Tag Archives: flashbelt

Flashbelt ’09 – Hacking the Newsroom Followup

On Wednesday I had the chance to talk at Flashbelt, a web media conference that I have been presenting at every year since 2004. I talked about data – how to get it, how to use it, and how & why it’s becoming more and more a part of our lives. I walked through some of the process behind my NYTimes API visualizations, my recent Wired UK NDNAD piece, and Just Landed.

I really enjoyed giving the presentation, and it was great to speak to a lot of interesting people at the conference before and after the talk. As promised, I’ve posted a .ZIP file with some simple Processing files to get you started exploring with the NYTimes ArticleSearch API – the link for that along with some other resources that I mentioned during the talk are listed below.

Some of you may be aware that this year’s Flashbelt conference ‘featured’ a controversial talk by Hoss Gifford. I’m not going to talk about my reactions in detail in this post as my intention here is to simply share some information related to my presentation. However, I will say that I believe that there is no room at all for content that is in any way demeaning to women at Flashbelt or at any other event. It’s inexcusable. I’m saddened that this happened – but was heartened this morning to read this very thoughtful response and call for discussion from conference organizer Dave Schroeder, along with some of the people who very rightly brought this issue to a public stage earlier in the week. It’s well worth a read.

Back to the resources. Here are a couple of images that I wanted to show in my presentation, but somehow forgot to include. The first is an abstract visualization of the word ‘organic’ in the NYTimes between 1981 and 2009. The second is a radial visualization of mentions of the Yankees & Mets in the same paper over the same period of time.

NYTimes: Going Organic 1981-2009

NYTimes Threads - Yankees vs. Mets

Finally, a list of links:

Please let me know if there’s anything I’ve missed. As always, I’d love to hear any feedback and suggestions from those who were in the audience. I’m already looking forward to next year!

YVR -> BOS -> NYC -> MSP

Next week I’m heading out for a multi-stop trip to the USA.

I’ll be in Boston for Flash on Tap from the 28th to the 31st of May. Flash on Tap looks to be a great event – not only is there an interesting speaker lineup, there are also 13 microbreweries pouring in the evenings. I’m speaking at 10am on a Friday, which might be a bit early for a pint. I’ll be talking about a raft of projects centred around a theme of emergence, including some recent and brand new work.

After Boston, I head to New York to visit museums, eat as much as I can, and try not to look too much like a first-time New Yorker. Coincidentally I’ll be there for the same week as CAT – though I’m not attending, perhaps I’ll run into some creative technology types while I am wandering the streets. If anyone knows of other events happening in NYC in the first week of June, please let me know.

Finally, I’ll fly into Minneapolis for Flashbelt. I’ve already told you how much I like this event – if you haven’t already bought a ticket, there’s still time. I’ll be speaking at Flashbelt about my work with the NYTimes APIs as well as a broad range of topics surrounding open data and visualization. I’ll also be showing some work as part of the Data Art Show at the Pink Hobo Gallery in Minneapolis – along with James Paterson and Mario Klingemann.

Hopefully I’ll get a chance to talk to some of you along the way. If you are going to be attending either event, or are in Boston, New York, or Minneapolis and would like to say hello, feel free to fire me an e-mail or send a tweet.

Hacking the Newsroom @ Flashbelt

Nye's Polonaise room

** note: Photo above is not the official conference venue. It is, however, the spiritual heart.

Flashbelt is a new media conference that happens every year in Minneapolis – this year it runs from June 7th to 10th. I’m going to skip the paragraphs and paragraphs I could write extolling the virtues of this unique and engaging event, and instead, offer an invitation:

Come to Flashbelt. I’ll give you free stuff.

This year I’ll be talking about my work with The New York Times & The Guardian‘s newly-released APIs. I’ll talk about my inspiration, walk through my process, and I’ll show everyone how to easily get into experimenting and working with these fascinating repositories of data. I’ll even show some top-secret new work that I’ve been developing just for the conference. I’m really excited about this presentation.

Every year I leave Flashbelt event feeling inspired, and having met dozens of interesting people doing amazing work. The event is so much more than just a Flash conference - it’s a meeting-of-the-minds for new media creatives of all stripes.

The conference is a great deal – and there are only 400 tickets to be sold. Airline fares are cheap these days, you have some vacation time booked off – so head over to the website and sign up.

To sweeten the deal, a guarantee: If you buy a ticket to Flashbelt after reading this post, drop a comment below. I’ll give you a limited edition NYTimes 365/360 6″ x 6″ print. Also, I’ll be sure to say hello.