Category: Tech

Trying Out Storify

March 23rd, 2011 — 12:31pm

A few days ago, I received my invitation to try out Storify, a tool that helps journalists tell coherent stories using social media by aggregating from across different services.

I’m playing with it now, and I’m thinking of publishing a little story tracking the controversy over the bike lane on Prospect Park West in Brooklyn. It seems to me that the story here is about the media coverage of the bike lane rather than the bike lane itself. It’s received an inordinate amount of ink for one single bike lane.

I’m all for bike-friendly neighborhoods, but as an outsider who doesn’t ride and has lived in Brooklyn for only a few months, the whole thing makes me sigh equally at the bike advocates and their opponents.

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Under The Hood: Emphasis

March 1st, 2011 — 10:33pm

I heard about Emphasis on Twitter a few months ago, and Zach Seward just brought my attention to its WordPress plugin, written by Ben Balter.

Emphasis allows for paragraph level linking and highlighting. Seward explains its magic:

To get started, hit shift twice. I love that. Ryan Sholin noted today that he had also installed Emphasis, and it occurred to me that as the tool spreads, double-tapping shift becomes a sort of shibboleth: Are you enabled for deep links? And if the answer is yes, pilcrows appear.

At that point, you can link to any paragraph by clicking on its pilcrow. Highlight by clicking on a paragraph and then any sentences within it that you wish to emphasize. Your new URL awaits in the address bar.

As Seward points out, paragraph-level linking adds value for users and authors. If one of the goals of the web is to save the user time, Emphasis is a nice tool that allows publishers to do just that.

Try it out for yourself: just tap Shift twice.

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