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Old October 17th, 2007   Not My Real Name is offline   #113
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I guess if you want to be naive, that's your call. I like to look at past experience and make a more informed decision on how I see things. That's pretty hardcore that you "only take someone's posts at face value."
ddf
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Well, I suppose I could assume that your particular stance is based entirely on the result that Barry didn't crack the top ten in this poll or because any Flash ranked higher than Barry or any other Barry-centric reason I could think of. But that would be unfair to you. Now, if you came out and said something like that, then, yes, I would feel comfortable addressing it, but until you do so, I won't make assumptions about your motivations.

In the past some people have been jerks and insulting. Some people have been brilliant. Just because a person has been insulting in the past, doesn't mean I'm going to try to read between the lines for something insulting in a current posting; I'm just going to take it as it is. And just because someone has been brilliant in previous postings, doesn't mean that I'm going to assume they are being brilliant in a current posting, if I see evidence otherwise.

I find that trying to guess other poster's motivations is a waste of my time. I'd rather just address what's there on the screen.

Fact: Wally (The Flash) West finished third in the poll.
Fact: We don't know if Stephen Henel voted 500 times or not because he loves Wally West that much. We also don't know if BestBuy voted 100 times for Barry Allen. (Not trying to pick to on you guys, I'm just using some publicly declared Barry and Wally fans as examples here). The poll has little or no real credibility. That's the point that many of us are making, regardless of position of which character (Barry, Wally, or whoever).
ddf
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I can say with 99% accuracy that BestBuy did not vote 100 times for Barry Allen. How? The poll results indicate that Barry received four first place votes. These results also indicate that Wally received thirty first place votes, so I'm going to go out on a limb and state that Stephen Hemel did not vote 500 times.
Are you trying to say that we should take this poll as fact? Are you unwilling to question it in any capacity?
ddf
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What do you mean by the phrase, "take this poll as fact"? There's nothing in the results that strikes me as evidence of ballot-stuffing. Is there something you're seeing that suggests otherwise? Are you suggesting that people have not given their honest opinions?

It's a poll. I think it's interesting how people responded. It doesn't change where I'd rank my own favorites. And like Chupp notes with his feelings about Captain Marvel above, it doesn't even mean that you'd get the same results if the poll was taken of the same people a month or a year from now. So, this is just a snapshot of how people feel right now (or a few weeks ago when the poll was conducted). Again, what's untrue about a poll of people feelings?

On a side note, are you reading the current Flash book? What do you think of it if you are reading it? Enjoying Mark Waid's return?
ddf
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I'm not currently buying any comics but when I'm able to again, Waid's current run is one that I'm eager to give a shot.
 
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Old October 17th, 2007   chuppmeister is offline   #114
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Of course, Superman and Batman are not everyone's favorite characters. If that were the case, I'd expect there to be only two people on the list: Batman and Superman. However, understanding and knowing that Superman and Batman are the only two characters to have been continually published since the 1930s, that they are DCs characters who have been consistently capable of carrying multiple titles a month, and that they represent two of the most recognizable characters in any medium, it would be difficult to give credence to any poll where they didn't come in at number one and two, or have one of them in the top spot. I would think, for one thing, that the poll was not representative of a broad enough cross section of readers.That's actually a large enough sample provided there's a broad enough population from which the sample is taken. You can read more about sampling and polling methodology here. A poll of 1200 could have a margin of error of as little as 3%, if it's used to determine the opinions of the United States as a whole. I imagine the margin of error would be even less for determining the opinions of comic book readers, which is going to be a much smaller population.

But, as I noted earlier, I don't recall anyone on this thread taking this poll as the gospel truth. If I'm wrong, please point out the post(s) I may have missed.
People like you are, again, a reason why there are more than just two responses to this poll--Superman and Batman are not everyone's favorite characters.
ddf
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I am aware of the methodology for polling. It is interesting that the article you posted has this to say:

10. Is this a dial-in poll, a mail-in poll, or a subscriber coupon poll?
If the poll you are looking at is a dial-in. mail-in, or coupon poll, don't report the results because the respondents are self-selected. These pseudo-polls have no validity. Remember, the purpose of a poll is to draw conclusions about the population, not about the sample. In these pseudo-polls there is no way to project the results to any larger group. Scientific polls usually show different results than pseudo-polls.

