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The Psychology of Fanboys 289

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the welcome-to-the-summerdome dept.
Testiiiiing writes "CoolTechZone.com's Gundeep Hora publishes his thoughts on why fanboys act the way they do. 'For fanboys (and I use the term with utmost respect, at least for this article), their appetite to support their favorite company to beat the big, bad corporate heavyweights gets delusional at times. And why not? After all, we all like to cheer the underdog... reasonably. In addition to cheering for the little guy, fanboys also think it's their responsibility to spread the word about their favorite company. Combine their need to do marketing on behalf of their adopted companies and their products with the passion to make others see things their way, and you have a powerful group of people.'"
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The Psychology of Fanboys

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  • Artical /.ed (Score:2, Insightful)

    by oliverthered (187439) <oliverthered AT hotmail DOT com> on Monday June 18, 2007 @08:56AM (#19550127) Journal
    But I'll have a guess that it's a little like being religious, other people can tell you all sorts of bad truths about your beliefs but that still doesn't stop you believing.
  • by Billosaur (927319) * <wgrother@OOOopto ... inus threevowels> on Monday June 18, 2007 @09:01AM (#19550195) Journal

    The fanboy is fixated, a product of the Skinner box of technology. They find a particular product/service to be so useful, so much like what they have always wanted (read: reinforcing), that the idea that there is anything different/better out there is inconceivable. Also, deprive them of their fixation, and they go into withdrawals.

    The fixation is unhealthy and limiting. People with fixations are frequently unable to adapt to changes in their environment. They cling to a thing even after that thing ceases to bring them the comfort/serenity that it first did. They will viciously attack anyone who disparages they chosen tool, unable to see the light of even the most cogent argument.

    I've personally never let an individual piece of technology/software or service consume me. Some are nice, some are useful, some are downright cool. But this is the Internet Age -- if you wait five minutes, something new and better will invariably come along. If you don't allow yourself to be open to new ideas and ways of thinking, you're bound to be left behind.

  • by Sunburnt (890890) * on Monday June 18, 2007 @09:08AM (#19550275)

    How, exactly, did this trolling article make it to the top of the Firehose? Have we become Digg while I was sleeping?

    Man, I must be new here.

  • by wandazulu (265281) on Monday June 18, 2007 @09:12AM (#19550325)
    Isn't everyone a fanboy for some reason or another? Aren't the Ford guys who put that Calvin sticker peeing on a Chevy logo (and vice versa) fanboys? And how about all those Harley Davidson tattoos out there, would you call that 300 lbs leather-clad biker a fanboy? And then there's the people who watch a particular tv show and say "Hey, you gotta watch this..." and then is hurt that you don't have any interest in watching a bald guy picking songs from a juke box in a Jersey restaurant.

    Finally, I know a guy who is as close to a luddite as you can get..no computer, no tv, just a regular phone and a radio for electronics. Prefers reading to everything else and doesn't give a whiz about what bike he rides, what clothes he buys, anything; whatever's on sale and fits he gets. But if you ask what he's reading, he'll say he's reading Grapes of Wrath for the umpteenth time and then he'll talk your ear off about how Steinbeck is the only good writer America ever produced, and on and on for an hour or more. So that makes him a Steinbeck fanboy, doesn't it?
  • Money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GWLlosa (800011) on Monday June 18, 2007 @09:13AM (#19550327)
    Tech/Gaming hobbies can be expensive. Just ask someone who has played WoW since launch how much of their money Blizzard has now. If it weren't for the fact that Blizzard/WoW is "amazing/ohmygod/awesome/cool", then it'd be possible that that money was misspent, right? Your average person is convinced he is not a fool. Fools don't make stupid decisions. Therefore, your average person is convinced that that PS3/WoW/iMac they just bought must be worth every penny. Given the prices on some of these things, the products (and their companies) must therefore somehow be 'better' than they seem. Result: Delusional Fans.
  • by mrbluze (1034940) on Monday June 18, 2007 @09:15AM (#19550363) Journal

    $ is clearly not an underdog, and I work with a guy who is quite a fanboy....

