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Moving blog to twitter

My co-bloggers and I have decided that the best discussions are on twitter so we’re shutting down this blog, as of today. Old posts will remain, and you can continue to comment, but we won’t be adding any new material.

We’re doing this for two reasons:

1. Our various attempts to raise funds by advertising on the blog or by running sponsored posts have not been effective. (Did you know that approximately one in ten posts on this blog have been sponsored? Probably not, as we’ve been pretty careful to keep a consistent “house style” in our writing. Now you can go back and try to figure out which posts were which.) Not enough of you have been clicking the links, so all this advertising and sponsoring has barely made enough money to pay the web hosting fees.

2. The blog is too damn wordy. We recognize that just about nobody ever reads to the end of these posts (even this one). Remember what Robert Frost said about playing tennis without a net? Twitter has that 140-character limit, which will keep us focused. And on the rare occasions when we have more to say than can be fit in 140 characters, we’ll just post a series of tweets. That should be easy enough to read—and the broken-into-140-character-bits will be a great way to instill a readable structure.

Every once in a while we’ll have more to say than can be conveniently expressed in a tweet, or series of tweets. In these cases we’ll just publish our opinion pieces in Perspectives on Psychological Science or PNAS. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but we’ve got great connections at those places! I have a friend who’s a psychology professor at Princeton who will publish anything I send in.

And if we have any ideas that are too conceptually advanced to fit on twitter or in a PNAS paper, we’ll deliver them as Ted talks. We have some great Ted talk ideas but we’ll need some help with the stunts and the special effects.

This blog has been going for over 15 years. We’ve had a good run, and thanks for reading and commenting. Over and out.

79 Comments

  1. Eduardo says:

    Wait, twitter has a 280 word limit, not 140! So this won’t work! Come back!

  2. I applaud this bold move, and am surprised you chose to stick with the blog format for so long. Of course, it’s been for more foolish of you write papers, book chapters, and other long form academic pieces that will forever remain unread, and I have hopes you will stop writing those as soon as possible – perhaps even today. Because, of course, today is not a time for being foolish.

  3. Bryan says:

    Dang it. I believed the headline for a good 10 seconds.

    • Martha (Smith) says:

      I read and believed the whole post until just before I was about to look at comments, and then said to myself, “Hey, I think it’s …” and glanced up at my wall calendar to confirm that it is indeed April Fool’s Day.

      I guess I’m getting a little better in at least one thing in my old age! (And was a good reminder to turn my calendar to April. Good-bye Long-eared Owl, Hello Northern Saw-whet Owl.).

      • Phil says:

        Cedar waxwings in my backyard last week!

        • Martha (Smith) says:

          The owls were on my calendar, not in my backyard. But as I read your comment, I heard things dropping on my roof, so went out to see if there were indeed cedar waxwings (which I haven’t seen so far this year) in the cherry laurel just outside this room. There did seem to be a small flock of small birds who flew away quickly, but I couldn’t see whether or not they were indeed cedar waxwings.

  4. D Kane says:

    Methodological terrorism and Stasi tactics work much better on Twitter. You and the other bullies will do well there!

  5. Terry says:

    This is such a weird turn of events in so many ways that, at first, I was going to criticize the decision.

    Then I saw what day it is. Ok, so I guess that means you got me.

    Nevermind all that. Pretend I didn’t say that. I won’t tell anyone else.

    OMG!! I am just WOW! About! Time! You! Got! On! Board!

    Here’s a picture of my AWESOME lunch!

  6. julia kocich says:

    Um, happy?April 1?

  7. Jakob says:

    The “I have a friend who’s a psychology professor at Princeton who will publish anything I send in.” was a bit too much and then I realized what date it is ….. :)

  8. vk says:

    Check the date, y’all 😁

  9. Sometimes Pieters says:

    Professor Gelman,
    Thank you for your service to science.
    Your blog exemplified what academic discourse is supposed to be.
    It has been the very first item I read every day for more than ten years.
    It gave me inspiration, and access to your and other great minds.
    io vivat.

