Tips for keeping your internet use private: infographic

Tips for keeping internet use private

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner NZ linked to this infographic on Facebook the other day. It’s one of many guides doing the rounds that aim to help you keep your internet usage private. You may not need this much privacy in your everyday life, but you may want to adopt some of these practices if you’re working on a story and want to cover your tracks and protect your sources.

* The infographic was created by, “a webmaster tool that lets you discover who hosts any website”.
9 Tips for Keeping Your Internet Usage Private [Infographic] by Who Is Hosting This: The Blog



Map of New Zealand’s Māori Iwi (tribes)

Map of New Zealand's Maori Iwi (tribes)

This map shows the tribal boundaries of New Zealand’s Māori Iwi (tribes).

The map is from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise‘s rather good Māori Cultural Kit for people wanting to do business with Māori organisations.

The kit is available online, as a PDF and as an iPhone or Android app.

Map of NZ Māori Iwi - North Island
Click on this map to see/download the PDF from the NZTE website.


Map of NZ Māori Iwi - South Island
Click on this map to see/download the PDF from the NZTE website.


You might also want to check out:

How to Add Macrons to Māori Words |

Directory of iwi and Māori organisations | Te Puna Kokiri

Māori Maps | Interactive map of marae

Iwi statistics | (Census 2013)

Kupu o te Rā  | Te Reo word of the day email

100 Māori words all New Zealanders should know | (includes audio)

Learn Te Reo | a list of courses compiled by Mana Magazine

A collection of Maori Whakataukī, or proverbs |

The sweetness of the kumara | The meaning of whakataukī | RadioNZ

History of the Māori language |

Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Māori | Māori Language Commission

The Māori Language: Selected Events 1800-2010 |

1869 Map of Iwi Boundaries & Confiscated Land |

How journalists can keep work and sources digitally secure (2013)


Digital security has been right across my eyeballs this morning. A couple of useful reads.

First, Keith Ng read the Kim Dotcom affidavits and said, “It’s the best example we have of how ‘GCSB assistance’ is actually rendered.” Worth reading the post (and the affidavits) to see how the process worked. Keith went on to outline how to use public-key encryption, should you want to “secretfy your stuff”.

Over the next however long it’s going to take me, I’m going to be doing short posts on how to secretfy your stuff. Today’s post is on encrypting text using public-key encryption.

This technique is based on a pair of matching keys – one public, one private. Anything encrypted with one can only be decrypted with the other. Why? MATHS, that’s why. The public key is then made public (my key is here), and anyone can use that key to encrypt a messsage. Only you – with the private key that you keep secret – can decrypt that message. It’s actually not that hard. The simplest tool for dealing with PGP keys is gpg4usb. Go download it and have a play.

Second, Jonathan Stray tweeted four links to useful resources for journalists who want to keep their sources and data safe. Jonathan is teaching on a Computational Journalism course at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism this year.


Third, here’s Danny O’Brien, then Internet Advocacy Co-ordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists, talking about some simple things journalists can do to protect their sources and work, particularly when out in the field. Danny is the International Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.



Facebook rolls out ’embed post’ feature to all users (2013)

Facebook has rolled out its Embed Post feature to all users. It means you can grab embed code for a public Facebook post (by clicking on the arrow drop-down menu at top right of post) and throw it on your blog or website. The embedded post has live links and you can like, comment, share and embed from it.


Serendip-o-matic led me to these gorgeous images of early NZ

Images of New Zealand, Rev Trengrove, 1890-1915

Happy to say that some particularly charming results meant I spent more time on Serendip-o-matic than I initially expected. It works like this. Punch in some text – anything you like: a word, phrase, thesis, blog post, essay – and Serendip-o-matic will grab some keywords from your text and run a search on museum, library and image databases.

My first search – a couple of paragraphs from a recent blog post – led me to these gorgeous images taken during Reverend Arthur Trengrove’s trip to New Zealand around the end of the 19th century. The images are homed on the State Library of South Australia website.

Serendip-o-matic is a little rough and ready – it was built as part of One Week/One Tool – but I really like what it does. So, thanks!


Images of New Zealand, Rev Trengrove, 1890-1915

ALL IMAGES: Records of the Reverend Arthur M. Trengove comprising lantern slides and glass plate negatives documenting a trip to New Zealand. scenes of New Zealand, including Auckland, Christchurch, Pohutu and the Wairoa geyser | State Library of South Australia.

Images of New Zealand, Rev Trengrove, 1890-1915


Images of New Zealand, Rev Trengrove, 1890-1915


Images of New Zealand, Rev Trengrove, 1890-1915


Images of New Zealand, Rev Trengrove, 1890-1915










Simple, embeddable timelines (and the GCSB) (2013)

Click to use TimelineJS

I had a go at using VeriteCo/Knight Lab’s free, open source TimelineJS tool earlier today; in this case to pull together highlights from the current consideration of proposed GCSB legislation in New Zealand.

The tool’s easy to use: enter dates, headlines, links and content into a Google Spreadsheet (template provided), publish it, punch the spreadsheet url into TimelineJS and out pops an embed code. You can preview it before embedding it on your site.

