Nerd Alert 110: When Bots Write News

HOT LINKS

What we're reading this week

Ben: You watched Arrival, right? Wolfram has posted all the code from a recent live stream discussing the analysis of the heptapod language on Github.

Gabe: I have no words for Christoph Niemann’s masterpiece story on the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

 Julia: Did some reading on CSS this week: an ode to element queries and a cheat sheet comparing CSS Grid Layout and Flexbox.

 Kay: The Columbia Journalism Review’s ongoing Platform and Publishers project reveals 10 interesting takeaways on how publishers are using social media platforms.

 RC: Read about Alphabet subsidiary Jigsaw and their new Conversation API - an AI-driven solution for combating internet trolls.

 Inndy: What do news-writing bots mean for the future of journalism?


SHOUT OUT

Work we admire by our journalism peers

Reveal Oroville Dam

Awesome work by the team at Reveal. They took a deep look at the Oroville Dam to show us how America’s tallest dam nearly overflowed.


GET A JOB

Good jobs with good people

ProPublica has a bunch of job openings for their new Illinois office.

NPR Visuals is hiring a summer intern.

VTDigger is hiring a Chief Innovation Officer and a Social Media / Community Editor.

The Better Government Association (BGA) seeks a full-time Civic Engagement & Special Projects Coordinator.

Reveal is hiring an Investigations Editor.

The Sunlight Foundation is hiring an Operations Manager.

Mississippi Today is hiring a Product/Web Designer and Developer.

Chicago Public Media is hiring a Developer.

IRE is seeking a Training Director.

The Tor Project is seeking a Communications Director.

Vox Media’s Storytelling Studio is looking for a Front-End Designer.

INN is hiring a Grant Officer & Writer and a Director of INN Labs.

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!


WE MADE A THING

Our work

Last Friday we launched the re-design of our Largo Project website. We also created a new Support Landing Page that consolidates all of our available support resources. Our design apprentice, Gabe Hongsdusit, wrote about the process of creating illustrations and animations for the re-design in a recent blog post.


LOVE NERD ALERT?

We love you back

Please consider supporting this newsletter with a donation to INN.

Or, if you'd rather contribute content over cash, be a guest contributor! Read more about that here and shoot us an email at nerds@inn.org if you're interested. We'd love to hear from you.

Thanks much!


EVENTS

IRL happenings

Julia and Ben are heading to Jacksonville, FL for NICAR next week – find them and say hello, and stop by Julia’s Thursday morning panel on remote working.


SOME OTHER STUFF

Gather ye rosebuds


LISTEN:
 A Take Away Show with Lee Fields. ?

WATCH: Every New York Times front page since 1852.

EAT: These simple yet sophisticated 3-ingredient parmesan shortbreads are the perfect complement to your weekend cocktails.

DRINK: Can You Taste the Music? Breweries and Bands Collaborate on Beers Inspired by Song.


Now as you were.

Nerd Alert 109: Eclipse Season

HOT LINKS

What we're reading this week

Adam: Take ‘er easy.

Ben: Digital Rights Management is probably a boring topic, but the consortium that effectively governs the web is trying to decide whether or not it should be included in web browsers. Ars Technica explains what it is, why it’s controversial, why some people want it included, and why some people wouldn’t touch it with a 39½-foot pole.

Gabe: Calling all LGBT/Queer women and allies in tech! Lesbians Who Tech will be having their annual summit in San Francisco next weekend. Livestream tickets for the event are free.

 Julia: Data sonification (using audio to represent data) is a hobby of mine, and I thought this experiment by a motion designer was a neat way of transforming keyframe animations into sound.

 Kay: Don’t miss this week’s 3 to Read, which covers the growing impact of news deserts, Wikipedia’s banning of the Daily Mail, and two views on holding on tight to print.

 RC: Google released some tutorials on telling a story using Google Maps and how to fact-check an image.

 Inndy: You talking to me?


SHOUT OUT

Work we admire by our journalism peers

NASA

Props to the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative, which is hosting #DataRescue events across the country to do important things like archiving NASA’s earth science data.


GET A JOB

Good jobs with good people

VTDigger is hiring a Chief Innovation Officer and a Social Media / Community Editor.

The Better Government Association (BGA) seeks a full-time Civic Engagement & Special Projects Coordinator.

Reveal is hiring an Investigations Editor.

The Sunlight Foundation is hiring an Operations Manager.

Mississippi Today is hiring a Product/Web Designer and Developer.