    Fanboy, zealot, fanatic, fundamentalist, bigot.. other stuff. All the same in essence.

    It's all just people who believe beyond reason in something. I know.. boring but true. When people know only a bit of what there is to know about something, or therabouts, they get really idealistic and passionate about it. It's human nature. Then, after time, if they get to know enough, they become cynical, or at best, just plain realistic.

    Fanboys are the result of feelings of ignorance and insecurity. The more a person feels the pressures of both, the more he tries to convince others of what he thinks.

  • by svendsen (1029716) on Monday June 18, 2007 @09:16AM (#19550379)
    I don't think so. I think if he was a fan boy he would TELL you what he is reading and why it is the best without even being asked. IMHO fan boys will interject their opinions on their cult of choice when a) it wasn't even asked B) not even remotely close to the topic being discussed C) they know no one cares about D) they know this is the millionth time they have talked about this with the exact same group of people.
  • Inverse Fanboy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tb()ne (625102) on Monday June 18, 2007 @09:23AM (#19550417)
    You bring up a good point with case of the "inverse fanboy" who feverishly, persistently, and often irrationally criticizes or insults a particular company or product. The phenomenon is widespread but I think it needs a better name. If there's not a prevalent term yet, I vote for "flameboy" or "foeboy".
  • by MontyApollo (849862) on Monday June 18, 2007 @09:26AM (#19550451)
    I don't know about your case in particular, but people that seem to defend Apple and "clarify a misleading story" on Slashdot do seem to be overly sensitive to these issues. A lot of commentary about MS or Vista is misleading or wrong, but nobody gets overly indignant about it. Whenever there is a story about Apple that is remotely critical, there is usually a storm of protest to "clarify" the story or to often call it flamebait.

    I think the group effect is fanboism even though the individuals may not be guilty.

    It is pretty annoying though the way the Apple fanboys mod down any comment remotely critical. Rightly or wrongly, you might be associated with these people. People flame MS all the time and get modded "funny", but the exact same comments directed toward Apple make certain people genuinely upset.
  • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Monday June 18, 2007 @09:27AM (#19550455)
    That's an interesting point. I'd just respond by saying two things:

    - If you're a user of a product by choice, you probably believe the positives outweigh the negatives, one would hope, so naturally you're going to have less negative things to say about it in general.

    - Personally, my main concern is submissions and highly moderated comments with incorrect information; nearly always it's negative information, so the items being corrected are already skewed to the negative side, meaning that the corrections will nearly always be "positive".

    If some moron is going nuts about "ZOMG iPhone r0xxxx and it's better than every smartphone EVAR" (or the reverse), I don't see any need to respond to that at all. But if someone says "We don't know if iPhone has a removeable SIM, so Apple is really screwed in Europe", and then I say, "Uh, yes, it's already been proven that it does have a removable SIM and there is no technical reason it couldn't be used on any carrier in Europe if Apple chose to sell it unlocked," that, in my view, doesn't make me a "fanboy", even though it casts Apple's situation in a positive light. In fact, incorrect information nearly always casts the subject in a negative light. Someone saying "the MacBook Pro is the greatest laptop ever" doesn't need to be "corrected" because that's a subjective opinion.
  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday June 18, 2007 @09:27AM (#19550457) Homepage Journal
    Fanboy seem to be looking for a replacement for religion. I mean okay you like your PS3 or Wii but why do you care if anybody else does? Same for Apple, Windows, or Linux.
    I think part of it is defending your choice. People like to be right so if you bought a Wii instead of a PS3 you can feel that you are better or smarter than those that bought a PS3. If you bought a PS3 you might feel that people are insulating you be cause they are taking such glee in the lack luster sales of the PS3 so you defend it.

