Reader's Choice Awards

Earlier this month, the very informative msexchange.org site declared that GFI FaxMaker won their readers choice award.  This was the result of an informal poll on their site.  Given the relationship between msexchange.org and gfi.com, I question the value of such a poll (I only voted 4 times from different IP addresses and none of my coworkers could vote because we share the same external IP).  Would we have seen the same press release if the more versatile FaxCore won the survey?  (FaxCore barely beat out GFI FaxMaker in Network Computing's Fax Server product review)

The site msexchange.org is full of great content by credible contributors.  I just wish they wouldn't pretend to be something they aren't - independent.  They seem to me to be GFI's marketing department.  Am I wrong?

William Lefkovics

William Lefkovics on November 28, 2004 at 09:10 PM in News
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Comments

I seem to remember seeing a big discussion about this a while back with the site pleading their independence.

If you go back to 26/8/04 you do get an announcement about NetIQ Exchange Administrator being voted the Readers' Choice Winner in the Exchange Administration Category, but just about every other Readers' Choice award does seem to go to a GFI product.

It's just amusing that the only time a non-GFI product wins it seems to be when GFI have no product in that category ;)

Posted by: Colin Walker at Nov 29, 2004 5:55:32 AM

The IP of gfi.com is 69.20.55.135
The IP of msexchange.org is 69.20.55.133

Hmm.....

The content has improved over the years and so have the GFI products.

When this site started, the only categories they had for products were categories GFI had a product in and they were always the first on the list and always had an ad on the page.

They should just come out of the closet.

Posted by: andy at Nov 30, 2004 8:57:06 AM

msexchange.org can be bought very easily and their product ratings are deceptive. For example, in the Exchange Hosting section, a number of the vendors, especially Mi8.com, who had bad comments were wiped clean so that Mi8 now only has positive ratings. In August, they had at least 4 negative comments which have all magically disappeared! Look at the Mailstreet entry, it's misleading that they are the "Featured" product even though they don't have the highest ratings. I'm an Exchange MCSE consultant and have sent numerous customers of mine to both Mailstreet and Mi8. Both have had horrible downtime issues this year, Mailstreet with over 27 hours and Mi8 with over 30 hours just in the past few months. I've gotten an earful from my customers. And I've submitted my negative comments (Mailstreet in March when they were down for a day and Mi8 in early summer), but neither has yet to show up on msexchange.org.

Mi8 must have paid handily to win the Reader's Choice Awards, which based on the GFI info and my own experience with Mi8, is totally bogus. I wonder how much it takes to buy msexchange.org's ratings.

Msexchange.org has awesome content thanks to the many talented contributors. But, it looks like they've sold their soul to the highest bidding vendors.

Posted by: Jim Herschland at Dec 1, 2004 9:32:45 PM

Hi William,

We at MSExchange.org are concerned about the assumptions you and others have made about the relationship between our site and its sponsors and the credibility of our Reader's Choice polls. While these assumptions may appear justified in the eyes of some, we would be grateful if you would allow us to respond to the points that have been raised.

We have made a great effort to ensure that all editions of our Reader's Choice Polls reflect the opinions of Exchange administrators as closely as possible and we feel the results of these polls support this claim rather than contradict it as has been suggested. Starting with the "Fax Connectors for Exchange" edition of the poll, it is hardly a surprise that our visitors have selected GFI’s product as the best solution in the category. After all, GFI FAXmaker has been a leading fax server solution for quite some time and has also earned WinNetMag's well respected Reader's Choice: http://www.windowsitpro.com/Windows/Issues/IssueID/726/Index.html

Once again, you may wish to compare the results of other editions of our Reader's Choice poll such as our "Exchange Anti Virus" edition with that of WinNetMag's.

http://www.msexchange.org/news/Readers_Choice_Exchange_Anti_Virus.html
http://www.windowsitpro.com/awards/Readers_Choice.html?issueid=666

Our awards are most definitely not "for sale" and we firmly stand by our results. Furthermore, we invite you to post your own poll that would allow your visitors to choose their favorite Fax Server product and then compare the results.

I can confirm that we only accept one vote per IP address. This is just one among a number of security measures which are in place to prevent voting abuse. Just imagine what would happen if each IP address were permitted to vote as many times as they pleased! Though as you pointed out, those that share an IP address will unfortunately not be able to vote from that same address. Nonetheless, this security measure will have to remain in place to preserve the accuracy of our polls.

One of your own readers has pointed out that our sites share the same IP as GFI's site. Indeed this is true since GFI has provided us with hosting as part of our agreement with them. This is plainly stated here: http://www.isoftmarketing.com/aboutus.htm

Another reader has questioned the user comments and user ratings that are displayed with our product listings. Any removal of comments or adjustment of user ratings has been carried out in response to abuse by various vendors that seek to mislead our visitors with falsified comments and votes. We do this because we are dedicated to offering our visitors credible information on which they may base their purchasing decisions. A host of security measures have been implemented to minimize such abuse and additional measures are planned.

We are very pleased to hear that you and your visitors appreciate and value the content written by our site contributors. It is our hope that the community would see that we are equally committed to providing valuable and unbiased coverage of 3rd party Exchange products. On a final note, we would welcome any suggestions that would allow us to improve our service in this respect. Suggestions and feedback may be sent to info@msexchange.org

Thanks for your time and consideration.

Warm regards,
Sean Buttigieg
Senior Site Editor
Internet Software Marketing Ltd. - Online Network Administrator Portal
MSExchange.org - ISAserver.org - WindowsNetworking.com
WindowSecurity.com - ServerFiles.com - Secinf.net - NTfaxFAQ.com

Posted by: Sean Buttigieg at Dec 3, 2004 8:06:23 AM