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  • Author: Alastair Otter

    Data visualisation & design, journalist, hacker.
    When all you need is a great ampersand

    media

    When all you need is a great ampersand

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    Sometimes all it takes is one character to turn a plain piece of text into a great one. And that one character is the ampersand.
    Here in South Africa think of the iconic Mail&Guardian brand, for example. Take away the & and you have nothing

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    Grammar-phone: A metaphor staves off loneliness

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    Grammar-phone: A metaphor staves off loneliness

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    This made me smile this morning. Sparks‘ song Metaphor, from their Hello Young Lovers album, is exactly what it says it is: A song about metaphors. No masquerading here. It also has a catchy tune and offers sage, entertaining advice on the benefits of using

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    Modern journalist: Using advanced search to make the most of Twitter

    media

    Modern journalist: Using advanced search to make the most of Twitter

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    Twitter is fast becoming the go-to place for breaking news. If it happens in the world it’s probably on Twitter, somewhere. Which is all well and good considering there are in excess of 200 million Twitter accounts registered, but as a journalist how can you

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    Google grant to boost digital journalism in Africa, Europe, Middle East

    media

    Google grant to boost digital journalism in Africa, Europe, Middle East

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    Providing new opportunity for Africa media workers, Google has announced a $2.7 million (R18.8m)fund to promote innovation in digital journalism in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
    The grant, which was awarded to the Vienna-based International Press Institute, will be used to sponsor the IPI

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    Fontastic: The best in kinetic typography

    media

    Fontastic: The best in kinetic typography

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    I’m a bit of a typography geek. Not in that boring, drone-on-and-on kind of way (I hope) but I am fascinated by the work and skill that it takes to produce a beautiful piece of type.
    So naturally, when @gendor tweeted earlier today with a

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    Chilean miners and the future of news

    media

    Chilean miners and the future of news

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    The rescue of the 33 trapped Chilean miners this week dominated world headlines. Even here in South Africa people were glued to televisions, every newspaper ran the story as their lead, and social networks were jammed with posts about the ongoing rescue

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    Johnny Cash and collaboration

    media

    Johnny Cash and collaboration

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    I’m a pretty big fan of the man in black. Over the years Johnny Cash has come to represent not only the finest in songwriting but also the realities and aspirations of the average person. He had his highs (in all senses of the word)

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    750 words to clear the head

    writing

    750 words to clear the head

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    A few months ago I discovered the 750 words concept.
    The idea is simple: Every day you write down 750 words on anything that comes into your head. It doesn’t have to be well thought out, or even well-argued. You don’t need to spell check

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    Apple extends its influence to censoring magazines

    media

    Apple extends its influence to censoring magazines

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    Apple has already come out against pornographic applications in its iPhone app store, but now the company looks likely to extend its moral oversight to magazines. According to industry blog Shiny Shiny, edgy fashion magazine Dazed & Confused has had to censor its iPad issue

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    Would you like an apostrophe with that, ma’am?

    media writing

    Would you like an apostrophe with that, ma’am?

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    Welcome to the brave new world of online media. A world where anyone with an Internet connection can be a journalist and bloggers are the new media rock stars. A world where readers can immediately deliver their own opinions, and usually do.
    It’s also a

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