INN Labs’ account director looks forward to meeting you

It’s been about three weeks now since I started at INN! I’ve been impressed with organization and with the dedication to make an impact and support independent journalism and look forward to supporting those efforts. I've been starting to get to know our network of INN members that span the nation including Puerto Rico.

Currently, I’m learning all about the platform and technology solutions offered and getting trained up on internal systems.  I am excited to help on-board new members and support existing members.

If you're reading this and think, "I need some help and/or strategic guidance on our organization's online platform", feel free to reach out to me at labs@inn.org! We can schedule time to discuss your needs and guide you to make the maximum impact.

I look forward to getting to know the INN members!

Meet the Team: Tyler Machado, Front-End Developer

Tyler Machado

Next up in our "Meet the Team" series, we get to know Tyler Machado, our newest team member and front-end developer.

Tyler joined the INN Labs team earlier this year and previously worked as the editorial developer for Harvard Business Review, where he built interactive graphics. He's impressed us all with his design and development chops and is passionate about scrappy, local newsrooms and the Boston Celtics.

More from Tyler, in his own words:

Where are you from?

I grew up in Dartmouth, MA, and now I'm based in Boston.

How long have you been at INN?

One month!

What's your title and what do you do?

I'm the front-end developer at INN. I develop user experiences, audit content and work on the look and feel of our projects. My toolkit is mostly JavaScript and CSS with a hint of PHP for the WordPress-y parts.

What's your favorite part of your job?

That my work helps the journalists and communities who, in my opinion, are doing important and overlooked work. Tech is so often scary and/or frustrating nowadays that I feel like I have to do my small part to use it for good.

Where do you get your news?

Locally: The Boston Globe, WBUR, Boston Magazine. Globally: ProPublica, the New York Times, FiveThirtyEight. Plus any number of things that filter through my social networks, though I'm old-fashioned and visit site homepages a lot too.

Who or what inspires you? Why?

Communities built around learning, creativity and kindness.

What are your hobbies outside of work?

Spending all my time and money in record shops, rock clubs and small-scale breweries.

What's your favorite part of working remotely?

I feel lucky that my opportunities to make a living and work with great collaborators aren't tied to my geographic location, because even a city like Boston doesn't have as many news-nerd jobs as you'd hope. But replacing my MBTA commute with a walk/run around my delightful neighborhood is a big plus too.

Favorite kind of pie?

My mom's French meat pie.

What cartoon character would you be?

Daria.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

I'd settle for a better bowling handicap.

Are you a dog or cat person?

Doggos.

Favorite album or book (or both)?

Depending on the genre of the day: "The Woods" by Sleater-Kinney, "The Lemon of Pink" by the Books, or "Donuts" by J Dilla

Favorite place you've traveled to? Why?

This is a copout, but I hope I haven't found it yet!

Most recently used gif:

Describe yourself in 5 emojis or less:

🤔🎳🤖🎧😎

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

I graduated from a DJ-ing class last year and honestly, I'm still kinda psyched about it.

What are some noteworthy projects you've worked on at INN?

I'm only just getting started! But ask me again next year.

What's the most unusual place you've worked from?

I haven't been at INN long enough to go too much further than my home desk. The most unusual place I've had to work before was probably pushing updates on a tropical storm from a flooding lakefront, and I'd be happy to never do that again.

Welcome Tyler Machado to INN Labs!

Tyler Machado

We're so excited to welcome Tyler Machado to the INN Labs team as our front-end developer.

Tyler Machado is a web developer based in Boston, MA, and working at the intersection of technology, journalism, and visual storytelling. Tyler previously worked as the editorial developer for Harvard Business Review, where he built interactive graphics and helped start HBR’s chatbot presence on Slack and Facebook Messenger. Before that he worked on web development, social media and email newsletters at the Vermont newsweekly Seven Days. He’s led sessions at SRCCON, Cascade BOS, and Boston University's Storytelling With Data Workshops, and he's won awards from Folio: Magazine and the Association of Alternative Newsmedia.

Tyler recently received a certificate in data science from Harvard University. He holds a B.A. in journalism from Saint Michael's College, where he won the John D. Donoghue Award for outstanding service to student publications. He has done volunteer work with the DIY arts website Boston Hassle, as well as the Code For America and Girl Develop It groups in Burlington, VT.

At INN, Tyler will be the front-end lead on our team, working on a mix of INN Labs tools and client projects, and contributing to our mission of building open source software that serves independent and nonprofit publishers.

Tyler starts full time with us on February 5, and we're thrilled to have him on board!

