#NICAR13 conference highlights

This year’s #NICAR13 conference left my head spinning with awesome ideas and inspiration. Here are some of the best nuggets I collected. Enjoy!

What was your favorite part?

#NICAR13 conference highlights

Feb. 27-March 3 in Louisville, Ky.

Storified by Greg Linch· Sun, Mar 03 2013 19:04:44

Round-ups of links and tipsheets
Hey #nicar13 presenters, send us your tipsheets and presentations! http://ire.org/conferences/nicar-2013/tipsheets/IRE and NICAR
Not at the year’s best computer-assisted reporting conference? @MacDiva curated tools, slides & links: http://j.mp/NICAR13-links #NICAR13 #ddjAlex Howard
We added today’s best #data #journalism tips & presentations from #NICAR13 to this Notebook: http://buff.ly/14adWXmSpundge
Tweets from sessions and such
Learning about GitHub from @greglinch and @sisiwei over dinner. It’s only been 2 hours and my education has already begun. #NICAR13Jonah Newman
We used @Mapbox and @CartoDB to make this hex map: http://wny.cc/Z2uWgx Inspired by @palewire & this map: http://jkef.me/15kWkKY #nicar13John Keefe
Best lesson so far from @chasedavis’ session this morning: Find ways to use tools for purposes that were never originally intended. #NICAR13Justin Myers
For those interested, I’m taking notes on Hadley Wickam’s R workshop here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1OMVp8aT7yemzkx2RzJ5yL8buzABfHsFfq1ymIqXdCU0/edit?usp=sharing #NICAR13Sisi Wei
There are new links on my http://j.mp/NICAR13-links collection. R w/@hadleywickham (w/notes from @sisiwei), @chasedavis slides… #NICAR13Chrys Wu
.@chasedavis: A little creativity can turn a lot of journalism problems into classification problems. #nicar13Tyler Dukes
"The hardest problems we face can be turned into classification problems, then we deploy algorithms to solve them." —@chasedavis #nicar13Katie Zhu
.@dansinker at #NICAR13: What’s hard about open source software is not the software, it’s getting people to work on it and support it.rcgraff
If you missed Social Media Searching with @doughaddix and me at #nicar13, here are the tools we discussed: http://slidesha.re/ZMw7WqMandy Jenkins
Four #ML techniques newsrooms should be using, says @chasedavis: classification, clustering, outlier detection, similarity. #nicar13 #MLKatie Zhu
In journalism, we care about the outliers in data because that’s what’s interesting. #ML #nicar13Katie Zhu
Another classification problem — extracting quotes from news stories. Indirect ones, too: http://goo.gl/vrx9b +@chasedavis #nicar13Katie Zhu
Another @dansinker gem: Your competitive advantage is not your code, it’s the story you tell with the code. Share code widely. #nicar13rcgraff
#nicar13 LittleSis tracks networks and relationships between very powerful people, allows for analysis and visualization of these networksEmma Carew Grovum
http://Littlesis.org – opposite of big brother. Visualising networks of people in power #nicar2013 #nicar13Anina Mumm
Nothing like #NICAR13 session to remind you of everything learned. Nothing like a session to remind you of all you have left & left undone.Chris Keller
Link to #nicar13 tipsheet for the Google Fusion Tables training session: http://goo.gl/i9xTiCezary Podkul
A timeline of the Harlem Shake. It starts in the 80s, not a month ago http://nyti.ms/Y8uaiRDaniel Victor
Connected China will probably blow your mind – http://blogs.reuters.com/connected-china/2013/02/28/welcome/ #NICAR13Chris Essig
I’m not at #NICAR13 today, but I am at @fivethirtyeight’s MIT talk & live blogging it for @thetech! http://techblogs.mit.edu/news/2013/02/liveblog-a-conversation-with-nate-silver-at-mit/. #MITNateSilverJoanna S. Kao
My notes on Connected China, which launched today http://sfy.co/s2Nk #nicar13Chris Amico
OH @greglinch: I’d like to request your data in dub step delimited format please. #NICAR13Ted Han
@knowtheory @jonathanstray @greglinch "Wait for the drop tables!"steen
So @andymboyle is singing The Killers at dive bar karaoke and everyone is discussing pivot tables and Python. Yes. #NICAR13Paige Cornwell
@thejefflarson is a Django programmer at heart. CONFIRMED.#NICAR13Jeremy Bowers
"He used to be punk but then he got into statistics." #nicar13Nicole Pasulka
Pretty amazing nerd night. #karaoke * #nicar13 = #nicaraokeJohn Keefe
Wow. @ultracasual just did the most … Ras Trent … version of No Woman No Cry. #holywhitepeople #NICAR13Matt Waite
It’s hard not to think about the atomic particles of news when you’re singing karaoke and you look up and see Reg Chua. #NICAR13Chris Keller
There’s a certain irony to having someone as pure as @greglinch sing Sublime songs #NICAR13Mandy Jenkins
Dear #NICAR13, you are already amazing. I love all of you.Ryan Murphy
"You cannot trust the validity of any data that doesn’t give you the underlying source to go out and check whether it’s right." #nicar13jonathanstray
"Big data means anyone can find fake statistical relationships." Subtle and important point. Love this #nicar13 slide http://pic.twitter.com/E07gv6IcaQjonathanstray
Tools for downloading PDF batches: Wget http://bit.ly/YOeRx7 DownThemAll http://bit.ly/YOePoU Scraper http://bit.ly/YOeRx8 #nicar13Tyler Dukes
"’Compared to what’ is the most important thing" in data reporting, says @sarahcnyt. If you find 600 cases, is it a large number? #nicar13jonathanstray
Follow along Al Shaw’s #nicar13 Intro to Ruby presentation here: http://shaw.al.s3.amazonaws.com/nicar13/nicar-2013-ruby.htmlCezary Podkul
Programming is all about assignment, condition, iteration — @A_L in Intro to Ruby #NICAR13Emily Chow
