Poll Challenge

Creating polls which reveal useful information is very difficult.  Researchers have improved polling methods and delineated the limitations of qualitative research over the last fifty years.  After two years of graduate courses in research, I only took one course in qualitative research.  The most important take home messages from that course was the limitations of quantitative research (here are some examples).

With those huge limitations in mind, polls on blogs can still be fun. On this site, I don’t pretend that my polls are at all scientific.  Instead, here are some of the reasons I use polls on Triangulations:

  • to take a quick pulse of readers & improve my understanding
  • to let readers know each other anonymously
  • to spice up my posts
  • to get readers involved
  • to encourage dialogue in the comments
  • to play with the poll option in WordPress
  • to experiment with poll writing

Have you ever considered trying a poll?  I would like to challenge readers with blogs to write their own poll, post it on their site and then come back to the comments and link us to your poll. Here is WordPress page explaining how to post polls.  If you don’t use WordPress but are able to put up polls, please share both the link and a page that explains how to do so using your host.


Filed under Blogging

8 responses to “Poll Challenge

  1. I accept your challenge!


    It’s a public service you’re doing posting information on factors that limit the effectiveness of polls. Far too many people point to polls as authoritative sources, but they really can be designed to find anything their authors wish to find. Or simply be poorly designed.

  2. Thanx, James. Fun Poll. Maybe I will do future posts how to make good Blog Polls and teach myself a thing or two. 🙂

  3. Jessica

    Here we are! http://endeshabille.wordpress.com/2012/05/10/how-long-is-breast-best/

    My biggest concern about creating a poll was maybe that readers would take the poll and then (because they could share their information so quickly) would neglect to go into further detail with their comments and questions. Perhaps it will cause readers to bring up new issues/answers that I have not included or feel inclined to give details to defend their stance/opinions, however.

    Far from scientific, here is my first attempt at creating polls. Forgive the fact that there are so many of them on one post! I am a bit of an over-achiever at times!

  4. Nice breast feeding polls Jessica !
    Suggestion to keep both comments and polls: Make it only one or two polls but only to take the pulse. Then you make a point in the post to which they can react in the comments.

  5. Sabio, this comes under the category of “Why didn’t I think of that?” My concern at the moment is how much time I’ll spend coming up with the perfect question. But maybe that’s a good topic in itself. How much time to you spend developing and writing a blog post?

  6. @ Paul,
    So where is the link? Did you post one?
    Let’s see, “how much time do I spend making a post”:
    Mean time: 3 hours
    Four Modes: 1 hour, 3 hours, 7 hours, 10 hours.
    Median time: 4 hours

    I’m not sure, but I thought it would be fun to guess like that.
    I spend a disordinate amount of time on Photoshopping, Diagraming, choosing pics, doing layout. Also, I am a horrible writer so I have to read, re-read, read out loud and edit over and over to get something that even sounds half way intelligent. 🙂

    Blogging is one of my creative art outlets — it is not just about ideas. Form is important to me — as my next post describes.

    How long does it take you to compose a post?

  7. Sabio, no I haven’t posted a poll yet. But I think it’s a great idea to build a story around.

    Like you, I spend a lot of time with images—sometimes more on that than I do with writing. And I know what you mean about your writing process. I’m a very fussy writer. Going over and over and over. A lot of times I get into a theme that appeared to be solid, but then I get to a point where I have no idea what I’m trying to say—or why. Then I either abandon the idea or keep reworking it until I’m comfortable I know what I’m talking about (whether I really do is another matter). Spending a full day on a post is typical.

    I don’t see how you do what you do.

  8. @ Paul Gerhards,
    Our writing styles are probably very different. I do not write essays. Instead, I have very clear ideas of exactly what I want to say, the trick is to say it clearly. Other authors seem to have feelings they are trying to convey and they trying to weave various images and ideas together. Or at least that is my take. In fact, when I read folks who use that essay approach, it is often hard for me to understand what they are saying.

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