Announcing Largo 0.6.4

This week's release of updates to the Largo WordPress theme is all about improvements for images, pull quotes, and media. It also brings improved compatibility and editorial functions for the WordPress Block Editor.

This release includes:

An example of the new pull quote block styles.
  • Improved pull quote display. The Pull Quote block gains full styling, so that block quotes and pull quotes no longer appear the same.
  • The ability to insert media credits from the Media Gallery in the block editor.
  • More thumbnail display options for the Series Post widget.
  • Compatibility with WP 5.2's wp_body_open hook, which will be increasingly important for plugin compatibility.

This release also contains a number of fixes and minor updates. Particular thanks go to outside contributor @megabulk.

What's new in 0.6.4?

For the full details on what we've updated in version 0.6.4, including improvements for developers, please see the Largo 0.6.4 official release notes.

You may also want to read the release notes for version 0.6.3 and 0.6.2.

Upgrading to the Latest Version of Largo

Want to update to the latest version of Largo? Follow these instructions, or send us an email!

Before updating, please see the upgrade notices outlined here.

What's next?

When Largo was first released, it contained functionality for things that did not yet exist in WordPress core, like term metadata. Our next release will continue the work already underway to streamline the theme and seamlessly switch to using WordPress' now-built-in functionality.

This is in addition to an overall focus to improve Largo's frontend for mobile-first speed and easy editorial customizations.

Plugins

Another part of the work we’ve done recently with Largo has been to spin out important functionality for publishers into standalone plugins. This makes these features widely available for any WordPress site to use while further streamlining the Largo theme and improving overall performance. We published the Disclaimers plugin last year. The 0.7 release of Largo will complete the transition of the Disclaimers Widget as a standalone plugin by removing the widget from Largo. We're doing the same with our Staff plugin.

New INN Labs publishing tools:

  1. We recently launched the Republication Tracker Tool plugin which allows publishers to easily share their stories with other websites and then track engagement of those shared stories in Google Analytics.
  2. Link Roundups received important updates in the version 1.0 release. This WordPress plugin helps editors aggregate links from around the web and save them as “Saved Links”. You can publish these curated links in widgets and posts in your site, or push Link Roundups directly to subscribers via MailChimp.

Send us Your Feedback

We want to know what you think will make Largo better. Send us an email with your ideas!

Largo site wins Cleveland Press Club magazine website award

Ben Keith and Lucia Walinchus with Eye on Ohio's first-place award for magazine website.

A photograph of an engraved wood plaque.
The award plaque.

We're happy to relay the news that INN Member Eye on Ohio won First Place Magazine Website in the Press Club of Cleveland's annual All-Ohio Excellence in Journalism Awards. We thank the Club and the judges for their consideration and congratulate Eye on Ohio for their success.

Magazine Website
First place: EyeonOhio.com
Lucia Walinchus, Ben Keith, Eye on Ohio

Eye on Ohio is built using INN Labs' Largo WordPress theme, which is the fruit of many years' work by contributors at INN, at NPR, and from the greater WordPress community. Eye on Ohio executive director listed Labs' lead developer, Ben Keith, as the second contact on the awards for his contributions as an INN Labs employee in Ohio.

Beyond Ben, contributors to Largo include past and present INN staff, folks at NPR's former Project Argo, and community contributors from across the web. We've got a full list in Largo's README over on GitHub.

Announcing Version 1.0 of the Link Roundups Plugin

INN Labs is pleased to announce an important update to the Link Roundups plugin!

If you run a daily or weekly newsletter collecting headlines from around the state, region, or within a particular industry, the Link Roundups plugin will make it easier to build and feed your aggregation posts into MailChimp.

The Link Roundups plugin helps editors aggregate links from around the web and save them in WordPress as “Saved Links”. You can publish these curated links in a Link Roundup (more below), display Saved Links and Link Roundups in widgets and posts in your WordPress site, or push Link Roundups directly to subscribers via MailChimp. It's designed to replace scattered link-gathering workflows that may span email, Slack, Google Docs and spreadsheets and streamlines collaborations between different staffers.

Why might you want to use this plugin? Here are a few reasons:

  • It creates a single destination for collecting links and metadata
  • On sites that publish infrequently, it provides recently published (curated) content for your readers
  • Weekly roundup newsletters or posts are a great way to recap your own site's coverage and build and diversify your audience, which can increase donations

Saved Links

The central function of the Link Roundups plugin is the Saved Link. It's a way of storing links in your WordPress database, alongside metadata such as the link's title, source site, and your description of the link's contents.

