Tag Archives: statistics

Nate Silver’s eight cool things journalist ought to know about statistics

1) Statistics aren’t just numbers.
2)  Data requires context
3) Correlation is not causation
4) Take the average, stupid
5) Intuition is a poor judge of probability
6) Know thy priors aka know your preconceptions
7) ‘Insiderism’ is the enemy of objectivity
8) Making predictions improves accountability

Bonus quote: “A bet is a tax on bullshit.”

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Nate Silver keynote -quick blog

Quick notes, top 4 quotes IMHO from Nate Silver’s awesome keynote lunch speech:

“Too often the respiration of a statistic shuts down the critical thinking from a reporter”

“Just as they ask good questions of their sources, journalists should ask good questions of the data”

“You can train research techniques and writing skill, but do you have that critical thinking ability?”

“In the online news space, it’s all about differentiation and not about volume”

What were your favorites?

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— Phil Tenser, KMGH

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Google+ makes a strong argument

The Pro Level Social event invited short presentations from representatives of Storify, Twitter and Facebook.

Notably, the Facebook representative took considerable pushback from people who wanted more firm answers on how to game the EdgeRank system and get more impressions. 

More interesting than that, however, was the pitches made my the almost forgotten Google+. They are leveraging their search engine dominance to make that platform a valuable, but possibly indirect, click driver.

G+ boasted: authorship tools with analytics, auto hashtags based on syntax, YouTube merging, card appearance in search.

The problem: they didn’t offer any concrete stats for success rates, like Facebook did (14.5 mins spent on mobile each month, 57% higher engagement level on posts that include “breaking news” and 10% more on rapid posts in breaking situation)

….. Also at this session I met Mark Luckie, now of Twitter, who I’ve long admired. It was a nerdstruck moment.

–Phil Tenser, KMGH

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