    Frankly I find it depressing that people are now identifying themselves with some marketing juggernaut like Sony, Apple, Microsoft, AMD, Intel, and or Nintendo in place of some spiritual or ethical framework. Oh and before anyone makes some comment about killing for religion how many people got shot or hurt trying to get a PS3?
    "It benefits a man not, too sell his soul for the whole world, but for a gaming console..."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18, 2007 @09:40AM (#19550587)
    "Too tired of corporate nonsense and profiteering to be bothered to think of a new joke"

    Seriously, MS are not worth the effort of thinking up anything new to call them. "M$" pretty much sums it all up.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18, 2007 @09:42AM (#19550601)
    >> Wherever that term is dropped, you'll find someone who can't argue on logical terms and has resorted to name-calling.

    That observation is correct, but you may be missing a key point that is necessary for context.

    The reason why an otherwise-rational person can't argue on logical terms and ends up calling his opponents "fanboys" is often because those opponents refuse utterly to hold a discussion based on logic in the first place. And it's *that* trait that makes them fanboys, so the labelling is frequently entirely accurate.

    A person who defends a favourite company or product through rational argument, and yet accepts negative criticism of it when logically presented, can never be a fanboy.

    So yes, calling out fanboys for what they are does indeed indicate the abandonment of logical discussion by the name caller. However, logical discussion had usually been terminated previously by the other party anyway, and the name-calling just points out that fact.
  • by Otter (3800) on Monday June 18, 2007 @09:46AM (#19550635) Journal
    And how about all those Harley Davidson tattoos out there, would you call that 300 lbs leather-clad biker a fanboy?

    Absolutely! Someone who ties his self-image to a motorcycle he went into the shop and bought is every bit as pathetic as some nerd who does the same with electronics or entertainment industry products. I'd be less likely to tell the biker that to his face, but that's not the same thing. Anyway, nowadays someone who even owns a motorcycle is less lame than the guys sticking Orange County Choppers stickers on the back window of their SUVs.

    The one group I'd single out as especially lowly are the file sharers whose lives revolve around stealing products and denouncing the people who make those products. At least the bikers don't say "Harleys suck so that's why it's OK for me to steal them."

  • by LingNoi (1066278) on Monday June 18, 2007 @09:47AM (#19550645)
    Yes I thought that I was strange the article mentions both Mac and Linux but leaves out Microsoft. Presumably Mac and Linux users would have both used Microsoft products at some point and have a broader view of experience on the topic.

    I can not say the same for Microsoft users. In their eyes just using a different operating system makes you a heretic that hates Microsoft and wants to see it burn.
  • by Hijacked Public (999535) * on Monday June 18, 2007 @09:48AM (#19550673)
    I think that is some kind of perversion of brand loyalty.

    Many people derive a large part of their identity from the brands of product they buy and view any negative commentary on those brands and directed at them personally. If a guy has Windows computers, a Windows handheld, a Windows DVR, and knows a hell of a lot about Windows, and you tell him that Windows sucks he may, at the very least, see that as an attack on his consumer acumen and lash out at you.

    Then you have the people driving Dodge vehicles with graphics of Calvin pissing on a Ford logo. Or vice versa. And Nascar fans. Or sports fans in general. I enjoy handmade cutlery and every so often visit web forums dedicated to just that. The brand loyalty people are there even, as this thread [bladeforums.com] will clearly show.

    In a psychological sense Fanboyism is a lot deeper than the article suggests, and it is a consequence of a culture as materialistic as Western culture tends to be.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18, 2007 @09:50AM (#19550715)
    Well that's sort of the crux of the issue. They are insecure, exactly like this guy claims that they are not. I mean, if for whatever reason, you're not on a company's payroll and you take it upon yourself to proclaim their greatness to the world, bash their competition, defend them against "attackers" what have you, etc... you're not a terribly secure person. Some of that energy might be better spent on self-reflection and trying to improve your self. At least, if you're going to be proud of something, be proud of what you've done, not what someone else has done (unless it's your kids, obviously)


    I like how anyone that says anything positive about Apple or Mac or OSX is a zealot or a fanboy now also. It seems to be that way about like PS3 right now too. All sorts of things. Programming languages. Phone service. HD Disc technology.


