4 tools from Knight Lab to 'make information more beautiful' Credit: Image by Thinkstock The US-based Knight Lab focuses on "finding ways to develop software to make information more beautiful", Miranda Mulligan, executive editor of the lab explained at an event this week. Based at Northwestern University and funded by the Knight Foundation, the lab consists of a team of technologists and journalists "working at advancing news media innovation through exploration and experimentation", its website explains. The lab "develops prototypes, projects and services that help make information meaningful, promote quality journalism, storytelling and content on the internet". On Monday evening, Mulligan shared four tools created by the lab with Hacks/Hackers London, a meet up of journalists and technologists. 1. Timeline JS is the Knight Lab's most popular tool, used by newsrooms around the world. It is simple to use, requiring the user to enter dates, facts and image links into a Google Spreadsheet template to create a beautiful interactive timeline. 2. 3.
How the NY Times created multimedia story The Jockey A still taken from one of the videos in The Jockey Last week the New York Times website published a story called The Jockey, followed by publication in the sports section of the print edition on Sunday. The Jockey is the latest immersive or multimedia reading experience created by the news outlet that brought us Snow Fall. The Jockey tells the story of Russell Baze, the first North American jockey to ride in 50,000 races, and does so through long-form text, video and moving graphics. This immersive story has a sponsor. In this feature we speak to Barry Bearak, the Pulitzer-prize winning journalist who wrote the story of The Jockey, and Steve Duenes, associate managing editor of the New York Times, to find out how long the project took, some of the storytelling choices made along the way, and more about the sponsor deal. Writing The Jockey Barry Bearak started working on the story of The Jockey in November. "My part of this was fairly traditional," Bearak said. A POV shot Presentation Figures
Brickflow launches as tool for curating social media Brickflow, a visual storytelling tool that uses social media content, launched into public beta on Saturday. The platform lets users curate content from Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr or specific URLs and displays the content in an stream that plays automatically. "We realised how hard it was to do something meaningful with social media content," Mihaly Borbely, co-founder of Brickflow, told Journalism.co.uk of the company's genesis. "You have all these curation tools but they don't let you build a visual narrative, you just get a linear feed." Brickflow holds similarities with Storify in that it acts acts as a social media curation tool, but with a more visual, cinematic format. Users can connect their relevant social media accounts and create 'flows' interspersed with text written on individual "bricks" in the platform itself. "Every piece of social media content is represented by a 'brick' on a zoomable white board," continued Borbely.
#ijf13: The recipe for social, shareable storytelling at BuzzFeed With two thirds of its traffic from social, BuzzFeed seems to have a good understanding of the sort of content people like to share. In a session at the International Journalism Festival last week executive editor Doree Shafrir discussed BuzzFeed's approach to 'social storytelling'. According to Shafrir, BuzzFeed, which recently introduced a UK team, has more than 40 million uniques a month, with more than half (60 per cent) of its audience in the 18 to 34 age bracket. She highlighted the changes in how people are discovering news, from portals, to search and now to social. "Portals and search have not gone away," she added, "but the move to social is something new". And within the area of social itself, there has also been an evolution in the content being shared, she said. BuzzFeed has "not abandoned the corgis, the memes and the baby pictures", but has "also expanded the scope" into breaking news, original reporting and long-form stories". Is quality the key to shareability?
How ProPublica is using a Facebook group for patient safety investigation Credit: Image by jfcherry on Flickr. Creative commons licence. Some rights reserved. This week US investigative non-profit ProPublica announced the launch of a new investigation page on its website dedicated to the issue of patient safety. As well as adopting the 'series' approach to presenting material linked to an investigation - which can be found for other ProPublica investigations - its patient harm page also offers some examples of audience engagement which are said to make it just a "little bit different" to previous examples, or at least offer "variations" on past methods. Marshall Allen, who writes about healthcare for ProPublica, told Journalism.co.uk more about ProPublica's new investigation into patient safety and how it is working to ensure community engagement and involvement from the start. The investigation page The investigation pages on ProPublica's site offer a place for interested readers to access the collection of content related to its work in the specific area.
Five storytelling tips from ProPublica, Storify and Circa Credit: Image by opensourceware on Flickr. Some rights reserved Storytelling is being re-invented with the development of online, social media and mobile platforms. The first session at the Global Editors Network summit, which is taking place in Paris today and tomorrow, heard the founders of ProPublica, Storify and Circa. Paul Steiger, founder and editor-in-chief, of US nonprofit and Pulitzer-winning site ProPublica; Burt Herman, founder and chief executive of social media curation tool Storify; and David Cohn, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Circa, a site that has re-invented storytelling for mobile, all shared their lessons and insights into storytelling on different digital platforms. 1. Paul Steiger used the example of Snowfall, the multimedia project from the New York Times. 2. Steiger gave examples of how ProPublica collaborates in innovative ways, such as by creating a Facebook group to generate conversation around patient safety. 3. He told the summit that social media is noisy.
Washington Post trials ThingLink Mobile Credit: Image by Mark Hakansson The Washington Post is the first news outlet to use ThingLink Mobile, a new iOS app due to launch next month. The news title used a pre-release version of the app to create sharable interactive images from the White House Correspondents' Dinner held at the weekend. The app is a mobile version of ThingLink, a free tool that transforms flat images by letting users add links to other content such as video, audio and Wikipedia entries. Washington Post reporters used the new app to add a video of Obama’s speech to a still image and added captions to photos of celebrities. Reporters also used ThingLink's desktop app to create an image showing what was in the swag bag from a pre-party on Friday, which was then added to the The Grid, the Washington Post's live experience platform. ThingLink's desktop app has been available for some time and has been used by news outlets including NME.com, which has added audio and videos to gig posters (see the example here).
9 tools for journalists to produce immersive stories Tools to help journalists produce content which readers can deep-dive into Credit: ThinkStock With publishers keen to keep viewers engaged, many are looking at opportunities to offer more immersive storytelling experiences, and add greater depth to the content they are producing, be it text, video or images. A number of news outlets have worked to produce content which delivers a more immersive experience than traditional templates or styles may allow, such as the oft-cited New York Times Snow Fall feature, which it later followed up with its Jockey piece. While the full-screen design of these features is a significant contributor to the feeling of a more immersive environment, this is not the only factor. This feature looks at a handful of online tools already available, or due for public launch soon. Immersive long-form1. The aim of the platform is to help journalists make content that will "wow and amaze", Fogarty said. 2. Immersive images3. ThinkLink also offers a free smartphone app.
10 Great Tools for Storyboarding It has been a while since my last blogpost. Last month, I had the great honor of writing four guest posts on the topic of mLearning for ASTD. Furthermore, I have been studying hard to complete my postgraduate studies, which made me step aside from some other projects for a while. Having said that, last week I came across a very interesting discussion on the eLearning Heroes site and I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to share with you my favorite tools for storyboarding. 1- Desktop Applications Articulate Storyline As I said in that forum thread, the new Articulate Storyline is a wonderful tool to show the general structure of your courses. Articulate Storyline Mind Maps and PowerPoint I have also used mind maps and diagrams created with a free online tool called diagram.ly and also commercial software, such as MindManager. PowerPoint diagram.ly Twine Twine Celtx Celtx 2- Free iPad Apps Drawing apps: Paper , Bamboo paper and SketchBook Express I have left the best for last. Paper