WordCamp for Publishers Wrap-Up

Contributor Day Thanks

INN would like to thank the following people for their contributions during Contributor Day:

  • Mike Schinkel for Largo pull requests #1469 and #1466, fixing errors in Largo when running under WP_DEBUG and cleaning up some widgets.
  • Chris Hardie for Largo pull requests #1463#1465, and #1468, fixing syntax problems and WordPress Theme Check issues.
  • Jeremy Green for Largo pull request #1464, fixing a number of translation text domain issues.
  • Mads Holmen, Ben Borie, and Douglas Arellanes for their contributions to the Largo Wiki.
  • Adam Schweigert for continued work on DoubleClick for WordPress.

If you'd like to contribute to the next version of Largo, check out the Largo issue tracker on GitHub. We have a number of issues that would make good community contributions. Also, check out Largo's contributor guidelines and our team documentation!

INN at #wcpub

We'll update this section with transcripts and video as they become available.

Julia's Designing for Customization session provided an overview of the WordPress Customizer, information on how we're building the next version of Largo for Customizer-powered homepages, and ended with a brainstorming session about ways to solve a number of problems through improving customizability. Read her slides and speaker notes, and the prompt from the brainstorming session.

RC led INN's Contributor Day presence, which focused on building the next edition of Largo.

Ben's lightning talk was about all of INN's plugins, starting with the popular ones and wrapping up with the ones we've built for other people.

Kay and Ben were WordCamp for Publishers organizers as well as INN representatives. Kay was part of the Denver team that handled events and logistics, and Ben was part of the publicity team that handled the website, social media updates, and photography.

During Contributor Day, RC worked on Largo and Ben worked on INN's Storytelling Tools plugin.

Meet the Team: Julia Smith, Director, INN Labs

A number of people sit on a sectional couch underneath a projection screen.
Julia, second from left, participated in a data journalism panel during the Walkley Storyology conference last summer.

In part 3 of our "Meet the Team" series, we'll get to know Julia Smith, our awesome director!

Julia joined the team in February of 2016 as our design lead, stepped in full-force as acting director in February, and now guides us all with her fearless leadership.

Julia is a data journalist and technologist who has experience in news design and software development in addition to agency experience. She joined us in 2016 from the Center for Investigative Reporting, where she was a Knight-Mozilla Fellow and news application developer.

And, that's not all! Her work has also been recognized with an IRE Philip Meyer Award and a NATAS Emmy Award for New Approaches in Current News Coverage. Her editorial work has appeared in National Geographic, Reveal, The Chicago Reporter, and The Omaha World-Herald.

Here's some lesser-known facts about Julia, in her own words:

Where are you from?

Omaha, Nebraska.

How long have you been at INN?

1 year, 4 months.

What's your title and what do you do?

Director, INN Labs – I lead this (fabulous!) team, provide direction on product development and client projects, and still do a bit of coding.

What's your favorite part of your job?

Developing innovative products that lay the foundation for independent news orgs to present their best work online.

Where do you get your news?

Podcasts from NPR, Reveal, NYTimes; Twitter for general news from Axios, Washington Post, ProPublica, local sources; Print subscriptions for Bitch Media and the Sunday Omaha World-Herald.

Who or what inspires you?

Bravery.

What are your hobbies outside of work?

I enjoy visiting museums, playing piano, and searching for the best sour beers.

What's your favorite part of working remotely?

The flexibility to work from anywhere.

What's your favorite or most unusual place you've worked from?

Most unusual: the backseat of a moving Subaru somewhere on I-29 between Omaha and Kansas City.

Favorite place: Oakland, CA.

What's your Myers-Briggs personality type?

INTJ/INTP.

Favorite kind of pie?

Apple – not at all exciting but totally delicious.

What cartoon character would you be?

Schroeder from Peanuts.

If you could have a super power, what would it be?

Time travel.

Are you a dog or cat person?

Dogs, definitely. Kittens are cute from a distance.

Favorite album or book?

Lateralus (Tool).

Favorite place you've traveled to?

Queenstown, NZ – it's super beautiful.

Most recently used gif?

A woman dramatically turns to face the camera, and points at you. She speaks, and as she does so, words appear in the background: YOU GOT THIS.

Describe yourself in 5 emojis or less.

?????

Meet the Team: Kay Lima, Support & Community Lead

Photo credit: Laura Bertocci

In Part 2 of our "Meet the Team" series, we'll get to know Kay Lima, our Support & Community Lead.

Kay joined the team in January of this year to support our members and clients, helping them make the best possible use of the tools we build – and she's been a driving force ever since. Not only does she own our support process and evangelize our work, but she's spearheaded internal operational improvements, is a fierce project manager, and she's really brought the team together by introducing us to all sorts of team-building techniques.

