Last Friday was the third anniversary of Eleven-ThirtyEight’s official launch. Usually we mark the occasion solely via the bi-annual Second Look feature, which ran all last week, but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about how the site has developed thus far and how best to move forward now that we’re knee-deep in the Disney Era of Star Wars filmmaking, so I wanted to take this opportunity to discuss these things with you, our beloved audience.
When I was first approaching people to write for this site in early 2013, part of the “elevator pitch” for what I had in mind was that instead of posting news, ETE content would be news. I’m nothing if not presumptuous, but what I meant by that was that the platonic ideal of an ETE piece would be something that wasn’t being said anywhere else—something that needed to be said, and that upon reading, people would want to pass on to others in the way they would an important news item. That was very much FiveThirtyEight’s reputation after the 2012 American presidential election, and that was the bar I wanted us to be aiming for at all times—hence our name—even if the reality was unlikely to be quite so lofty.
While not directly related to this goal, another priority I established early on was that we would post on a regular schedule—for this reason, I’ve often used the word “journal” to describe ETE rather than “blog”. Posting content whenever it strikes one to do so, in my mind, was the hallmark of a news site, where important things might happen at any time and prompt immediate reaction; and conversely, where there might be occasional periods where nothing happens at all. I wanted to set us aside from that by being, well, predictable—you might not know whether a given day would involve breaking news or the deepest of deep cuts, but you could bet your ass that on Monday at 8am EST, we would have something for you to read. Read More