    Really what this is is wide spread displaying of ones insecurity. There are folks that stopped using Linux as soon as wall street took interest, they went to more exotic locales (BSDs, BeOS, etc..) why? Because they needed to be different. Possibly because they think that if a lot of people do something or use something it can't be all that good after all and it's hard to call people fools for not using it if they actually do. This is the superiority insecurity, if you're really smarter than everyone else, you know it, you don't have to try and prove it to the world and you certainly don't prove it to the world be just being different and suggesting that they are fools for not being more like you. Likewise, there are people that call you foolish for not using windows, how can you possibly get work done without windows? Their insecurity is different, they usually aren't very good at learning and they are scared something will come along and they'll have to learn something new if their safe little kingdom erodes. They are the lazy insecure, these are the people that are scared of going left when the rest of the crowd goes right, they can't make up their own minds so the world has to make it up for them..


    If you're really secure with yourself and things, why would you ever think anyone would give a shit about what technologies you use or like to use and why would you ever care? The world isn't highschool, we simply don't care what music you like, even if you do wear concert t-shirts and dress up like your favorite bands... Nobody gives a shit.


    Lastly, if you can't just "tune them out" and know them for what they are, then I'd have to go ahead and say that that's on you. I'd just ignore them, let them live in their little world and get back to your own work.
       

  • Typically when a group is labelled, the most interesting thing is the psychology of the group that is doing the labelling. A label is used to contain, restrict, and demean someone with an opposing view, or a view that you simply do not understand. After all, they aren't doing what most people do, so they can't be right can they... But I'm not a lemming so therefore they must be labelled as something else. If the psychology of the fanboy were really important they would name themselves. People in general do not trust people who go against the grain, particularly if they are sure of themselves. This is an issue that is gratly exaggerated on slasdot... where you must begin every post with " In my humble opinion...but I could be wrong...not to be a fanboy but..." If you just state what you think, you are a zealot or narrow-minded, or a fanboy. It should be a given that anything you say is your opinion, people should realize and accept that whether they agree or not. You should not have to beg off abuse in advance. Labels are just a part of the phenomenon of people not being able to accept individual differences (in my humble opinion) through insecurity.

    People would label me a unix or mac fanboy depend on the individual comment, but it not because I have a particular attitude about those things, no religious zealotry, no overarchign RMS-philosophy, just that those tools do what I need done. If I ever needed a windows machine, or a PS3, or whatever. I would by one... It has just never come up as an issue. The non-fanboy can't accept that though.. in general...
  • Re:Inverse Fanboy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Hal_Porter (817932) on Monday June 18, 2007 @10:21AM (#19551137)
    You bring up a good point with case of the "inverse fanboy" who feverishly, persistently, and often irrationally criticizes or insults a particular company or product.

    Or country ;-) The word is bigot. We don't need any neologism for it.
  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday June 18, 2007 @10:41AM (#19551439) Homepage Journal
    I go to church every Sunday. I often get challenged on why I go to that church. Why should I care what anybody else things about my choice in religion? Why should I care if you use a Mac or Windows or Linux. BTW the Mac is a very good system. Windows XP isn't that bad and frankly it is currently the best choice for gaming and CAD. I think Linux is a much better choice for a server than the Mac and or Windows and for a lot of people can make very good desktop.

    Why defend your choice? Why should you have to? You see the parallels with religion we are getting? Those that challenge others all the time like you describe have some deep seeded fear that they are wrong. It is almost like they fear you for not agreeing with them.
    As for me I will continue to play Mario Party 8, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004, program on my Linux system, and go to my church on Sunday.
    Hope you enjoy your choices in life as much as I do mine.
  • by dave420 (699308) on Monday June 18, 2007 @10:48AM (#19551559)
    I've found myself defending Microsoft quite a few times. It's not because I'm a die-hard Bill's-cock-sucking cheerleader, but because I actively like engaging in rational debate, and when someone says something to me, framed as fact, which is clearly not true, I will point out the inaccuracy of their statement. That's not being a fanboy, but being rational. I do the same for Mac, Linux, my fridge, Pluto, whatever. I like technology, so I want to get to the bottom of the discussion, not get to the bottom of the discussion with "my team" on top, as I don't have a team.

