Four weeks after, I finally got certified. The journey was worth it.


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Storified: J-students cover SONA 2013

Crowd-sourcing and why I love Quora

Have a burning question that’s been in your mind? Who do you call? (Ghostbusters!)

Seriously, I would assume you would go online and start searching for answers. Or, in this era of social, you can ask your peers.

Quora is one social network that offers answers to even the most ridiculous questions you have. But unlike its predecessors (i.e Yahoo! Answers, Answers.com), Quora is also a community of experts. It allows you to also find experts of various topics. In my case, I was looking for some background information and a starting point on my research on data journalism. It so happens that there were some experts in Quora who answered back a day after I posted my question. Amazing, right?

Go check it out.

Data Journalism winners announced

Data journalism is a relatively new, but growing field of the practice in story telling. While data crunching is not new to the practice of journalism, data journalism is an innovation. Understanding data mining, data visualization, spreadsheets, and some basic programming are some of the skills required. (Don’t be scared. This part does not require prior programming experience).

Here are examples.

Here’s the “Art Market for Dummies,” an interesting way of knowing who are the most “bankable artists” today.

Here’s BBC’s “The Great British class calculator.” This is a fun quiz that lets British know which “class” they are by putting in some data and answering some questions.

Check the other winners here at The 2013 Data Journalism Awards: The 8 Winners announced!

via DJA | Global Editors Network.

Finding your center

It’s not easy leaving a job to pursue my aspirations of entrepreneurship. Now I know what they mean by a “roller coaster ride.” It sucks sometimes.

It has been more than a month since I decided to take a plunge. So far, there are days I wished I was back in the rat race. But there are days that I won’t give up time with my family and children. They say work and life balance is an illusion. It is up to us to decide how we want to spend our time.

But don’t get me wrong. I’m glad I made the decision to slow down. I remember a friend of mine tell me, “Spend more time with your kids while they’re young.” When they get older, they will have less time for you. We all know this, as we have once been young.

On July 15, I would have been 4 years in my job. Looking back, those years felt longer. The challenges, the struggles, the wins, the people, and the mountains I needed to conquer–those years were precious. But all these are without meaning if you cannot find your center.

Yes, in life, we can get lost. I was lost many times. Getting buried in work or the life that I chose before, I often veer away from the important things in life: family and God. The latter is still a challenge. Work is work–it gets you by. But if you lose your center, none of these things matter: fame, glory, money, power, etc.

My wife and kids are my center in this life. Making them happy gives me peace. So sometimes I push myself at work because I thought giving them what they want will make them happy.  But TIME is what they need (sounds like a song!).

They need your time, your presence, your support, your heart, and your spirit. We see many relationships fail these days, broken families, couples who spend more time hating each other. I too had my share of problems. But if you keep reminding yourself what is your center, you will see better days.

We all wish life can be simple. Truth is, we can do it. But first, find and know your center. You may fall on the wayside. But when THAT happens, you know that someone you love will help you get back. I know, I’m slowly getting back on my feet, and making strides. I won’t make a sprint because this life is a marathon. See you all in the finish line.