my Twitter account, readers continue to send in photos from across the nation depicting absolutely mobbed Apple ( AAPL) Stores. These reports jibe with my experience the weekend before this past one at Apple's Fifth Avenue/Manhattan outpost. Interestingly, three offshoots dominate the remainder of the feedback: 1. Unsolicited reports from sad-looking Microsoft ( MSFT) stores this holiday weekend; 2. Hey, this is all anecdote!; and 3. Questions about the box readers should fit me in: Journalist. Analyst. Reporter. Cheerleader. I love it. Let's take No. 1 first, not simply because it has a "1" next to it, but because, it's the holidays -- these are light days (or at least they ought to be) -- and we could all use a laugh together. Compare this scene from a Microsoft Store with the relative mobs you see at Apple Stores.
And then there's this shot of ... well ... a picture is worth a thousand words. Over the last few weeks, we have discussed retail traffic quite a bit. As a former Ph.D. student (who did what any good Ph.D. student does -- I dropped out!), I'm sensitive to the notion that anecdote doesn't mean a damn thing when you're trying to determine the reality that exists in a population. Believe me, if I had the resources, I would draw a "proper" sample and find out what's really going on. But that also comes with a plethora of limitations. Ultimately, as a researcher -- casual, professional, hack or otherwise -- you have to point out where things fall short. I have always done that, explicitly, in the academic work I have done. I do it here. I just don't spoon feed you, the reader, like you have to do the professors who review scholarly articles from their ivory towers. In my work at TheStreet, it's incredibly clear that what I express is my opinion. Maybe I am making too big of an assumption, but I strongly believe -- and hope -- that most readers consider what I have to say opinion.