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Pushing polls among fanboy populations, silly?



I have a little bit of a personal pet peeve here to rant about. It’s about the communities rallying fanboys up to load an opinion poll up. I’ve been guilty of it in the distant past, but I see where these type things are counter productive for the poll. Might as well just call the polls, “What fanboy following is strongest today? Send your buddies this way”.

The most recent Wall Street Journal Poll is a clear indication of what I am talking about. Over the years, I have seen many of these type polls have their results ruined by vote pushing from communities.

This is the poll results as of Saturday night when I checked the poll for the 1st time. Apparently, based on a comment on the poll page, Microsoft was way behind and caught up all of a sudden. Typical. The commenter mentioned that WSJ should investigate the source of the sudden votes too. I have news, the votes are from fanboys being pushed from Windows Phone/Mobile fan sites linking to the poll. They are asking their readers to go vote to show their support. Do you really think the Wall Street Journal cares about the integrity of this poll? I’d guess that they don’t care at all. They are getting traffic and that’s all that matters.

The 2nd graph shows what one day can do to one of these polls. I have searched around a little and found at least 2 notable sites that have pushed people towards this poll. You see the difference? I guess the iPhone sites haven’t picked up on the poll yet or maybe they just don’t care anymore.

What is funny about this particular poll is the fact that 10200+ people voted in the poll for Microsoft and the OS isn’t even out in the US. I doubt 10,000 people have have Windows Phone 7 devices right now.

For the record, I didn’t vote in this poll.

UPDATE: Here is a screen posted on Android Central before Windows Phone 7 fan sites linked the poll (thanks drphysx):



  1. drphysx

    10/25/2010 at 1:19 pm

    Look at THIS:

    This is how the poll looked BEFORE WMPoweruser pushed it!
    (and before it appeared on any Android or iPhone fan site)

    Crazy, isn’t it?

    • drphysx

      10/25/2010 at 1:27 pm

      Oh and just to be clear, I’ve taken this image from Androidcentral. It shows how the poll looked before any fan site posted about it, but of course, after it was posted on Androidcentral, I’m sure many Android fanboys went there and voted as well.

  2. Chris Leckness

    10/25/2010 at 1:47 pm

    Thanks for that image drphysx. I would be willing to bet that Android Central created the initial surge of Google votes then. :)

    • Drphysx

      10/25/2010 at 3:43 pm

      Yes, someone from Android Central probably voted before he took the screenshot.

      However, Android Central can’t have created the initial surge of Google votes, cause the screenshot was taken before they published their post.

      It is however possible that another Android fan site that I don’t know of had posted about the poll before Android Central.

      • Chris Leckness

        10/25/2010 at 3:45 pm

        Ah. Ok. There are a lot of Android blogs/communities too. :) So you are probably right.

  3. Chris Leckness

    10/25/2010 at 1:57 pm

    The Apple vote is just above 3k right now. Unless the WSJ shuts it down, I wouldn’t doubt that Apple will surpass Microsoft and Google by the end of this day. Just saying. :)

    • drphysx

      10/25/2010 at 3:45 pm

      This is hilarious… fanboys behaving like 10 year old children :D

  4. Chris Leckness

    10/25/2010 at 1:57 pm

    The Apple vote is just above 3k right now. Unless the WSJ shuts it down, I wouldn’t doubt that Apple will surpass Microsoft and Google by the end of this day. Just saying. :)

  5. Ef Jay

    10/25/2010 at 3:46 pm

    The poll itself is pointless, has never proven anything in the past and never will. Probably as Chris said just a way to get hits on the website.

  6. quillaja

    10/25/2010 at 9:13 pm

    For the sake of Irony, you should have asked this article’s title question using a poll.

  7. Osiris

    10/25/2010 at 11:04 pm

    one might suggest this merely shows that online polls are about as useful as a hooker with self-respect.

    Any topic where strong internet fanboys exist, such as ps3 v xbox 360, Windows vs Apple, Christian v Islam etc are always going to be subject to rampant fanboy bias. The only difference here is they did it openly and publicly. Ive seen threads for calls on gaming forums to prop up X video card over Y on poll abc. Didnt make frontpage but invariably the fanboys from that thread have then gone to the poll and skewed it.

    These guys are just being upfront about it all, props to them.

  8. GoodThings2Life

    10/25/2010 at 11:22 pm

    Wow, that’s ridiculous indeed! I’ll vote, once, in a poll how I see fit and move on from there. I tend to avoid trolling the comments too much (sometimes I’m guilty, but not too often). Why? Because you’re right– it’s nothing more than the fanatical followings showing up just to ramp up the results.

    The real proof is in the pudding… what are buying/selling trends showing? Well, the trends in reality are showing a massive following for iPod, varied for Android Phones vs iPhone but I’d bet the reality is pretty close to tied, and Windows still kicking some serious butt in the PC sector. What does it all mean? People want a PC to get work done, but they like their gadgets from the one that gives them the most satisfaction… and satisfaction is a very diverse thing.

    • GoodThings2Life

      10/25/2010 at 11:27 pm

      PS– I find it amusing that Apple’s quarterly gross and net profits are so close to Microsoft in recent years, and yet their Mac sales are pretty much the same as they’ve always been over the years… steadily up, but in such small increments as to be insignificant. It really proves that Apple is extremely popular… but only for selling great consumer electronics. Not that it’s a bad thing, mind you, I don’t intend it as an insult… they have done a remarkable job at making media consumption profitable.

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