The 900-number dial-in polls may be fine for deciding whether or not Larry the Lobster should be cooked on Saturday Night Live or even for dedicated fans to express their opinions on who is the greatest quarterback in the National Football League, but they have only entertainment value. There is no way to tell who actually called in, how old they are, or how many times each person called.

Never be fooled by the number of responses. In some cases a few people call in thousands of times. Even if 500,000 calls are tallied, no one has any real knowledge of what the results mean. If big numbers impress you, remember that the Literary Digest's non-scientific sample of 12,000,000 people said Landon would beat Roosevelt.

The subscriber coupon polls are just as bad. In these cases, the magazine or newspaper includes a coupon to be mailed in with the answers to the questions. Again, there is no way to know who responded and how many times. These results are not projectable even to the subscribers of the publication that includes the coupon.
ddf
You probably won't agree with me, but the poll we are talking shares characteristics with those in this category. It is self-reported and we have no idea how many people voted multiple times. As stated, "...the respondents are self-selected. These pseudo-polls have no validity."

Since my entire point is about the validity of the poll, I'm pretty sure this proves my point.

Oh and before we get into,"You were arguing about the poll size (1200 in this case)", please note "Never be fooled by the number of responses..."
 
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Old October 17th, 2007   Not My Real Name is offline   #115
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Regarding the possibility of multiple votes from single individuals with this poll, I'd like to point out that the polling was done via email to Brian Cronin, as explained here. I would hope that multiple votes from a single email address would not be counted, though I suppose someone could have voted multiple times using multiple email addresses. However, the results posted don't seem to show any evidence of obvious ballot stuffing, considering the numbers generated.
 
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Old October 17th, 2007   callla is offline   #116
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That's actually a large enough sample provided there's a broad enough population from which the sample is taken. You can read more about sampling and polling methodology here. A poll of 1200 could have a margin of error of as little as 3%, if it's used to determine the opinions of the United States as a whole. I imagine the margin of error would be even less for determining the opinions of comic book readers, which is going to be a much smaller population.
ddf
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It's a large enough sample, but as far as I can tell it's not a random sample, which makes a big difference. The site you linked even says as much:

The method pollsters use to pick interviewees relies on the bedrock of mathematical reality: when the chance of selecting each person in the target population is known, then and only then do the results of the sample survey reflect the entire population. This is called a random sample or a probability sample. (link)
ddf
The people who voted in this poll chose to do so (i.e. they were not chosen at random), and they might have influenced each other by sending links to friends, encouraging others of like minds to vote, or discussing the hows and whys of their opinions with one another prior to voting, among other things. So despite the large sample size, I think it's very unreasonable to suggest that such an informal poll would have so small a margin of error.
 
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Old October 17th, 2007   Not My Real Name is offline   #117
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I am aware of the methodology for polling. It is interesting that the article you posted has this to say:



You probably won't agree with me, but the poll we are talking shares characteristics with those in this category. It is self-reported and we have no idea how many people voted multiple times. As stated, "...the respondents are self-selected. These pseudo-polls have no validity."

Since my entire point is about the validity of the poll, I'm pretty sure this proves my point.

Oh and before we get into,"You were arguing about the poll size (1200 in this case)", please note "Never be fooled by the number of responses..."
ddf
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Sure, and also note the following, (that you also quoted):
The 900-number dial-in polls may be fine for deciding whether or not Larry the Lobster should be cooked on Saturday Night Live or even for dedicated fans to express their opinions on who is the greatest quarterback in the National Football League, but they have only entertainment value. There is no way to tell who actually called in, how old they are, or how many times each person called.
ddf
This poll is an example of dedicated fans expressing their opinion and, yes, I do appreciate the entertainment value. It's interesting to see what the dedicated fans think.

