Nerd Alert 82: News Nerd Events? Alpaca My Bags!


What we're reading this week

  Adam: There is no “one size fits all” solution to digital security, but this list from the Coral Project's Martin Shelton should help you get started.

  Ben: Creating new Chinese fonts is a really complex process because of the number of characters. One side effect? Chinese-language webfont providers scan the page to determine which characters are needed, and only deliver the characters needed on a page.

  Gabe: A reminder to go out and do something that you’re bad at. Not only is it humbling, but it also allows us to engage in flow - enjoying activities for the sake of mastery, satisfaction, and interest.

  Jack: Lists can be handy for organizing things, like Seven Things You Need to Know about Non-Profit Journalism, or How to Start a Grassroots Journalism Incubator from Scratch,  A 10-Step Starter Guide. Numbers to live by!

  Julia: A Single Div is an impressive CSS drawing project that uses just one div (and loads of CSS) to create detailed illustrations – like this cassette tape, this rolling BB-8, and this TARDIS.

  Inndy: Howdy, pardner.


This week's guest contributor

Our guest this week is Ryan Sholin (@ryansholin), Director of Product and Growth at Chalkbeat.
The Bitter Southerner is neither bitter, nor for Southerners only, however you choose to define the geographic and emotional boundaries of the American South. This summer reading rounduphas something for the inevitable beach/lake/stormy days of August, but what really interests me is the intersection of new media experiments here. Crowdsourcing, membership, merchandising, affiliate programs, a content vertical that isn't strictly topical or local... Plenty to ruminate on in between books.

Want to see your name in this space? Be a guest contributor! Read more about how that works and shoot us an email at if you're interested. We'd love to hear from you!


Work we admire by our journalism peers

NPR recently published a virtual reality story about the geological history of Rocky Mountain National Park. Constructing VR experiences in the browser is a first for NPR (and we're guessing for many other newsrooms) so they wrote a helpful post on the challenges they encountered and how they solved them.


Meet your fellow nerds

August 26-28 - The Texas Tribune is hosting a hack weekend to work with Texas voting data and create innovative projects that will help voters make more informed decisions at the polls.

September 28-29 - INN is hosting a two-day event for news leaders to discuss everything you need to know about managing technology and product design in your news organization. Travel stipends for INN members are available!


Our projects, manifest

We're pleased to have helped NPR Digital Services with the latest release of their NPR Story API plugin for WordPress. Among the improvements: better documentation, more helpful error messages and a number of under-the-hood improvements. A full list of improvements and what you can do with the plugin can be found in this post over on the NPR Digital Services blog.

Want to work with our team on an upcoming project? We're available for hire and would love to talk with you to see how we can help. Send us an email at with details about your project and we'll get right back to you!


Good jobs with good people

Texas Tribune is looking for a software engineer.

Reveal is hiring two investigative journalists.

Connecticut Health I-Team is looking for a contract data journalist.

The Center for Responsive Politics is hiring an outreach and social media coordinator.

Mississippi Today is looking for a database editor.

In These Times is searching for a contract art and design director.

American Public Media is on the lookout for a digital product designer.


We love you back

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Thanks much!


Gather ye rosebuds

LISTEN: Perfect week to revisit Bill Clinton's 1992 appearance on Arsenio.

WATCH: We've heard of swan diving. But swan surfing?

EAT: Does anyone really know what's in American cheese?

Another week in the books.