Three Imaginary Girls

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out of the 782 that submitted votes in either the 2007 Idolator Pop Critics Poll or the Village Voice’s Pazz and Jop Poll.

Blogger Glenn McDonald has crunched the numbers of every ballot submitted in each poll and compiled a list of each voter and how they ranked according to how their votes landed within the final vote totals. Not only does McDonald do that, but he lists the ten closest voters that each person’s ballot resembles the most.

For me, the closest to my voting was Sam Ubl, a writer I had never heard of but has been a reviewer for P4k. When I Googled him, the first entry that came up with was a comment in a thread that said (the post was about a review of Tapes ‘n Tapes),

I saw that review, but couldn’t make it past the first sentence: “You won’t find a tougher sell on neoclassicism than yours truly, so imagine my surprise how this strummy slab from the thrift racks has become one of my early ’06 faves.” Who is Sam Ubl, and why would he — or his editors — imagine that anyone would be interested in his opinions on “neoclassicism,” let alone in whatever he’s trying to say in the remainder of the sentence. “[S]trummy slab from the thrift racks”? Shut up and review the record, already.

Someone needs to kick Sam Ubl in the junk, for wasting 30 seconds of my life.

»» Submitted by mike s at 9:58 AM on February 28

We did share votes for four albums: Art Brut, LCD Soundsystem, Marnie Stern and Spoon. I can’t imagine we have THAT much in common, but if you’re ever in Seattle, Sam, look me up and let’s get a drink somewhere.

In a comment on Idolator, McDonald gives some insight into his methodology:

The centricity scores are essentially the sum of the vote-counts of the voter’s picks divided by the sum of the vote-counts of the top 10 picks. So if you picked the top 10 albums, your centricity would be 1.0. Zero centricity would be somebody whose top 10 included nothing that got even a single vote in the poll, although obviously this would only be true of a person who didn’t vote in the poll themselves.

The similarity scores are different, and more complicated, but basically they represent the probability that two voters’ album-overlap did not occur randomly. So the highest possible similarity would be between two voters who voted for the same 10 albums that nobody other than those two picked, and even that actual score will vary depending on the distribution of votes in the rest of the poll.

More fun with the numbers: Imaginary Liz’s closest BFF amongst critics is Imaginary Dana (awwww) but Imaginary Dana’s closest soulmate amongst rock critics is Kurt B. Reighley (of KEXP and elsewhere), with Imaginary Liz coming in second.

Hours and hours o’ fun starts at McDonald’s “All Idols 2007” page. Assist goes to Idolator.