Eye-Tracking Tablets And The Promise of Text 2.0 [Wired]

From Wired.com: “For example: What if those written words were watching you reading them and making adjustments accordingly? Eye-tracking technology and processor-packed tablets promise to react, based on how you’re looking at text – where you pause, how you stare, where you stop reading altogether – in a friction-reducing implementation of the Observer Effect. The act of reading will change what you are reading.”

Read More at Wired

[Hat tip to Journerdist Will Sullivan]

100+ Screenshots of Inauguration Day News Coverage

Want to see how more than 100 major national and international news sites covered the inauguration of Barack Obama? Visit https://journalistopia.com/todays-hijri-date/ to see screenshots of news sites’ home pages immediately after Obama was sworn in.  (UPDATE: I sucked it up and bought a Flickr Pro account, so I’ve uploaded many more regional U.S. news sites.)

[zeus dating app]

Here’s the  slideshow version:

And special thanks to the https://journalistopia.com/best-dating-site-for-hook-ups/ for Firefox!

How to Save Your Online Clips

burning newspaperCount on the fact that some of the journalism work living on your news site will go up in smoke. To protect yourself, make sure you’re keeping digital copies of your portfolio. [Photo by Mr. Peebles]

Journo/developer Joe Murphy has a terrific post today with tips on how to save your online clips from disappearing into the ether. News sites often have arbitrary policies and systems regarding what gets kept and what gets thrown out, so make sure you CYA. And if your news org switches content management systems, well, heaven help your old clips.

Head over to Joe’s post for his complete tips, but here’s a shortlist of tips with some of my own thrown in:

-Firstly, you SHOULD be saving your stuff! Trust someone who knows: You absolutely cannot rely on your organization to keep your stuff around. And, if you suddenly get laid off, you can forget about having free access to the text archive.

-Save the text of your article in document files. Make sure your file names are descriptive and contain the date the work published.

-Know that database-backed applications, such as the tools on many site’s “data pages,” cannot be easily saved. For these apps, take various screenshots that demonstrate the tool’s functionality, such as shots of the search interface, individual records, comments features and how it was promoted on the site.

-Keep notes on how a project you worked on contributed to the site in terms of page views and unique visitors (i.e. “The New Jersey dog names database resulted in 1.2 million page views and 350,000 unique visitors over a one-month period.”)

-Make screenshots of your online work using the free Pearl Crescent Page Saver plugin for Firefox. This is an incredible little tool. Or, you can use Scrapbook, which saves a copy of the entire Web page with its images intact (hat tip to Ryan Sholin).

-Become pals with the page design crew to get PDFs of your work that was published in the newspaper (Ryan again). Better yet, get them to tell you where and how to access the PDF archive. If this is unfeasible, invest in an inexpensive flatbed scanner to digitize the pages.

-Keep a backup of your portfolio. Like any important file, you might back it up to an extra hard drive and/or store it on a web server somewhere. I do both.

-Aside from your clips, career experts frequently recommend maintaining a list of key accomplishments. Sometimes, achievements in the newsroom don’t take the tangible form of a “clip.” Keeping a list up to date makes sure you remember what you’ve done and keeps the list fresh in your mind should an opportunity spontaneously present itself. You might have to suddenly answer the question: “So what interesting things have you done during your time at the Poughkeepsie Herald-Tribune-Picayune?”

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]

Webby Award winners announced (with news organization list)

Just announced: 2008’s Webby Award winners! The Webby Awards picks through the best of the Web and grants awards in more categories than you can shake a stick at.

I’ve pored through the list and extracted the winners from news-related categories, as well as news organizations that won in other categories, such as science or best practices. Here’s the Journalistopia-edited list. Apologies in advance if I missed anyone:

Best Copy/Writing
(Also nominated: HowStuffWorks, Design Observer, NYTimes.com and Slate)

Best Use of Photography
Your Shot – National Geographic Magazine

Blog – Business
FT.com Alphaville

Blog – Political
The Huffington Post

ABC.com Full Episode Player

National Geographic Magazine Online
(Also nominated: Dwell.com, Makezine, NYMag, Yoga Journal Yoga Journal)

BBC Radio 1 Meet the DJs

(Also nominated: BBC News, Wired, CNN and Discovery News)

(Also nominated: The Guardian, the Independent, the Wall Street Journal and Variety)

BBC World Service channel site


Yahoo! Sports
(Also nominated: ESPN.com, Nike Skateboarding, Spyker F1 Magazine, Sweet Spots)

HBO Voyeur


Best Use of Animation/Motion Graphics
The New York Times/T: The New York TImes Style Magazine “Circle Squared”

Best Writing
Onion News Network

Documentary: Individual Episode
Coney Island: An Uncertain Future
Getty Images

News and Politics: Individual Episode
Finding the Way Home

Travel (video)
Frugal Traveler: American Road Trip – NYTimes.com/Video


Entertainment (mobile)
Cosmo Mobile: 100 Hot Cities, Fake Calls, Dude Decoder & Cocktails!

Listing and Updates (mobile)
The New York Times Mobile Real Estate Listings

News (mobile)
Mobile NYTimes

Sports (mobile)
ESPN.com (Wireless)

ALSO: Shoutouts to NYTimes.com for their best practices and best visual design/function nominations, Mama Trib’s Swamp blog for best political blog nomination, National Geographic for their best home page People’s Voice award, Consumer Reports for their Guides/Ratings/Review People’s Voice award, the Guardian and Onion for their podcasts nominations, NPR for their politics nomination, NPR and the BBC for their religion and spirituality nominations, Frontline World for their Documentary: Series and Documentray: Individual nominations, U.S. News and World Report for their Best Writing (video) nomination, the New Yorker’s animated cartoons for their animation nomination, CBS for their sports (video) nomination and many more.

