GalleyCat FishbowlNY FishbowlDC UnBeige MediaJobsDaily SocialTimes AllFacebook AllTwitter LostRemote TVNewser TVSpy AgencySpy PRNewser

Posts Tagged ‘hack day’

The Guardian Already Has An In-House Tool for “Attention Analytics.” Do You?

orphanWhile Upworthy was busy writing their “down with the pageview” manifesto yesterday, it turns out that the Guardian’s been using attention analytics it since an in-house hack day, when web architect Graham Tackley and digital audience manager Chris Moran decided that they wanted to see real time data to help manage the SEO for The Guardian’s ”400 pieces of content” a day, according to this piece by Ciara Byrne on Fast Company.

Here’s how it evolved from a took on one man’s desktop, to a newsroom-wide tool called Orphan, according to Byrne’s piece:

[Tackley] tailed the logs on to a couple of servers, pushed it to a messaging queue, and created a Scala Play Framework app to consume and display the data on a dashboard…Word got around and more and more Guardian employees started to use Tackley’s dashboard, now named Ophan. Tackley decided to upgrade it to capture the Guardian’s entire click stream, which generates between 15 million and 25 million events a day and store the data for seven days. This meant moving from his desktop to Amazon Web Services…A JavaScript hidden pixel on the website now records every event instead of retrieving it from the logs and places it in a message queue. Since there were now too many events to hold in-memory, an app called Serf takes the message queue, extracts what was needed, and inserts it into an ElasticSearch cluster. The dashboard asks the same questions of ElasticSearch, a real-time search and analytics engine, that it had previously posed to the in-memory event list

There are a few lessons to be gleaned from this: Read more

Mediabistro Course

Travel Writing

Travel WritingStarting September 23, learn how to turn your travel stories into published essays and articles! Taught by a former Vanity Fair staff writer, James Sturz will teach you how to report, interview, and find sources, discover story ideas and pitch them successfully, and understand what travel editors look for in a story. Register now!

Why Your Newsroom Should Hold a Hackathon — And How To Pull It Off

Seattle Times producers and engineers collaborate at a recent hack day. This team built in the ability to turn on Google's standout tag through the web CMS. (Photo by Eric Ulken)

Hackathon (n.): “an event when programmers meet to do collaborative computer programming.” In a newsroom, the definition is a little different: an event where engineers, designers, editors, reporters and producers combine their various backgrounds to quickly create much-needed story-telling tools.

I would know. I just participated in a hackathon this week at my news organization and it was wildly successful — a quick change of pace for the normally process-heavy development workflow of a newspaper.

Why a hackathon

Newsrooms (most of them, by my count) aren’t agile. They aren’t iterative. They don’t quickly pull things off. They have meetings. And meetings about meetings. They get a lot of people involved and take a long time to make decisions. This isn’t inherently a bad thing, but when you’re trying to build cool tools on the fly, it’s a bottleneck. Read more