More from Kay, in her own words:

Where are you from?

Originally from MA, now living in sunny Denver, CO.

How would you describe what you do?

My official title is Support & Community Lead; I oversee the support, documentation and training for Largo and the plugins we maintain, provide Google Analytics, AdWords, and SEO consulting, some front-end development and also manage website projects.

What's your favorite part of your job?

Helping our incredible members and working with such a fantastic team!

What are some noteworthy projects you've worked on at INN?

So far, I've revamped our support Help Desk (support.largoproject.org) and our project management process, presented a webinar on Google AdWords and Ad Grants, and have directly helped 60 different members with ongoing support.

Where do you get your news?

TheSkimm, Alexa flash briefings, NPR, Vice News/Viceland, NYTimes (the Sunday paper edition), Snapchat, and Twitter.

Who or what inspires you?

Tony Hsieh (for team culture and customer service), April Bloomfield (general awesomeness), girls who code (and their inspiring projects) and my wonderful mother.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

I'm really proud of graduating from a rigorous full-stack bootcamp focusing on JavaScript and PHP-based stacks.

What are your hobbies outside of work?

I love hiking, running, and skateboarding with my husband and our dog. You can also find me at a craft brewery or cafe, local tech meetup, farmers market, or working on a personal coding or brush lettering project.

What's your favorite part of working remotely?

Working with my dog!

What's your favorite kind of pie?

Chess.

What's your personality type?

INFJ.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

A Midas touch of sorts, except instead of turning what I touch to gold, it would instantly solve problems and eliminate suffering.

What's your favorite album?

This is really hard... A three-way tie between: Fugazi - The Argument, The Clash - Combat Rock and Verdi's La Traviata recorded at the Met with Pavarotti and Studer, conducted by James Levine.

Favorite place you've traveled to?

Sicily. What an incredibly wild and beautiful place! I spent time there (and elsewhere in Italy) working on organic farms and eating... lots of eating.

Are you a dog or cat person?

Definitely a dog person. 🙂

Most recently used gif:

And lastly, describe yourself in 5 emojis or less:

?  ⛰️  ?  ?  ?

Meet the Team: Ben Keith, News Apps Developer

Ben Keith - News Apps Developer
Photo credit: Laura Bertocci

Over the next few weeks, we'll be highlighting everyone on the small-but-mighty INN Labs team. It's only fitting that today we'll start with Ben Keith since he's been on the team the longest!

Ben is our News Apps Developer and has been with INN for 2 and a half years. His role involves building WordPress sites and plugins, providing support for our Largo and plugin users and maintaining his reign as the team's undisputed trivia champion. He has been an integral part of site redesigns for our members and is especially proud of his work on the Pym Shortcode plugin.

Get to know him more (in his own words) below:

Where are you from?

Currently: Columbus, Ohio.
Formerly: the DC area.

What's your favorite part of your job?

(jokingly) The commute.

Where do you get your news?

WaPo, NYT, ProPublica, Guardian US, Quartz, The Dispatch, The Lantern, Washington Times, WOSU, NPR, Ars Technica,  and a bunch of fellow news nerds I follow on Twitter.

Who or what inspires you?

Massive open-source projects, like WordPress, the Linux kernel, The Internet Archive, and Archive of Our Own.

Also, organizations that combine advocacy and legal work, like the ACLU, the EFF, and the Organization for Transformative Works.

What are your hobbies outside of work?

Papercraft, reading, reading, and various small web projects.

What's your favorite part of working remotely?

It allows me to spend a lot more time with my family. I have worked from my parents' house, a friend's house, from the waiting room of a doctor's office, from libraries and airports. I can go places and see people without having to take (as much) leave.

What's your favorite kind of pie?

Oreo. It's almost completely unlike pie.

What cartoon character would you be?

The one who was handed unstoppable power, but hesitates to use it. Or a librarian.

What's your spirit animal?

An osprey.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

In most genre fic, straight-up future knowledge is crippled by either the mechanics of the power or the mechanics of the universe. If it's available, sure, I'd take it, but otherwise I think I would go for something more useful. So some sort of Tinker/Thinker power.

What's your favorite book?

The Mars Trilogy.

Favorite place you've traveled to?

Philmont, New Mexico. It was 10 days of hiking in some gorgeous terrain, while still having the comforts of pumped water and hot food.

Are you a dog or cat person?

Cat. ?

Most recently used gif:

And lastly, describe yourself in 5 emojis or less:

?   ?   ?   ?   ?