The truth will not reveal itself.

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Heroku for news apps

When I took over leadership of our newly created data team earlier this year, one of the first things I wanted to do was bring some sanity to how we build, deploy and host our news applications. Put another way, I wanted to undo the Gordian knot I tied when I first came to California […]

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Measuring impact: Splash and Sustain

Before you read this, I encourage you to visit the thoughtful post by the Washington Post’s Greg Linch on the same subject. It gets to the heart of an issue that, at least in my opinion, is going to be extremely important to the success of public service journalism – and particularly the non-profit variety […]

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One small app, three tiny innovations

Being the nerds we are here, we try to look at even our smaller projects as a chance to play around with new ideas. A small project that just ran over the holiday weekend gave us a great opportunity to do just that. The project was a collaboration between California Watch and the Sacramento Bee, […]

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It takes data to make data: Why event tracking matters for news apps and what we’re doing about it

If you’ve heard me talk about news apps lately, you’ve probably heard me talk ad nauseum about return on investment: earning revenue, open-sourcing code, doing anything under the sun to ensure the time and effort developers spend building great online data projects produces more than just pageviews. Add to that list something every news app […]

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MapReducing the news

Wouldn’t you know it, the nerds here at CIR this week actually managed to turn computer science into news. Using MapReduce and our pairwise document similarity algorithm, we thought it would be fun to compare  all the bills proposed in the California Legislature during the 2009-2010 legislative session – Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger’s last session as […]

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On the business of news apps

Today, Matt Wynn of the Omaha World-Herald and I put forth our manifesto on the business of news applications. Our basic argument is this: News apps today are too often married to the story — they are essentially Infographics 2.0. Decoupling them from stories holds tremendous potential, both in terms of revenue and engagement. We need to […]