[ubuntu-marketing] Dell's Moving on Linux - 100, 000 Customer Requests

Fabian Rodriguez magicfab at ubuntu.com
Thu Mar 8 13:30:41 GMT 2007


John Little wrote:
> [...]
> David Lord is their spokesman and he is cited in the many versions of
> the story circulated today. The requently mentioned request for
> pre-installed linux with a vote count over 100,000 is not the only
> source of feedback they have on this issue. That number may be an
> aggregate or possibly incorrect. I've asked David for clarification.
It is not a vote count, it is a score calculated from votes. Early on 
you could vote without registering which counted for 1 point. Registered 
users counted for 10 points, which explains the odd total. How much more 
clarification we need than their "About" page is beyond me. At the very 
least, that number in the article should corrected be ~10,000. Mr. Lord 
knows that. At least there is mention of the possible automated multiple 
registration and voting.
>
> Despite the questionable reporting around this issue it's still
> noteworthy and a potentially important development in the desktop
> Linux arena. My only intent was to pass it on to marketing team. These
> stories, completely factual or not, shape public opinion in drastic
> ways once they hit places like Reuters and CNN. That, not the actual
> number, is why I find it particularly relevant. YMMV.
>
> Forbes is now saying the number is over 100,000 but that Dell is
> trying to make sense of the data. That's about what I expected to hear
> from David.
>
> http://www.forbes.com/markets/equities/2007/03/07/dell-linux-options-markets-equity-cx_er_0307markets08.html 
>
The actual number may very well be the only reason this got blown out of 
proportion. Had it been reported correctly as 10000 people voting, I am 
not sure it would have gotten so much attention - perhaps using the 
"it's the most popular suggestion" may have worked. But reporting 
*100000 customers* voting is just not a coincidence. Are you saying we 
don't need to be factual about such important news ? I beg to differ. I 
actually feel when i do advocacy about anything from free formats to 
free licences and including free software, I have to be much more accurate.

I don't question your intentions here, but as a community around one of 
the Linux distributions the poll was about, we need to know these 
details. When we don't and someone else uses them otherwise, they may 
interpret this and compare it to the FUD other companies (inluding 
Microsoft) like to pass around.

I guess we can now all agree the numbers misinterpretation is now used 
as PR, not an honest mistake that could have been clarified before it 
made national news in the US (and elsewhere). We certainly need to 
discuss and verify this kind of story, not just pass it around as facts.

Cheers,

Fabian




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