This is data science #nicar13 http://pic.twitter.com/yVBrJAFIJeChristian Lura
Follow @A_L ‘s talk here: http://j.mp/nicar-13-rubyAnd here are my notes for fun: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_pcHCu9bOxPgk2sLtiQDb1uGoaM2cfkKpn5YEyuJe70/edit?usp=sharing #NICAR13Emily Chow
"It’s easier to buy more computers than to buy more brains" @hadleywickham on why modeling matters and how it can scale w/big data #NICAR13Coulter Jones
A data scientist is someone who can ASK and ANSWER questions about and with DATA #NICAR13 @LNdataGabriela Bouret
“The role of a statistician in science is to hold back the excited scientists." @hadleywickham #NICAR13.Regina Nuzzo
When did statistics get such a bad rap? Road of naive data analysis is littered with false findings, after all. #NICAR13Regina Nuzzo
@paulwiggins @mjenkins Specific data skills _can_ get obsolete quickly, but mindset & approach are timeless. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1854_Broad_Street_cholera_outbreak#John_Snow_investigation #NICAR13Justin Myers
‘No data on restaurant food safety? Hire a scientist to analyse samples & build your own database’ #storyidea #nicar13Anina Mumm
"Anyone can learn to program, as long as you’re motivated to stick through the hard parts. And those hard parts can last a while." #nicar13Jon Davenport
"Your map is only as good as your data." Words to live by. #NICAR13Rob Denton
My takeaway from this panel is that I need to go download a bunch of data sets and poke at them until I’m asking good Qs. #NICAR13Heather Billings
Daycares, elevators, parks, hot tubs, amusement parks, bridges, grocery scales, trucks are all inspected. STORIES. -@meganluther #nicar13Rebecca McKinsey
.@tthibo has a nice tutorial on SQLite: https://github.com/tthibo/SQL-Tutorial/blob/master/quick_steps.textile #nicar13Charles Ornstein
Visualizations are critical for data scientists. They make it much easier to find outliers in the data. #nicar13Chris Essig
For anyone at #NICAR13 who’s wondering about the difference between Ruby, Python and PHP, here’s an infographic! https://www.udemy.com/blog/modern-language-wars/Danielle Alberti
.@paulwiggins all skills can become obsolete if you let yourself get too comfortable. ABL: Always Be Learning #NICAR13Mandy Jenkins
Happy to see @drewconway’s data science Venn diagram mentioned at #NICAR13 re: "how to stay out of danger zone" http://j.mp/XfbRKsChrys Wu
For the #NICAR13 crowd: How Open APIs are being used to help news orgs innovate. http://www.scribd.com/doc/101390360/Open-Innovation-and-open-APIs-in-Digital-Journalism (paper I published w/ @TanjaAita)Seth C. Lewis
Inspection data is powerful, but be wary of duplicates. Multiple violations may all be referring to one. – @jersey_janet #nicar13Sisi Wei
Remember — all data is dirty. Don’t think your job is done just because you’ve received the records. -@jersey_Janet, @meganluther #nicar13Rebecca McKinsey
For all y’all inspired by @A_L, this is the Pickaxe book aka definitive reference to #Ruby: http://goo.gl/YTvw8 #nicar13Katie Zhu
Here are my slides in which I teach all of Ruby in 40 minuteshttp://shaw.al.s3.amazonaws.com/nicar13/nicar-2013-ruby.html#NICAR13Al Shaw
#nicar13 now refreshing in Jeff Larsons class about #javascript the right way – sandbox is in http://jsconsole.com/ :-)Kappuchino
First rule of CAR on the beat: Be organized. Keep a data diary, calendars, to-do lists. Don’t start from scratch every day. #NICAR13Chris Amico
Listening to @tasneemraja talk about how she set up a collaborative data HQ in the MoJo newsroom. #NICAR13Amanda Krauss
A few notes and useful links from #NICAR13 day 1 by @stonepeople http://ow.ly/iaPDG #ddj #NICAR2013 #opendata #datavizDataDrivenJournalism
Talk to your editors early and often. Don’t throw a chart at them a minute before deadline. Make their lives easier. #NICAR13Chris Amico
Want your editor to let you do data stories? Make sure you’re making him/her look good, and you’ll have more freedom. #nicar13Rebecca McKinsey
Be proactive: get in the habit of requesting data (contracts, salaries, budgets, etc). Sometimes you need to collect your own. #NICAR13Chris Amico
@mjenkins the ability to read with thought is the highest skill in Journalism. #NICAR13Paul Wiggins
Here’s a foundational blog post by @tasneemraja on using tabletop.js: http://www.ire.org/blog/on-the-road/2012/09/21/behind-story-mother-jones-and-47-percent/ #NICAR13Chris Keller
A pattern with CAR and beats: “Learn, forget, repeat.” Sad but true (and common with code, too). This is why we need documentation. #NICAR13Chris Amico
Here’s a learning repo that @JonDavenport1 put together that uses tabletop.js to plot a flot chart: https://github.com/Jonnyd55/toptoflot #NICAR13Chris Keller
It’s really important to keep a data log. You MUST record what you’re doing to/with your data. #NICAR13Chris Amico
.@john_diedrich on data work: You can do all this work, and it will become one graf in your story. But it’s a powerful graf. #nicar13Tyler Dukes
“If you’re not acquiring data, that’s a bad sign.” Your beat sh old accrue data. #NICAR13Chris Amico
Nothing has helped impart a data-driven newsroom mentality at Mother Jones as much as Google Spreadsheets: @tasneemraja #nicar13Roberto Rocha
Be iterative with your investigations. Once you publish, you tend to get more info coming in. #NICAR13Chris Amico
.@john_diedrich: Don’t only strive for big projects. Small ones still get people’s attention and can attract new sources. #NICAR13Justin Myers