ProPublica is hiring a Reporter, Senior Editor, Web Producer, and a number of other positions.

Chicago Public Media is hiring a Developer.

IRE is seeking a Training Director.

The Tor Project is seeking a Communications Director.

Vox Media’s Storytelling Studio is looking for a Front-End Designer.

INN is hiring a Grant Officer & Writer.

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!


WE MADE A THING

Our work

Last Friday we launched the re-design of our Largo Project website. We also created a new Support Landing Page that consolidates all of our available support resources. Our design apprentice, Gabe Hongsdusit, wrote about the process of creating illustrations and animations for the re-design in a recent blog post.

Adam and Ben have also written a comprehensive post on building donation forms using Gravity Forms, Mailchimp, and Stripe. We encourage you to read through the post and experiment with these tools. Our support team is happy to assist.


LOVE NERD ALERT?

We love you back

Please consider supporting this newsletter with a donation to INN.

Or, if you'd rather contribute content over cash, be a guest contributor! Read more about that here and shoot us an email at nerds@inn.org if you're interested. We'd love to hear from you.

Thanks much!


DEADLINES

The clock is ticking

The deadline is February, 20, 2017 for submitting a proposal to In These Times' Goodman Institute for Investigative Reporting.


SOME OTHER STUFF

Gather ye rosebuds

LISTEN: The Magic iPod.

WATCH: Ashe Dryden's keynote on The Ethics of Open Source at MozFest 2016.

EAT: Zoodles don’t have to taste like sadness.

DRINK: With Duncan.


Happy trails, Adam.

Nerd Alert 108: Feeling Burned Out?

HOT LINKS

What we're reading this week

Adam: 58957.

Ben: From MuckRock executive editor JPat Brown, some amusing anecdotes and a whole lot of tips about FOIA.

Gabe: Jackie Lay is an illustrator and designer who’s done fantastic video animations for The Atlantic. She interprets spoken word with humor, grace, and originality. Check out her videos about Caitlyn Jenner, the origin of dogs, and Notorious R.B.G.

 Julia: An important question these days: How do we design the news for people who are burned out?

 Kay: These drone journalism camps will give you the hands-on experience necessary to pass the FAA exam and also include important sessions on the ethics and law of using drones for journalism.

 RC: Creative Commons has released a new search tool to help you find open licensed images from across the web.

 Inndy: Cassie the Bipedal Ostrich Bot.


SHOUT OUT

Work we admire by our journalism peers

 

OpenNews has gone independent.


GET A JOB

Good jobs with good people

INN is hiring a Grant Officer & Writer.

Chalkbeat is hiring an executive editor and a national reporter.

The Tor Project is hiring a Communications Director.

The Texas Tribune is hiring a software engineer.

ProPublica is hiring a web producer, a product developer and a number of other positions.

KPCC is hiring an audience insights and development manager.

The American Press Institute is hiring a reader revenue program manager.

The Pew Research Center is hiring a research analyst on its journalism and media research team.

The Trust Project is hiring a project manager.

The UK Local Data Lab is hiring its first two team members.

The Internet Archive is hiring for a number of positions, including a head of digitization.

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


WE MADE A THING

Our work

This week we launched a Largo-powered redesign for Fresh Energy, a Minnesota nonprofit dedicated to shaping policies for a clean energy economy.


BE OUR GUEST

This week's guest contributor

Katie Methe (@katiemethe) is a technology problem solver, digital strategist and a Senior Team Lead @10up.

I enjoy reading articles from Post Status, which is dedicated to informing WordPress professionals and enthusiasts about the industry. In particular, here's some New Year's Resolutions for WordPress Developers.

You too can be a guest contributor! Read more about that here and shoot us an email at nerds@inn.org if you're interested. We'd love to hear from you.


ANNOUNCEMENTS

Listen up!

We’ve made some changes to our Support Process. (Plus, check out our cool new Largo site!)

And in team news, the one-and-only Adam is leaving INN to go be awesome at Mother Jones, and Julia is taking the helm here. Stay tuned for more updates next week – but don’t worry, Nerd Alert is sticking around for good.


SOME OTHER STUFF

Gather ye rosebuds

LISTEN: 99 Red Balloons with Red Balloons.

WATCH: The Birth and Death of JavaScript.

EAT: Caramelized-Honey Brûlée. For now, for Valentine’s day, for always.

DRINK: Lord Nibbler, a Cocktail with IPA syrup, Bourbon, and Campari.


Until next time...

