The Third Month

I can hardly believe it: I stayed in California the entire month.

Fellowship Month No. 3 was mostly solid time in the office, which was a nice change of pace from the long conferences in March and April.

Here's what I was up to:


TechRaking: Elevating the News

CIR hosted a drone journalism event in Berkeley on April 22. The day started with a panel discussion on advancements in drone technology and legislative issues, and in the afternoon everyone broke into teams to develop proposals for projects that would utilize drone technology for journalistic efforts.

My team presented the winning concept for DroneHound, which would use drones to collect air samples in highly polluted areas and report the data with a mobile app.

More on the event:

SmashingConf 2015

I went to Santa Monica at the tail end of April for SmashingConf, one of Smashing Magazine's annual conferences.

I took a lot of notes.

I thought all the talks were really engaging, which can be tricky for multi-day, single-track conferences. (That's a lot of sitting and listening.) Aaron Draplin and Andy Budd's talks were probably my favorites.

I very much enjoyed being at a design event – I think sometimes the official news nerd conferences can be a little overwhelming because there are so many areas of concentration (reporting, data, coding, design, etc.), so sometimes it's nice to focus intently on one discipline.

Code & Content Meetup

There was a little meetup for news/tech types in San Francisco last week. It's always fun to meet new people with similar interests!


Super-Secret Project No. 1

This is the same project I started working on last month, and hopefully it will be done soon. It's been a real struggle from a process perspective (project management, expectations, communication, etc.) – which makes me wonder if there are things we can do to make the design process smoother going forward. Most of my suggestions would come from the dev processes we used at my past jobs, especially when I was on an in-house UX team. I'm just not sure of the best way to incorporate those ideas into the editorial process. I need to bounce ideas off others in the newsroom.

Super-Secret Project No. 2

It's a map! Nothing fancy, but it was nice to have a quick project to build. I believe it'll be published in early June.

Super-Secret Project No. 3

It's a map! This one is slightly more involved than the last. It's also set for publication in early June.

Perhaps next month I'll be able to share more details and the GitHub repos for all these. It's a little strange trying to work in the open when I'm not obliged to discuss unpublished projects.



One of my SRCCON session proposals was accepted, which is great. I'll be leading a discussion on Lo-Fi Data Viz along with Aaron Williams and Youyou Zhou.

Newsroom Update

We just found out that Aaron is leaving CIR, which is sad for us! I expect my role will evolve a bit as a result.