Plugged In: Neil Paine, FiveThirtyEight
Last December, Neil Paine became one of the first writers hired for ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight website, which ultimately launched last week. Paine is a senior writer and analyst for the site, hired for his “statistical and technical skills” — as said by the site’s editor-in-chief, Nate Silver, when announcing Paine’s hiring. Paine also works as a basketball analytics consultant for the Atlanta Hawks. A 2009 graduate of Georgia Tech, Paine is one of the most high-profile writers to combine analytics with sports reporting.
The other day, I put out a random brainstorming session on Twitter, asking readers to give me some of their best ideas that they’d want to see us tackle at FiveThirtyEight. I got almost 100 responses to it. Almost half were things I thought could be the seed of an idea, even if it was a blog post or a quick-hit study.”
Frequency of reading print publications?: Probably once a month. If I’m in the train station and I’m waiting for a train, I’ll pick something up. Mostly, it’s all online for me.
Prime social media sites?: Twitter’s the one that I’m most active on, just because you can get that instant feedback to your ideas. I Instagram occasionally.
The role of Twitter: I use it to keep up with what’s going on. It’s a lot easier to keep on top of news stories that are quick-breaking on Twitter than it is to wait for it to show up somewhere in one of the major outlets. I use it to joke around and go back-and-forth with some of the people in the stat community. During games, it’s excellent to get a sense for what people are thinking about something that is happening..