    Fanboys aren't always logical. They may be logical 99.9% of the time, but that 0.1% will cause someone like me to call them out on their bullshit. That's the problem with fanboys, in my opinion. I'm a technologist, not an appleologist or a linuxologist or a windowsologist. I couldn't give a flying fuck what logo is on the software/hardware/candy I use, as long as it does what I want it to. I want to be proven wrong. I want to learn. I don't want to be using the second-best technology just because my favourite CEO says it's the best when real-world application tells me, and others, otherwise.
  • by pointbeing (701902) on Monday June 18, 2007 @10:56AM (#19551693)

    ...In a psychological sense Fanboyism is a lot deeper than the article suggests, and it is a consequence of a culture as materialistic as Western culture tends to be.

    Excellent.

    Extending the parent poster's logic just a bit nobody wants to think they selected anything other than the best OS when in reality the best OS is the one that meets your needs. Some people have a lot of their personal self-worth tied up in their selection of computer platforms ;-)

  • by dhasenan (758719) on Monday June 18, 2007 @11:15AM (#19552015)
    I have a vested interest in other people using Linux. The more people using it, the more likely it is that software will be released for it. Likewise with the Wii or PS3.

    This doesn't hold for areas where the competition is mainly for implementation of an existing format. In those cases, you don't get nearly as much fanboyism for particular implementations. Also, you don't get as much fanboyism for the generic product. It seems to make sense intuitively, but I'd be interested to learn why that is.
  • by BasharTeg (71923) on Monday June 18, 2007 @11:22AM (#19552151) Homepage
    It's called Commitment and Consistency, and it's one of the fixed action patterns described by Dr. Robert Cialdini in Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. In my opinion this is one of the most common fixed action patterns today. People buy in to technologies through Social Proof, and then once they consider themselves part of the group, Commitment and Consistency kicks in.

    "Once we have made a choice or taken a stand, we will encounter personal and interpersonal pressures to behave consistently with that commitment."

    I'd like to point out that although there are many good reasons to run Linux and I certainly appreciate it as a product (I run Linux, FreeBSD and Windows), there are many people who run Linux but can't give you a reasonable explanation as to why. It's a perfectly legitimate choice if you were to pick operating systems out at random, or if you could not afford a commercial operating system, or for many other reasons. However, most "fanboi" type Linux advocates and users don't have a logical reason for using Linux. Instead, they rely heavily on social proof. Linux users are "sticking it to the man", a perspective which fits with the age and demographics of many Linux "fanbois". More specifically, Linux "fanbois" will describe Microsoft's business practices as a reason to run Linux. This is a valid reason to run Linux and to advocate Linux if you're informed on what exactly Microsoft's business practices are, but most Linux "fanbois" will only say that Microsoft is a monopoly and that they bundle products. They have no knowledge of the specifics, they're only parroting what they read in forums and someone's blog. They claim there is evidence out there to support their position (And there is!) but they have no knowledge of it. Basically, you could say they're right for the wrong reason. The "reasoning" that drove them towards the "right" answer is Social Proof. The Linux movement, composed of Linux advocates, manages to convince not only intelligent people who choose the operating system for logical reasons, but also empty minded "fanbois" who are convinced by Social Proof that Linux is superior, and that by running Linux they will be part of an exclusive club of the Elite who run Linux (starting to relate to Scarcity). This easily convinced "fanboi" then spends the time to get Linux working on his computer. This isn't always an easy task depending on driver support, learning how to install an operating system in the first place, and other technical factors that can make switching to Linux difficult for a novice. Once that difficulty has been overcome, the "fanboi" feels that he has invested a great deal of time and energy into Linux, therefore there must be some kind of payoff. The "fanboi" is very unlikely to be able to even use Linux for anything other than an internet appliance, running a web browser, email software, etc, from X, so very little of the actual benefit of Linux is lost on the "fanboi". Yet after having invested himself in Linux and "learning how to use it" (even though he didn't really), the "fanboi" has finally reached Commitment and Consistency. Having put time and effort into Linux, committing himself to it, he can't believe that he spent all that time and effort for nothing. Even if Linux was a horrible operating system (which it isn't), the "fanboi" would still be a solid believer in the superiority of the system he installed, because he cannot accept that idea that he might have wasted his time installing something either horrible OR closer to reality: something he isn't knowledgable enough to use.

