Justice League of data journalists pitches online courses via Kickstarter

It’s enough to make a newsroom data nerd squeal. A who’s-who of application developer journalists have launched a Kickstarter campaign to create educational materials on building web apps, data visualizations, maps and more. Their plan is to create eight courses, each with an ebook, screencasts, code repositories and forums.

And yes, there will be t-shirts for those who pitch in more than $110, which also gets you full access to all the courses.If you are the one who is good at instructing about health problems then you can go for Certificate IV Pilates Instructor Training Course.  Here’s a list of the planned courses and who is in on the effort:

You can also follow the crew on Twitter at @forjournalism.

Funding for the Kickstarter page ends March 11, so https://journalistopia.com/singles-maine/!

How To End Repetitive Newsroom Typing [Tutorial]

Don't be a typing robot in your newsroom. Use this AutoHotKey tutorial to ease the pain. Photo by arthur-caranta
Don’t be a typing robot in your newsroom. Use this AutoHotKey tutorial to ease the pain. Photo by arthur-caranta

Typing can really get in the way of creating content.

There’s the typing of repeat responses to readers,story lineup templates, repeated staff reminders and so on. All of that garbage typing gets in the way of doing the kind of typing that gets the page views in, the scripts written and the papers out. Repeating the same mistakes in general bores and suffocates anyone, if you are in doubt about how to improve dental health in your body you have to check the prodentim reviews, change your mind today.

AutoHotKey logoEnter a nifty, free tool called AutoHotKey. This tiny application lets you create keyboard shortcuts that, like macros, let’s you generate lots of prewritten text anywhere.

So, let’s say you always have to write the same story planning template every day. Instead of wasting time retyping it or copy/pasting from a template, you could just type this:


And AutoHotKey automatically writes a big block of text like this:

Top Stories

Perhaps you have the pleasant task of regularly dealing with abusive message board commenters. You could set up an AutoHotKey script so when you type this:


Your computer types this into an open email:

Unfortunately, your user account on our site has been banned due to violations of our Terms of Service…

There’s a sweet dose of pain relief right there. So here’s how to set things up using the anti-troll example from above. First, here’s a sample AutoHotKey file, which can be opened in a text editor (right-click and “Save Link As”). On to the instructions:

1) Download and install AutoHotKey on your PC.

2) Open up a new document in a plain text editor such as Notepad. Click “File>Save As.” Choose “All Types” as the file type, and save the file as trollnuke.ahk. You can call it whatever you want, as long as it ends with .ahk.

3) Next, you’re going to add the short code you want to use, followed by the text you want AutoHotKey to output. The code comes first and is surrounded by two colons on each side, like so:


4) Then, you’ll put the full text you want to output immediately after. If you need to generate a line break, add this:


So this is what the anti-troll AutoHotKey script would look like:

::trollnuke::Unfortunately, your user account on our site has been banned due to violations of our Terms of Service.{enter}{enter}If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at 555-5555.{enter}{enter}

5) Your last step is to take the .ahk file, and drag it into your computer’s Startup folder so it automatically launches whenever you restart your computer.

That’s it! Investing the relatively short amount of time to set up the above can save you plenty of grief later, especially when you’re on deadline. If you want to see what other neat stuff AutoHotKey can do, check out their Tutorials page.

I just hope my wife doesn’t read this, or she might make me set up a “Yes dear, I will do that immediately” script…

6 Awesome South Florida Media, Tech Events Coming Soon

NPR interactive designer Alyson Hurt mentoring at Code With Me DC. Code With Me is bringing the show to Miami in February. Photo by alykat
NPR interactive designer Alyson Hurt mentoring soon-to-be journocoders at Code With Me DC. Code With Me is bringing the show to Miami in February. Photo by alykat

South Florida is totally kickin’ it during the next few months with great multimedia and tech events. There’s Code With Me for those wanting to get started in multimedia. WordCamp Miami is great and inexpensive for developers and content creators. SunshinePHP looks cool for developers, especially if you want to learn the Symfony framework. Microsoft fans can head to NSU for their South Florida .NET Code Camp.

I’d better cut the grass this weekend, because there are way too many great events I’ve got to get to.