  10. April says:

    Thanks, the word count here was way too high for the topics involved, and the constructive, to the point narrative on Twitter is far more enlightening. Also, you won’t be able to easily bore us with any actual math – yay!

  11. Eliot J says:

    Would it be too much to post the handle or name of the new Twitter account?

  12. Nahim says:

    Great move! Way to keep up with the times.

    Might I suggest renaming your blog when you transition to Twitter? “Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science” is way too wordy. By the time I reach “Causal” my attention has typically already drifted and I have clicked on a new NYT article by David Brooks.

    How about #p-values_suck? Or #methodological_terrorism? Maybe #statsandcats?

  13. John Hall says:

    I support the posts here not being so wordy, but I find it a disappointing decision, nonetheless.

    1) This is probably most influential statistics blog on the internet, as far as I can tell
    2) Articles are far easier to read than tweet storms
    3) Personally, I am not able to access twitter at work. Is it possible to mirror your tweets here?

  14. Hendrik says:

    Agree that this move was long overdue. Glady, there is TwitterStan to update all tweets in real time when new information comes in, e.g. when Sunstein or Epstein admit to an error.

  15. Antoni Wroblewski says:

    As I’m in the middle of leaving twitter, this was enraging. (you got me!)

  16. It has been a great experience to read all you very smart thinkers. I have enjoyed the humor too.

  17. Nice Joke Bro says:

    It’s April Fools folks. RELAX.

  18. Anthony says:

    NOOOO! – Don’t let someone else control your publishing platform!

  19. OliP says:

    I was sincerely disappointed for about 10 seconds then. Good job Andrew :)

  20. Michael Balich says:

    Twitter sucks. Guess I’ll find something else to throw in my RSS feed…

  21. Anonymous says:

    I thought this was twitter.

  22. Anonymous says:

    There’s a better chance we’ll be able to use Latex equations on twitter someday than here!

  23. Oliver C. Schultheiss says:

    Dear Andrew,

    that’s sad news. Ever since I discovered your blog about 3 years ago, I’ve checked it on a daily basis and found it to be extremely informative and educating. I am > 50 years old, which means that I have heard about those smartphone thingies (but never used one) and associate twitter with something an ornithologist would do. In other words, I won’t be able to follow you on your new venue, but will keep reading your papers and watching your YouTube tutorials and lectures.

    Thanks for providing the scientific community with a great service for such a long time. Thank you in particular for the incredible amount of time, effort, and care you have invested on a daily basis in not only posting timely and interesting topics, but also responding to comments. That it and of itself must account for 4 to 6 h of your regular workday!

    I really appreciate what you did. Thank you!

    Best wishes,
    Oliver

  24. zbicyclist says:

    You mention PNAS so often, it was obvious they were a big sponsor.

  25. A says:

    But Twitter is absolutely horrible! Stay, we lurk and read it. Don’t make us endure Twitter to stay connected with your thoughts.

  26. honeyoak says:

    I totally believed it!! was close to setting up a patreon for the hosting costs. 100% onboard with a subscription model if it ever comes to it.

  27. Zhou Fang says:

    A good start, but have you considered tumblr? I hear they take the forefront in machine learning based platform management

  28. Dale Lehman says:

    Honestly: I read the first sentence and immediately submitted this comment without reading the rest of the post or the comments.
    Clearly, this is April Fools Day.

  29. Dan says:

    Come to Vegas. A live statistics show (Stan … on Ice, with Penn and Tellar?) would get this town on its feet again. I can’t wait to see the special effects!

  30. Bill Spight says:

    God speed, John Glenn!

  31. I have gone back to reread the few posts on which I posted comments over the years to make sure those were not sponsored content and I am certain those were not sponsored. By certain I mean 95%.

  32. Dzhaughn says:

    In the spirit of gender-neutrality, the Stan project will be renamed Stanx.

