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[Motd] "Donate" poll removed.ANN.lu
Posted on 29-Feb-2000 19:36 GMT by Christian Kemp11 comments
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I stopped the poll on how much (if anything) people would be willing to donate for an ad-free ANN because at least one individual used multiple IP addresses to artificially inflate the count. I'm not sure why somebody would do that... I had hoped to be able to gauge how much interest there really was so as to make an adequate decision on what kind of payments to accept, and what kind of income to expect. Since there is no guarantee that I'll be getting an accurate count this way, keeping the poll up wouldn't have been a good idea.
"Donate" poll removed. : Comment 1 of 11ANN.lu
Posted by Harry Hammerlane on 28-Feb-2000 23:00 GMT
The infantile mind is a perverse thing. You will find examples of it everywhere.
"Donate" poll removed. : Comment 2 of 11ANN.lu
Posted by Spudley on 28-Feb-2000 23:00 GMT
It's one of those things which people have been known to do when they
have too much free time.
"Donate" poll removed. : Comment 3 of 11ANN.lu
Posted by Mike on 28-Feb-2000 23:00 GMT
Gosh, I hope it was not me! My memory is not always trustworthy.
"Donate" poll removed. : Comment 4 of 11ANN.lu
Posted by Spudley on 28-Feb-2000 23:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 3 (Mike):
Don't worry Mike, I expect there's plenty of people who posted two or
three replies to the poll - people will forget, especially if a poll
is available for a while as this one was.
The people that have caused a problem here are the ones who post tens
or hundreds of responses all with the same reply, to deliberately skew
the results.
Regards,
Spudley.
http://www.cordelle.co.uk/spudley/
"Donate" poll removed. : Comment 5 of 11ANN.lu
Posted by jenga on 29-Feb-2000 23:00 GMT
your ads are not obtrusive, especially since this is a site
devoted to discussing in large part was and is a commercial entity.
the site does a great job in its chosen contexts IMHO.
"Donate" poll removed. : Comment 6 of 11ANN.lu
Posted by Pete on 29-Feb-2000 23:00 GMT
Uh, I'm not a programmer, I did'nt even know you could do something like that.
Would'nt it take some time to program something to automatically vote and if they did, they must value the poll enough to spend that time. So why then stuff the poll?
I just dunno.
"Donate" poll removed. : Comment 7 of 11ANN.lu
Posted by John Chandler on 29-Feb-2000 23:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 6 (Pete):
> Uh, I'm not a programmer, I did'nt even know you could do something like that.
It's fairly trivial. I had to knock up something similar once (for legitimate reasons, I might add) - just a quick Perl* script.
* substitute suitable language of choice
> Would'nt it take some time to program something to automatically vote and if they did, they must value the poll enough to spend that time. So why then stuff the poll?
They probably have nothing creative to do with their lives :-/
John
"Donate" poll removed. : Comment 8 of 11ANN.lu
Posted by Christian Kemp on 29-Feb-2000 23:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 7 (John Chandler):
> > Uh, I'm not a programmer, I did'nt even know you could do something like
> > that.
> It's fairly trivial. I had to knock up something similar once (for legitimate
> reasons, I might add) - just a quick Perl* script.
It's not even that complicated. I allow up to five votes from any IP address
because many of my visitors are coming through proxies.
The very first version of my voting script did no IP checking. It was abused
within the first hours. I slept less that night and implemented a routine
that would deny multiple votes from one IP address. Soon after, people were
complaining that their vote was rejected even though they were sure they hadn't
voted before. I investigated, and found out that some large ISPs used a single
proxy, and that sometimes (especially in Nordic countries, it seems) a large
number of my visitors used this same ISP.
So I settled somewhere inbetween, and allowed five votes per IP address. That
should be enough to cater for multiple voters on the same proxy, but not enough
to make a difference in a typical poll, getting over 1000 votes.
But for this special poll, one indidvidual voted five times each from five
different IP addresses. Since the question was very exact, and I was depending
on exact and truthful answers to make up my mind, this completely ruined the
counting, especially as I can't watch the poll 24 hours a day. My logging of
IP addresses is very basic, not even attributing the address to a vote, so
it would also have been difficult to parse through the stats and remove all
fraudulent votes.
Why somebody would reconnect from five different IP addresses is beyond my
comprehension. I wanted to gauge how much I'd be able to make if people were
to make donations. So clearly a false "pro" vote doesn't help the cause, since
it makes things seem brighter than they are.
I guess I could go on and on here and rant about this subject, but I'm slightly
tired of it, and I've been typing for far too long already, here in the office.
"Donate" poll removed. : Comment 9 of 11ANN.lu
Posted by Flavvy on 29-Feb-2000 23:00 GMT
You are right to be P*#sed off - those morons shouldn't
be allowed on the net - anyway I feel that a few
ads wont do any harm and if you have too many - I'm
sure that people will start to email you to calm down
but don't loose sleep or money over it.
I always enjoyed the polls:-)
I must confess - on one I think I voted twice - oops.
"Donate" poll removed. : Comment 10 of 11ANN.lu
Posted by Dan Newsome on 29-Feb-2000 23:00 GMT
I think web polls are very useful - both to product/service providers as well as to the users of their products. Polls, like focus groups, are incredibly important marketing tools. They help people and companies with products and services better understand what their client community is thi nking and what they'll support with their time and money. Polls also help a group (like people associated with the Amiga) to see how the rest of their community weighs in on different decisions and developments that are going on.
However, I think precautions need to be made to limit people to one vote per address as was one that used to be at the New Techniques site (it may still be there). Otherwise, the polling data becomes corrupted and unreliable. Web polls are not the end-all be-all in market analysis - but they can at least help to identify certain trends at a minimal expense.
I wish the polls on ANN were more frequent. Even if there's been no recent news, users can take a look at the current poll and check its status. I would recommend a new poll every week. It's not that hard to come up with questions. Those who are interested can participate. Non-participation on a particular question yields useful data as well. For historical reasons, I'm glad the questions are archived.
If carried out in a professional manner, routine polls will encourage companies to visit the site who want a feeling about what's going on in the community. Depending on the thoughtfulness of the questions, this can only help the Amiga and ANN in the long run.
I suppose ideally I would like to see polls comming directly out of Amiga. This "official" polling would not only communicate to me what they're thinking about (without giving me any critical business information) it would also reassure me that my thoughts and opinions are valued by the bigger wheels. If Amiga don't put together a web-polling mechanism at their new site then I sure hope they visit and read ANN on a regular basis.
If the ANN poll is difficult to maintain, perhaps Amiga could take it over but it would be implemented through ANN and other Amiga news sites. Well, I'm starting to idea-babble.
Take Care,
Dan
"Donate" poll removed. : Comment 11 of 11ANN.lu
Posted by Alan Funt on 29-Feb-2000 23:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 9 (Flavvy):
>You are right to be P*#sed off - those morons shouldn't
>be allowed on the net - anyway I feel that a few
I'm not defending the person(s) who rigged the online voting here, but I can't help but comment.
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