A screenshot of the Saved Links interface, showing many saved links and their respective metadata: authors, links, descriptions, and tags.

Save to Site Bookmarklet

When WordPress 4.9 removed the "Press This" functionality, this plugin's bookmarklet broke. This release's updates to the Saved Links functionality include a renewal of the "Save to Site" bookmarklet, based off of the canonical Press This plugin's functions. If your site has the WordPress-maintained Press This plugin active, your site users will be able to generate new bookmarklets. We include instructions on how to use the bookmarklet in the latest release.

A screenshot of the "Save to Site" button and its copy button

Once you've accumulated a few Saved Links, you can display them on your site using the Saved Links Widget or start to create Link Roundups (see next).

Saved Links Widget

Common uses of this widget include "coverage from around the state" or "recommended reads" or "from our partners" links.

It's a good way to point your to expert coverage from newsrooms you partner with. With the ability to sort Saved Links by tag, you can easily filter a widget to only show a selection of all the links saved on your site. Here's how Energy News Network uses the widget:

A screenshot of the widget as it appears at Energy News Network, showing a selection of links from the last day.
A screenshot of the widget as it appears at Energy News Network, showing a selection of links from the last day.

Link Roundups

Link Roundups are one of the best ways to present Saved Links to your readers. Collect links with Saved Links, then create a Link Roundup post with the week's curated links. The person who assembles the Link Roundup doesn't have to deal with messy cut-and-paste formatting or composing blurbs — when your users create Saved Links, they're already adding headlines, blurbs, and sources.

Add some opening and closing text, and you're most of the way to having composed a morning or weekly news roundup.

Link Roundups are a custom post type with all the Classic Editor tools and an easy interface for creating lists of Saved Links. As a separate post type, they can be integrated into your site's standard lists of posts or kept separate in their own taxonomies. You don't have to integrate the roundups with your standard posts flow; it's why we provide a Link Roundups widget to fulfill your widget area needs.

MailChimp Integration

Link Roundups don't have to stay on your site. If you configure your site to connect to the MailChimp API and create a newsletter template with editable content areas, you can send a Link Roundup directly to MailChimp from WordPress.

From the Link Roundup editor, you can choose a mailing list, and create MailChimp campaign drafts, send test emails, and send drafted campaigns directly. If you'd rather open a draft campaign in MailChimp to finalize the copy, there's a handy link to your draft campaign.

A screenshot of a settings metabox: choose a campaign type of regular or text. Choose a list to send to: the Link Roundups Mailchimp Tools Test list, with the group "are they Ben" option chosen: "Ben". The campaign title will be "Test Title Three Title", the test subject will be "Test Title Three Subject", and the template will be "Link Roundups Test 2"
Here's the MailChimp settings for the Link Roundups campaign editor: Many of the controls that you'd want to use to create and send a draft campaign.

More information

For more information about how the plugin works, see the Largo guide for administrators, the plugin's documentation on GitHub, or drop by one of our weekly open office hours sessions with your questions. You can also reach us by email at support@inn.org.

If you already have the Link Roundups plugin installed, keep an eye out for an update notice in your WordPress dashboard. If you'd like to install it, download it from the WordPress.org plugin repository or through your site dashboard's plugin page.

This update was funded in part by Energy News Network and Fresh Energy, with additional funding thanks to the generous support of the Democracy Fund, Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Fund, Open Society Foundation, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Link Roundups is one of the many WordPress plugins maintained by INN Labs, the tech and product team at the Institute for Nonprofit News.

Nerd Alert 204

HOT LINKS

What we're reading this week

Tyler: Things are getting weird in 2019, according to the Next Web's latest roundup of web design trends.

Kay: Are you giving your readers more than 4 options for a membership, as donation levels or for other important conversion points? If so, you might want to re-think it! Learn more about how people make decisions.

Ben: If you want to build a national org to compile police department data, talk to Steven Rich at NICAR. If you just want to download all the books that entered the public domain in 2019, Motherboard has a neat list of lists.

Paola: What are the fundraising trends for 2019?

🤖 Inndy: How exciting that so many of my robot cousins had Super Bowl ads this year!

SHOUT OUT

Work we admire by our journalism/tech peers

The Trace's investigation into theft of guns from stores has some really cool maps.

ProPublica's rendition of the USS Fitzgerald's crash is beautiful and well-written. We're eagerly awaiting photos of the 1:700 scale model of the ship described in the "how we made it" article.

Capital Public Radio presents 140 years of California wildfires on this interactive map.