It can pull in media from different sources and has built in support for: Twitter, Flickr, Google Maps, YouTube, Vimeo, Vine, Dailymotion, Wikipedia, SoundCloud and more media types are regularly added.

I had trouble getting a couple of things right. A NZ Herald article link returned the right link but with an image of the current homepage rather than the story page, and my Title slide steadfastly refused to return any kind of image at all in the Preview, but seems to be fine now.  YouTube videos, article links, and hosted pdfs otherwise all worked great straight off. Let me know if you see anything borked.

You’re welcome to embed this timeline on your own site. This is the embed code:

<iframe src=’′ width=’100%’ height=’650′ frameborder=’0′></iframe>

Or you can raid my Google spreadsheet here and build your own timeline here.



Analytics for journalists (2011)

Updated with a couple of excellent contributions from Reuben Schwarz.

I’m pulling together a few resources for journalists who are new to the web and in particular new to analytics.

I like this slide show:

I’m also using…

Reuben Schwarz’s Six Rootin Tootin Myths About Analytics (which is highly readable and based on his experience at

A large chunk of my job at Fairfax NZ is about numbers – wonderful, glorious numbers – mostly looking at web traffic at and its competitors. It’s work that lots of people might think is pretty dull, but those lots of people would be bothwrong and unawesome.

Web analytics is so cool I can hardly keep my trousers straight writing about it. It’s like the Wild Wild West of statistics, and I’m like Will Smith, except in a movie that doesn’t suck. Plus I’m a better dancer.

So in the spirit of gunslingers everywhere, I’m going to shoot down some myths about the world of web analytics. (more)

And his Showdown at High Noon: 7 More Myths about Analytics

Myth: I should use the total metrics instead of the domestic metrics, because total is always bigger.

Fact: Speaking for NZ (where I’m based) – If web analytics really is like the Wild Wild West, then total traffic numbers are as alluring as Salma Hayak. They’re so nice and big and plump compared to domestic (NZ only) traffic numbers. But while total is always bigger, bigger isn’t always better.

If you’re pitching to advertisers, what they really want to know is how many people visit your site that could buy their products. About 99% of the time that’s just people in New Zealand, so that’s really the numbers they’re after.

10,000 Words’ great Analytics for Journalists

Analytics, or the analysis of a website’s traffic, is important for every journalist to understand. Analytics tools can identify how many people visited a website, page, or article, how they found the site, and how popular the content on a site is.

For this post I am using Google Analytics, the free tool provided by Google, to illustrate the common features of analytics tools. Analytics services range from this list of free or inexpensive analytics toolsto full-fledged software like Omniture. Most of them share common features like those described below… (more)


Maholo’s Guide to Google Analytics:

This page will teach you how to use Google Analytics, even if you’re a beginner. Google Analytics is one of the top tools out there for analyzing traffic on your website. With a little bit of setup, it will give you an enormous amount of information about who is visiting your site, what they’re looking for, and how they’re getting there. With just a little practice, along with the information on this page, you too will be able to use Google Analytics like a pro.

Google Analytics is a powerful tool for monitoring all aspects of your websites traffic, from referrals to search engine activity.1 Like any application designed to do so much, Google Analytics comes with a rather steep learning curve, which can be intimidating at first. However, by familiarizing yourself with the program, using the tool can become second nature. This page is designed to ease you into the application and teach you how to use all aspects of Google Analytics.  (more)

Big Picture’s Google Analytics for Bloggers

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by Google Analytics’ dozens of reports and countless metrics. To avoid getting caught up in web analytics minutia, don’t just look at Google Analytics as a source for data and reports. Look to GA to provide insights on how to improve the content of your blog through answering several important questions:

  • Who are your readers?
  • Where are they coming from?
  • What are they reading?
  • What are they sharing?

With any web analytics tool, start off with a business goal or question and then look to a report or metrics for the answer.  Otherwise you’ll be likely to end up spinning your tires with nothing to show for your web analytics efforts. Read on to see this approach to web analytics for bloggers in action. (more)

Know of any other easy-to-understand guides to analytics suitable for journalists?

How do you get people to tell stories?

I liked this thread in Frank Chimero‘s talk at #Webstock last week. He talked about the power of storytelling (and we’re all about that at🙂 and particularly about how to get people to tell stories about themselves.

Forgive the blur, I grabbed these pics in a hurry.

How do you get people to tell stories?

You ask.

Every form is a question

We come across forms on websites all the time. Registration forms, payment forms and social media profile forms. These forms contain questions. “Good questions get good answers, bad questions get bad answers.”

This kind of question is simply too hard to answer:

About me:

“Where do you start?” asked Frank.  How do you summarise your whole existence right there?

On Twitter, that “About me” profile question turns into “Please summarise your entire existence on earth in 140 characters or less.”

So you often get people offering up a list: I’m a father, husband, friend, designer, bartender and snowboarder.

“I think we’re more interesting than this,” says Frank.

