Sam Schlinkert
Hi! I’m Sam

Hello! My name is Sam Schlinkert. I live in New York where I am a social media editor and programmer. I'm currently employed as a Social Media Producer at CNN, focusing mainly on publishing to Facebook and social media analytics.

Previously, I was an Associate Social Media Editor for BuzzFeed News. Prior to that I attended the Flatiron School, a coding bootcamp working with the Ruby programming language. And before that I was the Deputy Social Media Editor at Newsweek & The Daily Beast.

You can find me on Twitter, GitHub, and, if you must, LinkedIn. From time to time I post to a blog where I write about books, text editors, code, etc.

Web Applications

I was introduced to Ruby and Ruby on Rails in 2014 when I attended The Flatiron School, a coding bootcamp. Below are some of my favorite projects I've built since then. You can read about my experiences in web development over on my programming blog.

In early October of 2014, I became fascinated with Tilde Clubs, a name for shared UNIX servers in-part coined by Paul Ford. I quickly joined one of these clubs called (it's since been taken down) and eventually developed a basic blog CMS that I called Radiation. It's a simple command line interface written in Ruby that allows users to create posts in Markdown or HTML, then publish these posts in reverse-chronological order to an index.html file.

It was a wonderful and very rewarding experience to have others use my program, suggest improvements, and submit pull requests. Since then I've only become more interested in open source code and the communities around such projects.

View the code on GitHub
As a social media editor at Newsweek & The Daily Beast, we had a rule-of-thumb that if we saw one link tweeted by two different people you follow, it was probably something important. But once I started spending more and more time programming, I would miss these important links.

To solve this problem, a partner and I built SquawkBot. (Note: The app may be down until I re-launch it on Heroku or elsewhere.) This Rails app uses the Twitter REST API to get the last 1,000 tweets for a user's timeline and finds URLs that appear more than once. I wrote a blog post in two parts to explain our process (part one, part two).

View the code on GitHub
A fellow student and I set out to make a Skillshare-like platform for the Flatiron community. XP is a Ruby on Rails web app that allows users to create lessons-- either as a student or a teacher.

Users can also search for upcoming lessons using a select box I built using Chosen, a jQuery library. We also implemented the Rails "data-remote true" pattern to post lesson comments using AJAX. Almost all of the app was built using test-driven development. Currently most of the app's functionality is only accessible to members of the Flatiron community, however you can watch a demo.

View the code on GitHub

After finishing Flatiron School, I did some freelance consulting work for Shareablee, a social media analytics start-up in New York. Using Python, the Flask framework, the Facebook Graph API, and NVD3 I analyzed how their customers used Facebook posts, then created a web application to display the information visually and allow potential customers to connect their Facebook data and compare their numbers against the compiled benchmarks.

Front-End Web Design and Interactives

At Newsweek & The Daily Beast I was a part of an informal group called Newsbeast Labs that produced interactives to add depth to news stories. These interactives included maps, charts, graphics... anything that went beyond standard text and photos. In December of 2012 the Labs group was interviewed for AdWeek.

While my official title at Newsbeast was Deputy Social Media Editor, I very much enjoyed working with editors and reporters to make their stories more meaningful through the use of basic front-end web design.

I've also designed some Tumblrs and websites, both for Newsweek & The Daily Beast and as a freelance designer. For more of my front-end work, checkout my JavaScript Games section.

In September of 2013 Congress was gearing up for a vote on whether to use military force against Syria's President Assad. Editors at The Daily Beast wanted a graphical way to represent different politicians’ views on the issue.

For this project I started with code written by Michael Keller, a former co-worker, for a project that displayed differing opinions on Edward Snowden.

This interactive has some cool things going on behind the scenes. Using the Miso Project, it pulls information from an associated CSV spreadsheet.

The spreadsheet has a unique row for each person, with columns for name, title, image location, x and y positions on the grid, and any information displayed in the hover windows. By using Miso in this way, it's easier for those not comfortable editing code to create and edit the content of the interactive using Excel or Google Docs.
Amid the mass-walks outs and protests over low wages in the fast-food industry that took place in the summer of 2013, I worked with a reporter and editor at The Daily Beast to look into the relationship between fast-food prices and employee pay.

After consulting two economists, I developed a little app that allows users to select how much more they'd be willing to pay for a Big Mac. Once the user selects a value, they automatically see how much above the $7.25 minimum wage workers can make as a result, and whether that gets them over the official poverty line.

I wrote a lengthy post on the Newsbeast Labs Tumblr detailing how I approached and executed the project.
For this project the Newsbeast Labs team worked with videographer and former Newsweek & Daily Beast Senior Producer Gregory Gilderman. With support from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, Gregory traveled to Russia to document the AIDS epidemic occurring there.

Our task was to design and create a stand-alone site that best presented his work. For more information, you can read our Newsbeast Labs Tumblr post about the process.
On the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy hitting the east coast, The Daily Beast photo editors wanted a way to show how well we've rebuilt. We decided that using a slider to drag between two photos taken from the same perspective a year apart would be the best way to do this.

After a Google search for a handy jQuery plugin we were in business in just a few hours.
By August of 2013 the U.S. administration believed the Syrian government had used chemical weapons on its own people. Rob Verger, an international reporter at Newsweek & The Daily Beast, interviewed experts on the topic, including Stratfor Global Intelligence, and compiled a list of potential sites the U.S. might bomb in an attack. I then created a map to display the target information.
Editors at Women in the World wanted a way to spotlight female dissidents who were using Twitter to get their message out. We ended building a “hub” consisting of what I called cards for each dissident, featuring real-time updates from their Twitter feeds.
Social Media Editing

I am currently a Social Media Producer at CNN, where I primarily work with CNN's flagship Facebook account. I also compile and analyze social media analytics using various tools, including some I've built myself.

Previously I held similar positions at BuzzFeed News and Newsweek & The Daily Beast, focusing on running both organizations' Twitter and Facebook accounts.

In 2013 our small social team at The Beast was nominated for a Webby in the News & Information category. The Daily Beast was also named one of "15 Brands Rocking Tumblr" by Mashable in November of 2013 thanks to The Cheat Sheet.


You can read my most recent, more technical writing on my GitHub-hosted blog, including a guide for using a password manager and an overview of my Vim configuration.

While at Newsweek and The Daily Beast I reported a few articles. Here are some favorites:

More casually, I've written posts on Medium about 10 tech gadgets I've enjoyed using, a call for text-file preferences, and mechanical keyboards. And for something more poetic, check out this dreamy travel diary of a trip to Los Angeles in 2011.

JavaScript Games

Here are a few little games I've built using JavaScript and jQuery. Some of them are works-in-progress, but each one has a few good snippets of code.

Players can choose to play against one of two computer players of differing skill in the classic game of tic-tac-toe. Watch out for Alfred... he's tricky.

(Much later, in 2017, I wrote a tic-tac-toe game in Rust.)
A frustrating little game where the objective is to run out of numbered squares (similar to "Shut the Box"). As a challenge to myself I didn't use jQuery-- just plain ole JavaScript. Writing the code to figure out when the user had lost was a fun puzzle, involving a lot of array manipulation. (And yes, it is possible to win.)

Read my blog post about this project / View the code on GitHub
Get the red circles to the right and the blue circles to the left in the fewest number of moves possible.
My extended family has a long tradition of playing an eccentric version of gin rummy called "Contract." Keeping score can be a bit involved, so I used jQuery to make an interactive score card.

Read my blog post about this project / View the code on GitHub

You can reach me via Direct Message or @reply on Twitter. For more secure methods of contacting me, check the link(s) in my Twitter bio.