We’re hiring! Join INN Labs as a front-end developer and designer

We're looking for a front-end developer-slash-designer to join our team! In this role, you'll be the team's go-to design and CSS/JS expert, working on client projects and INN Labs tools like Largo and our publishing plugins. The job is full-time and fully remote!

Continue reading "We’re hiring! Join INN Labs as a front-end developer and designer"

How to use News Match Donation Shortcode

As part of INN's support for the 2017 News Match campaign, we've released two WordPress plugins to help sites convert readers. News Match Donation Shortcode provides a donation form for your site to ease donations through the News Revenue Hub as part of the News Match campaign.

Prefer a video walkthrough? Watch this tutorial on youtube.

Installing the plugin

On your WordPress site, click on "Plugins" in the Dashboard menu. If you see an "Add New" button at the top of the page, click that.

If you don't see the "Add New" button or the "Plugins" menu, your user might not have permission to manage plugins on the site; you should contact your technical support and ask them to install News Match Donation Shortcode for you. Your site might require downloading the plugin ZIPs and uploading them via FTP instead of using WordPress' built-in plugin installation tools.

Configuring the plugin

A screenshot of the plugin's locaiton in the wordpress settings menuThe plugin's settings are at Settings > News Match Shortcode in the WordPress admin.

When you first enable the plugin, you'll want to configure it with your organization's name, your News Revenue Hub ID, the default donation amount, and the live and staging URLs of your News Revenue Hub form.

The settings is where you configure the donation levels to match your organization's membership levels. While the plugin comes with 4 default donation levels, you can easily define your own labels and donation levels. The defaults are: $0-$5 Friend, $5-$50 Ally, $50-$500 Champion, and $500+ Ambassador. If you want fewer donation levels, set the third level's upper donation amount to a very high amount, such as your org's dream budget, and make sure that the fourth level is more than that.

A screenshot of the level 1 donation level settings.
Here's an example of non-default configuration of the first donation level out of four.

If you use Salesforce to track campaigns, you can set a default Salesforce campaign ID for the plugin in the plugin's settings. This can be overridden on a per-form basis by setting the sf_campaign_id attribute of the shortcode, like so: [newsmatch_donation_form sf_campaign_id="foo" amount="25"]

A screenshot of the WordPress admin dashboard shows the setting for the Salesforce Campaign ID
This is the Salesforce campaign ID setting in the plugin admin.

The shortcode in use

The default form of the shortcode uses buttons to select the donation level:

a screenshot of the donation form
By adding type="select" to the shortcode, it appears like this:

a screenshot of the dropdown donation form
[newsmatch_donation_form type="select"]
A full list of shortcode arguments and examples can be found in the plugin's WordPress.org entry, but they're basically one-off overrides for your Salesforce campaign ID, your default donation amount, and the type of form.

The above screenshots use the plugin's default styles with non-default configuration. You can style the donation form using your site's theme's CSS, Jetpack’s Custom CSS Editor, or any other tool that allows you to define custom styles on your site. Guidance for these custom styles can be found in the FAQ section of the plugin's WordPress.org entry.

Need support?

If you have questions about this plugin and integrating it with your WordPress site, contact support@inn.org.

If you have questions about the News Revenue Hub, visit their contact page.

If you have questions about the News Match program, visit their website for donornonprofit and funding partner information.

Plugin Releases: Two new News Match plugins are ready for action

This week we released two new WordPress plugins to support our members' News Match fundraising campaigns. Next week we will be hosting a webinar, WordPress Tools for your News Match Campaign, to demo the plugins and share some technical best practices for year-end fundraising. Continue reading "Plugin Releases: Two new News Match plugins are ready for action"

Storytelling Tools Plugin for WordPress


If you're not familiar with them already, The Knight Lab at Northwestern University has built some great storytelling & visualization tools for journalists, all of which are freely available on their website.

Knight Lab Storytelling Tools

You may have already seen some of these tools in action as a reader and not realized what they were. Their Timeline, StoryMap, Juxtapose, and Soundcite tools have been featured in Time, The Washington Post, ESPN, and ProPublica, to name a few.

Even better, the Knight Lab has taken steps to make it as easy as possible for anyone to build these visualizations and embed them on their site. Each tool has its own page on the Knight Lab site that contains either a wizard to guide you through building the visualization or detailed information and examples on how to do it yourself (in the case of Soundcite).

Why We Built The Plugin

When you use the online wizard to build one of these tools, you'll get a few different options to embed the finished product on your website. If you're publishing on Medium, you'll receive a link you can just paste into your editor. If you're using WordPress or another platform, there's some iframe code you can add to your editor. For Soundcite, there are some rather detailed instructions for WordPress users, because you need to include the Soundcite JavaScript file that builds the players.

