You Prefer The Worst - What Does That Say About You?

Here's an interesting metric comparison.

Both well read and worth doing but the 'Worst' report clearly out did the 'Favorite' report. Comments are even more lopsided (with far more comments on the 'Worst' report).

Despite, a vocal minority of you really dislike our negative coverage. IPVM does not 'support' the industry, etc.

I throw it out to you. The numbers, in black and white, show that more of you are interested in 'worst' than 'favorite', a pattern that we have seen many times before.

What does this say about you? What does this say about what we should cover?


Although our news media does this its probably not the best idea to base article content solely on perceived popularity due to volume of responses. People love dirty laundry. I do want to know the worst and best of any product or technology however. This service provides the information that we don’t have the time to, or the resources to test out on our own. Keep it coming…

How many manufacturers clicked the 'Worst' report with a sense of dread that they would be listed, only to be strangely disappointed they aren't even a blip.

Seriously... 'gallows humor' is always fascinating. Is it because we gravitate towards death? Not so much because it is morbid, but a contrast to the positive bubble we try to build around ourselves daily.

I don't think it's so much "negative coverage" people have a problem with if it's coverage for a product that has a lot of verified and commented on failings, but for myself where I get turned off sometimes is when the subject conversation gets sensationalist and layered with subjective commentary on what are supposed to be primarily news articles and not so often commentarys. If it's an obvious editorial article, then I expect commentary. But I'm not hear for the "Dog bites man! Will the breed be the downfall of mankind!" type of news, and I never liked arguing for arguement's sake. I understand there are some people who think differently than I do and maybe that's their thing. I'm here more for the basic technical results on testing products, the industry trends, and the interesting and informative surveys and their results, and what they might all mean, but no so much the sublte, and sometimes not so sublte, goading for a response and poking the bear in the cage.

Just look at the title of this article "You Prefer The Worst - What Does That Say About You?" Seriously? How am I supposed to take that? Is it directed at me? Not directed at me? How would I feel if someone I knew who I was recommedning join and read IPVM saw that as an actual IPVM headline.

As for the Worst versus Best articles, my opinion is it's easier to quantify bad products than good products, so Worst will get more attention. People expect products to work as advertised, and I think they are more concerned about a product failing or not working to the point of being useless and a total waste of money, than if Camera A and Camera B, both who are great cameras, which might have been the better decison. As a society, in general I think we worry by a slightly greater percentage about what could be a disaster, "Will this car be a lemon if I buy it?", "Will this person be a bad choice for a spouse?" and "Will that camera I be brick?", than things like "Would I like the Mercedes better than the BMW", "Laura and Jill are both great, who do I choose?", and "Camera A and B both rated high, what do I choose?".

When did you post both articles and what are your daily, weekly and monthly login overall viewer statistics? I am pretty habitual about certain things (including getting my IPVM fix) but I cannot say that I am a consistent viewer. Like Google, I’ll look at the top 10 or so topics and that’s about it…otherwise, I use the search function for the data that I need.

"probably not the best idea to base article content solely on perceived popularity due to volume of responses"

Certainly, not solely but it has to play a key role. Why wouldn't read count be an important factor in determining what to publish?

Mike, both articles were published on Monday at the same time of day. Both articles were the lead in the next day, Tuesday newsletter. Favorite came out one week after the Worst. This pattern is consistent with many other article read levels.

We get 100,000+ visitors per month but there is nothing strongly different about last week compared to this week.

Read count would play a big role... For sure.... I was reflecting more on the comment count. No one wants to be caught selling the worse products... So that article is like a must read!!!

I'm interested in the worst because it will show the issues and disadvantages of the products.

No one wants to get blindsided by the sales pitch of products that don't deliver. Hearing the bad experiences helps us avoid the costly mistakes made by otehrs. Sadly, the latest report only cofirms that our costly mistakes were made by others.

I actually prefer the "Best" list article.

BTW, is there a way to pin the articles I find the most interesting so as to easily go back to them for further review?

"Is there a way to pin the articles I find the most interesting so as to easily go back to them for further review?"

That's a good idea. We don't have that but we could add a way to pin / favorite articles but we could add it. I'll put it on the list for future features.

My first 20-year career was in advertising, Madison Avenue proper, many many years ago. I will never forget the first day on the job, as a newly-minted Assistant Account Executive at BBDO, we took a tour of the many departments to meet each other and get engaged with our roles. In our stop with at Market Research we met a very-tenured, gray-haired professorial type. He told us straight out: "I can give you one simple rule, and you will be successful: Never ask a customer what they want. All you'll get is the stuff all the other advertisers have been feeding them that the ought to want, that they think they want. But they don't think, they just regurgitate. The 'solutions' they offer are crap. Instead, ask them to complain. People get amazingly specific, enthusiastic, even passionate when they are complaining. They'll tell you exactly what the problem is. Then, your job is to solve it." That, I believe, is the difference in interest between the Best and the Worst lists.