  33. John Mashey says:

    Well, April Fools Day …

    but there is an element of truth.
    For better or worse, Twitter has become a forum accessible to a much broader audience than most blogs, despite the awful signal-to-noise ratio.
    Every online medium has its plusses and minuses, for example:
    USENET (KILLFILE became very useful, especially after 1993’s Eternal September)
    Websites
    Blogs
    Twitter

    Twitter can be used to advertise blog posts to a larger audience … but also, one can effectively bypass the character limits by composing in Word or other text preparation software, including images or graphs, and then grabbing that and adding to a tweet.

  34. Ben says:

    The New Dirty Dozen idea is amazing.

    I remember from the movie their plans all went awry once the mission started. Like a couple kinda go crazy in the ways that got them arrested originally or something?

    Anyway, for the new movie, Wansink needs to rendezvous with someone in a building, but he finds a bowl of soup in the kitchen and just can’t stop eating. Surprise! Bottomless bowl. He misses the meetup, and everyone’s carefully laid plans fall apart.

    • Andrew says:

      Ben:

      Yeah, I keep reposting this one but nobody’s designed the movie poster yet! But if someone wanted to write a script or at least a plot outline, that would be cool. I first came up with the movie idea before I’d ever heard of Wansink, but i agree that the bottomless soup bowl would be a nice touch. We could continue along these lines: the nudge people could fall for someone’s social manipulation, the Power Pose people could hire an unqualified candidate who wowed them with good posture in the blog interview, the ovulation-and-clothing people could give away a key plot point by inadvertently wearing red clothing on the wrong day, the himmicanes people could under-react to something with a female name, Weggy could get suckered by a garbled plagiarism of a wikipedia article, Chrissy could lose a crucial chess game because of something he’d copied from an untrustworthy source and hadn’t bothered to check, etc. . . .

      Also, I came up with those movie ideas before there were “methodological terrorists,” “data thugs,” “replication police,” etc. These people should be the bad guys in the movie: a bunch of smug economists, biologists, and statisticians, who go around stifling people’s creativity by checking that their numbers add up, offering to bet on whether findings will replicate, etc. Maybe Anna Dreber and James Heathers could have cameos as supervillains.

      • Ben says:

        Oh wow I’d forgotten that these are all social science things. I’m all in for an espionage-thriller where all the tense moments depend on nudges, power poses, dress colors, etc. Now that you got me thinking about it, I guess that’s kinda how all those movies work anyway lol.

      • Jeff says:

        These plot ideas sound more like a social-sciences MacGyver spin-off. After all, the MTU* already provides a setting where everything that matters hinges upon implausibly large effects from mechanisms with only a thin layer of symbolic surface validity.

        —–
        *MacGyver Television Universe

  35. chrisare says:

    Sad to see the blog go.

    And sad to see another academic cater to peoples’ deteriorating attention spans and weak self control by moving to twitter.

  36. Jonathan (another one) says:

    Twitter is too crowded. No one goes there anymore. Use MySpace.

  37. jim says:

    you were right about one thing.

  38. Not Trampis says:

    I got hooked until I read the whole thing. Damned good april fools joke.

    Well done sir

  39. Esad Mumdzic says:

    After reading the first sentence, I was absolutely convinced I just discovered new COVID-19 isolation-syndrome :)

  40. Dave says:

    What a coincidence that such a whimsical post would show up from the long backlog on April 1st…

  41. Michael Bailey says:

    That was scary!

  42. Aaron says:

    I know there must be others who came over to the site thinking, “I wonder what Andrew came up with this year!”

  43. Justin Pickett says:

    Y’all get me every April.

  44. Jay says:

    Nice one, Andrew. You had me going. But, apparently, not as much as some readers.

  45. V Ra says:

    As I read today’s post, I felt so guilty for not “clicking the links”, for being a silent lurker, for not sharing this blog enough (after a point, you become annoying)… Is it really an April Fool’s Day prank or an unfortunate coincidence? If so, you got me.

  46. Bill says:

    I missed yesterday so I had read an article posted today before I read this one…so I knew it had to be a joke (“Over and out”???)

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