Nate Silver (ABC)

Nate Silver grades FiveThirtyEight's progress

The statistics guru isn't sweating reports that his site is troubled


Luke Brinker
October 22, 2014 5:47PM (UTC)

Media watchers are abuzz over reports that statistics whiz Nate Silver's sports and politics site FiveThirtyEight.com is failing to attract traffic and advertisers more than a year after Silver sold the site to ESPN. But Silver isn't sweating matters.

In an interview with Bloomberg News on Monday, Silver expressed satisfaction with the site's progress, saying that he'd give it a B+ for performance.

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“It’s always the case that some things are harder than you thought, and not many things are easier than you thought,” Silver told Bloomberg. “Readers are responding favorably, and we are pleased with the traffic and advertising support. We want to become more multidimensional in different ways.”

While Silver remains optimistic about the site's performance, Business Insider notes that it's drawing only a fifth of the traffic of Vox.com, Ezra Klein's nascent journalism venture. That's not necessarily an apples-to-apples comparison, however; unlike Vox, which specializes in explanatory journalism and policy wonkery, FiveThirtyEight remains grounded in statistical analysis of sports and elections.

Before Silver sold FiveThirtyEight to ESPN, the site was hosted by the New York Times for three years. Prior to 2010, FiveThirtyEight was an independent site.

As part of Silver's effort to draw more traffic to FiveThirtyEight, he will be starting a video series on Wednesday. The first video, Bloomberg reports, will be "The Man vs. The Machine," with a chess match between the Russian Gary Kasparov and an IBM computer.


Luke Brinker

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Espn Ezra Klein Fivethirtyeight.com Media Nate Silver New Media Vox.com

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