June 9, 2015
This is not Melody Kramer's couch. (Deposit Photos)

This is not Melody Kramer’s couch. (Deposit Photos)

I’m on a self-imposed conference hiatus this year. But that doesn’t mean I don’t stay up-to-date with what’s happening at journalism conferences — I just use social media to keep myself abreast of the latest tools and tricks.

This past weekend, I was following seven events: the 2015 Local Independent Online News Publisher Meeting in Philly, the Cultural Heritage Information Management Forum at Catholic University, the National Day of Civic Hacking, the Canadian Association of Journalists National Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the Personal Democracy Forum in New York City, the Investigative News Network’s one day conference in Philly, and the Investigative Reporters and Editors’ annual conference, also in Philly.

That’s a lot of conferences and events. Luckily, as I mentioned in a previous column, it’s pretty easy to stay up to date with the conference circuit via Tweetdeck. Search for the conference hashtag, then create a new column in Tweetdeck, and modify it to show only links. (I also like to exclude the words Instagram and Twitter, so I don’t see pictures of the conference itself.) If the conference has a lot of chatter, you can also specify that tweets need to have been retweeted or favorited a certain number of times before they appear in your column.

I thought I would share some of the interesting takeaways I learned this weekend without leaving my couch. Enjoy!

1. ESPN has a Twitter account solely dedicated to asking other people if they can use their photos or videos on-air. It’s called @ESPNAssignDesk and has over 9,000 followers.

2. Brian James Kirk of Technical.ly Philly outlined how Technical.ly built its technical stack on the cheap and automated much of the process for engaging job board customers and creating lead generations.

3. Aging CD-R’s are a big deal at public radio stations. This is a wonderful 2014 interview with WNYC’s John Passmore about the ageing rewriteable CDs present in the WNYC archives.

4. Journalism organizations can look to libraries and museums for really interesting ways to categorize and surface archival material. I recommend looking at the one Dumbarton Oaks has built to enable discovery of related materials across their collection.

5. Also worth looking at: The Smithsonian Museum of American Art publishes information about its objects and who created them as Linked Open Data, allowing new ways for them to be discovered and for institutions to collaborate.

6. I really like that James Robinson published a list of links that he mentioned in his presentation on understanding audiences at the Canadian Association of Journalist’s conference. It made it really easy to follow from home. (All of the sessions at this conference were live-tweeted here.)

7. Donna Lee live-tweeted a session on covering your tracks online and listed many helpful resources for making sure your computer is secure and encrypted.

8. The editors behind Charlottesville Tomorrow shared a list of crowdfunding-on-Kickstarter tips for local news organizations.

9. Microsoft built an interactive to show connections between many of the people and organizations working in civic tech. (Code is here.)

10. The Tow Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism have a legal guide for media startups.

11. Find your local state legislators using HTML5 location + the Sunlight Foundation API.

12. SEPTA Ninja is like Waze for public transportation in Philly – other riders let you know if there’s an upcoming delay.

13. Need Now provides information about food, housing and medical assistance to anyone who needs it in the city of Cambridge.

14. A list of tools for making interactive graphics (and the source of their code.)

15. David Herzog’s presentation on how to turn PDFs into usable data. (All of the tipsheets and guides submitted by presenters at #IRE15 and all of the tweets from #INNDay15.)

16. Yellr is an app designed by Rochester’s public radio station WXXI and Hacks/Hackers Rochester. It easily allows people to answer questions from newsrooms or to respond to other assignments. The coolest part? The assignments can be geofenced and all contributions are moderated before going out to the audience.

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Mel leads audience growth and development for the Wikimedia Foundation and frequently works with journalism organizations on projects related to audience development, engagement, and analytics.…
Melody Kramer

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