For non-technical users, relying on code to embed these tools can be difficult, and even prevent people from using these tools. We saw an opportunity here to add first-party support for these tools in WordPress, allowing for the same automatic embeds as Medium and a shortcode for Soundcite. Now, anyone can begin using these tools in WordPress without any coding skills!

More Info

By this point, you're probably thinking, "WOW, where can I get this plugin to start using it myself?!?"

You're in luck - it is freely available on https://wordpress.org/plugins/storytelling-tools/ or you can install from the comfort of your own website's plugin section. At that link, you'll also find detailed information about each of the tools and how to use them on your site.

If you have any questions or suggestions, you can always contact us via email, open a ticket on Github, or leave a note for us in the WordPress.org forums. We look forward to hearing from you!

SSL & 2-Factor Authentication Coming to All Hosted INN Member Sites

The security and performance of our hosted member sites is one of the most important tasks we handle on the INN Product & Technology Team. Our members rely on us to keep their sites secure and accessible so they can focus their efforts on the important journalistic work they're doing.

This week we're beginning a rollout of SSL certificates and 2 Factor Authentication for all hosted members sites. SSL provides encrypted connections to websites, is increasingly becoming the de facto standard for the web, and Google has indicated it will increasingly be viewed as a ranking factor in search. Enabling SSL will mean that all pages will be accessed using https:// at the beginning of the URL (and don't worry, we'll redirect any non-SSL URLs to the safe SSL version).

Two-Factor Authentication is an additional security step we are also making available in the coming months to our hosted sites through Google Authenticator. This will allow you to add additional authentication to your account by using your phone or another app to verify your identity when you log in. We're currently testing integrations of this and will provide public documentation for using this feature once we begin rolling it out on our hosted sites.

If you're a member with an INN-hosted site, there aren't any actions you need to take to enable these features. INN's tech team will be implementing these infrastructure improvements on a rolling basis, and we'll continue to communicate any updates or changes that may affect your site before they occur. If you have any questions, you can always find answers and reach out to us through our support portal.

Goodbye. Thanks For Everything.

Today is my last day at INN.

It's been a privilege to work this past 4+ years supporting a nationwide network of over 120 nonprofit news organizations.

Now, I'm excited to turn my attention to a single organization that I really admire. I start next week as a senior developer for Mother Jones.

I'm sad to leave but proud of all that we've accomplished.

In the time since I joined INN 4 or so years ago the team has grown from one (me) to six people. And we've done it in a way that has remained true to our values, even through some very tough times.

We helped dozens of organizations, become leaders in supporting remote work, started a killer newsletter and have done our best to promote nonprofit news as a cause that is well-worth supporting. We've also written extensively and shared as much as we could about what we've learned along the way.

Above all, I am grateful to have had an opportunity to work with such an incredible bunch of folks. First, thanks to Jessica Plautz for recruiting me in the first place and Kevin Davis for giving me the opportunity. A special thank you to Ryan Nagle and Kaeti Hinck who joined the team early on, when no one had really heard of INN and the team had yet to build any sort of reputation. They did a huge amount of work to lay the groundwork that has allowed INN to get to where it is today.

Also, of course, to Boss Of The Year (2015), Denise Malan, and our other team members, Nick Bennett, Jack Brighton, Jacki Keys and Meredith Melragon, who  all contributed along the way.

Thanks also to all of our incredible apprentices who have gone on to do great things at other organizations,Will Haynes, Dani Litovsky Alcala , David Ryan and Sinduja Rangarajan, as well as our current apprentice, Gabriel Hongdusit. It has been incredibly fulfilling to work with all of you and I'm excited to continue to follow your careers and cheer you along the way.

I leave the team in the capable hands of Julia Smith, who has taken over as acting director. She is incredible and I'm confident that she will carry on the important work we've really just started. The rest of the team, RC Lations, Kay Lima and Ben Keith are also some of the best in the business. Period. It's been a pleasure to work with all of you.

I'm excited to see what you do next. Keep in touch.

Welcome Kay Lima, Our New Support And Community Lead

kay-1This week we're excited to welcome Kay Lima to the team as our new support and community lead.

Kay comes to INN most recently from a marketing firm in New York City where she has supported clients and users through her roles as a client-facing project manager and digital marketing manager. She has worked on various WordPress, Drupal, and custom technology projects. She also holds a degree in Music from Salem State University, is certified in Inbound Marketing and Google Analytics, and is a graduate of a renowned full-stack coding bootcamp.

At INN, Kay will be leading front-line support for our member organizations and consulting clients and will also be responsible for creating documentation, training and other resources to assist publishers in the adoption and use of our Largo WordPress platform and the other tools we build and support.

Her first day is Wednesday, January 18th. We're thrilled to have her on board and I hope you'll join me in welcoming her to the team!