Nate Silver is the crazy kid who invented PECOTA for Baseball Prospectus and now he's made good in the political prediction world! Can I get a "Woop woop?" Baseball fans? Anybody? Well look, Baseball Prospectus is like The Bible to stat geeks, and PECOTA is like a particularly important passage in that Bible (John 3:16, for example), so the fact that this 30-year-old guy who made it up is suddenly the hottest thing in political polling is unlikely and heartwarming to sports fans and political obsessives alike, to say the least! Nate Silver started writing about how wrong polls were in a little Daily Kos diary, and lo and behold, he ended up predicting the primaries better than anyone! Then all the pros were like, who is this kid? When he revealed himself as a Baseball Prospectus writer, a very thin slice of stat geeks were all like, "ZOMG unbelievably awesome!" Imagine if you found out that Richard Lawson had been selected as the new announcer on Monday Night Football. That's the level of thing that I'm talking about here, people. So of course New York did a big story on this kid, what with his acceptable level of quirk. He's basically the smartest pollster in America now, amazingly. And we'll cut through all the technical mumbo-jumbo and give it to you straight:
Preeminent among the magazine world's kingmaking power lists is Vanity Fair's New Establishment, which appears in the October issue — on newsstands in L.A. and New York today, but not in the Bay Area for another six days. Silicon Valley gets similar short shrift: The names who make it there are predictable bigs like Steve Jobs and Larry Ellison, or Hollywood-crossover types like Jeff Skoll, eBay's first employee turned movie producer. Walt Mossberg, now employed by New Establishment perennial Rupert Murdoch, also squeaked in. The consolation prize Vanity Fair offers: Its "Next Establishment" list, reserved for the likes of Twitter's Ev Williams. It's a marvelous piece of New York media trickery — flatter the geeks by making them feel included, but corral them into a side room so the real power brokers aren't offended by comparison. True, the "Next Establishment" suggests that these are people who might matter in the future. But in saying that, Vanity Fair's editors are also sending the message that right here, right now, its "Next" nominees are nobodies. On this year's list:
Lee Stranahan's post about lefty blogs ignoring the John Edwards affair was apparently the most highly trafficked story on the Huffington Post for at least two days. But when he crossposted the item to his "diary" on Daily Kos, it was suddenly not so popular! Go figure. The "liberal" militants there excoriated Stanahan in the comments, with one well-rated response declaring, "you are violating site standards referencing the Enquirer [and its Edwards coverage], a bannable offense." That's funny, because just a few years ago multiple Kos diarists trumpeted an unflattering Enquirer story about Bush, including one who said, "Sometimes the National Enquirer reports things better than the Washington Post." That person is still active on the site, but Stranahan is not so lucky!
It's certainly the impression you get scanning Daily Kos and Think Progress and even the inestimable Talking Points Memo. Don't you people ever drink or get laid? Barack Obama leads John McCain comfortably in the polls, the immediate legacy of the Bush years lies symbolically somewhere between "The Scream" and the Hindenburg, and American liberalism in general is said to be on a dramatic uptick. So why are liberals still so earnest and dire? Here's a random excerpt from today's Kos:
Nielsen, one of the outfits which tracks where web users spend time online, also asks survey respondents a series of questions about themselves-including, interestingly, their political leanings. So which sites are the most liberal, and conservative? The blue bars represent the proportion of the site's audience who declare themselves to be liberal or very liberal; the red bars represent conservative, moderate and undeclared. Daily Kos and Huffington Post, unsurprisingly, attract an overwhelmingly left-wing audience. Fox News and the Drudge Report draw the highest percentage of conservatives-even though Rupert Murdoch's news network still declares itself "fair and balanced."
There are many, many ways to count Web audiences. Pageviews and time spent are the two most commonly watched metrics, and they’re reasonably easy to understand. Now Nielsen says it wants to use “sessions per person per month” to tally up visitors to popular news sites. Matt Drudge got ahold of the latest rankings and linked them prominently on his Drudge Report — no surprise, since he dominates the rankings. Nielsen puts Drudge Report at 19.9 sessions per person in February — roughly once per weekday. Liberal community news site DailyKos comes up second with 8.9 sessions per person. Get the rest of the list after the jump.
The Drudge Report's permanent list of links to blogs, papers, columnists, and other sources has always been idiosyncratic. Peggy Noonan and Rosie O'Donnell share precious space with Forbes and CNN; blogs are generally underrepresented but Gawker's long been a staple. Earlier today, he quietly updated. New to the Drudge permalink club: Daily Kos, Free Republic, and Talking Points Memo, among others. The man's had Perez Hilton up there for god knows how long but he's just now getting around to a web magazine that's been online almost as long as he has? And such belated recognition of Kos? Is liberals growing hatred of Hillary Clinton really all it took to win Matt's love?
I hadn't heard of Wikileaks until a California judge granted an injunction against the site, where anyone can upload a leaked document, shutting it down summarily at the request of Bank Julius Baer. Wikileaks had published and analyzed sensitive documents that legally implicated the Cayman Islands bank. The Daily Kos has a roundup and points to the many copies of the site that won't be as easily shut down. The site has also survived a denial-of-service attack, and a fire. Good thing too, because this site makes the Smoking Gun look like TMZ.
Political blog Daily Kos is begging Firefox users to pay a subscription fee. "If you use ad blocking software while viewing Daily Kos, you're getting all the benefits of our site but we're not getting any of the advertisement revenue associated with your visits." The better question: Who actually clicks on adverts anyways? [Daily Kos]