Nate Silver first made a name for himself when he correctly predicted the outcome for 49 of the 50 states in the 2008 American presidential election. He parlayed that into a role as a blogger for the New York Times and, after beating every other pundit and prognosticator by a wide margin during the 2012 elections with a perfect 50 for 50 prediction, he got his own website funded by ESPN. Today that website, FiveThirtyEight.com, launched to the public with a focus on data journalism.
"Our forecasts stood out in comparison to others in the mainstream media."
In his opening blog post, Silver plays down his 2012 track record while taking a respectful shot at his real competition. "Certainly we had a good night. But this was and remains a tremendously overrated accomplishment. Other forecasters, using broadly similar methods, performed just as well or nearly as well, correctly predicting the outcome in 48 or 49 or 50 states," he wrote in his introductory blog post. "Instead, our forecasts stood out in comparison to others in the mainstream media."
Silver, who was one of the notable names among our Verge 50, says the new site will cover everything from sports to science to politics, with an emphasis on finding creative ways to tell stories. Silver says the site will inform readers through hard data it can measure and methods it will make transparent to its audience. Readers can dig into the site's predictions for this year's NCAA basketball tournament, for example, as well as examine the mathematical model it was based on.