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Using Polls

Discussion of general topics about Mozilla Firefox
asa

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Post Posted December 1st, 2002, 9:34 pm

I'm just one guy (I also happen to be a moderator with the power to delete posts and all that fun goodness ;) and while I don't like adding process or rules without good reason, I'm starting to get the feeling that polls are more of a distraction than a value in the Phoenix forums (moreso here than elsewhere, at least) and maybe we need some kind of guidelines for poll usage or maybe it should be restricted to moderators and admins.

There are clearly cases where a poll makes a lot of sense but it seems to me that there are plenty more cases where people have created polls that don't make sense.

So I'd like to make a suggestion for what I think is good poll usage and here it is:
If you want a discussion of an issue then don't use a poll. If you don't want discussion, you're just interested in taking a measurement, then do use a poll.
That seems to me a good guideline for determining when to use a poll and when not to.

What do you all think? (and note that I didn't put up a poll with "do you like my suggestion [yes] [no]". If that doesn't sound like a good guideline then what do you all suggest. Or should polls just go away?

--Asa
(this will only be sticky for a few days so that everyone has a chance to see it)
"You'd PAY to know what you REALLY think." --Dobbs 1961

ehume

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Post Posted December 1st, 2002, 9:55 pm

A poll is not the right way to start a discussion. In the renaming issue, for example, once the discussion had run into 35 pages or so, I wanted to know how many people liked which themes.

Which brings me to a point:

I should have re-read all the posts and taken notes at the time I did the poll. I had read all the posts, but my memory for some was a couple of days old. That meant that I included two names that we can't use. Which brings me to my second point:

I shouldn't have tried to edit an active poll.

I frame these as things I should have done or not done because, like Asa, I don't think trying to make rules is a good idea. Posting lessons learned should suffice.

Ed

priior

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Post Posted December 1st, 2002, 10:22 pm

how accurate is the data collected from the poll? (since there are ways to vote many many times by the same person)

not too accurate.

Therefore, the only reason one would use a poll is to get a "general" idea on a specific issue... which could easily be done by "discussing" in a thread (much like what u did in this thread)

so, yah.. i "vote" nay for the polls :)

tve
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Post Posted December 2nd, 2002, 6:11 am

priior wrote:how accurate is the data collected from the poll? (since there are ways to vote many many times by the same person)

not too accurate.

one member can vote only once. of course the member could reregister under 50 different names, but thats unlikely.... :p
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treebeard
 
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Post Posted December 2nd, 2002, 10:35 pm

I agree less polling would be better. I suggest posting a poll be restricted to moderators.
There will be situations where, perhaps after a lengthy discussion on a topic, it might be
usefull to take a "summary" poll. If that's the case or the developers want to ask the
opinion of the active users who post here, then take a poll.

my opinion, nothing more
may the farce be with you

Stefan

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Post Posted December 3rd, 2002, 5:52 am

Another alternative would be to block polls at least before people get eg 10 posts total on the board.

I see way to many polls started by 1-2 posts total people, presumably becuse they havn't been on the board for more then 5 minutes before they make their polls.

Not allowing them to make polls imediately on registration would increase the chance that they look around and eg bump into this thread before starting a bad poll.

Balboa
 
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Post Posted December 3rd, 2002, 9:09 am

Stefan wrote:Another alternative would be to block polls at least before people get eg 10 posts total on the board.

That might cause an unwanted increase in noise vs quality posts, possibly? Maybe there should be a special forum just for polls - that way if they aren't your bag, you can just ignore them completely.

Apollo

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Post Posted December 5th, 2002, 10:47 am

If you havent noticed by now, several people have started new name suggestion threads in the forum, totally disregarding the original Blake thread.

Also if you havent noticed, in the original Blake thread a name will get shot down and then 2-3 posts later someone will come along and suggest it again. People dont read the thread, they just come and drop a post. Because of that there is a ton of noise in the original thread.

Chris in MI just started a thread about the name Arias because in Blakes Arias thread, instead of saying yay or nay people turned it into another name suggestion thread.

ehume and I cannot help that a bunch of rabid mozilla-heads turned the polls into new name suggestion threads.

Stefan

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Post Posted December 5th, 2002, 11:26 am

OK, new rule suggestion.

You need to have 10 posts before you are alowed to post ;)

:mrgreen:

flii

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Post Posted December 5th, 2002, 11:29 am

i read about this somewhere else, stephan. i can't remember where, though. sorry.

what the post said, however, is that people will spam to get 10 posts, then do a poll anyway. the only good way i can think of for polls is to make a sticky like "Want to make a Poll?" and people post there asking that their idea be made into a poll. this name thing and the polls and new threads is way out of control.

Stefan

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Post Posted December 5th, 2002, 11:33 am

Flii wrote:what the post said, however, is that people will spam to get 10 posts


Obviously a girl wouldn't get that simple joke ;)

How is anyone ever going to be able to GET 10 posts if they are not allowed to post at all? :mrgreen:

flii

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Post Posted December 5th, 2002, 12:01 pm

*sigh* ok stefan you got me. i can only blame my awful, required-for-my-major gym class that i put off til my senior year. i'm the only girl there and i hate gym class. obviously i need to be in a fresh state of mind to point our your mistakes to you and not be tired, sweaty, and hands hurting from the ridiculous paddles pickleball uses. it's crazy.

anyway! back on topic though, i'll assume that you *meant* to say you can't poll until you have 10 posts, but since you're male and more fallable than i am, that you just said it wrong, in which case my original statement would still apply.

i think something really needs to be done about the new spam threads and bs polls, though. every day i see new name threads being locked.

[edit: double proved how sick of gym i was and misspelled stefan's name. *sigh*]
Last edited by flii on December 5th, 2002, 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

djst
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Post Posted December 5th, 2002, 12:34 pm

Flii wrote:*sigh* ok stephan you got me.


This is where I need to break in and nofity you that his name is Stefan, not Stephan! :)

bomfog
 
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Post Posted December 5th, 2002, 12:38 pm

Balboa wrote:Maybe there should be a special forum just for polls - that way if they aren't your bag, you can just ignore them completely.

That risks losing whatever crude statistical usefulness the polls may have had, doesn't it? There's no way of knowing how much of the result to attribute to people who've read the thread and vote knowledgably, and how much to people who just hang around and vote in every poll in sight. NB: this probably only applies to polls seriously intended to gauge concensus, not the "infotainment" type.

My counter-proposal? Reserve the right to start "serious" polls to moderators/admins, when they decide there's been enough discussion, varied opinion, etc to warrant one (with input from the <em>hoi polloi</em>, of course). Don't advertise the poll's existence in the forum's topic list. The people following the thread will know it's there.

Send the user-initiated, less serious polls to a "Survey Says ..." forum of their own, or AfterDark, or where-ever. Announce their presence prominently in the topic list, so them as just wants polls, lots o' polls, can find 'em easily.

<pre>--
JSwift, Modest Proposals(tm) A Speciality</pre>

Stefan

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Post Posted December 5th, 2002, 2:48 pm

Flii wrote:*sigh* ok stephan you got me.


WOOHOO finally :D

What's the score now? 15:1 in your favour? :D

i think something really needs to be done about the new spam threads and bs polls, though. every day i see new name threads being locked.


Mayby the mods should open an entire new forum only for namethreads?
Which of cource noone actually visits except the start new name threads & poll guys :D

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