    There's nothing wrong with any of this, with one major exception. The "fanboi" may end up learning Linux really well which makes for a great job skill and a deeper understanding of computers as a whole. What's wrong with the "fanboi" is the fact that he and his ilk act as advocates of the system while speaking from a position of ignorance, based on Social Proof (other really smart people run Linux) and Commitment and Consistency (I run it so it's t
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18, 2007 @11:40AM (#19552507)
    I love this arguement, because it is one of the more nonsensical things I see on Slashdot, and I see ALL THE DAMN TIME.

    Does anyone (other than Twitter) really, honestly think that Microsoft actually *pays* people to post pro-MS messages *on slashdot*? I mean seriously, it's absolutely rediculous. I can imagine MS paying people to spread a pro-MS message, but on Slashdot? Give me a break. The slashdot community is not some powerful cabal of systems administators that can make or break any tech product, and I highly doubt MS really cares about what gets posted here.

    I've seen several reasoned, articulate rebuttals to anti-MS bullshit* around here, and nearly every such post gets modded into oblivion and the poster labelled as a fanboy shill. It's really quite sad, because in the same thread there will usually be several incoherent anti-MS rants that somehow get +5 Informative.

    *that is not to say that all all anti-MS stuff is bullshit - most of it around here is quite legit. But there is an abundance of FUD, too.
  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday June 18, 2007 @11:46AM (#19552597) Homepage Journal
    "I have a vested interest in other people using Linux. The more people using it, the more likely it is that software will be released for it. Likewise with the Wii or PS3."
    So if Linux declines in popularity move to a new OS. If the Wii doesn't get all the game you want then buy a 360 or PS3 when the price comes down.
    Heck I have a GC, PS2, Wii, and a Dreamcast. They are all a lot of fun and I got them all cheap.
    Only the GC is now useless.
    Your vested interest is only the cost of a console or in the case of Linux 0 since it is free. Even the price of the console is questionable do you like the game you have for it? Did you get your money worth yet? If not then yea some new games would be nice but when do you hit break even. I really like Linux and I do make an effort to inform people of it's benefits but if they choose Windows or a Mac then okay fine. I use Windows to play games all the time. The only reason I don't have a Mac is because of the cost. I don't need a new system right now.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18, 2007 @11:48AM (#19552639)
    I have no frame of reference concerning your personal situation, but you must keep in mind that Apple's marketing campaign is sharply focused on branding and brand identity. Apple has purposefully crafted their message to present their products as a lifestyle and a commentary on the very identity of those who purchase them. They are intentionally creating fanboys and fangirls. As such, there is a natural tendency to perceive Apple supporters as fanboys and girls, irrespective of the truth in any particular case.

    Now, Apple makes great products and Macs (hardware and software) are outstand examples of the company's quality, but I personally can't stand the "Macs are so cool" marketing and attitude. To me, self identifying based on your choice of OS is kind of like rednecks getting into a fight over whether Molly Hatchet is better than Skinnerd. That's a dangerous thing to say on /. I know.

    While I'm at it, I'd like to say that the original article kind of sucked. Though I totally agree with the 'chill out' message, it's neither very insightful nor particularly accurate IMO. For one, Apple is hardly an underdog. It's a prosperous company that does very well in its chosen markets.
  • by Tim Browse (9263) on Monday June 18, 2007 @11:56AM (#19552755)

    If you're a user of a product by choice, you probably believe the positives outweigh the negatives, one would hope, so naturally you're going to have less negative things to say about it in general.

