The best tweets, presentations and tips from NICAR 2013

The annual gathering of journalism’s finest data, interactive, product and geeks wrapped up yesterday in Louisville Kentucky. We spent part of the weekend curating the best tips, presentations, videos, tweets blog posts and other content from the event. You can find it all here in our NICAR 2013 Notebook.

Below is a look at our picks of the must read content and other insights from the event.

Best video: Ben Welsh’s lighting talk

This was perhaps the most talked about speech at the event. Ben Welsh of the Los Angeles Times got up and gave a quick but inspiring talk that had the crowd cheering and applauding.
“I’m Ben, this is my rant,” he said.

At about the 1:30 mark, Welsh starts picking up steam. (Warning: adult language.) He outlines principles that data journalists need to follow in their work. That’s the technical stuff.
Then, at 5:10, he announces he’s going to flip the script and introduces “Five things you geeks need to learn from reporters.” This is good advice for any form of storytelling. Welsh’s tips:
  1. Trust No One. That includes the data you gather or are given.
  2. Pick Up The Phone. Talk to people outside of your office.
  3. Seek a Rabbi. Find the person who knows everything about the data you’re using. “Nobody ever asks them how it works, and when you do they’re going to love you.”
  4. Take the Story and Run. “Don’t spend the next six months saying, ‘Oh, I need an app that does every thing’ … If you’ve got a story, run [and] tell that.”
  5. Finish. “There is nothing that a geek likes more than starting new projects.” Ship it.

Buzzed about presentations/tools

These tweets point to the presentations, apps and other material worth digging into. Find more in our NICAR Notebook.

Best advice

Lots of speakers offered great tips and advice on everything from storytelling, to finding jobs, to how to approach data projects. This is the best of the bunch.

Best Links

See below for the other blog posts that you should click on to learn more. This goes double for the first link, a post by Chrys Wu that collects all of the tools, slides and other content form the conference. It’s a tremendous resource.


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