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March 1, 2006

Take our poll: Does this poll suck?

So we’re now nearly a month into our new-and-improved incarnation here at The NewStandard, and while we appreciate all the positive feedback and congratulations we’ve received about the new site by way of email and other correspondence, we’ve also been taking a hard look at what works about the site and what doesn’t. We’ve come to the conclusion that our reader poll is not eliciting the response we had hoped. With all but one poll failing to break the 200-response mark, we are left with three possible conclusions:

1) Our readers don’t like polls,

2) Our poll questions stink,

3) There is something about the poll’s design or set-up that deters people from responding.

In our estimation, only a tiny percentage of our thousands of readers feel compelled to participate in the poll. We just want to know what about the poll makes it so much less attractive to our readers than the rest of our content.

So please let us know: If you like the polls, what do you like about them? If not, please tell us what we could do, if anything, to make the polls more interesting, user-friendly and engaging. Or maybe you think we should just scrap the feature altogether and try to find something else. Whatever the case, we’re counting on your input to help us improve the site, so please respond to this blog entry. Thanks!


mhmele: Take our poll: Does this poll suck?

It's not as if the poll is statistically valid information. A poll tells me something about the readership, but it's a minor interest of mine, not major.

BertHG: Take our poll: Does this poll suck?

If you want to know my opinion about anything ask the question in your regular news email with a simple reply link. I'm taking time to respond this time, but normally don't waste time on accessing and taking polls and such.

supermastiffs: Take our poll: Does this poll suck?

What poll? There's a poll? I never noticed it anywhere or I'd probably have taken it. Unless I thought it was one of those trick ads. My bad.

harmony: Take our poll: Does this poll suck?

No more than any poll. I'm taking time from my job to read your news, I feel guilty if I spend extra time telling you what I think about it. Like just now, my boss caught me blogging, damn it. Oh well, if I thought my opinion would make the site better I might share it. As it is I really enjoy everything you guys send me. You do a great job, and rarely do I read something compelling elsewhere that I didn't find here first. Keep up the good work!! :)

Andy: Take our poll: Does this poll suck?

For me, polls are an insult to the depth and complexity of many of the issues our society faces. The corrupted mainstraem media use polls as a means of 'dumbing down' that complexity, usually structured in such a way as to achieve their goal, that being to illicit a populist response.

Perhaps this is why responses to polls are rarely large in number. People believe that the complexity of most issues, outside of Michael Jackson's nose job, far outweigh the simplicity of the question.

You guys are doing a great job with the paper. Why spoil it by pursuing a populist tool?

blues: Take our poll: Does this poll suck?

I didn't know there were any polls.

Sometimes I make up funny polls on MyDD. Yesterday I asked:

"I am still on AOL but won't admit it."

1) Yes 1) No 1) Maybe

Peter Sluk: Take our poll: Does this poll suck?

I usually only read articles through the e-mails and links in the side bar. As a result I rarely spend time on the TNS homepage and do not read the polls. i like it being there though. It's informal n'all, but i like to see how other readers respond.

Gabriel Voiles: Take our poll: Does this poll suck?

I find the polling feature attractive and fun. While obviously not scientific, it seems a good way to engage your readership and encourage critical thought. It would be great to have an "other" option which allows readers to enter their own alternative responses. I would enjoy reading such responses, but then I'm apparently in the minority for having participated at all.

PJD: Take our poll: Does this poll suck?

One of your early polls (the one regarding the federal deficit) had an error in it. Two options were "tax the rich more" and raise the taxes progressively. However the term "progressive tax" means a tax which taxes the rich more. So, both question mean about the same thing. So, this led me to think the polls were constructed by someone not-so well informed, and I havn't paid much attention to them since.

odahi: Polls schmolls

I agree with Andy. Polls ask complex questions and present three and maybe four simple choices as options when most answers are more nuanced or complex. It's a dumbing down of the reader. What do you do with poll results anyway? What insights about political, social, or economic issues are revealed by participating in and showing the results of (non-scientific) polls? In my opinion nothing. I think the New Standard should leave such polls to mainstream news websites.

leMAL: Take our poll: Does this poll suck?

I dont think that your polls suck. I have a comment regarding them however:

the polls are not visible immediately when one loads the front page. It should either be at the top of the homepage or always in the browser window. This would make the poll more visible to users.

Brian Dominick: progressive tax

In my defense as the person who wrote the poll questions and answers criticized by PJD, "raise taxes on the rich" and "raise taxes progressively" are two different things. The latter implies raising taxes across brackets, raising the taxes of the rich more. That's a "progressive" tax. Taxing the rich only is a radical tax.

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The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.