10.13.2007

Data=Journalism

To Adrian Holovaty, from www.washingtonpost.com, data is journalism. At the Making Data Webby session, Holovaty spoke to an audience of about 75 SND attendees on how to turn the data that visual journalist receive into usable information for the web. Holovaty said people expect to be able to click and see more information about a topic. With all the clicking around, it will increase the usefulness and the 'stickiness' of the site. To keep the audience there, visual journalists must start being smart about the data that is given to us and structure it together. To accomplish this task and keep it simple the computer has to have a spread sheet of the raw data. The WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE and WHY of the article are the clickable data that need a blue line below them. To accomplish this task Holovaty laid out a formula in simple steps:
Lesson #1: Structure your data (set up an excel spread sheet at the least)
Lesson #2: All data has structure
Lesson #3: Give your data "The Treatment"
>>Example: Crime data
>Step 1: List fields
>Step 2: Identify key concepts
-Date
-Time
-Crime type
-Address location type
>Step 3: Make break downs
-Pages for every topic that is a key concept
>Step 4: Make list pages
-Make a page for every break down
>Step 5: Make detail pages
-Make a page for every list page
REMEMBER that every page should have its own URL so readers can bookmark and link to it. To view examples designed by Holovaty go to: www.holocaty.com. Holovaty closed by saying "Design for serendipity…you never know why a person is looking at that page."
>>Victoria Hatterman, NWU Reveille

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