Sending an email is as secure as sending a postcard, says @mtigas. Let that sink in. #nicar13erika owens
What starts as an age discrimination suit might eventually include juicier tidbits, like baby-wipe manufacturing contamination (#NICAR13) Becky Yerak
Newsrooms really need ways to share data between reporters. Data on someone’s hard drive or in their head isn’t useful. #NICAR13Chris Amico
Can’t be said enough… Teaching others to structure data in a spreadsheet to power projects teaches others to think about data. #NICAR13Chris Keller
Tip from @ajdant on designing dataviz for small viewports: "create small multiples that reflow easily" #nicar13Pete Karl II
.@dcatchpole: Learn a tool (e.g., Excel) by using it for regular tasks in your everyday life such as recording your own finances. #NICAR13Justin Myers
"The biggest problem in online security is humans." —@mtigas #nicar13Katie Zhu
Sometimes the data set you need doesn’t exist, or isn’t one set. Combine, create and compare. Triangulate your position. #NICAR13Chris Amico
As an aside to @tasneemraja’s Tabletop #nicar13 presentation: To improve data literacy and empowerment, teach spreadsheets.David Eads
"One of the ideas we’re trying to impart in our newsroom is Everything Is Data." – @tasneemraja, #NICAR13 (titlecase assumed)Joe Murphy
The @coffeescript blogging engine by @jashkenas is one of the best visualizations of CS-vs-JS readability https://github.com/jashkenas/journoDan Nguyen
#javascript books for #nicar13 JavaScript: The Definitive Guide by David Flanagan, Eloquent JavaScript by Marijn Haverbeke…Pete Karl II
The world is run on for loops #NICAR13Frank Bi
What news organizations can learn from gaming: http://bit.ly/XFaUe5 #APGoogleScholar #NICAR13 #SXSWi (via @ONA)Daniel Drepper
Hey #NICAR13: @knightfdn gave us money to build a census data tool for you. Tell us what you want it to do. http://jkef.me/13tC1NbJohn Keefe
I’ve posted slides from the #NICAR13 talk on how to analyze 911 response times I gave with @bposton. Check it out. http://palewi.re/talks/Ben Welsh
Great Excel handout on advanced functions for data cleaning and other things from @mndatamine: http://tinyurl.com/xlmagicHandout #NICAR13Steven Rich
If you’re missing @mndatamine’s advanced excel session, I’ve made my notes open here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cpxjudeayfUmbABdswmhKWBSbtk41aXk_7qfAJpS4gs/edit #NICAR13Emma Carew Grovum
Gonna be working with biostatistics or sociology PhDs? Might want to consider R. #NICAR13Amanda Krauss
@kzhu91 @amandacox many more examples of "of the web" graphics, (including the Paths NYT project) are here: http://digitalinfo.org/showcase #NICAR13Jeff Stanger
#RvsD3: Which library’s skills translate better to other tasks? D3. Learning CSS never hurt anyone #nicar13Becca Aaronson
Cincinnati Enquirer tracked social media posts in specific areas of city on election day w/ http://corp.geofeedia.com/ @mwert #NICAR13 (1/2)Coulter Jones
Two q’s to ask when news hits: 1. "What question will people want answered next?" 2. "What’s the fastest way to build an answer?" #nicar13Emily Chow
Before Sandy, @datanews asked "what question will people want answered next" and how do we build an answer fast? – @jkeefe #NICAR13Chris Essig
Physics-based graphics are native and feel natural with #d3 in a way that they never will in R. Exhibit A: http://goo.gl/vDyyC #nicar13Katie Zhu
All you need is five concepts in programming. But you have to understand them on such a deep level, and that’s hard. #nicar13Katie Zhu
The reason why TED is different from other celebrity worship, @KristyT, @aerocles, et al, is because it joins it to the cult of the expert.Tim Carmody
@dannydb @kzhu91 @hbillings Actually you only need three: assignment, conditional, iteration.Al Shaw
.@jkeefe tips to be prepared for news thay may happen #NICAR13 http://pic.twitter.com/bOb4YQ1JqyMomi Peralta
key factor is @jkeefe proactive mindset and his team! look #NICAR13 http://pic.twitter.com/PWG5p2PxyEMomi Peralta
To be clear: SVG doesn’t work w IE7/8. D3 is not really the problem. Simpler fallback images and https://github.com/mhemesath/r2d3/ work well #nicar13Dave Cole
Me, when someone tries to justify "You don’t need to learn to code" with "It’s easier to use [my] software!" http://bit.ly/zJ99b4 #nicar13Pam Selle
When preparing for news event, great to ask your team says @jkeefe : What question will people want answered next? #nicar13Sharon Machlis
"There has been little resistance from our readers to doing awesomeness." – @nytgraphics’s Amanda Cox, on not always supporting IE #nicar13Kevin Schaul
Hawt. MT @Grahaphics: Have you ever held a data visualization? http://www.grahaphics.com/The-High-Dive #dataviz #olympics #mocap http://pic.twitter.com/iKsugfdKiuEmily Chow
http://numericjs.com a great Javascript library for numerical calculations #nicar13Rich Gordon
From the #NICAR13 blog: Beware of data – cautionary tips and tales of statistics: http://ire.org/blog/car-conference-blog/2013/03/01/beware-data-cautionary-tips-and-tales-statistics/#.UTEHQEHjNHw.twitterIRE and NICAR
. @knightlab’s @rcgraff wrote up a little something wonderful about this morning’s Year in CAR session: http://bit.ly/Z7dEPB #NICAR13miranda mulligan
“Your servers are delicate butterflies” @jeremybowers #NICAR13Jordan Young
The best tips, tweets and links from #NICAR13 so far: http://buff.ly/14adWXm We’ll keep updating over the weekend.Spundge
the new powerpoint is opened tabs in the browser #nicar13brian abelson
If your app isn’t caching properly, you don’t have an app you, have a ticking time bomb to stress+self-destruction. —@jeremybowers #nicar13Katie Zhu
