I try to catch the Guardian Technology Podcast, Tech Weekly on Sundays; optimum day for tech catch up as I usually listen to Tech Weekly before Leo Laporte gets cranked up from the TWiT Brick House. I still find myself making [physical] notes and every week I promise myself I’ll try one of those new Moleskine for Evernote notebooks. Speaking of Evernote, on the next to most recent Tech Weekly podcast Evernote founder Phil Libin joined Guardian Technology Editor Charles Arthur, also an interesting piece by columnist Alex Krotoski on herGoogle Maps&Foursquareled adventure at Challenge Nation and Facts Are Sacred.
The discussion with Simon Rogers was fascinating, detailing his moonlighting altruism whilst in The Guardian graphics department and the quiet Data Store that would become an immense resource and spark for all sorts of innovative uses of big, open data. When you listen, don’t miss his tips on data tools – the World Bank.
In a piece published last year on the Guardian website Simon Rogers explains what data journalism means at the paper, and at a time when short-form journalism is increasingly hailed as a bright new thing, he says of data journalism:
…increasingly there’s a new short-form of data journalism, which is about swiftly finding the key data, analysing it and guiding readers through it while the story is still in the news. The trick is to produce these news data analyses, using the tech we have, as quickly as we can. And still get it right.
Organisations that have resources to collect large sets of data have mostly sat on this huge resource for years, so the openness of The Guardian and others to share their accumulated sets and sources is a wonderful shift over the last couple of years.
Adrian Holovaty, programmer, journalist and creator of the EveryBlock Project suggested in 2006 that ‘fundamental shifts needed to happen for newspaper companies to remain essential sources of information for their communities’. He went on to talk about the meat and vegetables of journalism – the structured information:
the type of information that can be sliced-and-diced, in an automated fashion, by computers. Yet the information gets distilled into a big blob of text — a newspaper story — that has no chance of being repurposed.
Reuters, writes about structured journalism having the potential to maximise the shelf-life of news content and enabling publishers to extract more value – and longevity – out of content.
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