Yep, no news site nominees in the navigation and structure categories. We’ll have to work on that…

Instamatically download, combine newspaper front page PDFs

Newspaper page fronts

37Signals today highlighted an uber-useful Mac OS X Automator script that pings the Newseum’s repository of newspaper front PDFs and combines them into a single PDF for your viewing pleasure.

If that doesn’t make printing out and talking trash about your competitors’ A1 choices at the daily news meeting a breeze, I don’t know what does!

[37Signals – Newseum Automator script]

SXSW video is online

sxsw.pngHead on over to the conference site for South by Southwest (SXSW) for free video from the media and entertainment conference. You’ll want to particularly peruse the Interactive Coverage. And yes, the much-maligned Zuckerberg/Lacy interview is there too.

I wasn’t one of the fortunate souls who made it out to Texas for the conference, so if you have any specific recommendations on what to watch, do share in the comments.

And to think I just got Netflix this weekend, and I’ll be spending a couple of hours watching tiny pixelated videos of guys talking about media nerd stuff…

80 awesome Photoshop text tutorials

photoshop-text.jpg I just love it when someone does the work for me of compiling awesome tutorials. Check out this list of 80 Photoshop text tutorials that covers everything from text written in the sand to the Superman effect.

And yes, these are great for the display type on those interactive graphics I was just writing about. While you’re at it, check out this huuuuuuge collection of totally free Photoshop brushes.

[Via Lifehacker and Planet of the Web]

Visualize your news graphics’ possibilities


Smashing Magazine has produced an excellent list of some of the best data visualization examples on the Web today (hat tip to Melissa Worden). Examine each of these visualizations closely because you’re looking at the first step in the future of your news site’s Flash graphics. Though these particular graphics are a little trippy for your average reader, such experimentation should yield sweet results for mainstream design. You’ll see many of the same principles at work in this New York Timescampaign finance graphic.

Now I’m going to make a prediction here that news sites will somewhat move away from using Flash as a tool for packaging different story elements (video, slideshows, text, photos, the kitchen sink, etc.) and more toward using the data manipulation capabilities of Flash to produce rich infographics.

What I love about these data-backed graphics is that a reader can “play” with the graphic and truly interact with it. The more the graphic allows manipulation from the user, the longer she’ll stick around. If you’re a designer who has only been using Flash as a shell to hold content, push the envelope with some XML files powering your Flash graphics.

What the heck are you waiting for? Here’s a good video tutorial from Flashmastah Ray Villalobos on how to use XML and Flash, as well as many more Flash and XML resources at Kirupa and advice from Mindy McAdams. Gowan, getouttahere!

Roundup of Minneapolis bridge collapse interactive coverage

st. petersburg times bridge graphicBelow is a roundup of links to interesting infographics, maps, databases and other types of interactive coverage of the Minneapolis bridge collapse. Also, IRE has an excellent set of bridge-related resources.

(NOTE: I’ve updated the list a few times with more links from people who’ve written in; many thanks.)

New York Times
Interactive graphic with step-by-step look at how the collapse occurred

Map of the collapse site and a historical look at other major bridge collapses

Washington Post
Interactive graphic analyzing each portion of the destruction

St. Paul Pioneer Press
Community-contributed photos | Audio slideshow

Miami Herald
Interactive mashup map of South Florida bridges in poor condition

Palm Beach Post
Searchable database of Florida bridges

Cleveland Plain-Dealer
Interactive map of state showing deficient bridges by county | Searchable database of all Ohio bridges | Interactive state-by-state map of U.S. showing deficient bridges

Des Moines Register
Searchable database of Iowa bridges

Orlando Sentinel
Interactive mashup map of Central Florida bridges in poor condition

The Oregonian
Interactive mashup map of structurally deficient bridges in Oregon

St. Petersburg Times
Flash graphic with map, statistics and bridge construction graphics

Interactive Flash map of state-by-state deficient bridge tallies

Community-edited article about the bridge

Guest book for Minneapolis bridge victims

Florida Today
GIS-based map of all Brevard County bridges

Job opening for news artist, Flash wizard

Great job opportunity here in Orlando for a Flashionista:

The Orlando Sentinel is seeking a senior artist to report and illustrate information graphics for print and online. Our recent newsroom restructuring is complete, and we’re looking for a seasoned visual leader to shape the world ahead.

Candidates must be fluent in Adobe’s Creative Suite and have at least an intermediate knowledge of Flash. ArcView or 3D animation skills are plus.

This is a leadership position, so candidates should be comfortable interfacing with top editors on a daily basis. Senior artists are responsible for defining the high-end of the department’s capabilities and taking the lead on long-term projects. They also run the department in the absence of its manager, Todd Stewart. Learn how to be a Master Public Speaking.

A good resume details your skills and training, work experience, and education, and, most importantly, the accomplishments you have made with past employers. It should also inform the employer of your career objective (the job you are seeking) and communicate in a concise manner the benefits you will bring to the job if hired. You can build very effective resume with the help of online resume maker.

The Sentinel‘s visual journalists work in a collaborative, collegial environment, and our top editors encourage imagination by applauding innovation. See what we’ve been doing lately at:

and http://www.orlandosentinel.com/broadband/

Want to hear more? Send your resume and examples of your best explanatory thinking to:

Bonita Burton, AME/Visuals
Orlando Sentinel
633 N. Orange Ave.
Orlando, FL 32801-2833

Or drop me an email: bburtonATorlandosentinel.com