10,000 Words has had an interesting year filled with a variety of posts on technology, journalism and new media. Here are the ones that you clicked on the most.
10. 15 Ways to follow the 2008 election online
The 2008 US presidential election was such a hot topic this year and there were a number of sites that were using the web to aggregate political content and make it accessible to the public. I was most impressed by perspectv and FiveThirtyEight.com which used visual tools to explain the election in a way that television pundits could not.
9. 6 (More) Notable Maps
The second notable post was a sequel to “9 Notable Maps,” which presented maps that were useful and could be replicated by journalists. Every possible 10,000 Words post is cataloged in a Google Doc and when the list of interesting maps runs long, it is time for another map-themed post.
8. 10 Essential iPhone apps for bloggers and reporters
As an iPhone owner, I know that the iPhone will revolutionize journalism. Unfortunately when it comes to finding useful apps among the more than 10,000 now available, it can be a little tough. Therefore some of the highest rated apps were reviewed and presented in this one post.
7. Time-lapse of The New York Times’ election coverage
When I discovered Iterasi, the online tool for capturing scheduled screenshots, I knew I would illustrate something happening online over the course of time, but it wasn’t until two months later and another three months before election night that I knew I would chronicle the New York Times’ site. Unfortunately, Iterasi was terrible at archiving Flash content, which led to whole chunks of the screenshots disappearing, so I turned to Webpage Thumbnailer which served the same purpose, but with better results.
6. 15 Journalists’ outstanding personal sites
To illustrate the importance of an online portfolio to a journalist, a massive hunt began for well-put-together sites that showcased the work of a journalist. What turned up instead was a large number of sites that were poorly designed, poorly executed and just a hot mess. The search turned into a three-day hunt, the results of which are worth emulating.
5. 21 Free online photo editing tools
There already were a number of lists of photo editing tools but they either a) included sites with features no self-respecting photographer/image editor would use or b) there was no write-up explaining the differences between each site. Thus this post was born and illustrated with screenshots of each site so readers could decide for themselves. The article remains the most searched for 10,000 Words post.
4. Word cloud analysis of 2008 DNC Speeches
Anyone who has been reading 10,000 Words for a while knows that this blog makes great use of the word cloud generator Wordle to visualize large amounts of text. As election night approached, I recalled this post and decided to create word clouds of the speeches of each of the major players at the convention.
To get a jump on whomever might have the same idea, pre-written copies of the speeches as prepared for delivery were pulled from the Huffington Post and quickly run through Wordle. Incidentally, the same thing was done for the Republican National Convention, but that post didn’t even crack the top 50.
3. 30 Amazing photoblogs (and a few tips for creating one)
This highly-Dugg post was conceptualized three months earlier when photographer Mark Dodge Medlin won the Find Your Inspiration contest. A link to his photoblog, along with a note to check out other photoblogs was added to the aforementioned Google Doc and voila! 29 more amazing photoblogs.
2. 7 Fonts that should die
This post is the proverbial thorn in my side. After a particular frustration with designers that lazily use Trajan, Papyrus and Copperplate, I pounded out a quick post (on a Friday no less, one of the worst days for traffic) and went to sleep. When I woke up the next morning, the post had hit the front page of Digg, crashed my server, and had a host of comments eviscerating the post and 10,000 Words itself.
The strong reaction led me to redesign the entire site in a few hours and to chronicle the ordeal in this animated video. The experience was the catalyst for a new era of 10,000 Words: one that is more detailed and less of a thrown-together hobby. And for the record, I intentionally left Comic Sans off the list.
1. Wise words from a wise man
The top post on 10,000 Words, the one that has been viewed almost 200,000 times…was written in 20 minutes. Many posts you see here take days, if not weeks to put together, but the top post was written on a fluke. “Wise words” was inspired by reading a few quotes by the great Albert Einstein, whose non-relativity theories remain relevant today. The post remains a huge hit with StumbleUpon and is consistently the day’s most viewed post.
Thank you for reading and be sure to keep checking back for more great posts!