I read a quote now lost in the mists of Twitter that not knowing how to program in the 21st century is like living in the Middle Ages and not knowing how to swing a sword. I think that analogy goes extra for journalists. I started working on a few projects and was pleased to discover how much the arts of code-writing and word-writing have in common. I've focused on learning Python as I try to wrangle the Django web framework, and on hand-crafting semantically correct HTML coupled with attractive CSS3. Javascript and databases are on deck.

Chance

My first-ever piece of online minimalist conceptual art. A fun exercise in jQuery, the Twitter API and big fonts. As always, best in fullscreen, preferably on as large a screen as possible.


Ansel Adams in Los Angeles

In 1939, Fortune magazine sent Ansel Adams to photograph Los Angeles. The images, most of which were never published, reveal a city unfurling across the landscape. This project pays tribute to Stamen's amazing watercolor map tiles and great open-source tools such as Polymaps that make creating custom interactive maps a pleasure. The process was an education in data visualization. I've also posted a template for making your own maps.


thisli.st

I built thisli.st because I couldn't find a good, simple list online of the best Mediterranean noir novels after I'd finished Jean-Claude Izzo's Marseilles trilogy and wanted to read more. Originally intended just for books, the site is meant to facilitate crowd-sourced top-ten lists of all kinds of cool subcultural stuff. It's my first-ever Django project and remains a work-in-progress. I designed and scripted it from the ground up, with great assists from many of the wonderful open-source apps crafted by the Django community.


marcuswohlsen.com

I created my Django-powered, Heroku-deployed personal site from scratch. It includes a mini-app I created to format, organize and display my clips. Despite the plethora of perfectly good tutorials available for building Django-based blogs, I built mine blind to see if I could figure it out for myself. I think it turned out OK. I designed the layout and color scheme. The fonts are powered by Typekit. Once I clean it up, I plan to release the mini-app I made to store and format my clips for other writers to use.


Wordpress

I've developed several custom Wordpress sites in connection with my wife's various artistic endeavors. Her personal site uses a nice, minimal lightbox script to show off her work. A similar site showcases a design experiment with the look and feel of handmade designs online. Both sites use tweaked versions of the Simplr theme. Article was a Bay Area-based art journal that uses a custom theme developed off of Thematic for its CMS.