On Election Day, Nate Silver, Macmillan Dictionary and NaNoWriMo Day 9

November 3 to November 9, 2012

This week: how journalists covered Election Day, Nate Silver and understanding big data, Macmillan’s move to stop its print edition and go digital-only in 2013 and Day 9 of the National Novel Writing Month.

Image credit: “Times Square, Election Night 2012” by Dan Nguyen on Flickr. Used under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Election Day

While people waited for the results of the polls, we looked at how journalists and news organizations covered the 2012 U.S. presidential elections.

5 common, old school Election Day errors and how to avoid them. Poynter’s Craig Silverman pointed out five “common, old-school” errors journalists tend to make in covering the elections and shared pro tips to avoid these mistakes on this year’s Election Day.

Instagramming the elections.The New York Times opted to use online photo-sharing platform Instagram to allow voters across the United States to share snapshots and moments from their local polling places.

Bar charts on buildings. Better than fake ‘holograms’ in the studio, I suppose…On Tuesday, CNN announced that it will project winners in each state through a vertical LED meter on the Empire State Building. The American Copy Editors Society’s Charles Apple shared his thoughts on the “clever idea.”

Front pages. Poynter lists Election Day front pages of papers, including The Tennessean and the Chicago Tribune, that stood out from the rest by being creative. Meanwhile, Charles Apple lists publications that had “over-the-top reactions” on the results.

Election Day 2012 in infographics. Data visualization community platform Visual.ly compiled 14 infographics covering different aspects of the elections: from voter registration and swing states to the candidates’ platforms and predictions pre-Election Day.

Journalists on Election Day. The Society of Professional Journalists used the online aggregating tool Storify to “document the different ways journalists and media organizations covered the election.”

Nate Silver

The results of the U.S. presidential elections were not only a victory for Obama, but also for Nate Silver, the New York Times statistician and writer for the FiveThirtyEight blog who “predicted Obama had a 90.5% chance of winning the election.” Compare the actual results and Silver’s predictions, and you’ll find that they are very similar.

Nate Silver wins, and data is vindicated. Poynter’s Andrew Beaujon summarized comments and reactions after Nate Silver’s forecast and “victory.”

Why Nate Silver won, and why it matters.  How did he do it? Science: he used his understanding of big data (or of “small, carefully curated data set”) and based his prediction on numbers. So what does it mean for the rest of us? “It means something big is happening.”

What would Nate Silver do when he’s drunk? Dan Levitan started a game that asked Twitter users to imagine what the “statistical wizard” would do when he’s had too much to drink.

Macmillan Dictionary Halts Print Edition

In a press article, Macmillan Education announced its move to stop publishing Macmillan Dictionary in print. Starting 2013, the dictionary will only be available online.

Recently, Newsweek had a similar announcement. But unlike Newsweek’s announcement which Michael Rundell, editor-in-chief of Macmillan Dictionaries, found with “tinged with regret,” Macmillan is taking a more positive view: “[E]xiting print is a moment of liberation, because at last our dictionaries have found their ideal medium.”


Another one bites the dust. Paul Sawers noted that in March, 244-year old Encyclopaedia Britannica was “killed by Wikipedia and the Internet” and moved out of print. “A sad day,” Sawers commented on Macmillan’s announcement.


It’s Day 9 of National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWrimo challenges writers to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. How are you doing with your novel?

Six writers each pen a book in one month. HuffPost Books selected six writers to follow throughout NaNoWriMo. Check out their profiles and their progress so far.

Five links for NaNoWriMo inspiration. Looking for some inspiration to get you moving during NaNoWriMo? Forbes contributor Suw Charman-Anderson shares her list of “some of the most inspiring and useful authorial advice on the web.”

NaNoWriMo tips. Writer’s Digest has some freebies throughout NaNoWriMo, including daily tips, worksheets and downloads.

We at Project Chiron aim to encourage the use of social media for knowledge exchange and skills development. We’re not necessarily about current events; we are about relevance, credibility and innovation. With millions of content spread and shared through social media networks every day, we want to help you see what’s important so you won’t have to sweep through all your news feeds and tweets. Our weekly roundups are curated by Dan Dupale, Mina Jesuitas and Mark Hilaria and edited by Kim Palanca, Paulo Formantes and Adrian Claudio.


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