Editorial Feature Design: The Russia Left Behind

Another beautiful example of dedicated web feature design. The simply-animated map on the left-hand side is a particularly special touch, helping orient the reader both geographically and in context.

View the article here: http://www.nytimes.com/newsgraphics/2013/10/13/russia/

The Russia Left Behind

Three Ways to Charm a Publisher

My brilliant book editor lifelongfriend Penelope Jackson has recently gone rogue, opening up her editing skills to the world at large on a freelance basis to authors of all shapes. And as if that’s not enough! She is also giving us (us! you! us!) the benefit of her publishing expertise on a new blog, penelopjacksoneditor.com.

Aspiring book authors, start with her post on courtesy, acting like a grown-up, being wicked charming on social media, and using real-life word processing software for fun, profit, and the career goodwill of publishers.

p.s. side note: Lawrence Hill’s Black Berry Sweet Juice was also the first book (layout) that I ever worked on. Misty water-coloured memories, etc.

Google drops the curtain on search term referrers

‘Not Provided’ will force innovation.

Martin Crutchley

Farewell to descriptive referrers! Google has extended the wall behind which it has been hiding search terms from signed-in users to all searches. This is going to change the structure of the SEO marketing business, particularly where it comes to real engagement KPIs over search term volume, and perhaps more moves towards Adwords investment to get keyword information. I can’t help hoping that a side effect of reduced knowledge about keyword success might be better, more natural copy.

Searchengineland has published an interesting overview of industry opinions.

Journalists First

Democratising Publishing: Matt Mullenweg interviewed in The Guardian

I like the correction made here to the implication that blogging services have been a (implied: negative) disruptor rather than a force of empowerment for publishers. It has hardly been the hand of one blogging service or another that has changed the business model of information production and dissemination. And on the flip side, having connection with and control over your own logistics will always enable better things for publishers. In fact, it has always been the smaller, nimbler parties (i.e. journalists and special editorial departments) who can adopt more efficient tools faster than upper management budget- and decision-makers possibly could.

You’ve been a disruptive force in online publishing for more than a decade, and yet now you’re working with many of the publishers you’ve disrupted the most. How does that feel? And how does it work?

We were never setting out to disrupt the New York Times or the Guardian. Who we were disrupting were the vendors who were charging you guys $5 and $10million for crappy software. It was bad IT departments maybe who were getting disrupted, but not the actual publications. WordPress has always been about the office and about writing and things like that so a lot of times how we got into CNN, New York Times, Wall St Journal, basically the who’s who of publishing and online journalism – journalism in general – was from the bottom up. So it was a journalist who had permission and set up a blog somewhere and then it just kind of took off and then someone higher up took and look and said “this is working kind of well, let’s do more of it” and so eventually it makes its way up to the CTO. But we almost never, ever come in through the top, we always come in through the bottom.

Read the full article.

Factory Fire Capital of America: Pawnee, Indiana

by Donna Meagle

This goes out to whomever has been secretly leaving permit forms requesting “Donna Meagle’s phone number.” Listen up and listen good: you have my attention.


I only recommend companies I respect, whose products I use myself. That is why I fully recommend wood for your campfire needs. There is a product purporting to be wood that you can find at your local hardware store. I do not respect this product.

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