Don’t forget about the free SND quick course in Cleveland

Free, that is, if you’re an SND member. Non-members pay just $75 for a full day’s worth of knowledge poured into them via folks like Zach Wise of the New York Times and Andrea Levy of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

View Cleveland Plain Dealer in a larger map

The quick course will be held in the community room of the Plain Dealer, starting at 10 a.m. sharp. The paper will even provide lunch. And then afterward, they’re planning a free meet-up.

If you’re anywhere in the vicinity of Cleveland, I don’t understand how you could possibly pass up an opportunity like this. The price is certainly right.

Join us tonight for a visual journalism chat

I feel a little strange calling it a “VizEds” chat, since this blog is no longer affiliated with the wonderful folks at

However, that’s what they’re calling it. A VizEds chat. And they’re planning another one for tonight at 9 p.m., EDT.

The chat is headed up by Jim McBee, assistant news editor of the Star-Tribune of Casper, Wyo. And it’s held via Twitter. Which can bring a number of challenges, if you’re leery of spamming your followers with a conversation they can’t possibly follow.

Last spring — when we were trying this on a weekly basis — Jim wrote up a number of tips for us. Perhaps those tips will help you tonight:

If you’ve never participated in a Twitter chat, here are simple instructions:

1. Sign up with Twitter if you don’t have an account. Log in to Twitter. Twitter is a real-time information network powered by people all around the world that lets you share and discover what’s happening now. It’s extremely democratic, and famously limits you to 140 characters per post.

2. Go to (Tweetchat is just what I use; if you prefer a different chat provider, go for it.) When you log in, it will authenticate your Twitter account.

3. Tweetchat will ask you for a hashtag to follow. Hashtags are tags that add context to your tweets and make them searchable. Our hashtag is:


When you use Tweetchat, you only have to type in #vizedschat the one time; it will append #vizedschat to every post during the discussion.

Which, of course, is the reason to use an app like Tweetchat. In the few weeks we tried this, a number of folks found they couldn’t participate in the chats. For several of them, it turned out the problem was they were forgetting to add the hashtag.

Once you get logged in, you’ll soon see how it works. It’s very much like the old Internet relay chats of the ’90s. Your job, should you choose to accept it, is to jump in and say whatever you want. Be as serious or as silly as you choose.

If all this seems complicated, it just might be at first. At first, it all baffled me, as well. It’s certainly not quite as intuitive as an old-style chatroom.

But — as long as Twitter itself doesn’t crash — it should work just fine.

Our timetable? We’ll begin at:

  • 9 p.m. Eastern
  • 8 p.m. Central
  • 7 p.m. Mountain
  • 6 p.m. Pacific

And, for that matter:

  • 2 a.m. London
  • 3 a.m. Berlin
  • 3 a.m. Johannesburg
  • 6:30 a.m. Mumbai
  • 9 a.m. Beijing
  • 10 a.m. Tokyo
  • Noon Sydney
  • 3 p.m. Honolulu

Need help? Ask one of these folks:

We’ll keep an eye out for you…

Melissa Angle named new SND education director

Melissa Angle — senior designer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution — has been named director of education and training for the Society of News Design, the society announced today.

For the last three years, Melissa has also been the society’s Region 3 (Southeastern U.S.) Director. Find her official Region 3 Twitter feed here.

In her new post, Melissa will organize training sessions, quickcourses, meetups and other cool things like that. She takes over from the Chicago Tribune‘s Chris Courtney.

A 2002 graduate of Wichita State University in Kansas, Melissa spent three years as a copy editor and designer for the Sun News of Myrtle Beach, S.C., before moving to the Orlando Sentinel in 2005, where she won Employee of the Year honors. She moved to Atlanta three years ago.

Find the official SND announcement here.

A quick report on Monday’s SND meetup in Boston

SND East regional director Lee Steele of the Connecticut Post tells us the free meetup of the Society for News Design — last night in Boston, on the patio of the Red Fez — was a smash hit.

Lee writes:

There were about 20 of us, but it was a good cross-section of experience and companies. It was a much more intimate and mellow meeting on a warm summer night in the South End.

Good conversation and some laughs. Just what the doctor ordered.

A few pictures? Certainly. Here’s the group on the patio…

Here, you see Josh O’Connell from Hearst Connecticut, Martin Gee of the Boston Globe and Janice Checchio of the Boston Phoenix:

The guy up against the fence with the dark shirt is Globe sports designer Luke Knox, who recently arrived from Phoenix.

This last one shows Boston Globe assistant managing editor Dan Zedek with a number of admirers:

Ying Wu of Brandeis University — who posted this picture on Facebook — labeled it “Beauty and the Beast.” Enough said, I think.

These free meetups are very cool things. We should do more of them. There’s a digital journalism meetup also scheduled in Boston next week, on the campus of MIT. But are there more SND-type meetups planned this summer?

If so, please let me know. I’m always happy to plug a free meetup.