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Posts Tagged ‘Fun’

Get Us Your Ideas For This Year’s Journo-Valentines

Valentine’s Day is one month away. Gulp. But don’t worry, we’ll be here for you again this year with another batch of fun journalism-related Valentine’s e-cards for your sweetie. We hope they like puns more than chocolate, because those are easier to come by on this list.

We’ve already come up with some fun ideas based on trends and perennial topics, but we want your ideas too! Because we’ve already covered a lot of ground in past year, we wanted to see what card you’d like to share with your journo-loves. Maybe it’s a journalism-inspired pickup line? Or a it’s-only-OK-to-use-puns-for-punchlines-once-a-year traditional Valentine idea? It could be anything related to writing, reporting, designing, coding, copyediting, social media, etc. Pretty much anything in a journalist’s life is fair, as you’ll see if you flip through past editions (linked below).

Send us your ideas in the comments, on Twitter @10000words with #journolove, or on Facebook.

And in the meantime, enjoy some favorites from the previous sets we’ve published. Maybe your gem is already out there?

We go together like pizza and election night
2013 (full set)

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Times Haiku Proves News Can Be Poetry

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? The New York Times sure does, and the venerable publication is making the most of it with their newest blog, Times Haiku. The blog itself is actually a bot, combing through all of the Times‘s articles from the day and putting them together in neat little haiku packages — naturally displaying in the standard five-seven-five syllable set the poem requires.

“We started with a basic rhyming lexicon, but over time we’ve added syllable counts for words like “Rihanna” or “terroir” to keep pace with the broad vocabulary of The Times,” writes Senior Software Architect and Times hacker Jacob Harris.

Scrolling through the blog, which is powered by Tumblr, one can easily snicker at the randomness of it all — evoking the odd pleasure of other bots like the popular @horse_ebooks, which combs through free ebooks online and takes out snippets of the words. But Harris, who actually reverse-engineered @horse_ebooks to understand the nature of bots, has a little bit more sophistication up his sleeve in the form of careful curation by the Times‘ own journalists, who comb through the bot’s results to find the most interesting poems. Read more

News Cats on Tumblr Turn Journalist Woes To Laughs

Here’s a quick mid-week laugh for any reporter who has ever found themselves stuck covering a three-hour meeting with other things on their mind, combined with zero cell phone reception and several deadlines looming.

Go visit the News Cat Gifs!, the latest animated gif Tumblr to take on the myriad of first-world problems journalists battle daily.

My personal favorites of the ones posted so far:

Jack This Site: NewsJack Lets Regular Users Remix Websites

Ever thought you could come up with better headlines, photos or layouts for a website? Now you can prove it with a fun new tool: NewsJack.

The super easy to use tool lets users customize everything from the formatting, to the links, to the text, to the photo, to well, everything — on any website. Give HuffPo the conservative slant you always dreamed of, or endorse Obama on the Fox News site. I resisted the urge to plaster the New York Times homepage with LOL Cats. But In this quick silly mock-up, I did slip in a photo of my dog reading the local sports page.

I took a screen grab, but you can also publish your piece for the world to view your revisions. Of course, you could use this for serious purposes, such as mocking up your own page to see how a change would look. But it’s also completely fun to play with headlines and placement on other sites. The real beauty is in the ease of use. In about 10 minutes you can completely redesign your favorite (or least favorite) sites.

Of course, this tool will forever make me even more skeptical of rogue headlines allegedly screen grabbed on any news site.

According to the site, NewsJack is a project of MIT’s Center for Civic Media. You can follow the creators on Twitter @news_jk. And share your creations with us, @10000words.