We've run three opinion surveys asking your opinion of various
Mac-related websites. Looking at the results, I seemed to see a trend
- for the most part, sites that received more votes also ended up
with higher scores. Time to create some charts.
I first created an X-Y scatter chart of the recent Best
of the Mac Web survey results in AppleWorks. The horizontal axis
is the number of votes; the vertical access is the site's score on a
scale of 1-5 (unacceptable to excellent). Here's what that chart
I added the gray trend line by eye to show the rough correlation
between how well known a site is (number of votes) and how well
respected it is (the score on the vertical axis). The better known,
less highly rated sites tend to be rumor and magazine-related
This raises the question: Is this a normal pattern or a fluke? So
I charted the results for the Rest of the Mac
We see a similar pattern here: the less votes a site receives,
implying it is less well known, the lower its score. The better known
the site, the higher the score tends to be.
Finally, I went back to the original
BOTMW survey from April 2001.
This survey didn't include rumor sites, but this chart exhibits
the same kind of pattern as the other two charts. In all three cases,
the trend line is similar - a steeper line at lower vote counts and
a flatter line as the vote count increases. The true shape would be a
curve, but if AppleWorks can create one, I haven't figured out
Chicken or Egg?
What these results show is a correlation between how many votes a
site received and how well viewers rate the site. That raises the
question: Does a site receive a higher rating because it's better
known, or is a site better known because it's more highly
My guess is that the better a site is, the more likely other sites
are to link to it and visitors are to recommend it. Instead of a
"chicken or egg" question, maybe it's more like the way cream rises
to the top.
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