Ask yourself always: Why does my app need to be dynamic? It probably updates only 1x hour or day. #nicar13Katie Zhu
A news app should tell the same story as its accompanying print story – @sarahcnyt #NICAR13Chris Essig
"There have been times when we felt like chickens running around with our heads cut off." — @zstumgoren Yep. #nicar13Katie Park
Reporters doing stories need apps to access data for reporting, same access the public will need to the later web app. – @sarahcnyt #NICAR13Rich Gordon
TIL: Not only does @nytimes get hacked by the Chinese, they get DDOS-ed from within their own building / @jacqui #nicar13Katie Zhu
Think about an app’s life cycle before you build and launch it — @derekwillis #NICAR13Maud Beelman
What to do when a news apps become old and stale? Take them down? Label them clearly? #nicar13Jeremy B. Merrill
"It’s kind of painful to have to acknowledge that editors are valuable" — Ted Mellnik of @washingtonpost #NICAR13Rich Gordon
Some awesome resources: RT @mndatamine: Excel magic handout: http://tinyurl.com/xlmagichandout. Data: http://tinyurl.com/xlmagicdata. #nicar13Emma Carew Grovum
Fwiw, I lean strongly towards leaving old news apps up & labeling them clearly; old news serves as a record for community, journos. #nicar13Jeremy B. Merrill
@tmellnik says good editor asks of data: ‘what could we have done wrong?’ followed by ‘how have we made sure that didn’t happen?’ #NICAR13Helene Sears
We used to wonder if people would show up for lightning talk. Uh, no more. #NICAR13 http://pic.twitter.com/Zh6vKHlvHTMatt Waite
@sisiwei Make games fun. Exploring new environments. Creative probsolving. Simulated experiences diff from life. #lightningtalks #nicar2013Jeff KellyLowenstein
If I’m ever roasted, I want @palewire to emcee.Joshua Hatch
@greglinch @gebeloffnyt Comparing continuous variables.Dave Stanton
Separating a good game from a great game: THE REVEAL. Easter eggs that teach players and make them want to play more. — @sisiwei #nicar2013Katie Park
Finding the bad guys with joins #Nicar13 talk (slideshow): http://bit.ly/badguys2013Kate Martin
"Onto November! I really hate Dixville Notch." @harrisj lol #NICAR13Jacqui Maher
The point: gather data nobody else has. #nicar2013Chris Amico
Ilene, the dowager of data. #nicar13amandabee
@sisiwei explaining the @codewithme model at #nicar13 http://instagr.am/p/WVnfBwnE5d/Emma Carew Grovum
So interactive code sketchpad Livecoding.io by @gabrielflorit is pretty remarkable. Check it out here: http://bit.ly/Xuih6S #NICAR13Chris Keller
Attn: journalism students. RT @maudbeelman: Jobs board at #NICAR13. Data journalism thrives! http://pic.twitter.com/7BGe253WLjDerek Willis
.@kimbriellwapo is the coolest person ever. That is all. #NICAR13Daniel Bachhuber
OH at #NICAR13 “I had to go at least 4 times.” Apparently Proof has the Mecca of men’s rooms. A water fountain wall for optimal urination.Jordan Young
My #NICAR13 lightning talk slides are now up at http://palewi.re/talks/Ben Welsh
@eyeseast speaking on data-driven beats. #NICAR13 First point: daily reporting and news apps with data need to flow together neatlyRob Denton
@richgor’s reviewing the high level points from “Internet Success:A Study of Open-Source Software Commons” http://bit.ly/XNj015 #NICAR13miranda mulligan
.@richgor: Successful projects tend to retain lead developers because those people or their organizations depend on those projects. #NICAR13Justin Myers
PythonJournos, a community of friendly, helpful nerds: https://github.com/PythonJournos/LearningPython #NICAR13Tom Meagher
.@knowtheory: Releasing DocumentCloud components separately has significantly extended their reach. #NICAR13Justin Myers
"truth (lowercase t) always has a little bit of dust on it" in journalism – @mattwaite #NICAR13Rob Denton
I like this variation of "demos not memos" from @mattwaite: "Build shit, don’t talk about shit." #nicar13Lauren Rabaino
.@knowtheory: Experimentation often doesn’t make a good open source project. The ideas you get from experimentation might, though. #NICAR13Justin Myers
For my #NICAR13 talk, 2 good resources re: validating images found on social media http://www.nieman.harvard.edu/reports/article/102766/Finding-the-Wisdom-in-the-Crowd.aspx | http://ijnet.org/stories/journalists-guide-verifying-imagesSteve Myers
.@eyeseast: Homicide Watch extracted the data structure from what was learned from each day’s reporting http://bit.ly/afwvqO #nicar13Martin Stabe
.@mattwaite: know what the "atomic unit" of your data project is. Be able to answer "What is your Thing?" #nicar13Martin Stabe
Having a defined mission and structure means you can say no to people – @eyeseast #nicar13Laura Scheer
#rstats for journalists: http://www.scoop.it/t/r-for-journalists, a list of links by @znmeb. cc @MacDivaHadley Wickham
First lesson: Use composite metrics to compare fuzzy ideas like, How good is this quarterback? #NICAR13Chris Amico
"If we’re going to make our own stats, we ought to take some of the misleading data out of it," says @ryanpitts. #NICAR13Chris Amico
.@ryanpitts on things we can learn from sports reporters: Make your data less misleading by making your own formulas, indexes. #nicar13Lauren Rabaino
How to Be Your wn Nate Silver:http://cl.ly/2q0Y3A0x1Z24and ILENE:http://cl.ly/3g3p2A1Q1o3M#NICAR13Jeff Larson
So, out of sports: Diversity index is a composite measure of how likely you are to run into someone of another race. #nicar13Chris Amico
Stats should simplify a complex topic. #NICAR13Rob Denton
