Archives for posts with tag: fun

Ever wonder what the most popular links are within your circle of friends and trusted sources?

Web Trend Map, a new interactive site, let’s you do that. Created by designer Craig Mod and information architect iA Inc., the website maps selected Twitter users and displays the trending links among those users off to the side.

The site was sorely lacking in food-related maps, so in the spirit of my most recent post, I made one.

Are there any food bloggers/makers/photographers you love who are on Twitter? Let me know and I’ll consider them for inclusion.

Craig and iA write more about the thinking behing Web Trend Map on their site. And if the words “web trend map” sound familiar, it’s ’cause iA Inc. is the company behind the popular Web trends infographic, now available as a poster.

One of the most popular posts of 2008 was “What Comes After a Career at a Newspaper?” If you’ve found a new role or started a new business after taking a buyout or being laid off last year, leave a comment to let people know what you’re up to. We’ll also add you to the list.

Lewis Hamilton Indianapolis Grand Prix 2007 by Chris Richards on Flickr

In other housekeeping news, you can now keep up with Ricochet on Facebook. We’re looking for ways to start and integrate discussion in two places at once. If you’ve got some ideas, please share.

And finally, where do you and other local journalists hang out before, between and after hours? Last March, Marketwatch ran a fun video about the closure of famous watering holes for scribblers that, ironically, has itself disappeared.

In today’s age of being socially connected all of the time, is there any value in having a local hangout? If so, where do you and your cohort gather?

Photo: ChrisMRichards/Flickr

One of the brilliant things about the Web is that a story can be told many different ways. Earlier this year, British publisher Penguin Group asked six authors to each create an online homage to a notable work of literature. Each tale used a different aspect of Web storytelling as the medium. The result was We Tell Stories.


One tale is told through a map with an embedded Easter egg that leads to a seventh story inspired by “Alice in Wonderland.” (First clue andfull spoiler.)

Another work is designed as an infographic, courtesy of Nicolas Felton, whose annual report has won him fans around the world.

A third is an interactive write-your-own-adventure.

There are six stories on the site. Say what you want about the quality of the writing, but the methods offer a sampling of different ways to engage readers.

After “We Tell Stories” launched, Gamasutra interviewed the project leads, Six To Start, and a representative from Penguin who said the company was excited about creating “a really immersive and engaging storytelling experience.”

When writing for the Web, think about all the ways in which your story can be told. There’s text, of course, but there are pictures, still and moving. Stir in audio, databases and maps, and suddenly there are a rich variety of ways to be pulled into a tale.

Pulitzer prize-winner Gene Weingarten wrote a funny ode to copy editors in his Sunday column for the Washington Post.

From start to finish, it’s an entertaining frolic that defends the craft. Editors and management should read it and think twice about slashing entire copy desks when layoff time comes around.

Weingarten won acclaim for his 2007 profile of classical violinist Joshua Bell busking in a Washington subway station. People called it innovative and unusual. There was a lot of ooohing and ahhing when the time-lapse video was posted to the Post’s website a few days later.

Turns out the seed for his story was planted long ago. But I’ll let Weingarten tell the tale.

While election coverage may be on hiatus, speculation on who will be our next president is about to run wild.

Sean Connelley of the Los Angeles Times created an interactive, embeddable map that lets you test different electoral vote scenarios.

Think Wisconsin will go to McCain? Click and the state turns red. Believe the die-hard Democrats and progressives will come out in force? Click again and the state turns blue.

Assign a color based on which way you think each state will go, then click “share” and embed the map anywhere to trumpet your predictive prowess or just show what it will take for Obama or McCain to get into the Oval Office.

Politics may be serious business, but as the jockeying during primaries has proven, it’s also a bit of a game.

A friend who loves news but isn’t in the news business forwarded this to me. It’s a pretty dead-on, yet sad commentary on the state of cable news.

(Photo by TheMacDiva/Flickr)

The Yahoo takeover fund.

Ricochet’s hed-to-hed competition went neck and neck, with a near photo-finish between two entrants. In the end, the headlines by Jenny Cromie took the tape.

Contest judge Matthew Crowley had some funny, instructive advice in his assessment:

All of Jenny’s were complete and accurate and summarized their stories.

The Marriott headline used all of those p’s to sonic use (not to be confused with Sonic Youth, which is a band). I realize Inga Hensen’s head for this is almost the same, but Jenny’s referenced pay-per-view, which I think is a key detail….

I liked the following in the footsteps one for the kite skier. What’s also important is that Jenny’s head uses “great-grandfather” and not the name. This is important because, for the general reader, “Hurley” probably isn’t an instant “I-know-who-he-is” name….

And Jenny’s marathon head mentions the race and the song and dance, putting key elements together. I don’t think you could leave the race out, although I did like Inga’s reference to awareness-raising.

Crowley also gave honorable mentions “for style and snap” to individual entries by Lizz Westman (“Marriott Hotels May Say ‘Kiss Off’ To Adult Movies”) and Anna Curtis (“Arctic Kite-Skier Prepares To Walk South Until She Gloats”).

Thanks to everyone who entered. And Jenny, your Threadless gift certificate will be arriving in your emailbox shortly.

Las Vegas Review-Journal copy editor Matthew Crowley has graciously agreed to judge Ricochet’s headline writing competition.

Crowley won the American Copy Editors Society “Best Headlines of the Year” contest in the newspapers with circulations between 100,001 and 250,000 category.

Judges gave his work special citation, saying:

In a time when newspapers need more than ever to shake off the stiff, stentorian conventions of the past and work harder to connect with readers, Crowley’s heads make the reader feel as if he or she is dropping into the middle of a coffee-shop conversation. And they make the reader want to dive into the stories and continue the conversation.

See Crowley’s winning portfolio and take your own crack and headline writing in the Hed to Hed competition.