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Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Nate Silver stepping asideYou saw this coming a mile away, but now it's official:
It was barely a year ago when I launched FiveThirtyEight.com, a political number-crunching website that I expected to receive a few hundred hits a day and occupy perhaps five hours of my time per week. Since then, thanks to a combination of being in the right place at the right time and making a few lucky predictions, the site is accumulating both many degrees of magnitude more traffic than that, and occupying a much larger fraction of my time than I could have ever anticipated. I feel very, very fortunate about all of this; indeed, there have been many moments, such as upon appearing on Stephen Colbert's show, when I felt as though I'd won the nerd lottery. However, as you've undoubtedly noticed, these other opportunities have meant that I've been able to devote less of my time to Baseball Prospectus.
Here's wishing Nate the best as he devotes himself more fully to what is obviously the sexier, better-paying of his two gigs. Of course, since baseball is about a gajillion times more enjoyable than politics, here's hoping that he still finds the time to show up at BP on a regular basis in order to clear the mind, spirit, and soul.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 11:52am
NO HE DIDN’T! That’s totally misleading. Read the whole article. He’s not doing the business side of things there anymore. He’s actually doing more writing!
He says, “In transitioning my management responsibilities to Kevin and Dave, and in working with our tech team to automate the production of the PECOTA cards, my objective has been to free up as much of my time as possible for writing, which has always been the part of the job that I’ve enjoyed the most. Although I probably will not be able to write about baseball with the frequency that I once did, I do hope and expect to continue writing about baseball regularly, both here and for our partners at ESPN.”
This headline is ridiculously misleading.
Posted 03/25 at 12:34 PM
Craig Calcaterra said...
Dude, he’s stepping down as managing partner. i.e. the guy who manages the whole freakin’ operation, and it is an operation that encompasses more than merely writing daily posts. Even if he is going to still be writing there, I don’t think it’s inaccurate to say that he is stepping aside.
Posted 03/25 at 12:44 PM
Andy L said...
True, but not in a visible way. I don’t think you’re a BP reader, Craig (excuse me if I’m wrong), but Nate has only written like 2 articles in the last six months. Kevin will step up as managing partner and PECOTA will be more automated, but none of that will manage to readers. What will matter is that Silver will be writing LDL again, which is AWESOME. At BP, we took this as the best news possible, and not at all a goodbye letter.
Posted 03/25 at 12:55 PM
Craig Calcaterra said...
Fair enough, Andy.
Posted 03/25 at 01:07 PM
anyone else think fivethirtyeight totally sucks now? i went there all the time, and was basically my only political blog stop during the election period, because it was so numbers focused and objective. they barely try and bring up statistical modeling anymore, and objectivity is never much of a concern. its just one more self published political opinion column. and that blows. poor decision, nate.
Posted 03/25 at 02:42 PM
Aaron Moreno said...
I’m going to go with a hunch and say that he’ll write more than he has recently, but he still won’t be putting out too much.
Which just leaves more time to read Sheehan’s anger spit onto a computer screen.
Posted 03/25 at 03:41 PM
There was a fair amount of political opinion during the 2008 election season as well, kendynamo. Nate never hid the fact that he leans left, and that he blogs with a clear point of view. The fact that we’ve moved from a predictive season to a descriptive season is only going to accent that.
Why do I suspect you dislike 538 now because you personally disagree with Nate’s politics? Given that his site traffic levels, ad revenue and media invites are such that he needs to modify his BP contribution, I think it’s fair to say that his “poor decision” is paying off.
Posted 03/25 at 04:34 PM
Sorry, dude: politics is more fun.
Posted 03/25 at 08:15 PM
sometimes i disagree with 538’s politics, other times i dont, but like i said, i think it sucks now because its pretty much all opinion posts. and that sucks. i dont read drudge or kos or any other political blog because its all a terrible bore. thats why i liked 538, because it was different and it mostly stuck to just the numbers.
its more like if there was a baseball blog that only dealt with the stats of the yankees and redsox, both teams. then after the season all the blog talked about was one team or the other and ignored the stats. since i am neither a yankees or redsox fan, that would totally suck. just like 538 sucks now.
the last thing internet needs is another political opinion blog, period. nate’s decision blows. and he can suck all the way to the bank, i dont care.
Posted 03/25 at 09:52 PM