Have updated database arsenal. Accident data, search crimes by address, DUI, felon, crime, jail intake. Pull data on deadline. #nicar13Lindsey Rogers Cook
Also, how sweet is it that I got the http://bit.ly/news-games URL? #nicar13Sisi Wei
We can’t just use any statistic to be predictive. We have to test things. @jeremybowers #nicar13Lauren Rabaino
It’s hard to know what matters. "You need to look for things that explain variance," says @jeremybowers. #nicar13Chris Amico
Journalists need to do more of "where things are going" @mattwaite #nicar13Kelly Gifford
Battery life is the first big problem for drones and censors, says @mattwaite #nicar13Chris Amico
.@mattwaite sounding like @louieck: “The future is awesome and no one is happy.” #NICAR13Tyler Fisher
You can create network graphs, filter, query data; join data tables nd lots more w/ latest Google Fusion Tables #nicar13Sharon Machlis
It is now possible to do network visualizations in Google Fusion Tables http://www.seerinteractive.com/blog/visualize-your-backlinks-with-google-fusion-tables which I learned at #nicar13jonathanstray
If you missed our talk on the one-query story, here’s a link: http://tiny.cc/onequery #nicar13Kate Martin
Who are our users? What do they want? What is our story? What’s next (what action can users take)? #nicar13Lauren Rabaino
All news apps should have a headline, byline, lede, nut graf. Just like any other story. #nicar13Lauren Rabaino
@wcochran says "data state of mind" requires you to believe data exists, because that you can access it and believe in its power. #NICAR13Allison Prang
Dashboards for reporting. #NICAR13 "change is where news happens"Jason M. Mays
Data lets you ask better questions — and questioning is a journalist’s greatest (or only) power. -@wcochran #nicar13Rebecca McKinsey
At @probublica, apps have lede, nut graph, "far" view on home page. Detail within. "near" view. . #nicar13Cindy Royal
Data can only get you so far. "The real power of being a journalist is the ability to ask questions." #nicar2013Amy Friedenberger
Social isn’t just a button. This is social: @ProPublica asked readers to help annotate PDFs: https://projects.propublica.org/free-the-files/. #nicar13Lauren Rabaino
Make components that can work for lots of different things and combine them. Don’t hard code in constants specific to this project #nicar13Lindsey Rogers Cook
All @propubnerds news apps have a "far view" and a "near view" to show national and a micro/local perspective, says @kleinmatic #NICAR13Coulter Jones
"Spreadsheets are like a gateway drug. If you give them away for free, you’ll get (reporters) hooked." @derekwillis #NICAR13Jonah Newman
News apps can be much more durable resources than stories. Clearly display the update time. Display note when you stop updating it. #nicar13Lauren Rabaino
.@pilhofer talking about how critically important design is to news apps. "If it looks like ass, it’s just not going to work." #nicar13Lauren Rabaino
Get reporters hooked on using these dashboards, @derekwillis. Then you know exactly what data they are using. #NICAR13Emma Carew Grovum
"If you structure your components well, you should be able to customize them in the simplest manner" – @ajdant #nicar13Sisi Wei
Why am I not using @themisoproject (yet), #NICAR13? My TODO list is growing at a frightening rate.Tom Meagher
Thought: diff b/w event and story based apps? #nicar13Michelle Minkoff
.@derekwillis: You need to have an audience. Dashboards are a pretty bad argument for ‘if you build it they will come’ #NICAR13Jonah Newman
If reporters aren’t glued to your dashboard, set it up to ship them emails as data gets updated. -@harrisj and @derekwillis #NICAR13Ryan Sholin
Nearly everything in D3 can be set by function. This makes it easier to kill off magic numbers. #nicar13Chris Amico
If anyone is in the #NICAR13 D3 etc class, try `python -m SimpleHTTPServer` from the examples directory. Then go to Schwencke
If your user’s reaction to your app is "what the hell am I supposed to do with this?" you’re probably doing it wrong. #nicar13Amanda Krauss
The fundamental problem with @nytimes’ original oscars dashboard was that there was no clear lede. Too many competing elements. #Nicar13Lauren Rabaino
@euphonos @pilhofer Reviewing the evolution of Oscars app is a perfect paradigm for talking about the power of iterative design. #NICAR13miranda mulligan
What is this? What’s the story? What can I do here? #nicar13 #newsappsLauren Rabaino
What’s the one thing? @pilhofer credits this question to @mattwaite. What’s the 1st thing users will want? 2nd? #nicar13Cindy Royal
More important than i@harrisj let on: It is possible to overwhelm reporters with information in these dashboards. #NICAR13Ryan Sholin
. @harrisj, @derekwillis: find the balance between ability to notify reporters/eds of new data updates without scaring them off #nicar13Emma Carew Grovum
News apps exercise: If you can’t distill what it is in one sentence, you’ve got a problem. #nicar13 @pilhoferLauren Rabaino
Fascinated by this @ajdant session on D3 and Backbone. We need to try this for @postgraphics reusable modules! #nicar13Katie Park
.@nytimes and @pilhofer used livestream of @carr2n and @aoscott to encourage interaction with news app. All integrated. #NICAR13Tyler Fisher
Nerd blogs for every team! – @kleinmatic #NICAR13miranda mulligan
Preach. @ajdant noting that there’s way too much work being done on client-side that should be done by a server. #nicar13Sisi Wei
if you’re a data scientist who cares about telling stories, you _need_ to attend #nicar2013. lots of great insight from journalistsHadley Wickham