EVENTS & DEADLINES

Be in the know

Today: Deadline to submit a NICAR lightning talk proposal.
February 13: INN Town Hall: Possibilities in Nonprofit News.
February 14: The next biweekly Source Community Call.
February 20: Deadline to apply to the next Join the Beat community of practice for beat reporters interested in audience engagement.
February 21:
WordPress 5.1 planned release date.
February 25-27:  Knight Media Forum in Miami, FL.
March 7-9: AEJMC Midwinter Conference in Norman, OK.
March 7-9: NICAR Conference in Newport Beach, CA.
March 8-17: South by Southwest in Austin, TX.
March 15: AAJA's open call for pitches closes.
April 7: Deadline for the Data Journalism Awards.
April 10: Deadline to apply for the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism.

GET A JOB

Good jobs with good people

American Public Media is hiring a digital analytics manager.
Colorado Public Radio is hiring a web developer.
PBS NewsHour is hiring a senior UX designer.
The Texas Tribune is hiring a visuals team developer/designer.
Northeastern University is hiring a data visualization designer and a front-end web developer.
SCPR's Resound project is hiring software engineers in Pasadena, CA and Boston, MA.
NPR is hiring a contract product designer.
Chicago Public Media is hiring a lead software engineer.
The Markup is hiring several editorial and product roles.

If you're looking for general jobs in nonprofit news, check out the main INN newsletter and sign up here to get it in your inbox every Tuesday. Two INN newsletters are better than one!

DISCOVER

Gather ye rosebuds

LISTEN: Conlon Nancarrow, black MIDI and irrational music. 🎹

DRINK: Real hot chocolate. ☕️

READ: Dorothy Butler Gilliam at the Washington Post. 📝

Tomorrow is Chocolate Day!

 

Nerd Alert 203

HOT LINKS

What we're reading this week

Ben: Josepha Haden was recently named Executive Director of the WordPress project. Read up on her leadership philosophy, and her review of WordPress' strengths and challenges.

Paola: Over the course of the next three years, Facebook will place a total of $300 million worth of support towards journalism projects including nonprofits focusing on local journalism.

Kay: Dimensions.Guide is a really beautiful and free reference database of drawings which document the standard measurements and sizes of the objects and spaces that make up our world. Super handy for infographics!

Tyler: I recently found out about this Chrome extension that lets you toggle support for CSS grid, flexbox and other modern CSS layout techniques in DevTools — a useful addition to the browser compatibility testing toolkit.

Inndy (bot): I may be smart, but I'm not sure if I can tell the difference between infringing and non-infringing use of copyrighted material.

SHOUT OUT

Work we admire by our journalism/tech peers

A series of text bubbles reading "yes" and "no"

WBEZ's presentation of their Chicago mayoral candidates interviews is wonderfully clean, for a field of 13 would-be mayors.

For the other races in Chicago's Feb. 26 municipal elections, check out Chi.vote, a ballot and voting info site produced by a collective including the Better Government Association, Block Club Chicago, The Chicago Reporter, The Daily Line and The Triibe.

In Vermont, VTDigger has the definitive rundown of every new state house member.

Mapzen's tools and IP have found a new home as a project of The Linux Foundation, giving the community a solid legal framework for future fundraising to ensure the continued availability of their data.

CALmatters' Frayed Wires series will dig into the details of California's electrical generation and how that system is being upgraded.

Facebook has taken steps to prevent ProPublica from automatedly collecting political ads. We laud ProPublica's persistence.

St. Louis Public Radio has put several hundred tiny multiple charts in this one story.

And thank you to Stephen Pruitt and all Wikipedians.

EVENTS & DEADLINES

Be in the know

February 1: Deadline to submit to SND's Best of Digital Design competition.
February 7: City Bureau webinar: Creating Accountability with City Scrapers.
February 8:
Deadline to submit a NICAR lightning talk proposal.
February 13: INN Town Hall: Possibilities in Nonprofit News
February 25-27:  Knight Media Forum in Miami, FL.
March 7-9: AEJMC Midwinter Conference in Norman, OK.
March 7-9: NICAR Conference in Newport Beach, CA.
March 8-17: South by Southwest in Austin, TX.
March 15: AAJA's open call for pitches closes.
April 7: Deadline for the Data Journalism Awards.

GET A JOB

Good jobs with good people

JOIN OUR TEAM! INN Labs is hiring a senior developer and a digital project manager – come work with us!

