Posts Tagged ‘timeline’

Here is a timeline of my data journey. Starting from when I first heard about this thing called Computer-Assisted-Reporting.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Well, computers have moved on since journalists were hacking away on spreadsheets a decade ago so I decided to see how CAR has come along. This proved puzzling. In almost all news institutions it has been overlooked.

So I had been at ITN, BBC and working at CNN during this time of data curiosity on my part. Social media provided some sort of platform to explore data in the newsroom. It being the latest buzz word that execs are actually interested in (unlike data which, in my opinion, is a much more fruitful venture when it comes to generating actual news).

So I did my data journalism stuff out of hours. Gathered a lot of news from social media during hours. This made possible by the many web applications made by developers (as they make money, the sore point in data journalism).

At the beginning of this year, I up and left the newsroom for the programming terminal. To look at applications for data, serious data. I’m now at ScraperWiki. The thinking behind this: The Times paired a programmer and journalist to start working on stories for the web. So the programmer has the newspaper as his playing field. So what if you pair a journalist and programmers in the programming playing field? You can make the field. You create the platform for a purpose. And then repurpose it for the data, not the story.

It’s hard to explain but hopefully this blog about my progress will reveal whether this experiment will ultimately work.

In the meantime I should endeavor to be more punctual with my blog. My excuse is that I’ve been working on my first news project involving data. There will be a post. There will also be two more Hacks and Hackers Days with ScraperWiki this month. So hopefully new horizons will become clear.

Oh, and if you want to find out how I got the timeline on it’s in this post.

Timeline on your Blog

Posted: September 13, 2010 in My Data Journey
Tags: , ,

Ok, so you see I’ve got timelines on my blog and they’re interactive! Here’s how you do it but it does come with qualifications.

You can only use timetoast which means you have to build each event. See Timelines: add a little, say a lot. Dipity allows you to build a live time line from feeds which sadly can’t be transposed onto your blog.

Although WordPress doesn’t accommodate the embed code timetoast gives you, you can cheat using a plugin called Vodpod. I use Firefox so I just dragged the plugin onto my tool bar.

Set up your Vodpod account and link it to your blog (or Facebook or Twitter).

Then you find the timeline you’ve built, hit the button and it should appear in the box. Confirm it’s what you want. Login. Add title, tags and text. Just one click to share it and zippity split it’s on your blog!

Don’t forget to go to the post and add your tags and categories.

See how the story developed

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Today’s post will is all about timelines which really don’t feature in the news as much as they should. They can say lot because they contain a lot yet require little effort using today’s featured freeware. Text timelines need to be a thing of the past. there’s no real sense of space and time and we as sentient beings build our perceptions around space-time.

Here is my blog and tweets on a Dipity timeline:

Data Miner UK on Dipity.

To make one you need to sign up to an account. Once you do there is a pop up window where you can enter a Twitter account and a WordPress blog to get the above. I found my blog posts worked when I didn’t put in the username and passord requests. There are also options to plot other ‘sources’ as they’re called on this site, such a Flickr, Blogger, youtube, digg and even an RSS feed. Just click on the ‘Add a Source’ button on the top left of your timeline or go to the ‘Show Sources’ tab below your timeline and select ‘Manage Sources’. You can also add a single event by hitting the ‘Add an Event’ button on the top left oddly enough. Here you can put in title, date, description, picture (upload or paste URL), link, location and video URL. There’s the added niftiness of a ‘Save + Add Another’ button.

The social aspect comes where you can follow freinds (i.e. other people signed up to Dipity) and create ‘Topics’ (i.e. timelines under a certain theme that people can follow). The boxes where you can do this are located under your timeline on your front page. There’s also a topics tab at the very top.

All in all a user-friendly and even a social tool with lots of ways of getting data on a timeline and lots of ways to customize it. You can get the embed Html code by clicking on ‘Embed Widget’ at the top right of your timeline. The downside is the terrible adds that appear on the sight. Not sure how they figure people who make timelines also want to browse dodgey dating sites.

Now, here’s a timeline of Ban Ki-moon’s speeches relating to combating terrorism in wordle form.

This has been made suing timetoast. There’s none of this sharing or following hoopla. You create an account. Once you hit ‘Add a timeline’ you can input the name or url and upload a picture. Then you’re given a blank timeline where you can add an event of time span (boxes in the lower right). You type in the title and select the date from a drop down menu. You can then add a link but do remeber to fill in the text box. That’s the text that appears below the title and are the words you click on to get to the link. To upload a picture a new box opens which has all the pictures you’ve uploaded, you an upload new ones or leave it blank. What appears in the box at the top right is your image and to add it just click ‘done’. The embed option is just under your timeline.

As you can see I’m having difficulty embedding the timelines. Once I figure it out I will let you know.

Turn’s out wordpress does not support the embed code so will have to go a self-hosted blog. Stay tuned…