Rec’d strategy: experiment when building internal tools. #nicar13Michelle Minkoff
More than 40 tip sheets from #NICAR13: from Tableau to Fusion Tables, data-driven stories to Document Cloud. http://ow.ly/icZi3Global Investigative
Bootstrap shootout: "That’s why these all kind of look the same." – @bycoffe // Easy way to pretty up a tabular dashboard. #NICAR13Ryan Sholin
"Once you’ve got that code separated into a view, you can basically create as many instances of it as you want," says @ajdant #nicar13Chris Amico
@eschow It sure does. Here’s material from 2012: http://j.mp/y5XD7f & 2011: http://j.mp/Ak9wlu #NICAR13Chrys Wu
journalists have lots of great ideas about internal entrepreneurship and selling your data ideas to (sometimes) clueless mgmt #nicar13Hadley Wickham
Aron @pilhofer: "We make more crappy news apps than we make good ones." Things are really hard at #nicar13Derek Lieu
Q: do you ever put analytics on dashboards to see who’s using it? @derekwillis: no, bc it would make me depressed. #NICAR13Jonah Newman
Just noticed that http://shpescape.com got an update. You can now use it to convert shapefiles to topojson. #nicar13Matt Stiles
Here are the slides from my Scraping with Node class:http://shaw.al.s3.amazonaws.com/nicar13/nicar-2013-node.html#NICAR13Al Shaw
Why dJournalidm is hard: "@harrisj: Here are my slides from the Lightning Talk about Election oddities http://harrisj-share.s3.amazonaws.com/nicar_2013_lightning_talk.pdf #NICAR13"Eric Morris
I personally think R is at its best when you don’t know what you want to make. — @amandacox #nicar13Daniel Lathrop
About to make some mad maps in #R with @amandacox. Data + code: http://shoutkey.com/sandman #nicar13Katie Zhu
Your CMS was built for words. This is a problem when we go beyond blobs of text. #NICAR13Chris Amico
Presentation from our #nicar13 presentation on Dashboards for Reporting: http://dwillis.github.com/dashboards-for-reporting/ with @harrisj @bycoffeeDerek Willis
Smart: Trib Apps team uses a Twitter Bootstrap module to easily include their main website styles in their app pages. -@hbillings #NICAR13Ryan Sholin
Small solution: Build widgets and embeddable bits that can live outside the app, infect other parts of the site. #nicar13Chris Amico
@a_l on making your outside app look like it’s part of the CMS: put bits of your app in stories using snippets. #nicar13Lauren Rabaino
@harrisj: "It doesn’t have to be, ‘Here’s the world of data. Here’s the world of articles.’ And never the twain shall meet." #nicar13Chris Amico
More methods to tie data and articles together: Breadcrumb trails, promos, surface relevant data as a "snippet" of app. #NICAR13Ryan Sholin
Related to infecting the CMS, I believe this is how the Guardian solves the problem http://bit.ly/YK1coW A Solr-powered CMS #nicar13Chris Amico
WSJ used this data to show that U.S. unions spend far more on politics than just their campaign donations http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304782404577488584031850026.html #nicar13jonathanstray
"The thing about R — well, it’s not about R. It’s about life — you have more options." — @amandacox #nicar13Katie Park
These means of faux integration feel like they’re perpetuating the problem of old, inflexible CMSes. What’s the next step? #nicar13Lauren Rabaino
Good point from @hbillings: Make your analytics think you’re inside the CMS. That way it counts. #nicar13Chris Amico
Best map ever. #nicar13 #papayaWhip /cc @lenagroegerhttp://cl.ly/NIzV/image.pngJeff Larson
Interview data like you would a person – before you start, figure out what you want to know. Then write down your questions #NICAR13Hamish Boland-Rudder
Common problem: CMS folks don’t want to talk to the news apps folks. Seems like more of the former should be at #NICAR13Daniel Bachhuber
To help reporters contribute to apps, pull content from the CMS and feed it into your app. Example: NYT elex dashboard. @harrisj #nicar13Lauren Rabaino
"We’re lucky that we have an API to the CMS," @hbillings says. "We’re not lucky in that they change it without telling us." #nicar13Chris Amico
Trib apps pulls a lot of content from the CMS thanks to the Trib’s API. And all stories are geotagged. @hbillings #nicar13Lauren Rabaino
From @ultracasual: A great site to see hilarious late-night commits to github: http://www.commitlogsfromlastnight.com/ #NICAR13Steven Rich
If there’s nobody else in your newsroom to backstop your data analysis, walk editor through methodology and process #nicar13 @meganlutherKate Martin
"Take what [reporters] are doing and tweak their workflow a little bit, you’re likely to get more than if you build a new app." #nicar13Chris Amico
Best way to get newsroom buy-in: don’t disrupt the workflow. —@hbillings Truth. #nicar13Lauren Rabaino
Wow. Impressive use of Google Spreadsheets to edit text, headlines, etc. in news apps production. Let the newsroom have at it. #NICAR13Ryan Sholin
All the text on this page is edited in a Google Spreadsheet: http://media.apps.chicagotribune.com/truancy/index.html #NICAR13Ryan Sholin
Cascading tree sheets. I don’t know much about them, anyone at #NICAR13 have any insight? http://www.treesheets.org/ @andymboyleRob Denton
"A database journalist’s best friend is fear and self-doubt" – John Perry at #nicar13 "Dodging Disasters" panel.Rich Gordon
You can’t read the label in this pic, but that’s a fine bottle of "CMS" wine @hbillings is holding. #NICAR13 http://pic.twitter.com/uBsQNzXJpwJacqui Maher
