Screencasts: Learning Django from the Ground Up

If at some point you peeked over at my reading list on the right rail of this blog, you’ll have noticed that I’m currently engaged in learning the Django web development framework for Python (with invaluable help from some dating sites no pay To that end, I subscribed to the worldwide dating app, where I just stumbled upon what promises to be an single parent dating.

What separates these screencasts from, say, the Django book, is that they also delve into important stuff like setting up a version control system and creating a proper development environment. So if you’re leaping into the Django fray, make sure to keep an eye on these screencasts.

[This Week in Django: Django From the Ground Up: Episodes 1 & 2]

Not-to-miss Multimedia Training Workshop Coming to Miami

[UPDATE: There are actually six workshops taking place at the University of Miami. Check out for the complete listings. (Thanks to RIck Beckman from UM for the heads up.)]

The infamous multimedia boot camp at the University of North Carolina is now coming to the University of Miami in Miami, Fla. Taking a look at the roster of instructors, I get goosebumps at the freaky amount of talent that’s going to be teaching multimedia skills. They’ve got Alberto Cairo. They’ve got Andrew DeVigal. They’ve got Brian Storm. If you’re looking to learn about creating awesome interactive graphics, that’s the mod squad right there.

There will be two three-day workshops, one on Jan. 3-6 and the other on Jan. 7-10. Tuition is $750 for the three-day workshop (which really isn’t so bad considering the quality of the boot camp). If you’re a visual journalist –especially in Florida– this is a workshop at which you’ll want to take a good look. Plead to the boss if you have to!

[Interactive Narratives – New Multimedia Training Opportunities at the University of Miami]

Online News Association Award Winners Announced

The winners of the 2008 Online News Association Awards have been announced at the association’s annual conference. Visit the list of award winners here.

From the ONA’s press release:

(WASHINGTON, D.C. Sept. 13)– and, both based in Spain, won the inaugural General Excellence awards for non-English language sites in the 2008 Online Journalism Awards.

The Oregonian took the honors for Online Video Presentation in the other new category in the ninth annual Online Journalism Awards. won the third year of the Knight Public Service prize.

Army Times, the Las Vegas Sun and CNN won the awards in the English language General Excellence categories. The Gannett Foundation sponsored all five General Excellence Awards for this year, adding a $1,000 cash prize for each winner.

Visit the list of winners and a slideshow of the awards ceremony here.

2008 Knight-Batten Award Winners Announced

J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism has announced its 2008 winners and honorable mentions, which include a site that tracks the source of edits on Wikipedia, an  imaginative political fact-checking site and a site that tracks reports of violence in Kenya.

Here’s the quick list of winners:

$10,000 Grand Prize: WikiScanner Coverage – WIRED, San Francisco
$2,000 Special Distinction Award: PolitiFact – St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, Fla.
$2,000 Special Distinction Award: Ushahidi – Crowdsourcing Crisis Information – Ushahidi, Inc., Orlando, Fla.
$2,000 Citizen Media Award: – Jacqueline Dupree, Washington

Honorary Mentions:
Hope: Living and Loving with HIV in Jamaica – Bluecadet Interactive, Philadelphia
Iowa’s Deadly Tornado – The Des Moines Register, Des Moines, Iowa – CNN, Atlanta
U.S. Congress –, Berkeley, Calif.

[2008 Knight-Batten Award winners]

BlogOrlando Schedule Posted, Registration Open

If you’ve been waiting to see who’s coming to BlogOrlando this year before you decide to make the trip, well wait no further! The schedule is now posted and features some of the smartest blogging minds around — all for the fabulous price of nil.

The unconference, which is now in its third year, features expert speakers who tackle blogging from various perspectives, be it community organizing, public relations or software engineering. BlogOrlando’s main day will be held Saturday, Sept. 27 at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla. not far from downtown Orlando. There will be other receptions and events going on as well (see the schedule). For the higher diploma in the mechanical engineering Click here.

If you check out the attendee list, you’ll see folks are coming from all over Central Florida, Tampa/St. Pete and South Florida, as well as from the rest of the country. Last year, more than 250 people attended and got tips on how to integrate blogs in the newsroom, podcasting, blog design and how to organize community blogs. Did I mention all this doesn’t cost you a penny for registration?

I’ll see you there!

