Freaky Friday: Weird of the Day – #drunknatesilver Ruins Freaky Friday, Debunks its Freakiness

By: Alex Dalenberg, iCopywriter Blogger

“Statistically speaking, Friday isn’t freakier than any other day of the week.”

OK, New York Times über stats geek Nate Silver didn’t actually say that, but we imagine that he might, especially after putting back a few. Welcome to our favorite Election Week meme, #drunknatesilver. Twitter is having statistically unprecedented amounts of fun (unprecedented except to Nate Silver) imagining the math man carousing about the town to celebrate his dead-on prediction in the presidential election.

This isn’t that surprising. Silver was more or less dead on predicting the 2008 presidential election, missing just one state. And while some see Silver as a wizard, he uses a fairly straightforward forecasting model that averages the results of numerous polls and gives more weight to the ones with a better track record of picking the eventual winner. The idea is that, this way, outliers have less of an effect on the prediction.

A few of the best #drunknatesilver tweets.

@davelevitan: Drunk Nate Silver stumbles through traffic on the Jersey Turnpike, screaming out what time each driver will get home. #DrunkNateSilver

@kelkulus: Drunk Nate Silver stumbles through the streets, shouting obscenities at the future ex-wives that he has yet to meet. #DrunkNateSilver

@copyblogger: Drunk Nate Silver says “Call me maybe? I’ll know it’s you because your number is …” #drunknatesilver

All kidding aside, Nate Silver is a model of viral success for every blogger seeking to create compelling, vital content. He started as a relatively humble contributor at liberal political blog Daily Kos http://www.dailykos.com, but because his work focused less on the ideology and more on the numbers, he found a much wider readership.

Silver turned his musings and number-crunching into the smash-hit website FiveThirtyEight.com which was subsequently picked up by The New York Times. According to the executive editor, it’s now one of their biggest traffic generators.

His new book, “The Signal and the Noise: Why so many predictions fail, but some don’t” is also worth a read. Not just for political junkies, but any business decision maker who wants to better understand how to sort good information from the bad.

As we see it, here are three lessons to takeaway from sober Nate Silver.

1) Use content to address an unmet need.

Silver saw that most political coverage struggled to rise above the day-to-day minutiae, spin and partisan emotion dominating the news cycle. Silver found a way to let the data speak for itself. Readers looking for a better way to make sense of the political climate flocked to his approach. What need does your content fill?

2) Don’t just aggregate, interpret.

Polling is a mainstay of modern politics, but Silver isn’t a pollster. He’s an aggregator but, more important, an interpreter. The numbers aren’t his, but he explains them. Don’t just retweet and repost. Give readers context.

3) Make your content indispensable. 

Easier said than done, but there’s a reason the bleary-eyed hordes of political junkies keep Silver’s website bookmarked: his take on the polls are can’t-miss content. These days, if Silver isn’t part of your repertoire, love him or hate him, you just don’t follow politics. If only all of us could say that about our industry blogs.

#drunknatesilver says be like him and you’ll have at least a 72.3337492 chance of content success.

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Photo Credit: joewcampbell

The Blog Site Wars…

WordPress vs Blogger vs Tumblr

By: iCopywriter Blogger, Kimberly Crossland

As a small business, you probably already know that one of the most basic forms of content marketing is to have a blog. With the multitude of blogging platforms available, it can feel overwhelming to navigate between the crowd and determine which is the right platform for your business.

Here are a few comparisons and insights into WordPress, Tumblr, and Blogger – some of the most commonly used blogging sites by small businesses.

  • Unique daily visitors – WordPress continues to dominate the marketplace when it comes to unique daily visitors over other platforms. In the past two years, Tumblr has surpassed Blogger in terms of unique daily visitors, showing the growing popularity of this new site. Here are where the blogs stand today according to statistics pulled by Compete.

  • Social Engagement – While a blog may be visited more frequently over others, what is more important is how engaged the users are with the material that is posted on the blog. This is, of course, in large part in relation to the quality of the content that is published on the blog. But Tumblr and WordPress encourage engagement within their own community better than Blogger and Typepad. This is done by promoting similar blogs, inspiring a social community-type feel within the application itself. Tumblr has shown to do this best, as blogs on their site have more followers from other Tumblr blogs.
  • Customization of Themes - On each of these platforms, users can customize the look and feel of their site. WordPress has helped graphic designers earn some profit off developing themes for their site, but there are plenty of free themes that are equally as professional looking that are available. On each of these blogs, you can create your own custom HTML theme. If you do not have graphic design abilities, you can also choose from other options for customization within each blogging site. From my experience, WordPress seems to have the most variety of themes available to the average user who does not have graphic experience.
  • Statistics - Analytics are vital to the analysis and improvement of any marketing campaign. While each of these blog sites allows users to add their own Google Analytics code, WordPress has the most robust set of analytics tools offered within the platform itself, which is hugely beneficial to marketers.
  • User Interface – For most small businesses, spending time navigating through a difficult-to-use blogging system is simply not an option. For this reason, it is important to consider the ease of the user interface when logged in. WordPress seems to have the most user-friendly interface, making it as simple as possible for newbies to the blogging world. A close second, however, is the Tumblr interface which is also fairly intuitive even for someone who is new to the blogosphere. Blogger, however, is severely lacking in user friendliness making it a poor option for small businesses without tech savvy people to help set up their platform.

Overall, both Tumblr and WordPress have quite a bit to offer their users. While WordPress offers the overall package with statistics, plenty of theme options, and an easy-to-use interface, Tumblr is rapidly growing and with it, they are improving how they operate. For now, WordPress has proven to continue to win out over the other blogging sites, but this can always change depending on how quickly the other sites can catch up.

What has your experience been with these three forms of blogging platforms? We’d love to hear from you!

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Photocredit: Compete.com