Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Slate, now 20 years old, reflects on the value of taking the long view and not chasing digital media trends
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
April 17, 2014, 12:14 p.m.
LINK: source.opennews.org  ➚   |   Posted by: Caroline O'Donovan   |   April 17, 2014

At the 2014 OpenNews code convening, two developers — WNYC’s Noah Veltman and Al Jazeera’s Michael Keller — got together to iterate on a preexisting tool from The New York Times.

FourScore helps developers easily build audience sentiment maps — think of it as a crowdsourced, less snarky version of New York magazine’s Approval Matrix. WNYC had used the technique previously for a Valentine’s Day sentiment matrix, and Veltman thought it would be useful if the code was open source.

In a post at Source, Veltman and Keller describe the importance of making code for projects like this not just open to other developers, but also useful to them.

In some sense, the WNYC sentiment grid was already “open source.” Virtually all of the code is client-side JavaScript; you could view-source in your browser, figure out how it works and then reuse or mimic it as needed. But this presumes that you have both the expertise and patience needed to deconstruct someone else’s spaghetti code, and you probably don’t. Ultimately you’d be better off starting from scratch than investing the time to get into the author’s brain and jerry-rigging the code for a different situation.

They go on to say that important considerations in writing code that’s helpful for future users include browser compatibility, logical chunking, documentation and consideration of diverse workflows.

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Slate, now 20 years old, reflects on the value of taking the long view and not chasing digital media trends
“One of the things you’ve seen across the marketplace for the last five years is a lot of companies are chasing the same kind of traffic from the same social distribution mechanisms…It’s not a recipe for producing a distinctive media brand.”
How the new director of Philly’s Institute for Journalism in New Media is approaching his job
Longtime media consultant Jim Friedlich discusses his vision for a sustainable metro newspaper.
A new audio startup focuses on tailoring a playlist of short form stories that fit into a listener’s day
60dB, named for the volume at which a human speaks and founded by a former Planet Money reporter and two others with backgrounds at Netflix, is being teased as a “service for high-quality, short-form stories.”