NPR is hiring a contract product designer.
Chicago Public Media is hiring a lead software engineer.
Pacific Standard is hiring a data editor.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science is hiring an interactive graphics editor.
The News Literacy Project is hiring an associate director of education.
Minnesota Public Radio is hiring a digital analytics manager.
The Markup is hiring several editorial and product roles.
Pew Research Center is hiring a digital design intern for summer 2019.

If you're looking for general jobs in nonprofit news, check out the main INN newsletter and sign up here to get it in your inbox every Tuesday. Two INN newsletters are better than one!

DISCOVER

Gather ye rosebuds

LISTEN: Miguel Zenón featuring the Spektral Quartet. 🎻🇵🇷

EAT: FOIA borscht. 🍲🇷🇺

READ: The Amazing Spider-Man vs The Prodigy, 1976. 🕸

The Mailchimp monkey sits on a rock in the water, surrounded by sharks

We're trying something new with Nerd Alert this week.
Let us know what you think.

 

Announcing Largo 0.6.1

WordPress 5.0 and the Gutenberg editor present a perfect opportunity to incorporate new best practices from the WordPress industry in our work. With a more streamlined end-user experience, individual organizations will be empowered to truly make their Largo sites their own. But we're also invested in making the developer experience easier.

Continue reading "Announcing Largo 0.6.1"

WordPress 5.0 and your news organization

WordPress 5.0 was released Decmber 6, 2018 and brings a wealth of new features, including a new post editor.

The new post editor included in WordPress 5.0 called "Gutenberg" provides a more-visual interface that is "block-based." Everything now becomes a block, including "Custom HTML" blocks and shortcodes. Your old content will remain unchanged, but newly-written posts have many new options for customization to drive engagement and increase readers' time on your site.

Continue reading "WordPress 5.0 and your news organization"

Announcing: Pym.js Embeds version 1.3.2.1

The INN Labs team is issuing a major, Gutenberg-friendly update to the Pym.js Embeds WordPress plugin, formerly known as the Pym Shortcode plugin, which improves presentations of data journalism.

The Pym.js Embeds plugin creates a better experience for the reader with responsive embeds that scale to fit the story, reduces workflows for data journalists, and removes the need for tricky embed workarounds.

For more details, see our latest announcement. You can also learn more about the latest release on GitHub and download the plugin from WordPress.org.

Plugin Release: Disclaimers

Let's start with some ancient history. Our flagship WordPress theme, Largo, descends from work that NPR did in the early 2010s under the name The Argo Network. The network's work included best-practices recommendations for working with WordPress in news, published at the Argo Project, and an open-source WordPress theme called Argo, which INN forked in 2012.

Fast-forward a few years. INN was working on a big refresh of WisconsinWatch.org for the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, and was bringing in new features in Largo to support that refresh. The 0.4 release of Largo included a disclaimer widget that could be used to provide site-wide or per-article disclaimers and disclosures.

Today, we're happy to announce that that functionality is available to all WordPress users, with the launch of the Disclaimers plugin. 🎉

The plugin's site-wide settings page, showing an example setting of "This is an example sitewide disclaimer."
The plugin's site-wide settings page, showing an example setting.

The widget settings page, showing the Disclaimers widget added to the "Article Bottom" widget area. The active theme is Largo.
The widget settings page, showing the Disclaimers widget added to the "Article Bottom" widget area. The active theme is Largo.

The Disclaimers widget, displaying a sitewide disclaimer, set at the bottom of an article.
The Disclaimers widget, displaying a sitewide disclaimer, set at the bottom of an article using the Largo theme.

With the Twenty Seventeen theme active, this site has chosen to put the Disclaimer widget at the top of the sidebar.
With the Twenty Seventeen theme active, this site has chosen to put the Disclaimer widget at the top of the sidebar.

Here's what the per-post settings look like on a site using the Gutenberg editor plugin. The same subset of HTML is supported in this box as your site supports in the post body.
Here's what the per-post settings look like on a site using the Gutenberg editor plugin. The same subset of HTML is supported in this box as your site supports in the post body.

A screenshot of a post in Twenty Seventeen displaying a more-complex disclaimer with HTML bold, strong, emphasized, italic, and link tags in use.
A screenshot of a post in Twenty Seventeen displaying a more-complex disclaimer with HTML bold, strong, emphasized, italic, and link tags in use.

Largo sites running any current version of Largo don't need to install this plugin now, but we will be removing the corresponding disclaimers functionality from Largo in the next release. The migration process will be as painless as we can make it, with all your existing disclaimers carried forward.

Stay tuned for more plugin announcements in the coming months! You can subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on Twitter at @innnerds to receive updates. Or, just watch our blog here. We even have an RSS feed!