Best New Web-Publishing Idea Factory

Slate Labs

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Slate is one of the granddaddies of web publishing -- it launched as a Microsoft-supported property all the way back in 1996, then was scooped up by The Washington Post Co. in 2004 -- so some people like to knock it for being an antique.

We prefer to think of it as a classic (with a devoted audience of 6 million unique visitors per month) and a place where, since August, "experiments in multimedia journalism" -- the tagline of Slate Labs -- have a happy home. The whole point is to bring news and data alive with gee-whiz projects and visualizations like Lean/Lock (a political forecasting game), News Dots ("examines how every story is connected by showcasing the most recent topics in the news as a giant social network"), and the wrenching Job Loss Map. Every time Slate has added a new Lab experiment, we've felt both palpably better informed about the world and newly exhilarated about the emerging field of programmer-journalism.

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