Nerd Alert 107: 1 Month Down, 11 to Go

HOT LINKS

What we're reading this week

 Adam: Chicago Magazine has an excellent feature on oboist Alex Klein’s dramatic comeback from focal dystonia. To get a sense of his artistry, make sure to check out his 2001 recording of the Strauss Oboe Concerto. One of the very best.

 Ben: Microsoft’s emotions API can be fed images from video, so why not use that to determine the emotional content of inaugural addresses? Periscopic’s analysis is pretty impressive.

 Gabe: Illustrator Christoph Niemann’s Sunday Sketching is a thoughtful reflection on the creative process that hits close to home.

 Julia: This overview of animation in design systems contains useful guidelines to help you create pleasant – and performant – user experiences.

 Kay: Are people allowed to just take your time? Jason Fried shares an alternative.

 RC: The Knight Foundation has released a review of what they’ve learned about podcasting from their investments in the space.

 Inndy: Meet my newest autonomous friend, Bat Bot!


SHOUT OUT

Work we admire by our journalism peers

Shout out to all the news organizations tracking staffing choices for the Trump administration. Take a look at a few of the big ones and read the Same Diff column on Source for a detailed comparison of the coverage.


LOVE NERD ALERT?

We love you back

Please consider supporting this newsletter with a donation to INN.

Or if you'd rather contribute content over cash, be a guest contributor! Read more about that here and shoot us an email at nerds@inn.org if you're interested. We'd love to hear from you.

Thanks much!


GET A JOB

Good jobs with good people

INN is hiring a Grant Officer & Writer.

The Tor Project is hiring a Communications Director.

The Texas Tribune is hiring a software engineer.

ProPublica is hiring a web producer, a product developer and a number of other positions.

KPCC is hiring an audience insights and development manager.

The American Press Institute is hiring a reader revenue program manager.

The Pew Research Center is hiring a research analyst on its journalism and media research team.

The Trust Project is hiring a project manager.

The UK Local Data Lab is hiring its first two team members.

The Internet Archive is hiring for a number of positions, including a head of digitization.

If you're looking for general jobs in nonprofit news, the main INN newsletter had more than 16 job openings this week. Check it out and sign up here to get it in your inbox every Tuesday. Two INN newsletters are better than one!


SOME OTHER STUFF

Gather ye rosebuds

LISTEN: Lila Downs: Story-teller, tremendous voice, and Grammy winner (NBD). ?

WATCH: The magical, interrupting, bird of paradise.

EAT: All of the dips.

DRINK: Have your drink and eat it too.


Onward!

Week 2: Immersion Continues

Last Friday marked the end of my second week at INN. To be honest, though, it feels like I've been here for much longer - something I take as a sign of great culture fit. Everything that was so new in the first week is becoming more familiar and the continued support of the INN team is making it exciting to ramp up quickly.

The beginning of week two was a continuation of the first few days; squaring things away with my computer setup, reading more team documentation, and getting to know the rest of the team that I hadn't connected with in week one. By Wednesday, things started to "kick into high gear" as I dove into looking at our help desk and support workflows. I also paired up with teammates and felt empowered by learning the nuances of what we do and how we do them, which can otherwise be difficult to document. Sometimes there's no substitute for meeting "in person" (and in our case through video) and talking through an idea, approach, or problem.

I also began to learn more about our incredible members, the powerful stories they produce and the challenges they face. I look forward to continuing to learn about our members, our services, and the nonprofit news industry this week!

The Art of Immersion: Reflections on Week 1

Today marks the end of my first (half) week at INN, since being brought on as the new Support and Community Lead last Wednesday. While the past 3 days flew by I began to immerse myself in our team documentation, the various roles on the team, and our remote culture. I’ve read (and tried my best to digest) a lot of information about who we are, what we do, and (most importantly) why we do it.

This all has led me to:

  • Gaining a true appreciation of our members and their work. This is an appreciation and understanding which I look forward to strengthening next week as I familiarize myself with our members’ sites and more of their work.
  • Getting to know the team and learning a ton of interesting facts about them. They are all equally fascinating and also great at what they do.
  • Orienting myself to how we collaborate and get things done at a large scale with a small, but effective team. And, of course, all from the comfort of our various home offices.

So far only one thing has caught me off guard in my first week. Learning so much new information, meeting lots of new people and being on a new (notice a theme here?) schedule is tougher than I predicted. Luckily, the team at INN has been incredibly welcoming, understanding and insightful. I’m looking forward to recharging over the weekend and then diving into all that week 2 has in store!