Maybe this? http://bit.ly/15Z1cGY RT @greglinch: Wondering how "TripIt for News" could be married to "GitHub for News" idea… #NICAR13Chris Amico
Interested in the Google docs-powered CMS @hbillings has been talking about? It’s open source! https://github.com/newsapps/tarbell #nicar13David Eads
There will be docs & examples for Tarbell, but at the moment, just bug me with questions or to contribute. https://github.com/newsapps/tarbell #nicar13David Eads
Core idea in the Word-Excel stack: It means reports where they are, doesn’t invent a new workflow. Lets writers be writers. #nicar13Chris Amico
"Newsapps are growing too fast … to tie them into a concept that’s 20 years old," says @kleinmatic #nicar13Chris Amico
It’s possible the CMS issue is really a relationship problem. The CMS team doesn’t talk to the news apps team. #nicar13Chris Amico
"I think of the CMS as the website," says @harrisj, "but really it’s part of the website ecosystem." #nicar13Chris Amico
Successful, revenue-generating projects built on top of an API can help prove the concept to the CMS team. #NICAR13Daniel Bachhuber
Code and data files for @amandacox’s "Maps & Charts in R" are on http://j.mp/NICAR13-link (data & code link will expire in 12 hours) #NICAR13Chrys Wu
@kleinmatic I still don’t think I buy the idea the we should just accept that CMSes suck and continue to live in separate spheres. #nicar13Lauren Rabaino
Best part of the “Infect the CMS” panel was keeping this slide on the screen for 20 minutes http://harrisj.github.com/infect-the-cms/#/38 #NICAR13 #drunjJacob Harris
Here are @sisiwei & @tasneemraja’s slides on making fun interactives. http://sisiwei.com/nicar-making-interactive-fun/ They talked to all the project makers! #nicar13Emily Chow
"Don’t forget the personal." @charlesornstein reminds us that data only tells some of the story, keep perspective. #NICAR13Jacqui Maher
Need to try out Mother Jones’ Choose Your Own Adventure plugin some time: https://github.com/motherjones/cyoa #NICAR13Justin Myers
Newsrooms have such a conflict-laden relationship w/ CMSes, and tend to talk with the CMS team mainly when something’s broken. #NICAR13Joe Murphy
Just discovered I’m obsessed with timelines #NICAR13 #nerdinout http://bit.ly/nicartimelinesLiz Young
@greglinch @harrisj @A_L @eyeseast @Eades @jacqui instead of emailing the files, Dropbox?! Or email be star everyone already uses emailmiranda mulligan
@jmm @greglinch @harrisj @eyeseast @Eades @jacqui It’s really just email + Word’s HTML preview mode + Sanitize + XMLRPCAl Shaw
Ryann Grachowski calls voter rolls the "phone book of newsrooms" because they are public records & list contact info. #nicar13Hillary Lake, WBIR
A great place to start on hospital quality stories: http://Medicare.gov/hospitalcompare #healthcare #nicar13Becca Aaronson
@jmm Our lawyer’s health insurance doesn’t cover us putting drafts of investigative stories in Dropbox.Scott Klein
#nicar13 If you think your interactive is going to go viral, consider was to creative community among users at the outset – @sisiweiEmma Carew Grovum
Thx to all our PyFundamentals students! Check out PyJournos GGroup http://ow.ly/idxFI and class code: http://ow.ly/idxGH #nicar13Serdar Tumgoren
Following my #NICAR13 session on components, the examples are available here https://github.com/rflow/nicar-13-examples and here https://www.dropbox.com/sh/uxs008oijd7qqfi/iOf-ybmDh5/NICAR_2013/components/examplesAlastair Dant
Terry Langford (Houston Chronicle) says, "Get out of your office. Stories don’t live in your computer." #nicar13Hillary Lake, WBIR
"Medicare is completely broken. It can’t be fixed." @david_donald of the Center for Public Integrity. #NICAR13Andrew J. Tobias
Learned that this simple yet attractive visualisation was made with gifs, who knew? #NICAR13 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/2012-exit-polls/national-breakdown/Max Freund
For anyone wanting to start using Git & Github, here’s my #NICAR13 class http://bit.ly/car13gitTom Meagher
Often, these UPS mailbox-based Medicare shell companies are identity theft, and the doctors don’t know. #nicar13jonathanstray
Examples of fun interactives http://bit.ly/fun-interactives #NICAR13Cindy Royal
Instead of a computer programmer, I’m going to call myself an Ordinateur Auteur #NICAR13Jacob Harris
Stories done with the UPS mailbox trick to detect Medicare fraud: http://www.ajc.com/news/news/fake-medical-providers-slip-through-medicare-looph/nTLFF/ http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/news/crime-law/medicare-fraudsters-used-ups-boxes-to-fleece-milli/nTzQK/ #nicar13jonathanstray
.@kkjschmidt and I talked about timelines and then made some. Here’s our guide: http://bit.ly/nicartimelines #nicar13Lena Groeger
Winning campaign finance data idea: "behavioral stability index" to show when contributors support someone consistently, or not. #nicar13jonathanstray
.@chasedavis novel approaches to campaign finance include behavior stability index, finding coordination w/ time series correlation #NICAR13Coulter Jones
Other ideas: time series analysis to show when PACs coordinating activity. Metric to measure "concentration" of donor influence. #nicar13jonathanstray
Lessons from @jackgillum: think a government official is ignoring your emails? FOIA his/her emails. #NICAR13Paige Cornwell
Another campaign finance data science analysis: Uncovering Influential Contributors and Corruption http://www.kaggle.com/c/cir-prospect/prospector#202 #nicar13jonathanstray
"The man who has thought more about campaign finance than anybody, possibly even the FEC itself." @derekwillis ladies and gentlemen #nicar13Chris Amico