Since, as I noted above, the voting was done via email, I'm going to hope that CBR at least took the precaution of disallowing multiple votes from the same email address. Now, is there something in the actual point totals and number of first place votes for each character that gives off some kind of warning sign that there has been ballot stuffing involved?
 
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Old October 17th, 2007   Stephen Henel is offline   #118
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To put yet another monkey wrench into the works of this discussion, if we add FTFMA #12 and All-Flash (a special, I know) into the mix, the sales went from:

FTFMA #12- 47,809
FTFMA #13- 72,898
All Flash- 78,955
Flash Sept. 2007- 56,969
ddf
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Actually, it was 76,860 for FTFMA #13; 72,898 for Flash August 2007. I got my dates mixed up.

FTFMA #12- 47,809
FTFMA #13- 76,860
All Flash- 78,955
Flash August 2007- 72,898
Flash Sept. 2007- 56,969



These results also indicate that Wally received thirty first place votes, so I'm going to go out on a limb and state that Stephen Hemel did not vote 500 times
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I'll do you one better, I never voted period.
 
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Old October 17th, 2007   Not My Real Name is offline   #119
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That's actually a large enough sample provided there's a broad enough population from which the sample is taken. You can read more about sampling and polling methodology here. A poll of 1200 could have a margin of error of as little as 3%, if it's used to determine the opinions of the United States as a whole. I imagine the margin of error would be even less for determining the opinions of comic book readers, which is going to be a much smaller population.
ddf
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It's a large enough sample, but as far as I can tell it's not a random sample, which makes a big difference. The site you linked even says as much:



The people who voted in this poll chose to do so (i.e. they were not chosen at random), and they might have influenced each other by sending links to friends, encouraging others of like minds to vote, or discussing the hows and whys of their opinions with one another prior to voting, among other things. So despite the large sample size, I think it's very unreasonable to suggest that such an informal poll would have so small a margin of error.
ddf
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Yes, understood, which is why I started with the qualifier I highlighted above.

Since the poll was conducted via email and via an Internet site, that already eliminates anyone unfamiliar with the site (or, as you note, anyone who wasn't informed by a friend). And we don't know what the age range is of the participants or where they live or how many comics they buy a month, which would have been good questions to ask along with their favorites.

The thing that strikes me about this poll is that there is a wide range of first place vote getters and, out of 1200 votes cast, there's only seven characters that received first place votes in double digits (or higher, in the case of one character). This seems to me to indicate that there wasn't any obvious ballot stuffing going on.
 
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Old October 17th, 2007   chuppmeister is offline   #120
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Sure, and also note the following, (that you also quoted):This poll is an example of dedicated fans expressing their opinion and, yes, I do appreciate the entertainment value. It's interesting to see what the dedicated fans think.

Since, as I noted above, the voting was done via email, I'm going to hope that CBR at least took the precaution of disallowing multiple votes from the same email address. Now, is there something in the actual point totals and number of first place votes for each character that gives off some kind of warning sign that there has been ballot stuffing involved?
ddf
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As long as we treat it as entertainment, I have no problem. I just hate for the Flash fans to treat it as fact. It makes us look bad.
 
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Old October 17th, 2007   callla is offline   #121
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Yes, understood, which is why I started with the qualifier I highlighted above.
ddf
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Sorry if I'm misreading your post, but it seems you went on to say that the margin of error could well be smaller for comics polls (implication being *this* poll, which is where I might be misreading you) due to the relatively small size of the comic-reading public, which doesn't make sense - it still doesn't account for the incidental nature of the poll itself. The fact that it isn't random means you can't apply it to a larger group and expect a small margin of error - you can only apply these statistics to the voting body itself.

