Featured and non-featured polls
Thread poster: Samuel Murray

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 20:15
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Nov 15, 2008

G'day everyone

The current polls feature is a nice idea for getting a focused answer to a question, but the way it is set up makes it only good for frivolous things, not for serious questions. Why do I say that? Because the poll queue is very long and the poll submission system places silly length limits to the poll content.

I'm not saying the polls are a bad idea -- no, in fact, I like the idea of polls. But sometimes one wants an answer quickly (not after several weeks), for which a forum post is likely to result in a very quick departure from the initial request or question.

So here is my solution: change the current "quick polls" to "featured polls" (as they are featured on the front page), and allow anyone (including non-members) to post polls immediately (non-featured polls). The non-featured behave like featured polls in every respect except that they are not displayed everywhere where the featured polls are displayed. They are only displayed in the Polls Forum and on the Recent Posts list.

Allowing non-featured polls will give us access to the polling feature without having to think first "does my question have novelty value" or "how can I reduce what I want to know into the length limits imposed by the poll submission feature and still get useful answers".


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:15
English to German
+ ...
I love the polls as they are Nov 15, 2008

They are supposed to be UNSCIENTIFIC, entertaining and fun. You get to know your colleagues. I don't think I ever missed one - maybe a few, the boring ones about CAT tools. Let's keep those problems questions to the technical forums. (Problems over problems...)

To see that every other neat poll is commented with: "Waaah! Pointless! Pointless!" is heartbreaking. A colleague tries to be entertaining and in return gets stepped on his / her toes. How fun.

If you want scientific and quick answers, start a forum, call the help desk, call Bill Gates, an ambulance or something.



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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 20:15
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I never said I want scientific Nov 15, 2008

Nicole Schnell wrote:
They are supposed to be UNSCIENTIFIC, entertaining and fun.


We can argue about this, but I don't think the fact that they are unscientific, entertaining and fun are necessary requirements for them. Some polls are less entertaining and less fun, and they are all very unscientific. And I like it that way.

That is why I tried to indicate that the difference between featured and non-featured polls would not lie in the way the polls work, but in the way they are presented, and in the degree of quickness. These polls are "quick" in the sense that they are quick to answer, but they are anything but quick to ask (I mean, they take a long time to ask).

When Henry said in the first thread about the polls that they are unscientific, I don't think he meant that they SHOULD BE unscientific -- I think he simply meant to warn everyone not to regard the ProZ.com polls as authoritative or trend-setting.

I don't think I ever missed one - maybe a few, the boring ones about CAT tools. Let's keep those problems questions to the technical forums.


We enjoy different things. The ones I find boring may be the ones you find exciting. But I'm not asking that the ones you find exciting be lost or diluted with other ones.

My suggestion is that the current Quick Polls feature continue much as it is. The questions in the Quick Polls are all novel, often frivolous, usually playful, and makes for something to look forward to at the start of your day. I have no problem with that, and I don't want to change that.

But the current Quick Polls serve only the answerers. I'm asking for polls that serve the askers.

To see that every other neat poll is commented with: "Waaah! Pointless! Pointless!" is heartbreaking. A colleague tries to be entertaining and in return gets stepped on his / her toes.


Well, unfortunately I don't think my suggestion will solve that. You'll always get dour colleagues, after all.

But perhaps the fact that some people clearly do not regard the polls are mere entertainment modules speaks positive of my suggestion. What do you think?



[Edited at 2008-11-15 15:06 GMT]

[Edited at 2008-11-15 15:10 GMT]


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:15
English to German
+ ...
Well, ... Nov 15, 2008

"ProZ.com quick polls provide a quick, convenient (and unscientific!) way for translators to exchange opinions."

My favorite poll of all times: "What are you wearing right now?"
Unforgettable. Priceless.

Yes, we do have different opinions. But besides KudoZ and forums, how about some playground? After all, we are without exception - by profession - creative people.



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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 20:15
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I agree with playground, but my suggestion is... Nov 15, 2008

Nicole Schnell wrote:
Yes, we do have different opinions. But besides KudoZ and forums, how about some playground?


I agree. A playground is nice to have. And we have one (well, we have several).

But this is not my suggestion. My suggestion is for an additional polls feature with certain improvements over the existing polls feature that make it more suitable for serious questions. To restate my suggestion:

Featured polls:
* Displayed on the front page
* Displayed in the Recent Posts list
* Displayed in the Polls Forum
* Vetted by staff/moderators
* Short, simple, novel questions
* Limited number per day
* Only platinum members can suggest a poll
* Only platinum members can see the results of previous polls

Non-featured polls (my suggestion, in addition to featured polls):
* Not displayed on front page
* Displayed in the Recent Posts list
* Displayed in the Polls Forum (or, displayed in a separate "Non-featured Polls" forum that is accessible also to non-platinum members)
* Not vetted by staff/moderators
* Can be about anything (or about whatever would normally not be considered off-topic in the forums), and have more relaxed limits on length etc
* Unlimited number per day (but, how about a limit of 1 per user per day)
* Optional: non-platinum members can submit polls
* Optional: non-platinum members can see results of previous polls


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JaneTranslates  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 14:15
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I do see your point. Nov 15, 2008

While I agree with everything Nicole read, I do see the merit of Samuel's suggestion. The featured, daily Quick Poll would remain exactly the same (and I just thought of a dandy frivolous one that I'll suggest in a minute!), but there would be a place you could go if you want to answer more polls. That way, any poll that anyone suggests is more likely to actually appear, and sooner. Also, polls could run longer and get more participants; the daily Quick Poll could be sent to that spot after 24 hours, rather than disappearing.

If, of course, the site runs low on new poll suggestions, then a few would be kept in the queue and no new polls would appear in the other place.

I would suggest that polls not run on forever, though. They could still appear for reference purposes, but be closed after a set time--perhaps a week?

[Edited at 2008-11-15 15:51 GMT]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 20:15
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
How long a poll lasts Nov 15, 2008

JaneTranslates wrote:
I would suggest that polls not run on forever, though. They could still appear for reference purposes, but be closed after a set time--perhaps a week?


Well, it doesn't matter to me how long a poll remains open. Even 48 hours would be quite sufficient. My personal opinion about polls is indeed that they should (or would) be used for getting very specific information fairly quickly. So it stands to reason that polls would not remain open for long. Even a week may be too long. I'm happy that it is not my decision (and that it does not form part of my original suggestion) but IMO keeping a poll open for 3 days is more than long enough.


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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:15
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Hahahahaha! Nov 15, 2008

Nicole Schnell wrote:
If you want scientific and quick answers, start a forum, call the help desk, call Bill Gates, an ambulance or something.


Hilarious! I totally agree. I especially love the "fun" polls and am tired of the stick-in-the-mud comments such as "meaningless," "waste of time," etc. (Sorry Samuel, I realize this has nothing to do with your suggestion...I just had to jump on board with what Nicole said about the polls in general).

Yes, we do have different opinions. But besides KudoZ and forums, how about some playground? After all, we are without exception - by profession - creative people.


Absolutely agree.

Cheers,
Amy


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xxxwonita
China
Local time: 15:15
Classify, wherever possible Nov 16, 2008

Samuel Murray wrote:
So here is my solution: change the current "quick polls" to "featured polls" (as they are featured on the front page), and allow anyone (including non-members) to post polls immediately (non-featured polls). The non-featured behave like featured polls in every respect except that they are not displayed everywhere where the featured polls are displayed. They are only displayed in the Polls Forum and on the Recent Posts list.


Are you inspired by the translator certification campaign?


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