Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Getting to grips with data visualisation

This is my first word tree, made today using Many Eyes and the full text of the Chancellor's Budget speech from the FT - I happened to pick out 'Economy' but this is a living visualisation so it can be reset to search for other words and terms.
I joined Many Eyes some time ago but I'd never got round to actually doing anything with it. I've also just been dabbling with Chartporn and Flow Chart which is a pretty poor showing given that I love looking at others' visualisation and presentation of data.

(Click to enlarge)
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Anyway, there are two things I've set my heart on this year - one is to knuckle down and do a Masters degree, and the other is to really try and get to grips with different ways of gathering and visualising relevant data. It's time to start learning things again.

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Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Newspapers and Ronald McDonald - guest post by Neil MacDonald

I was talking to friend and colleague Neil MacDonald (over on Twitter as xxnapoleonsolo) the other day about dodos. It had been a long, rather difficult week, and I happened to express the opinion that dodos deserved everything they got, as they hadn't been able to evolve fast enough to overcome changing circumstances.The rather tortured parallel I was drawing was with certain sectors of the newspaper industry; it had been, as I say, a rather dispiriting week.
Anyway, Neil (the seasoned blogger behind the truly excellent Scyfi Love blog) came back with much better example of his own. I told him he should blog about it and he did - but since it doesn't really pertain to science fiction I'm hosting his thoughts here.
Over to you Neil:

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

This is not a blog post... this is a confession

This was quite a taxing post to write. It took me a while to work through my thoughts and I suspect it might irritate some as, essentially, it advocates allowing the people we interview to see and change copy before it's finished.

So, before I get to the point, here's a story.
As a trainee reporter for a weekly paper I once arrived in newsroom to find a note in my pigeonhole from Fierce News Editor. His handwriting was - still is, I'd bet - too poor to decipher. So I asked him, and braced for impact.
Turned out he'd scrawled me a compliment along the lines of: "Liked your piece on Bird Woman; you're turning into a decent feature writer". I remember his words practically verbatim not because of any warm glow they produced, but because of the guilt.