Latest Updates: Our Blog

January 2011

Per request by @ProPublica, th…

Posted
Jan 31st, 2011

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Twitter

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documentcloud

Per request by @ProPublica, the DocumentCloud API now supports listing the top entities for any search query. http://t.co/M7cO2n8 /ja

As per request by @michellemin…

Posted
Jan 28th, 2011

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Twitter

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documentcloud

As per request by @michelleminkoff, the DocumentCloud API now returns “created_at” and “updated_at” formatted as RFC822 for all documents.

There’s now a Chrome App for D…

Posted
Jan 27th, 2011

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Twitter

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documentcloud

There’s now a Chrome App for DocumentCloud’s public search: http://t.co/xKrkzOi Try some full-screen document dives. /ja

Queuing up a few brown bags in…

Posted
Jan 26th, 2011

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Twitter

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documentcloud

Queuing up a few brown bags in Chicago next month. Know folks in the windy city hungry for a walk through? Let us know! /abh

A couple interesting searches …

Posted
Jan 26th, 2011

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Twitter

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documentcloud

A couple interesting searches: Madoff http://t.co/eZOlpne Afghanistan http://t.co/XLKwEmd Asbestos http://t.co/POEbV5c /ja

Going Public

Posted
Jan 26th, 2011

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Documents,Workspace

Author
Amanda Hickman

With close to 200 newsrooms contributing documents and thousands of documents in our catalog, we decided it was time to open DocumentCloud to public searches.

Wondering who is still covering the Deepwater Horizon oil spill? Try a search for “deepwater horizon” organization: transocean, and see documents that both reference the rig by name as well as the drilling contractor, Transocean. Then, click on the “Entities” tab to see more data provided by OpenCalais’ entity extraction.

Did you miss Memphis Commercial Appeal‘s coverage of Ernest Whithers? Catch up with a search for
group: commercial-appeal withers, and find every document uploaded by reporters in the Commercial Appeal newsroom that mentions Whithers by name. Curious to see the annotations journalists have been making on the documents they’re sharing? Try a search for filter: annotated and you’ll skip any documents that were published without annotations.

There’s plenty more you can do with DocumentCloud’s search syntax. Check out our primer and try a few searches.

We’d love to know what you think, and what you’ve found.

PS. Finding bugs rather than documents? We want to know about those, too.

Impressed with @latdatadesk in…

Posted
Jan 20th, 2011

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Twitter

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documentcloud

Impressed with @latdatadesk integration of our API with their CMS. The latest? Sorting documents by tag. http://lat.ms/dMCdrV /abh

Which Metrics Matter for Measuring User Engagement?

Posted
Jan 18th, 2011

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IdeaLab

Author
Amanda Hickman

Cross posted from PBS Idealab.

Gail Robinson’s recent post on traffic in a post-loyal era got me thinking about measures of web traffic and, more broadly, how to measure the impact of non-profit journalism.

I certainly don’t disagree with Gotham Gazette‘s decision to pass on providing Yahoo with free content. There’s no good reason that Yahoo can’t create a lively community without wholly reprinting Gotham Gazette’s excellent original reporting free of charge.

There are probably good reasons that it would complicate Gotham Gazette’s work to license stories to a commercial outlet like Yahoo Local, too: As a non-profit, the local policy publication regularly livens up stories by illustrating them with images licensed only for non-commercial use, or by independently licensing photos that aren’t available under a Creative Commons license at all. Sorting out the images that can be re-licensed to a commercial entity like Yahoo isn’t a trivial project, especially not for a small local publication.

It doesn’t look like Gotham Gazette is alone in declining Yahoo’s advances — Yahoo Local’s New York City page was recently dominated by pleas for piety from someone in Georgia:

yahoolocal_crop.png

And I definitely appreciate the impulse to own your traffic. One of the reasons DocumentCloud is thriving right now is that we’ve been very careful to ensure news organizations aren’t handing traffic off to us. They own their traffic. They can keep track of their readership numbers, evaluate efforts to increase site visits, and slap as many ads and extra navigation elements on embedded documents as they want. Even so, they want more: Users and prospective users alike regularly ask for better metrics on the documents they’re publishing.

Meaningful Metrics

Oakland Local, a project as commendable for its willingness to share insights as for its local coverage and community, has been quite open about the stats they look at as meaningful: Page views, unique visitors, average time on site and returning traffic. Returning visitors made up half their traffic when they spoke with Michele McLelland last spring. They also keep an eye on where their readers are coming from — they’re interested in how much of their audience is reading from Oakland.

When I was at Gotham Gazette, in addition to those basic web analytics, I kept a close watch on our comments — their vibrancy struck me as a good measure of participation.

So what do you measure?

So I’m curious: Do you look for measures of your impact beyond the kind of numbers you show to advertisers? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Discuss Which Metrics Matter for Measuring User Engagement? on PBS’s IdeaLab.

Very, very impressed with @hom…

Posted
Jan 13th, 2011

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Twitter

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documentcloud

Very, very impressed with @homicidewatch‘s new document library. http://homicidewatch.org/documents … and with Homicide Watch. /abh

Backbone.js just got the Think…

Posted
Jan 12th, 2011

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Twitter

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documentcloud

Backbone.js just got the ThinkVitamin treatment: http://t.co/3b8OQ7o /ja

Very excited to welcome @60min…

Posted
Jan 11th, 2011

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Twitter

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documentcloud

Very excited to welcome @60minutes to DocumentCloud. /abh

RT @palewire: Read Jerry Brown…

Posted
Jan 10th, 2011

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Twitter

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documentcloud

RT @palewire: Read Jerry Brown’s first California budget proposal http://lat.ms/eksNCk from the comfort of @documentcloud. /abh

Frequently Asked Questions: Journalism School Edition

Posted
Jan 5th, 2011

Tags
Accounts,Workspace ,

Author
Amanda Hickman

We get a decent number of inquiries from journalism schools interested in incorporating DocumentCloud into their coursework. That’s great, it really is. If you take a look at our list of document contributors, you’ll see a nice collection of journalism schools, student reporting projects and investigative reporting institutes. We absolutely welcome journalism schools.

That said, there are a few things worth knowing before you contact us. Continue reading »

It’s true, @greglinch. You can…

Posted
Jan 5th, 2011

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Twitter

Author
documentcloud

It’s true, @greglinch. You can indeed set the hour that a document will be published. /abh

Loving @latimes evolving Marri…

Posted
Jan 4th, 2011

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Twitter

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documentcloud

Loving @latimes evolving Marriage / Prop 8 document cache. http://documents.latimes.com/prop-8-and-gay-marriage /abh

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell #dadt rep…

Posted
Jan 3rd, 2011

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Twitter

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documentcloud

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell #dadt report on @washingtonpost http://wapo.st/h024EX via @emmacarew /abh