So what ARE people talking abouit
Jan 14th, 2010 by analyticjournalism

One of the things we've noticed about journalism operation that allow comments and discussion on their web pages is that few take the time to analyze that interchange and content.  Partially, that's because of a lack of tools.  The “tldr Project” is a step toward meeting that challenge.

Recent years have seen a proliferation of large-scale discussion spaces on the internet. With increasing user participation, it is not uncommon to find discussion spaces with hundreds to thousands of messages/participants. This phenomenon can be observed on a wide variety of websites – news outlets, blogs, social media websites, community websites and support forums. While most of these discussion spaces are able to support small discussions, their effectiveness is greatly reduced as the discussions grow larger. Users participating in these discussions are overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information presented, and the systems that support these conversations are lacking in functionality that lets users navigate to content of interest.

tldr is an application for navigating through large-scale online discussions. The application visualizes structures and patterns within ongoing conversations to let the user browse to content of most interest. In addition to visual overviews, it also incorporates features such as thread summarization, non-linear navigation, multi-dimensional filtering, and various other features that improve the experience of participating in large-discussions.

The current version of the application is functional for discussions on Reddit. This application will be released shortly. Until the application can be released, here is a video that presents many of the unique features built into the application. For best results, watch the video with HD turned on, or download a high-resolution version from Vimeo. More soon!

Here is a sample of patterns seen with the visualizations built into the application. Each of these visualizations present unique insight into the nature of the conversation, and help in discerning points of interest within a large conversation.

Narayan, Srikanth and Cheshire, Coye – “Not too long to read: The tldr Interface for Exploring and Navigating Large-Scale Discussion Spaces”. To appear in The 43rd Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences – Persistent Conversations Track – Jan 2010

The Evolution of Darwin's Ideas
Sep 7th, 2009 by analyticjournalism

FlowingData passes along the link to this fine piece of work by Ben Fry.  “Ben Fry Visualizes the Evolution of Darwin’s Ideas” Journos could be using a similar approach to analyze the evolution of the ideas of public officials.

Ben Fry Visualizes the Evolution of Darwin’s Ideas

Posted by Nathan / Sep 7, 2009 to Artistic Visualization / 2 comments

Ben Fry Visualizes the Evolution of Darwin’s Ideas

“Ben Fry, well-known for Processing and plenty of other data goodness, announced his most recent piece, On the Origin of Species: The Preservation of Favoured Traces, made possible by The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online.

The visualization explores the evolution of Charles Darwin's theory of, uh, evolution. It began as a less-defined 150,000-word text in the first edition and grew and developed to a 190,000-word theory in the sixth edition.

Watch where the updates in the text occur over time. Chunks are removed, chunks are added, and words are changed. Blocks are color-coded by edition. Roll over blocks to see the text underneath.

As usual, excellent work, Mr. Fry.”



Another class of workgroup tool
Mar 14th, 2008 by Tom Johnson

Increasingly, we find ourselves working on various workgroup projects here at the IAJ.  And increasingly our project colleagues are widely scattered.  Today, for example, we will be communicating with folks in Santa Fe, Colombia, Venezuela, Cuba and one guy who is attending a conference, possibly somewhere in the Ohio River Valley.  We've have been using PBWiki for much of this work, but sometimes one just needs to literally see the other guy's digital desktop.

A report today from the always-helpful  Internet Scout points us to:

TeamViewer 3.5.4011

If you are working with a friend on a joint project and he is in Houston and you are in Shanghai, what do you do? You could take a glance at TeamViewer, a program that allows for desktop sharing and file transfer. Visitors just need to run TeamViewer on both machines and the program can also be used to create and display presentations. This version is compatible with computers running Window 95 and newer. 




If you're really serious about searching….
Dec 5th, 2007 by Tom Johnson

Deep Web Research 2008

Bots, Blogs and News Aggregators is a keynote presentation that I have been delivering over the last several years, and much of my information comes from the extensive research that I have completed over the years into the “invisible” or what I like to call the “deep” web. The Deep Web covers somewhere in the vicinity of 900 billion pages of information located through the world wide web in various files and formats that the current search engines on the Internet either cannot find or have difficulty accessing. Search engines currently locate approximately 20 billion pages.

In the last several years, some of the more comprehensive search engines have written algorithms to search the deeper portions of the world wide web by attempting to find files such as .pdf, .doc, .xls, ppt, .ps. and others. These files are predominately used by businesses to communicate their information within their organization or to disseminate information to the external world from their organization. Searching for this information using deeper search techniques and the latest algorithms allows researchers to obtain a vast amount of corporate information that was previously unavailable or inaccessible. Research has also shown that even deeper information can be obtained from these files by searching and accessing the “properties” information on these files.

This article and guide is designed to give you the resources you need to better understand the history of the deep web research, as well as various classified resources that allow you to search through the currently available web to find those key sources of information nuggets only found by understanding how to search the “deep web”.

This Deep Web Research 2008 article is divided into the following sections:



Knowledge Management in the Newsroom
Sep 20th, 2006 by Tom Johnson

you want to generate a glazed look of incomprehension in a audience of
journalists, just ask, “How many of you work for an organization that
has someone assigned to coordinate knowledge management throughout the
company or at least for the newsroom?”  

We're not talking
about someone who acquires and coordinates databases, a task typically
assigned to news researchers, but rather someone who studies what
digital (or potentially digital ) data resources exist within the
entire company and how might those be leveraged to generate new or
better insights, stories and, possibly, revenue streams.

first journalism-specific book on the topic came of Stephen Quinn, a
professor at Deakin University in Australia.  Quinn's book, “
Knowledge Management in the Digital Newsroom,”
appeared in 2002 and draws examples from many U.S., European and Australian publications. 

Now comes a similar work by a team led by Prof. Guy Berger that studied African newspapers of varying size and sophistication.

What the Newsroom Knows

Weza et al.
Date Published: 31/08/2006
download (1554.115 KB)

This book tracks the state-of-play in a selection of independent
African newspapers, both big and small. It also points the way forward,
with explanations of “convergence”, “content management”, and
“enterprise management”. In short, it shows what theories and systems
of Knowledge Management can offer the African media.
For other titles, see:

We will be
posting a review in coming days, but until then, go to the link above
and download a copy for yourself.  The download price is right — free
— and doing so will save the mailing costs from Grahamstown, South

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