Category Archives: Things to learn

Nate Silver’s eight cool things journalist ought to know about statistics

1) Statistics aren’t just numbers.
2)  Data requires context
3) Correlation is not causation
4) Take the average, stupid
5) Intuition is a poor judge of probability
6) Know thy priors aka know your preconceptions
7) ‘Insiderism’ is the enemy of objectivity
8) Making predictions improves accountability

Bonus quote: “A bet is a tax on bullshit.”


Google mapping and fusion tables exercises

Here’s a link from a Google mapping and Fusion Tables session Friday afternoon, containing links to sample data sets and instructions for trying the tools for ourselves:


— Phil Tenser, KMGH

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Friday morning quick midway visit

Tableau lesson: explanation on how the software geolocates info, shown where to find examples of projects. 
Chartbeat demonstrates new labs, including new big board and cards visualizations. 
Drones remain the most popular table, today was answering questions about privacy issues and FAA regulations over/above 500 feet
CoverItLive demonstration
ScribbleLive demonstration (from founder & CEO)

–Phil Tenser, KMGH

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Google+ makes a strong argument

The Pro Level Social event invited short presentations from representatives of Storify, Twitter and Facebook.

Notably, the Facebook representative took considerable pushback from people who wanted more firm answers on how to game the EdgeRank system and get more impressions. 

More interesting than that, however, was the pitches made my the almost forgotten Google+. They are leveraging their search engine dominance to make that platform a valuable, but possibly indirect, click driver.

G+ boasted: authorship tools with analytics, auto hashtags based on syntax, YouTube merging, card appearance in search.

The problem: they didn’t offer any concrete stats for success rates, like Facebook did (14.5 mins spent on mobile each month, 57% higher engagement level on posts that include “breaking news” and 10% more on rapid posts in breaking situation)

….. Also at this session I met Mark Luckie, now of Twitter, who I’ve long admired. It was a nerdstruck moment.

–Phil Tenser, KMGH


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Great phone app resource for journalists

Jeremy Caplan, Director of Education, Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the City University of New York shared this really great list of smartphone apps of interest to journalists. In his session, “21 Ways to Awesome-ize Your Mobile Toolkit,” Caplan covered several ones I have never tried that look awesome. The app space is changing so fast; it’s hard to stay abreast.

Share this link with your newsroom colleagues.


3 things I hope ONA13 can answer for me

Seen on a walking exploration of downtown Atlanta Wednesday night.

Seen on a walking exploration of downtown Atlanta Wednesday night.

Since I pushed for the opportunity to come to this conference, I should probably have a more eloquent way of saying that “I wanna learn some neat stuff.”

But really, that’s the primary goal. I want to meet people and hear about newsrooms that are doing things that challenge my standard approaches.

Before you can find answers, young grasshopper, you need to find the questions– Isn’t that how it goes?

So here are the three things I hope ONA13 will answer for me:

  1. How have the best organizations managed the discordant duo of the immediacy of digital journalism and in-depth storytelling of the BIG-J variety?
  2. I (we?) typically think about journalism with true depth on the WWW and journalism for “snacking” consumers on the apps. Has anyone got good plans for putting in-depth investigative journalism onto mobile devices?
  3. Big data seems to be a (fascinating) big theme in the journalism world, the ONA conference and all of the IRE publications I keep getting. How can I get a start on those journalism tools, and on creative presentations for the resulting data?

— Phil Tenser, 7NEWS

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