    I can't believe there's this many comments on this story but nobody has mentioned cognitive dissonance [wikipedia.org] yet. It's a powerful force.

    I mention it in relation to your comment about product choice, because studies have shown that once people have chosen a product, they look for evidence to support their choice, or give greater credence to marginal advantages of one product over another, and even avoid lines of inquiry that might show that choice to have been a mistake. Which sounds like a fanboy to me :-)

  • by endianx (1006895) on Monday June 18, 2007 @12:08PM (#19552943)
    Simple. It is a case of claiming Windows is better than Linux (easy) vs. actually learning to use Linux (complicated).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18, 2007 @12:25PM (#19553195)
    First off, the article you linked to says MS hired someone to correct blatent errors and misinformation in wikipedia. Since I doubt that you ever considered even for a second that there might be a legit need to do that, I will just assume that MS is evil and hired someone to push a pro-MS agenda on wikipedia.

    In that case, if you are going to hire someone to push a pro-MS agenda, it makes perfect sense to have them do it on wikipedia. Wikipedia is a defacto standard for web reference. Everyone uses it.

    In contrast, would anyone interested in a MS product or technology surf on over to Slashdot to get an opinion? A site owned and operated by The OPEN SOURCE Technology Group? I would say that no reasonable person would expect an unbiased opinion on slashdot anyway, and so why would MS waste time and money fighting an uphill battle here, when they can make arguements elsewhere that actually have a chance of seeming credible?

    That's why Slashdot is immune - because MS isn't stupid enough to try to lie to people who wouldn't believe them even if they were telling the truth.
  • by LingNoi (1066278) on Monday June 18, 2007 @12:50PM (#19553633)
    In my experience and your post proves it. It is windows users fan boys that are the zealots with their "Linux fan boy we hate Microsoft rawr!" bashing. Whereas the Linux users are far too busy getting stuff done.

    However, most "fanboi" type Linux advocates and users don't have a logical reason for using Linux. Instead, they rely heavily on social proof. Linux users are "sticking it to the man", a perspective which fits with the age and demographics of many Linux "fanbois".

    Yes lets overlook the fact that some people prefer GNU/Linux and believe it is much better then Windows Vista from a technical stand point. Yeah you could argue with me over what is better but thats not the point.

    Microsoft fan boys paint this picture time and time again of Linux zealots but I never see the zealotry they complain about on for example the Ubuntu forums arguably the largest user base of GNU/Linux desktop users. Where as on the other end of the scale you got Microsoft saying Linux sucks on their website! [microsoft.com].

    Where has Ubuntu or any other distribution ever run a "get the facts" campaign?

    To the moderate, there is no one right answer, but there may be a best solution for a particular problem. Moderates run Windows when it makes sense, Linux when it makes sense, Free/Net/OpenBSD when it makes sense, and Mac OSX when it makes sense.

    This is the only enlightening thing you said in your whole article. You should have deleted everything before it. These are the true Linux users.

    We use Ubuntu as a server at work for our SVN needs. I use Ubuntu on my laptop because I think its development model is technically superior. When I am at work I miss using Ubuntu since in my experience windows is sub par and slows me down.

    It is not because I hate Microsoft. I don't truly believe anyone switches from Windows because of that and I wish you and everyone else would stop labeling GNU/Linux users as Microsoft haters.
  • by Belial6 (794905) on Monday June 18, 2007 @02:28PM (#19555325)
    Yes, they are idiots.

    I would disagree with the idea that everyone should only buy from the company that has the absolute best tech at that moment. As you said, one side would win. Sometimes Intel is the best, sometimes AMD is the best. The problem is that if no one bought AMD when they were not #1, there would be no AMD, and Intel would not get better. So, perhaps, sometimes, fanboys do us all some good by keeping a company afloat during the hard times. Whether their propping up of crappy products from the current top dog does more harm than the good done by keeping an underdog around.
  • by dedazo (737510) on Monday June 18, 2007 @02:43PM (#19555581) Journal
    Yes, everyone knows Bill Gates himself pays people [slashdot.org] to post stupid things on Slashdot (thanks to twitter, as always).

