Nate Silver spoke at ONA13 this afternoon. Here’s a short audio clip — under two minutes — and a partial transcript.
It will be no subscription fee. We hope you guys click on a banner ad, or the sponsorships or whatever. So just to clarify just a couple of things: the site will be called FiveThirtyEight.com, as it was originally before I went to the New York Times. We’re going to launch very early next year; we don’t have an exact date to announce yet.
The content plan is to cover basically three buckets that are about equal in size, one being politics and political news – of course, emphasizing elections still very heavily; one-third being sports; and one-third being everything else put together, with a special emphasis on economics, for example, maybe topics like education, and probably having a little bit of fun from time to time — having a data-driven take on burritos, of course, kind of tongue-in-cheek.
The idea is that it’s a web product, first and foremost. I’m sure we’ll build out podcasts and video coverage over time, but really the core challenge is in identifying writers and journalists who have the right critical thinking ability. You can train people in methods, you can train people to some extent in writing technique and reporting skills, but do you have that critical thinking ability to look at the data sets and ask good questions? That’s kind of what we love to do — provoke people with questions, not be flashy or listiclely, but have interesting topics each day that are handled in a smart way and, hopefully, inform people a little bit better.