And Twitter also has a great example of a good question:

What’s happening? __________________________

With this kind of question, he said, “you capture someone’s Id. Here’s what I’m thinking, doing right now.” Politics, dogs, sandwiches, feelings.

Frank went on to think out loud about what happens if we change the question.

“What if we ask: What did you care about when you were nine? What’s the last thing you changed your mind about?”

That could be much more interesting.


10+ ways to cover an election (2010)

This is a round-up of some of the apps I’ve seen news & other orgs using online to help people understand and engage with the mid-term elections in the US. It’s not an exhaustive list, just things that passed in front of my eyeballs on election day. The images are all linked.

First up, Mashable was reporting at 11am November 3 NZ time that interest in the mid-terms is breaking web traffic records:

It will still be at least a few hours before we know all of the results of today’s mid-term elections in the United States, but interest in the proceedings is apparently so high that a long-standing (in Internet time) Web traffic record has already been broken.

According to Akamai’s Net Usage Index for News, traffic to 100 top news sites (powered by Akamai’s content delivery network) has already peaked at a higher level than Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential election victory – 4.6 million to 4.2 million page views per minute, respectively.

Google meanwhile was tracking search terms:

On Hot Trends at 1pm PT today, 13 of the top 20 searches were election-related, most of which had to do with figuring out where to vote. Terms like [polling place locator], [voting locations by zip code] and [where do i vote] have been popular all day, as well as state-specific searches like [nc board of elections] and [where to vote in minnesota]. Others are turning to the Internet to ask how long they have to vote, with searches like [what time do the polls close]. And earlier today, we even saw a handful of hot searches like [am i registered to vote in texas] and [voter registration]—apparently some well-meaning citizens have left one important part of the process until the last minute!

Of course, many people are also looking to make decisions about how to vote. The terms [vote smart] and [voters guide] have been popular today, indicating that people are trying to squeeze in some research before heading to the polls. Naturally, searches for various candidates, from [bill white] of Texas to [charlie baker] of Massachusetts, have increased today as well. Other searches like [massachusetts ballot questions 2010], [oklahoma state questions] and [amendment 4 florida] spiked this morning as people look for information about statewide measures. And at 1pm PT, three of the top 20 terms on Hot Trends had to do with California’s proposition 19.

Google was among a number of providers to offer election apps for iPhone and iPad that helped people find polling places and follow results.

The Washington Post sponsored the #election tag on Twitter on election day and its tweets appeared at the top of my timeline with a yellow banner that read: Promoted by the Washington Post.

The WashPo provided previews of each state and used an interactive map to let readers drill down to the state and county they were interested in. The map and tabs made it a tidy viewing experience.

And it had an interactive map keeping track of vote counts as they came in.

The New York Times also had a results map, which let you switch between the House, Senate, Governors and Caucus.

The New York Times built a dynamic app that showed how many tweets were mentioning various candidates names at any given time.

And it curated its own tweets.

Reuters embedded in its election page a feed of tweets from influential Twitter accounts in each state.

LifeHacker made it easy to find your polling station by typing in your address.

Facebook built an app for finding polling locations.


Project Vote Smart made a really slick app that showed which candidates in each state were most aligned with your views on key issues such as healthcare, gun control, immigration and the economy. (You can turn off the sound once you click through the first screen. Mute button is bottom right of page.)

Good magazine ran a competition to design an infographic about the election, a story about a McDonald’s store owner who advised staff to ‘vote for the right people’, and this infographic showing the issues Americans have been hot on in past elections back to 2001.


Talking Points Memo ran a poll tracker.


Politifact rated the claims made in election advertising ‘barely true’.


After rating hundreds of claims in the 2010 election — from TV ads, debates, interviews and mailings — we’re giving an overall Truth-O-Meter rating to the campaign.

We rate it Barely True.

In a majority of claims checked this fall by PolitiFact and our eight state partners, we found a grain of truth, but it was exaggerated, twisted or distorted. (We define Barely True as a statement containing some element of truth, but it “ignores critical facts that would give a different impression.”)

The Sunlight Foundation used Coveritlive to keep track of election tweets.


The Washington Post offered up election night bingo as a bit of light relief.


Lauren Kirchner did a round-up of election graphics run by smaller-circulation news orgs on Columbia Journalism Review:

Earlier this week I did a quick rundown of some eye-catching interactive graphics that newsrooms at papers like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal rolled out for Election Day. It would be unfair, though, to only focus on heavy-hitting sites that have dedicated interactive staff for such time-consuming projects. Across the country, smaller-circulation newspapers had to make the same decisions about how to visualize the data coming in on Election Night, but they had to make those decisions with far fewer resources.

Politico, NYT provide regular video updates

10,000 words wrote about:

Cable and broadcast anchors weren’t the only ones giving on-camera commentary on the 2010 midterm elections on Tuesday night. You can add Politico and The New York Times to the list of traditionally non-broadcast news outlets providing live commentary and updates.

Other sites worth looking at:

Center for Public Integrity



Guardian Politics API

I’d quite like to develop this post into a reference site for election coverage apps and ideas, so please add any links you have in a comment and I’ll add them to the post. Thanks!