Using CartoDB 2.0 to geocode private prisons in comparison to state-by-state incarceration rates

The last post I wrote about CartoDB used the CartoDB API and Leaflet.js to produce a hover tooltip map of census data. Looking back, while it’s quite useful to learn CartoDB’s API, it’s now possible to achieve those same visual cues and interactivity without spending time wading through complex, undocumented JavaScript. You can now do everything I did here… Continue reading

Making the case for the “post-platform” journalist

Yesterday, I presented a five-minute lightning talk at the Center for Collaborative Journalism on what I’m tentatively calling the “post-platform” journalist. From “print journalist”, to “data journalist”, to “multimedia journalist” and even to “social journalist,” it seems as though the qualifiers that often get placed before the word “journalist” abound in almost cliche numbers. Each of these… Continue reading

So long, Savannah, and a new entrepreneurial path

This week, I put in my two weeks’ notice at Savannah’s Morning News Media and our parent company, Morris Publishing Group, to move back after the holiday to New York City to join an up-and-coming NYC-based startup.

In my year-and-a-half at the helm of the SMN’s digital content and product development strategies, including launching dosavannah.com, I learned invaluable management skills, conflict resolution and the courage to push fearlessly for innovation, even when tradition and red tape got in the way.

Why we built the new dosavannah.com and Do mobile app

After launching the expanded standalone print edition of Do, our weekly arts-and-entertainment section for Savannah Morning News, back in March, we had a feeling the new physical product would soon outgrow its current digital home at savannahnow.com/do. We just didn’t know how soon that day would come. So, after only three hectic months of strategy meetings,… Continue reading

“Newspapers are the new startups”

Newspapers are the new startups . . . we’re starting to see a lot of great changes as technologies improve and cultures change.” -John Levitt, Director of Sales and Marketing, Parse.ly Levitt’s is one of the most insightful takes on the publishing industry I’ve heard in a while. It’s going to take a lot of restructuring… Continue reading

SavSwap: Tackling the online classified ads market

Innovative, quality journalism takes money to produce. In the past, one of the largest revenue streams for news organizations has traditionally come from the classified ad market – a revenue stream that has all but dried up in today’s era of Craigslist and eBay. As an online editor, developer, manager and digital strategist for Savannah Morning News and savannahnow.com, a… Continue reading

Using data-viz to make a wire story stand out from the pack

I’ve been interested lately in finding examples of online-only, collaborative, non-profit newsrooms who’ve utilized the power of data visualization techniques to give added value to stories that otherwise wouldn’t necessarily be unique, and in doing so beat out legacy news organizations who published a text narrative alone. Take, for example, this data-rich story and interactive map displaying statewide testing results… Continue reading

Overlaying a bubble chart onto a Google map

Others may hate, but I’m a big fan of using bubbles to display data. When implemented correctly (i.e. scaled in terms of area instead of diameter), bubbles can be an aesthetically appealing and concise way to represent the value of data points in an inherently visual format. Bubbles are even more useful when they include… Continue reading

What makes BostonGlobe.com “the world’s best designed website”

With the Pulitzer Price announcements coming up later this afternoon, you’d think I’d be writing about whose up for the “Best Deadline Reporting” or “Best Public Service Journalism” prizes. But instead I want to talk about a different media award doled out during the past week: BostonGlobe.com’s designation as the “world’s best designed website” by… Continue reading

Critique: “Agreement Groups in the United States Senate”

Take a look at this fascinating visualization of U.S. senate agreement groups made by Ph.D. student Adrian Friggeri. Using a complex agreement algorithim based upon data from GovTrack.us, the visualization displays how much all 100 senators of each U.S. Congress during the last 15 years have crossed the aisle –– or stuck to party lines ––… Continue reading