As things go, last week I had some goals. I hit some of them, missed a lot, and have some changes this week. I did really well about acquiring new datasets for the sports data site — I added 6 years of NBA, nate silver’s elo algorithm, and increased my ATS record for NBA games to 55% in my cross-validation test sets. Overall, I’m happy but still need to make more progress. Here goes this weeks reflection.
Blog Traffic Slow Going
Traffic on this website, my blog, has been slow going but looks like it will finally start getting a bump. My best day is 15 unique visitors which was last Saturday when my first post on /r/dataisbeautiful was accepted. Not a great post but I’m happy I was approved from the mods and got some karma. That reddit stuff is a whole new world. Thosemod’s are like home owner associations
I mean the mod’s make sense but they have their own rules and they are definitely not looking for a newcomer to shake things up because “that’s just not how things are done on this sub”. But oh well, I’m learning and think I can be a reddit user with a blog. Got my first legit backlink so there’s that.
New Posts Coming
I’m starting to find my voice and what type of content works best. I’m really passionate about food but it just doesn’t lead to many views for the effort required. If you want to see more recipes and food writeups, please comment or email me. On Quora I’ve written 8 food posts and 8 software-ish posts. They both take me just as long to write but the stat difference is insane. On tech posts I’ve gotten ~8K views and on food 1K.
For this blog I’m going to start focusing more of my efforts on crafting quality tech posts like those under Code and Data. Speaking about “quality” posts, I need to step up my game. I wrote about how NBA teams get called for more fouls when they can clinch a playoff series but I should have spent additional time dealing with the confounding variables. At least that’s what my friends I asked say. So I hear you guys LOUD AND CLEAR and I’m going to keep trying to get better.
I’ll be using fivethirtyeight as a good standard for my analysis articles like this article on referee’s being biased by the sidelines. The author left out potential sources of confounding variables in his discussion — which I don’t like — but chose a problem and framed it in a way there was less doubt in the conclusion. For my NBA fouls article, the obvious counterargument is teams that are about to clinch could play differently. Whereas some argument against referee bias in football like handed-ness of players, player composition on the strong side vs the weak side is less likely as a counter argument.
I’m really liking the book I bought by him. It has an application of everything I read in Thinking Fast Thinking Slow and The Black Swan but tailored to DFS. He also makes me want to read Taleb’s book Antifragile. All that being said, Bale’s book getting a bit long in the middle and I’m itching to actually start applying things. The biggest thing I’m going to do different is pay attention to ownership on draft kings. I really half-assed that last year. That and the barbell approach for crafting portfolios — more on that in the book.
Also his book is inspiring a blog post I should be finished with this week. How important is height in fantasy football? Downloading the data now from CBS Sports and fantasyfootballdb.com and will post back with the results.
As I alluded to earlier, Quora articles have been going pretty well. Those bastards don’t give follow links but I think the fast feedback loop from time post written is pretty amazing so I’m going to keep trying to grow my profile. My goal of 10K views for this month is looking well within reach thanks to a 10 min post I wrote Saturday . Like seriously, it took me 10 minutes and doubled my upvotes, got my first shares, and was pretty freaking cool. My goal with quora is to become a better writer, actually contribute when I know things and not half answers when I don’t, and of course bring people to this blog. My new goals are below.
The big difference is I’m less confident in my affiliate book sales model through amazon. Working to get the first 1 this month.
Combining Sports Data Site with Blogging
Last weekend it dawned to me that I can use data articles on my blog to drive sales to my sports data site. The first question I got from a stranger on reddit was where I got my data — now I can tell them where to buy it :). The big edge of my data will be that I have historical vegas lines and data model aimed to allow journalists and sports bettors create models. Perhaps in a second release I’ll focus on daily fantasy football but for now I’m going the vegas route.
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