalism peers

NPR built an interactive that lets you try to predict who will win the presidential election by adjusting margin of victory and turnout percentage for different voter demographics.

ProPublica’s new map lets you find the percentage of doctors at your local hospital who take payments from drug and medical device companies.


Our projects, manifest

We're happy to introduce Version 1.6 of the NPR Story API WordPress plugin, a collection of tools for reusing content from

The Nerds partnered with NPR Digital Services to develop the latest release of the plugin, which provides access to audio, articles, images and other content from NPR and NPR member stations, dating back to 1995. The archive consists of over 250,000 stories grouped into more than 5,000 different aggregations – now at your fingertips thanks to our handy plugin.

NPR Story API is available for download from the WordPress Plugin Directory.


Good jobs with good people

INN is still accepting applications for a senior WordPress developerJoin our team!

The Online News Association is looking for a new executive director.

The Global Investigative Journalism Network is hiring a research director.

Pew Research is looking for a software product manager.

St. Louis Public Radio has a handful of internship opportunities.


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Thanks much!


Gather ye rosebuds

READ: Spam: A Shadow History of the Internet and discuss it with us during News Nerd Book Club on July 13.

EAT: These pupcakes (puppy + cupcakes) and pandonuts (panda + donuts) might be too cute to consume.

WATCH: Twinkie the Terrier pops 100 balloons in less than 40 seconds, like a boss.

PRINT: Deck your walls with NASA's Mars: Explorers Wanted poster series.

Practice makes perfect – never give up your dreams!