    And I won't even address your reference to the Wikipedia issue, which is a perfect example of fanboy exaggeration for the sake of making an emotional argument. And wow, they "shill" in their own blogs. Unthinkable.

  • by MS-06FZ (832329) on Monday June 18, 2007 @05:58PM (#19558081) Homepage Journal

    I just don't see a lot of Windows users trying to convince their friends with Apples or Linux-based machines that Windows is better.
    ...Because they're not insecure about that point. Fanboyism is largely about insecurity, I think - people trying to prove to others that their own choice is the best. I think Windows fanboyism exists primarily as a response to Linux and Mac fanboyism - they see Linux or Mac fans heralding their own systems and want to respond in kind. Without that clear "outsider" boundary, the Windows fanboys would have to fight among themselves (Vista vs. non-Vista, I suppose, or Intel vs. AMD - just whatever decisions they could find, I guess.)

    But Windows fanboys do knock Apple fans for being drawn in by image, paying more money for inferior hardware, or having a computer without a good selection of games available - and knock Linux fans for being dorks who care more about uptime bragging rights than about having a reliable, full-featured system. And they knock both groups for knocking Windows and Microsoft. Bear in mind that fanboys are not advocates or participants, they're armchair quarterbacks. Rather than creating things themselves, they are interested in allying themselves with something and bickering about how anything else is junk - because if something else actually turned out to be better, then their choice would be a bad one. (That's how the rationale goes, anyway - the actual reality of the situation is more complicated.)

    From their perspective Windows can do more than other systems: it can play games and it can run just about any software they can download off the net. Just about any time someone writes a program that's useful to them it's written for Windows. The same is not always true of Linux or Mac.

    True fanboys of Linux and Mac aren't the "peaceful advocates" people seem to think they are, either. That's why there's a "Linux Advocacy FAQ" - to get overzealous Linux fans to understand that fanboyism doesn't help the Linux cause. Linux fanboys will often claim that Linux software is better than it is - or that the customization (source-code level or otherwise) available makes it a better system than it is. They'll claim GIMP is every bit as good as Photoshop, that Blender is every bit as good as 3DSMax, and, alternately, that WINE is perfectly usable Windows emulation or that Windows compatibility is irrelevant. Realistically, that's not all true, it's not a fair evaluation. Rather, it's a biased evaluation intended to yield a particular result.
  • Nice theory--but I've seen banner ads for Windows Server on Slashdot, so there goes your theory that Microsoft isn't targeting us.
  • by Goofball_666 (153121) on Tuesday June 19, 2007 @03:36AM (#19562375)
    Some people have a lot of their personal self worth tied up in their product and manufacturer selections as a consumer. Anything that threatens their integrity by exposing problems or issues with a product they have chosen to identify with causes an irrational reaction and a need to defend that product and all things related to it and by proxy of their choice in that product, themselves.

    If you think about it a minute it is the capitalistic equivalent of religious zealotry. These are the same people who would be thumping bibles at you and creating moral laws against offensive things or going door to door trying to convert you to their way of thinking about moral and theistic values had they been exposed to that type of environment early enough. These are people who, had they been born in other countries with much more restrictive religious factions and governing bodies, end up joining with extremist groups and killing themselves and others to prove that their viewpoint is the correct one.

    Extremism in any form is disturbing, highly limiting and should be avoided at all costs. Nature has some fine examples of extremist fauna that die rapidly outside of a very narrow set of parameters. You could say they are zealots of the parameters of their environment. Humans could learn a great deal from simple observation of over specialization.

    Failure to allow for and listen to viewpoints and factual observations outside of your own opinion in any matter causes no end of grief and suffering that is unnecessary and harmful to all parties involved. Note that I said allow for and listen too, that doesn't mean that you have to agree, just be aware that there are other possible angles to everything in life. Everyone perceives the world in different ways.

    Note: this is my opinion. You are welcome to disagree with it if you wish, just don't act like it doesn't even exist.

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