Charts made simple

Got a bit of data you’d like to display in a graphic in you story? You can insert your numbers into Excel and make a chart that you can copy and paste elsewhere. Or you can use a free online service like instantpiechart.com.

That tip is from Bryan Murley at Innovation in College Media, who’s also pointing out The Guardian’s launch of n0tice which, despite its unfortunate name, has an interesting concept behind it:

The Guardian is launching n0tice, a social news platform that draws a little from Craigslist, a little from Foursquare, a little from Ning.

“It’s a place where you can share news, post details about forthcoming events or let people know you have something to sell or share,” the project’s FAQ puts it. Just like IRL message boards, “everyone else in your locality will be able to see what you’ve posted and also take part.”

n0tice — which is, for the moment, still in private beta — is citizen-driven: It allows people the ability to create their own noticeboards (er, n0ticeboards) about whatever topics and events they want. As Matt McAlister, the Guardian’s director of digital strategy, notes in a blog post announcing n0tice’s live beta, users can customize the branding, the overall aesthetic, and even the subdomain of their particular noticeboards. And “we’ll also give you options to customize the content using some filters like following people, tags and locations, though that feature is still being developed.”

Will it be just another platform, or does it have enough juice to stand alone? Time will tell, but the idea is intriguing. You can sign up now for an invitation when they come out of private beta.

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