Spinning Sexy Survey Stories


Thursday, July 31st, 2008 — 12:47am PST
Comments 8

For the record according to Miss604.com readers, 58% would like to see beaches go smoke free, 90% would have preferred a free Slurpee over an iPhone on July 7th, 40% care very much about the fate of the Hollow Tree in Stanley Park and 91% agree that the responsibility for vicious dogs lies solely on the owner.


Photo credit: Kris Krug on Flickr

However interesting those numbers may be, the latest buzz on newsstands is that according to Canadian speed dating service, FastLife.ca, Vancouver is the second sexiest city in Canada thanks to our buzzing Yaletown district. But just how accurate are these results… and do we care?

First off, the fact that the appeal of the trendy heritage district (that used to be full of toxic waste) still allowed us to come in behind Winnipeg is slightly puzzling – mind you the last time I was in the ‘Peg I was about 10 years old and all I can remember is ordering a burger from Fuddruckers so I didn’t know much from ‘sexy’ there but I digress.

The survey showed that Vancouver as a whole lost points due to the low and unsexy scores from Chinatown, Commercial Drive, and Kerrisdale, although overall we still narrowly beat out Toronto and Calgary. The nation’s sexiest suburb also just happens to be Richmond, BC.

Now, not to doubt the legitimacy of these regions and their lovely inhabitants but just where did this survey come from exactly?

News outlets running the sultry story, either boasting whether their locale is hot or not say their source is “The world’s largest multi-national singles events service,” although looking for more information about the survey on their site all I could find were some media notes from 2007.

Looking at FastLife’s numbers (from a purely geeky standpoint) it is not the highest ranking (using Plenty of Fish‘s stats for dating-site comparison) although in all fairness its business mostly takes place offline.

Still, reading this survey and its source I got this Onion News vibe with headlines flashing through my head: “Area Man Loses Sock!” “Yaletown is HOT!” “Chilliwack Cries Out: What Are We, Chopped Liver?”

The commotion seems to have come from a press release sent out yesterday and so far the story has been picked up nation-wide – for example here, here, here and here.

Having never heard of FastLife before (fittingly so) I started thinking about the power of a survey and its reach. They have managed to create quite the hype in cities across Canada, which makes me wonder – should bloggers that use polls on their sites start releasing the results to mainstream media to achieve the same buzz? Think of the media frenzy we could whip up…

Regardless of the source of this survey, this is the type of “news” that people love to hear and talk about – it allows folks to release some local pride (or shame) and it promotes the company that presented the numbers to the media. I’m sure this story will be popping up around town in the light of morning and Yaletowners will be patting their gorgeous selves on the back.

I don’t have the answers about what news gets picked up and what doesn’t – things just happen and people love their gossip and trash talk. I think it’s pretty ironic that some people’s views of blogs are that they are purely online diaries, rants, and filled with shallow celebrity chat meanwhile if you have enough cash you can put out a press release and suddenly you’re an authority with your “sexy” news being the story of the day.

It all boils down to what I truly appreciate about blogging. I can choose my own content, I can set my own rules and be my own editor. I know my sources, I research my topics and I know who I can trust. I also don’t need to shell out big bucks to disseminate my findings and I don’t even need a flashy cover story each day. Most of all, I don’t have a need to use the word “sex” to create or sell my stories – now that’s what I call attractive.

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8 comments

  1. fotoeins says:

    The low unsexy scores for Chinatown and Commercial Drive lead me to the following yet obvious conclusion: that the people who live there or in the proximity are doing something right. 😉

  2. Cecily says:

    *Richmond* as the sexiest suburb? Have these people actually *been* to Richmond? I had to work there and every time I crossed the Oak Street bridge heading south, a little part of my soul died.

  3. Raul says:

    Manipulating statistical data is easier than making a banana/chocolate smoothie. I agree 100% with your main point (that the weirdest happenings can become top stories). While I can just speak anecdotally (my neck hurts from all the “Hello”-ing I did in Yaletown this weekend), I have to say that I’ve found REALLY sexy people in Commercial Drive and Gastown. That’s just anecdotal evidence.

  4. Christine says:

    I think that the problem with these stats is the word “sexy” in itself. Yaletown sexy? If you find plastic, orange skin sexy, then yes Yaletown is full of sexy people. I love going to the “skank” club just to people watch and I’m aghast by the amount of money spent on plastic surgery, nails and all sorts of other “sexy” pampering techniques. I’m moving out to the east end soon and look forward to seeing what kind of “sexy” people live on Main street.

  5. Luc says:

    The printed media has to fill the papers every day with news items, even if there’s nothing to report. If stories which include “sex” sell more papers that tells something about us, the readers.
    Now, when are you doing this poll, “the sexiest reader of Miss604?”. My cat would win big time 🙂

  6. Miss604 says:

    @ Luc – I am honored to have your cat as a reader although I may require photographic evidence 😛

  7. Jordan says:

    Heh, kudos the the flacks behind that release. I believe I remember reading in the article in the paper this morning that the survey results were taken from how residents of those areas rated themselves.

    Distorted, too-generous self image numbers in Yaletown? Check. Humility and honesty on the Drive? At least some parts of this obviously flawed survey seem as though they might be somewhat correct.

  8. star anise says:

    Wow… Richmond? Sexy? Hmmm… Not sure about that one.
    Gastown = sexy
    Kits = sexy
    North Shore = sexy
    Sure there are some sexy people in Yaletown but not naturally sexy. I’m talking fake boobs, fake tans, big muscles and fake hair. I personally don’t find that sexy.

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