Today, while reading the mass of technology news I get to see every day, I came across a story that varied the headlines on the same turn of a phrase “Blackberry is losing developers”. Across the web, this story was picked up and amplified, yet a basic Google search of the source company turned up zero information on the survey itself. Was this stuff hidden to the general public? Was anyone going to actually cite the source? How many reporting blogs appear to have read this survey?
And amplified is the key word here. I count no less than 5 stories so far:
31% of BlackBerry 10 Developers are Abandoning the Platform Before It’s Even Out: Report
Developers Rate Long-Term Outlook of Various Mobile Platforms [Chart]
Baird: RIM Is Bleeding Developers
Developer interest in BlackBerry OS at all time low
Survey: Developer faith in BlackBerry’s future hits a new low
That Zdnet story was particularly interesting because they say a “..new report from AllthingsD.com”. How incredibly odd it is to link to a story that was based on a survey that can’t be seen by anyone?
In many of these cases, there were featured charts or just the lazy process of quoting back to the AllthingsD article. In 100% of the reports I’ve seen about this survey, the data was clearly taken at face value. I seriously question if anyone had read the “survey”. In articles that provided a source link – it was simply back to the root page of the survey company, Baird.
There was a story on crackberry.com that questioned the survey mainly because of the popularity of the waining Windows Phone 7 Operating system in “When surveys go wrong …“. This appeared to be the only blog that called out the study at all, even though it was clear even they had not read it themselves.
Then, quickly, Research in Motion responds. Do they say the data is bad? No. Do they say that this report is nowhere to be seen? No. Do they say they’ve read it? No. What they do say is that, in the “real world” developers are loving the new version 10 of the platform and that developing on Blackberry devices is a grand love-in. Right.
So, I gotta ask, where is this imaginary survey? Who is out there looking critically at the purported data shown in the survey? Is anyone looking at the sample size (is it large enough?). Is anyone looking at the age of the survey (have market conditions changed?). Is anyone looking more critically at all of the questions asked in the survey?
No, blindly pass it on. Gotta love that great picture of Dan Aykroyd.