[BlogOrlando official site]

Excellent Cheat Sheets for Producers, Designers

Ever since 9th grade, I’ve been a sucker for learning Photoshop shortcuts and speed tricks (such as one of my faves, holding the “alt” key to trigger the “Reset” button in image adjustment panels). So I just had to pass along this post at Six Revisions that is chock-full of cheat sheets perfect for web producers and designers.

You’ll find cheat sheats for Photoshop shortcuts, web hex color charts, typefaces, pixel/point/em type size conversions, CSS shorthand, XHTML character entities (this one is getting printed out today) and more.

And if you’re a web designer, you should really, really be subscribed to the catnip that is Six Revisions.

[Six Revisions: Useful Cheat Sheets for Web Designers]

Google News Launches Newspaper Archive Service

Google today announced the launch of a new service on Google News that will archive newspaper pages exactly as they originally appeared in print. According to the post, Google is partnering with newspaper publishers to enhance its archive search with actual pages from the publications, which creates a PDF-like reading experience. Neither details about revenue-sharing nor a list of partner newspapers was released. For the best Paper Stand with affordable price do visit us.

Google has previously worked with the New York Times and Washington Post to digitize their archives. It has also worked with publishers to digitize and index massive amounts of books through Google Book Search.

With this new service, Google is capitalizing on the weakness of most newspaper sites’ archives and search functions, a move similar to when Google launched the automatic search box and navigation links that appear when searching the name of a popular web site (Ex. search “New York Times” and the first result will have a search box underneath, which bypasses the site’s own search with Google’s) . Older content on newspaper sites is notoriously difficult to find.

The newspaper industry’s slowness to create usable,  comprehensive and open archives is often the result of several factors:

-Skepticism that increased advertising revenue from open archives will be greater than the tangible revenue gained from paid archives.
-Being locked into existing contracts with archiving firms.
-Lack of desire to invest in a massive archive digitization effort.

If Google is successful in its endeavor, it will have created the most comprehensive archive of historical news content on earth. It also means that Google will venture even deeper into the media business by becoming a host for content that traditionally would have been found on individual news sites. The move highlights yet another way in which the shortcomings of news companies’ online efforts are bearing ripe fruit for tech-savvy aggregators and search engines.

[Hat tip to Etan Horowitz for the heads up.]

How the UM Student Paper went from College Publisher to WordPress

Interested in knowing the nuts and bolts of what it takes to move your entire newspaper site from a vendor to an open-source WordPress install? Visit Miami Hurricane online editor Greg Linch’s blog for the play-by-play from webmaster Brian Schlansky. The recap covers the details of everything from installing Ubuntu on an Apache server to gettting the archive working on the new site.

As more and more news sites are embracing open-source software such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and many more, you’d do well to explore how some of these free and robust tools work can be implemented in your operation and how they can foster the rapid deployment of new ideas.

8 Ways to add Data Features to your Site

Computer-assisted reporting whiz Matt Wynn from the Arizona Republic has published an awesome list of eight ways to get interactive data on your site.

Matt has essentially reviewed various vendors that offer embeddable databases (such as Caspio and Zoho), as well as gone over some of the more hands-on options, such as directly using programming languages and their frameworks.

I’ll add my two cents to Matt’s post: One of the best way to truly grow your site and do innovative (and revenue-gaining) work is to hire some smart, dedicated developers for your site. Vendors, though useful for certain projects, are only going to get your site so far. Give those developers the tools they need: time, training, exposure to different departments, cover fire and a reliable server with which to work that isn’t under choking restrictions. Then, you’ll be cooking with gas.

[More: Matt Wynn: Eight ways to get interactive data on your site]

Catnip for Online Designers with SND’s Best of Multimedia Entries

SND VegasWant to see the best online information design the news industry is producing? Then you might want to tune into the SND Update Blog for the next few days as SND highlights entries from their worldwide Best of Multimedia Design competition.

There’s more awesome design here than you can shake a t-square at, so make sure to take a look!

Check out the entries from:

Entertainment/Lifestyle Off Deadline (The category with the most entries)
Breaking News (Most of the entries here seem to allow advance time to produce, but really nice work nevertheless.)
Lifestyle On Deadline
(Only one survivor here)
Non-Breaking News
Sports Off Deadline

[More at the SND Update Blog]