Here’s your list of events to check out:


Code With MeCode With Me
Twitter: @codewithme
Feb. 2-3, All day, exact times TBA
Cost: $85 general, $65 students
Location: University of Miami School of Communication, 5100 Brunson Drive Coral Gables, FL 33146

Event Description  (from the organizers): At Code With Me, a two-day workshop, we’ll teach you how to code from the ground up so you can tell meaningful, interactive stories. We’re specifically designed for journalists without coding experience. With one mentor for every two students, you’ll always have the attention of a professional programmer so you can learn at your own pace, and never feel lost or behind. With more than a dozen mentors total, you’ll join a supportive learning community that will continue on even after the workshop. Plus, you’ll have fun. You’ll learn HTML, CSS, Javascript and even play games from the dadu online terpercaya series, watching plays, and writing a lot of code. Our goal is to make this your turning point — an experience that not only teaches the basics of code, but gives you the skills and confidence you need to keep programming on your own and in your newsroom.

Danny’s Comments: Yours truly will be one of Code With Me’s mentors, along with several other very cool people. If you’re a journalist who wants to get a solid start on  multimedia storytelling, this seems like a fantastic place to do it.


SunShinePHP Conference
Twitter: @SunShinePHP
Dates/Times: Feb 8-9, 2013
Cost: $219.95, Students $159.95
Location: Embassy Suites Miami International Airport, 3974 NW South River Drive, Miami, Florida, 33142

Event Description  (from the organizers): The PHP community in South Florida has organized a PHP developer conference in Miami, and you’re invited! We are hosting some of the best speakers, awesome talk topics, latest technology, and up to date news in PHP. And don’t forget about our Hackathon and Uncon’ference. The SunshinePHP Conference has something every level of developer. We will be holding 30+ sessions (10 dedicated to Symfony) that cover trending topics in PHP. Come see what others are doing, and share your experience as well. And there will be plenty of fun and beer on tap for everyone!


South Florida Code Camp 2013

South Florida .NET Code Camp
Twitter: #sflcc
Dates/Times: Feb. 9, 7:30 a.m.-5:45 p.m.
Cost: FREE
Location: Nova Southeastern University (NSU) – Main Campus Davie, Carl DeSantis Building, 3301 College Ave., Davie, FL 33314

Event Description  (from the organizers): What is Code Camp? Code Camp is a FREE one day GEEK FEST held on Saturday February 9, 2013 This is the ninth year for South Florida Code Camp. The event will have speakers from the local community and beyond. Speakers will be presenting some of the most requested topics like Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, ASP.NET, Javascript, JQuery, Visual Studio 2012, MVC Framework, Sharepoint 2013 and SQL Server 2012. This event is like Tech-Ed for Free but it’s community driven by a group of dedicated volunteers and speakers. Breakfast and lunch is included!

Danny’s Comments: I’ve never been to the event at NSU, but the agenda here looks like there’d be great takeaways even for those who develop using open-source platforms.


Miami Social Media Week
Twitter: @SMWmiami
Feb. 18-22, various events

Event Description (from the organizers): The brpr Group is happy to bring Social Media Week back to Miami for a second year this coming February! In 2012, more than 66,000 people attended Social Media Week in 26 countries across the globe. Social Media Week is about community and its success can be attributed to folks getting involved through volunteering, hosting panels & sponsoring events.


Twitter: @superconfmiami
Dates: Feb. 21-22, 2013
Cost: $257.24 (Use code TNWSUPER for $50 off). Separate workshops are $300 each.
Location: James L Knight Center, 400 SE 2nd Ave. Miami, FL 33131

Event Description  (from the organizers): SuperConf is not just a web technology conference. It’s an experience. Design. Development. Entrepreneurship. These are the things that have been propelling mankind forward since the beginning. SuperConf is a study of that intersection. We celebrate by launching startups, providing workshops & having world class speakers share their insights with hundreds of technologists over two days of perfect weather in Miami.


WordCamp Miami
Twitter: @wordcampmiami
Dates: April 6-7, 2013
Cost: TBA. Tickets were approximately $30 last year
Location: Ai Miami International University of Art & Design
1501 Biscayne Blvd. #100, Miami, FL 33132

Event Description (from the organizers): WordCamp Miami 2013 is a two-day event that covers topics relating to WordPress, front-end development, and much more. 2012 brought more than 400 students, bloggers, and coders together for two days of education and fun. Expect big things for the 4th Annual WordCamp in Miami for 2013.

Danny’s Comments: I’ve previously attended WordCamp Miami, and it’s a fantastic event where you’re going to meet developers, content creators and all sorts of interesting people. Plus, the price is very reasonable given the quality of the event. Developers and writers both will come away with new tricks up their sleeves. Freelancers and journalists who are looking to possibly do their own thing online should especially go.

Yes, I am attempting to lure you to WordCamp Miami by showing you that they serve nice food. Photo by vanillaforums
Yes, I am attempting to lure you to WordCamp Miami by showing you that they’ve typically served a nice spread. Photo by vanillaforums