Since the poll was conducted via email and via an Internet site, that already eliminates anyone unfamiliar with the site (or, as you note, anyone who wasn't informed by a friend). And we don't know what the age range is of the participants or where they live or how many comics they buy a month, which would have been good questions to ask along with their favorites.
ddf
Statistically, it would've been interesting, I agree. I mean, it would be nice to know the age range in particular. Are there people who grew up with another Flash voting for Wally? Not that it would make any real difference, but it would be cool to see that sort of info.

The thing that strikes me about this poll is that there is a wide range of first place vote getters and, out of 1200 votes cast, there's only seven characters that received first place votes in double digits (or higher, in the case of one character). This seems to me to indicate that there wasn't any obvious ballot stuffing going on.
ddf
I don't mean to suggest ballot stuffing is what happened, per se. Just that this poll can't fairly be applied in a broad sense, and that while it's interesting data it isn't very useful for saying anything about comics fans general or the "actual" popularity of any given character.
 
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Old October 17th, 2007   Not My Real Name is offline   #122
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Sorry if I'm misreading your post, but it seems you went on to say that the margin of error could well be smaller for comics polls (implication being *this* poll, which is where I might be misreading you) due to the relatively small size of the comic-reading public, which doesn't make sense - it still doesn't account for the incidental nature of the poll itself. The fact that it isn't random means you can't apply it to a larger group and expect a small margin of error - you can only apply these statistics to the voting body itself.
ddf
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Well, I was only initially addressing the concern that 1200 people couldn't possibly represent the comic buying population as a whole. My point was that, yes, 1200 could very well represent that group with a very small margin of error. However, as I noted right from the beginning, it would have to be a broad sample.
Statistically, it would've been interesting, I agree. I mean, it would be nice to know the age range in particular. Are there people who grew up with another Flash voting for Wally? Not that it would make any real difference, but it would be cool to see that sort of info.
ddf
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I think if we had the age data, along with where people live and what their comic buying habits are, I think then we could have made some sort of assessment as to whether or not the sample represented a broad enough population of comic fans. If the poll came along with a huge skew to any particular age group outside what is likely the median age for comic fans, then, yeah, we could pretty much dismiss this out of hand. Same if half the participants were from one city or if 75% of the participants only bought three comics or less a month or similar lopsidedness.
I don't mean to suggest ballot stuffing is what happened, per se. Just that this poll can't fairly be applied in a broad sense, and that while it's interesting data it isn't very useful for saying anything about comics fans general or the "actual" popularity of any given character.
ddf
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Well, in the absence of the sort of data that I was suggesting above, the only thing we have to look at is the numbers and how people voted for first place. Yes, without knowing the actual demographics of the sample, we can't say for sure how reliable this poll is about saying anything about comic fans in general, but, considering that there is a wide range of responses and there doesn't appear to be any evidence of ballot stuffing in the results, I don't think that the poll can also be completely dismissed as an implausible outcome, as it has been.
 
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Old October 17th, 2007   Not My Real Name is offline   #123
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As long as we treat it as entertainment, I have no problem. I just hate for the Flash fans to treat it as fact. It makes us look bad.
ddf
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Well, I haven't seen anybody trying to use the poll as evidence that one Flash is better than another or that the Flash is better than any other character or even that this proves anything other than a bunch of people polled voted for Wally as the third favorite DC character. And, if they did, I don't think it makes Flash fans look any worse than stating any other unsupportable arguments such as "A Barry series would outsell a Wally series," or "Barry would've ranked higher than Wally if Barry was still being published."
 
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Old October 27th, 2007   BESTBUY is offline   #124
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CBR jokes about this thread in an article about the decision to kill Barry and Supergirl in Crisis.

http://goodcomics.comicbookresources...-revealed-126/

"So there ya go, Jeff! We almost missed out on Wally West as the Flash! Which would be a shame, as he ended up finishing in 3rd place in our recent Top 100 DC and Marvel Characters Poll, which, as you all know, is a scientific fact - Flash is definitively the third most popular DC character ever (I kid, ComicBloc! I kid!). "
 
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