I run a newsroom team at The New York Times that blends journalism, social media, technology and analytics. I co-founded and Hacks & Hackers. Also, I am a yachtsman.

August 8, 2013 at 5:33pm

From Documents to Data: Help Build a Toolkit for the Rest of Us

From Tesseract to Tabula, there are dozens of open-source software libraries designed to help users work with unstructured data — or what non-nerds might call documents.

Web-based services like DocumentCloud, Open Calais and Overview have solved a few of the most common problems journalists face, but there is still a big hole to fill.

That’s the challenge our Knight/Mozilla fellow will tackle.

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May 10, 2013 at 9:31am

Why Design Matters: If Snow Fall Were Published in a Standard Template

I am in beautiful Bergen, Norway, this week for the Nordic Media Festival. I gave a talk this morning on digital storytelling and, of course, everyone wanted to talk about Snow Fall.

As part of the presentation — and to drive home my point about design — I mocked up what Snow Fall might have been had our brilliant design, graphics and video teams not taken this project on.

Since a couple people asked for it, I decided to post the images here.


Doesn’t really grab you like the actual piece, does it?

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May 1, 2013 at 6:39am

Thank you Matt Langer

Matt’s joining Interactive News next week, and completely unrelated to that I decided I needed to change my poor, neglected Tumblr theme. Imagine my surprise when I noticed who built the theme I ultimately picked. It’s fate.

July 25, 2012 at 2:30pm

Finding the Right Metric for News

The project our Knight-Mozilla fellow will help tackle was hatched in January during a bus ride to the Austin airport with news brainiac (and karaokaholic) Greg Linch.

He had just written a terrific post on his blog, The Linchpen, about the need for more sophisticated metrics to measure the success or failure of journalism online. I’d been thinking about the same problem, but Greg crystalized the challenge and the opportunity perfectly.

In his words: “So, what if we measured journalism by its impact?”

It sounded to both of us to be an ideal project for someone to sink his or her teeth into. After all, the benchmarks we use now are so ill suited. They are the simplistic, one-dimensional metrics we all know: pageviews, time on site, uniques. We use them largely because they are there and because they are easy — even though we all know they’re a lousy way to measure impact.

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April 22, 2012 at 7:07pm

Moved this to Tumblr

Sure it was fun, but I got sick and bloody tired of managing my own blog platform, so I moved this to Tumblr. We’ll see how it goes.