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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Analyzing Forum Posts ... Really?

Analysts Mark DiPaoli and Gerrard Suyao said that they pegged sentiment about the new machine with a 120-gigabyte hard disk and HDMI connectors at a 2.6 rating on a scale of 1 (highly negative) to 5 (highly positive). Suyao explained that a rating of 3.0 and up is positive. He noted that previous studies tracked the Xbox 360 at 3.9, the Nintendo Wii at 3.8, and the PlayStation 3 at 2.8. The study was based on a relatively small sample of 600 posts by 328 gamers, but the analysts say they believe it fairly represents gamer views.
-- Brandintel Report: Commenters Aren’t Enamored With Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Elited [ Mercury News ]

I've commented on this before - but I'm astounded there are people out there making a living by compiling forum posts into stats and selling them. They must be selling them to people who have never ever done a forum crawl. Web forums are often dark dens of misinformation - like blogs with less research and flame wars. To presume that gamers are represented by netizens in general seems bad enough, but to slice that against your average game forum? How many trolls does it take to pull a bell curve off?

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