Online journalism toolbox

It’s so hard to keep track of all the cool things you can use to juice up your site and all the places to visit for inspiration. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be raiding my bookmarks to share some of the tools & sites I find interesting & useful. Here’s a start, with minimal annotations and a pretty sketchy clumping, but I can assure you that following a few of these links will give you plenty to think about.

Community tools

Design inspiration

  • WebCreme.com: Great spot for general website design inspiration.

A handful of useful web tools and widgets

  • WidgetBox: Lots of widgets to explore here
  • Yahoo Pipes: Build your own…
  • Scribd: Embed documents.
  • QR codes: Learn the basics on Wikipedia.
  • Document Cloud: Inserting supporting documents. Bit geeky, but effective.
  • ReadWriteWeb: Online apps.
  • iStockPhoto.com: Indispensable source for stock pix.
  • FastOne: Good screen cap tool.
  • Splashup: Online photo editing.
  • EffectGenerator: Quick-and-dirty Flash tool.
  • Tableau: Handy free dataviz tool. Check out the gallery to see what it can do.
  • Thsrs: Quick online thesaurus.
  • Free multimedia tools: 10 free and totally legal programs every multimedia journalist should have. From Adam Westbrook.
  • DoodleBuzz: Silly, but fun.
  • Wordles: Surprisingly revealing images. Screengrab the results for a quick illustration, like this shot of the NewsFutureNow.com home page in April:

Storytelling tools

Mapping

Misc

  • Feed Journal
  • Mashable: Always worth a visit…
  • A Drive: This is a good spot for sharing large files. There’s a free plan for up to 50GB storage, and they let you upload large files, unlike Sky Drive and some other options.

Dataviz inspiration

Stats and data sources

  • Internet stats: For more Net stats than you could ever need, check out the Complete Guide to Internet Statistics and Research and Interesting web sites for Internet Monitoring.
  • ClickZ: Somewhat strange compendium of stats and charts from all sorts of sources. Great PowerPoint stuffers, especially for marketing-oriented presentations, but you do have to consider the source.
  • For deep understanding of online trends the Pew work is great, and the gold standard when they’ve looked into something you’re following.
  • Compete and Quantcast: Traffic stats for competitive analysis. I personally have found Compete to be closer to reality on the sites I know from the inside, but both are useful, even in their free versions.

General web building and design resources

This is obviously a huge area and I could never pretend to offer a comprehensive guide. But here are a few tried-and-true resources it’s worth keeping at hand.

Site candy

 

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