@derekwillis: How we treat campaign finance: "Hey, it’s a new report! I don’t remember anything about the last report!" #nicar13Chris Amico
More interesting question: When Al Franken runs for reelection in 2014, how many of Norm Coleman’s old donors will he get? #nicar13Chris Amico
Just learned of Weka an open source data mining tool for higher level analysis http://www.cs.waikato.ac.nz/ml/weka/ #NICAR13Coulter Jones
Re campaign finance data RT @eyeseast: "I still don’t have a true systematic way to evaluate things," says @derekwillis. #nicar13jonathanstray
#nicar My Slides from the session "Journalism around the globe" – 5 projects in 5 minutes – https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/14DvpdtAaeRiPrYheiC1Sqr_8pZLcY7ZgCnXXw0xzcoM/edit?usp=sharingKappuchino
Campaign finance is "and enormous iceberg problem… What we don’t know is actually pretty alarming," says @derekwillis #NICAR13sandra fish
For example, the revolving-door problem. "We see it mostly anecdotally," says @derekwillis. #nicar13Chris Amico
How useful is it, really, to say, "There are a bunch of…"? We need data, and we have a lot available, says @derekwillis #nicar13Chris Amico
"It’s there," says @derekwillis, "but we write stories based on these signposts … where a person goes from one job to another." #nicar13Chris Amico
"We make a lot of simplifying assumptions" about campfin, @chasedavis says. The http://kaggle.com contest offered new ideas #NICAR13sandra fish
Excellent point Re: money in politics: "We oversimplify in a lot of ways," says @chasedavis #NICAR13AmyJo Brown
We can see "revolving door" in data, but how significant is it, really? One idea: compare different industries, other data sets #nicar13jonathanstray
Discussion on idea that data exists to connect dots far more deeply re: donors & historical behavior that help explain influence. #NICAR13AmyJo Brown
Excellent for journalists/ journalism educators #NICAR13 https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1JxPAAzcFtvX9FVshW70re4XsKMylEyHCp6frNEdeeTc/mobilepresent?pli=1#slide=id.p23Maria Henson
Do most of these people hate giving money, they’re just bombarded by pols, as @derekwillis says? #nicar13 pros build donor networkssandra fish
#NICAR13 great idea to look at overlapping donor bases for similar candidates, @derekwillis suggests. Like that idea!sandra fish
"Are we saying what’s easy to write, rather than figuring out how complex those networks are?" @derekwillis on campaign finance. #NICAR13AmyJo Brown
@ForJournalism #NICAR13 #pie http://pic.twitter.com/kb1iamD90ORob Denton
OH at #NICAR13 : "I made a foursquare location for his face."Lauren Rabaino
This might be the best picture of me in years: http://ire.org/blog/car-conference-blog/2013/03/02/photos-lightning-talks/Also, I love lightning talks.Derek Willis
WE HAVE PENGUIN! #nicar13 @ Proof on Main http://instagr.am/p/WYWZ1krHnA/Jacob Harris
This is awesome. @mhkeller and @brianabelson’s highchaRRRts R pkg that makes interactive charts. Born at #NICAR13. http://bit.ly/15ZUnVvEmily Chow
.@stiles: Don’t make a map just for the sake of doing so. Make sure you actually need one. #nicarmaps #NICAR13Justin Myers
“When you get curious, you’re going to find things that no one else finds.” — @JaimiDowdell #nicar13Emily Chow
Don’t think about websites as "this is the information I’m getting." Think of them as clues to what else exists under the surface. #nicar13Emily Chow
.@pilhofer: Regardless of form, journalism all comes back to the story. If you can tell stories with technology, you’ll find a job. #NICAR13Justin Myers
#nicar13 tipsheets now online in one-stop-shop: http://ire.org/conferences/nicar-2013/tipsheets/Cezary Podkul
Get data skills. Demand now far ahead of supply, says final #nicar13 panel. Here’s the job board: http://pic.twitter.com/Jm5VASPuDMMartin Stabe
This is what it looks like to be on a panel and have @greglinch live tweeting you. #nicar13 http://pic.twitter.com/AbgApRtEPVAnthony DeBarros
"Be excellent at _something_," @pilhofer says. Jack of all trades is fine; master of none isn’t. #NICAR13Justin Myers
I’d like to propose @jkeefe pearls of wisdom be described as #keefey. #nicar13Dan Hill
http://keefey.com/ is available! RT @DanHillReports: I’d like to propose @jkeefe pearls of wisdom be described as #keefey. #nicar13Tyler Fisher
@DanHillReports @jkeefe @greglinch Not to be confused with Boyerisms: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5281141Al Shaw
Missed the session, but will be studying the code carefully: Amanda Cox’s R sketches for NYT drought maphttps://gist.github.com/ashaw/94072018b242cf0605dd#NICAR13Al Shaw
@jdunck @derekwillis @greglinch @pilhofer I was one of those people, and I’ll say: specializing was by far the best decision I’ve made.Jason Bartz
And next year for NICAR I’d like… #nicar13 http://pic.twitter.com/d2tC2M8GUwJaimi Dowdell
@greglinch Pull SBA data for bad loans, of course. And check out the local zoo for reproductive shenanigans in the elephant house.John Russell
@greglinch https://twitter.com/ultracasual/status/308215020603465728 and about 50 other things.Tom Meagher
Data journos avoiding curse of dimensionality & just-so stories in big data are way ahead of most scientists #NICAR13 http://pic.twitter.com/0uyoEEGhs8Regina Nuzzo
Last night, @j_la28 told me "Women of CAR" dinner at #nicar13 had 40 attendees. Started out as 6. Soon it’ll just be "dinner."Derek Willis

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